For more than 25 years, interior designer Erika Rundiks, principal of Recherche Interior Design, has been recognized in Denver for her anything-but-predictable aesthetic. So, when clients in Highlands Ranch asked the designer to help them remodel their house in the style of the wife’s childhood home in Ivory Coast, it was a match made in design heaven. We asked Rundiks to break down how she achieved the look.

5280 Home: Can we start by talking about that absolutely amazing chandelier? It’s such a departure from the classic furniture in the room.
Erika Rundiks: The room really needed some fun flair, and this fixture—patinaed metal from Global Views—is very sculptural. A [traditional] chandelier would have been way too predictable; I was proud of the clients’ adventurous selections in this project.

Where did that bold vision come from?
I love projects that have a cultural character or international concept. Before the clients hired me, they had lived in this house for some time, and it had absolutely no aesthetic identity. The wife is from Ivory Coast, which has African and French cultural influences. She wanted the house to feel somewhat formal and French but to also have an African feel—like that chandelier.

How did you riff on French style?
The window treatments [custom made with Donghia’s graphic Edith fabric and a layer of sheers] were an important element to achieving the desired European look. The Bernhardt table and chairs [plus a Visual Comfort lamp on the Bernhardt sideboard] are all very French. And the art, from Abend Gallery, is hung in an arrangement that feels European to me.

The colorful bench beautifully blends the two styles.
I love how unexpected and refreshing it is. The homeowner really likes purple but couldn’t see it as a primary color in the house. This piece allowed her to have that expression, but in a specific—and fun!—way.

This article was originally published in 5280 Home June/July 2020.
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers is a contributing writer to 5280 Home, which means she gets to spend her days writing about Colorado’s most beautiful indoor spaces.