Between long workdays and globe-trotting excursions, the owner of this Denver condo needed a place to recharge, and her dimly lit environs just didn’t work. Her three-bedroom, 1,400-square-foot condo in the Belvedere Tower, a 17-story high-rise in the Golden Triangle, was clad in dark finishes and dated, traditional decor. As so often happens, the owner decided to renovate her kitchen—and ended up investing in a full refresh of her home, delivered by Denver designer Megan Hudacky of CKY Design Inc.

“The owner wanted to go modern, and there was just no way to do it partially,” Hudacky says. “The idea was to open the space up, literally and with a much lighter palette.” Here’s how she did it.

Go Bare
The remodel included stripping away extraneous finishes to reveal the beauty of the materials themselves. Concrete-clad support columns throughout the home were left bare, and the end-grain oak flooring displays wood in a less refined state. “We’re trying to expose the natural elements in some of these materials, as opposed to how people typically see them,” designer Megan Hudacky says. “We were aiming to make everything not so processed.”

Hudacky then layered in other natural textures in the forms of a cushy wool rug from Ligne Roset, an airy metal-and-glass Platner cocktail table from KnollStudio, and a camel-colored leather sectional from Room & Board. “All of these materials—glass, wood, concrete, leather, metal, and stone—feel warm if they’re well-combined throughout the space,” she says.

Use What You’ve Got
A large island, clad in Caesarstone quartz, offers more built-in storage plus prep space and a perch for visitors. And rather than pretending that the air-duct-hiding soffit wasn’t there, Hudacky applied an interesting detail by trimming the soffit with birch plywood. “We exposed the edges to create these really beautiful lines,” she says. “It helps define the kitchen area.”

Select A Few Statement Pieces
Separating the master bedroom from the living area is a modern take on a barn door: a refined (not rustic) wood slab with softly undulating live edges hung from a gleaming metal track. It’s a functional work of art that blends the line between modern design and the home’s Western locale. “It helps when you go big with things,” Hudacky says. “There’s this barn door, there’s an entire wall full of walnut kitchen cabinetry—all of these things become integral parts of the space. They make the space feel custom and unique.”

Pick A Palette
Hudacky opened up the kitchen and this adjacent dining area to let in natural light (a move that informed the rest of the home’s remodel, too). Then she chose a simple color scheme of cream, white, and wood tones. “I wanted to add materials to designate areas and add depth,” Hudacky says. “The kitchen’s walnut cabinets ground the soffit, the white feels modern, and the shallow cabinetry is an unexpected faux-wood grain that again adds richness and lightness to the overall palette.” Ample cabinetry and built-ins provide plenty of storage space and negate the need for much freestanding furniture, which might obstruct the condo’s newfound airiness.

Repeat Materials
In the guest bathroom, the homeowner chose to install a vanity made of Kirei Board, an eco-friendly bamboo-style material. “Throughout her home, the owner wanted the style to be very Zen, and these natural materials make the spaces feel peaceful,” Hudacky says. To streamline the home visually, the designer repeated the use of natural materials in each space. The vanity’s counter, for example, is made from Caesarstone quartz, the same material as the kitchen island, and the bathroom’s tile floor mimics the end-grain oak flooring that runs throughout much of the rest of the home.

—Embedded photos by Emily Minton Redfield; Styling by Elaine St. Louis