Not much about my job keeps me up at night. This gig is dreamy: I spend my working hours making a magazine full of spaces, people, and ideas that influence and reflect Denver’s aesthetic, as it exists in our homes and public spaces. Searching for and celebrating beauty are worthy activities, and I want our magazine to encourage those pursuits.

But sometimes, when I’m flipping through photographs of a gorgeous home we’re planning to publish—the inimitable Colorado light making a dining room glow, the kitchen spotless with a bowl of citrus placed just so, a dog plopped effortlessly on a bed layered with luxurious linens—I get a pit in my stomach. What if, I wonder, 5280 Home makes readers think that we all have to create magazine-worthy spaces before we can proudly share them with anyone else? What if these photos suggest that a home is only a good place if it’s perfect (whatever that means)?

That’s why I was so happy to hear artist Jeanne Oliver’s thoughts about her Castle Rock home (“The Art Of Imperfection,”): “If there’s anything about a home I’ve come to believe, it’s to make people a priority over perfection, and to welcome people in even when the floors aren’t clean. Nobody’s looking at them anyway. Our home is a work in progress, as we all are.”

She’s right: My house is often full of guests—family, friends, the occasional friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who needs a place to stay—and nobody has ever complained that our black front door needs a touch-up, or that our baseboards are still showing evidence of the kids’ indoor hoverboarding adventures. But we hear a lot of gratitude for a back patio with space for lounging, a comfy guest room with good pillows, and dinners served up family-style.

What I hope you see in this, our first-ever issue about local tastemakers’ own homes, is not just pretty pictures. I hope you notice the life these homeowners describe happening in those spaces: messy, happy, creative, challenging, real life. Perfection has no place here, but beauty does—and it’s always best when it’s shared.

This article was originally published in 5280 Home August/September 2018.
Hilary Masell Oswald
Hilary Masell Oswald
As the former editor for two of 5280’s ancillary publications, Hilary Masell Oswald split her time between the vibrant design-and-architecture scene in the metro area for 5280 Home and the always-changing field of health for the annual 5280 Health.