For a couple of New York City transplants accustomed to cramped apartment life, the prospect of moving into a house with any dining room sounded downright delightful. But when the pair first entered this light-filled entertaining space—part of the LoHi house they now call home—they found much more than coveted square footage: The home’s previous owners had commissioned local street artists Pedro Barrios, Jaime Molina, and Joseph Martinez to cover the room’s only wall with an eye-catching mural depicting a musical calaca (the colloquial Mexican Spanish name for a human skeleton). When the owners showed the artwork to their interior designer, Julee Wray of Truss Interiors, along with a Pinterest board depicting the zen vibe they envisioned for their new home’s decor (think: soothing green and white hues; lots of plants), though, Wray called foul. “I said, ‘Guys, to pull off this serene look, you’ve got to get rid of that mural,’” she recalls. “When they resisted, I said, ‘Then we need to take a leap and do the entire house based on that art.’”

The homeowners agreed, and Wray began gathering a lively mix of colors and patterns inspired by the mural’s bold shapes and hues. A geometric Loloi rug pulls shades of turquoise down onto the wood floors, while curvy Arteriors chairs upholstered in burgundy chenille complement the artwork’s warmer tones. Above the wood-and-concrete table, a linear Craftmade chandelier makes a statement without obstructing views of the mural‚ “which is the first thing you see upon entering the house,” Wray says. To soften the room’s other focal point—a three-story window wall—she added sheer draperies, a wood buffet by Four Hands, and a sculptural Visual Comfort floor lamp, “which adds some homeyness in a really funky, cool manner,” she says. That calaca wouldn’t have it any other way.

A turquoise and plum geometric mural depicting a skeleton playing guitar lines the back wall of bright dining room.
Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The Artist

Known as the Worst Crew, artists Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molina have collaborated on vibrant, large-scale murals all over Denver. Spot their work inside Meow Wolf and on the exteriors of the Dylan Apartments and the Hub buildings in RiNo. @the.worst.crew