In a year when our homes took on an elevated role in our lives—becoming our workplaces, our kids’ schools, and our sanctuaries all at once—we’ve all felt the importance of comfortable, functional, and attractive rooms that make us feel inspired. Normal. Cocooned. Happy. This roundup of our favorite spaces hits all those notes and acts as a guiding light for whatever your home needs now.


We love the combo of James Bond-cool and classic detailing. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Andrea Schumacher Interiors
If James Bond needed a Front Range workspace, we think he’d settle on something exactly like this home office, which Andrea Schumacher outfitted for a working father of two children. “This is his man cave, his own little retreat,” Schumacher says. To distinguish it from the white, bright rooms that compose the rest of the Cherry Hills Village home designed by local architecture firm Alvarez Morris, Schumacher painted the walls and sky-high ceiling with Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty hue. “The room is west-facing, and it gets a ton of sun, so we went really dark to keep it more moody in there,” she says. “When you’ve got two walls of windows and a 12-foot-high ceiling, [the dark color] makes it cozier.” Anchoring the space is a hefty, 7-foot-long custom desk with a hidden computer compartment by Shanahan Collection; Schumacher had the piece stained a watered-down version of her favorite paint color, Cat’s Eye, by Benjamin Moore. For a perch, she found an antique replica of a Louis XV chair at an estate sale in Denver. But the room’s coolest aspect might be what you can’t see: a door, concealed by an expanse of muted-black wall paneling, which leads to an adjacent powder room. No doubt, 007 would approve.


We love the modern riff on a mining-era roofline. Photo by Dallas & Harris Photography

Aulik Design Build
Just call them devoted. When Gary Aulik and Charles Peterson of Minneapolis-based Aulik Design Build were designing this 5,200-square-foot getaway home in Snowmass, they actually slept there, right on the land, so they could devise the best way to site the house for a prime mountain panorama. “For our first site trip, we pulled a camper up from Denver and camped for a few days,” Peterson says. Roughing it paid off. Soon, they knew that alpine patch of land nearly as well as the area’s grazing elk, and spotted a major issue: the headlights of cars traveling on a nearby seasonal maintenance road. “It was like somebody flicking the light switch on and off at a distance,” Aulik says, adding that the discovery prompted them to align the structure differently— giving the west-facing owner’s suite postcard-worthy panoramas of Mt. Sopris and the south-facing living areas a view of Snowmass Mountain’s summit. The architectural design firm was just as vigilant when curating the home’s exterior finishes, selecting materials that blend into the hues of the hillside: charcoal-colored brick, dark bronze, and taupe stucco, plus Spanish cedar planks that add depth and variegation to the building. The home’s silhouette combines the centuries-old sloped roof pitch of a Gold Rush cabin with streamlined, horizontal overhangs, giving it “a contemporary feel with a nod to the traditional vernacular,” Peterson says. Those literal highs and lows fit right in with the topography: “In all, you can see 10 peaks from the site that are all over 11,000 feet,” Peterson says.

Dining Room

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Atelier Interior Design
It’s not easy to inject an aura of history into a newly built house, but designer Katie Schroder of Atelier Interior Design can perform aesthetic magic tricks—as evidenced by the dining room of this Washington Park Craftsman-style home. The secret to a storied feel? Layering texture upon texture, starting with the wallpaper. “There aren’t a lot of elements to pull from in a dining room; you don’t have many tactile choices, and I’m not a big fan of rugs [in eating areas],” Schroder says. “Wallpaper is a great way to add pattern and textures and color.” She opted for Harlequin’s Salice pattern from Style Library, a mushroom-hued beauty with a pussy-willow pattern and gold tones that coordinate with the room’s gold-painted ceiling. “We went with an earthy vibe; the homeowners didn’t want it to be too formal or too fancy,” Schroder says. “We tried to keep it casual so you weren’t afraid to walk in and sit down.” Further warming up the space: voluminous draperies in Zoffany’s Juniper Formosa fabric, a flickering gas fireplace, and, at one end of the sleek Adriana Hoyos table, a bench tailor-made for cocktail-hour chats. Overhead, Schroder opted for two Visual Comfort fixtures to amp up the room’s cool factor. “They’re [adjustable] spider lights, so we could play with how they’re placed and what’s lit within the room,” she says. “They’re a bit of a modern take on an industrial-refined look, and they’re very much a statement.”


We love the architectural drama and high function all in one space. Photo by Anna Slowey, courtesy of Surround Architecture

Surround Architecture
Along with the task of designing a new Cherry Hills Village home for a young family of five, Dale Hubbard and Dustin Buck of Surround Architecture were given one overarching rule: “to create something timeless that is still looking toward the future,” Hubbard says. That’s no short order in the kitchen, where fleeting trends tend to take over all the flavor. But Hubbard and Buck cooked up a space that will wow for decades, thanks in part to a warm and sedate color palette. “There’s nothing in there that’s white-white, and there’s nothing in there that’s black-black,” Buck says. “We used a softer color, Benjamin Moore’s Sea Pearl, on the walls to help soften the space.” Anchoring the kitchen under 16-foot-high ceilings is a plaster-and-blackened-steel range hood that counterbalances the soaring stone fireplace at the opposite end of the room. Ceiling “rafters and tension rods essentially work to create the divisions in the space and define the open floor plan,” Hubbard says. The room’s finishes are hard-wearing yet soft: European oak has a tighter grain than domestic options; concrete countertops are as durable as they are cool; and subtle knots in the cedar ceilings add a rustic touch. Cecilie Manz ceiling fixtures and over-island pendants from Arteriors “are large enough to hold their weight in the space, yet not so solid that they become obtrusive,” Buck says. In other words, like most delicious dishes, this kitchen is well-balanced.


Photo by Susie Brenner

Boland Lord Design
What’s more fun for a girl than rearranging her own room? Her professional-decorator parent revamping that room into the hideaway of her dreams. “The client here is my daughter, who had a pink bedroom when we moved into this house and wanted something a little more grown-up and fun,” says Martha Lord of Boland Lord Design, whose family lives in an Italianate home in the Denver Country Club neighborhood. The mother-daughter duo began by adding more storage space—a necessity for the then-16-year-old—in the form of built-in shelves and drawers painted with Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue No. 281 in a wipeable satin finish, and accented with whisper-soft purple Calluna No. 270 interiors. The pink walls were covered with a blue-and-white wallpaper by Clay McLaurin Studio that “adds a pop to the room,” Lord says. “It was bright in the sense that it had a white background and added some lightness, but it also created interest with leaves and vines.” The pattern “helps create a cocoon without making the room feel too small,” she adds. “Anything with that verticality is going to make a space feel nice and airy and large.” A Dash & Albert rug and a Restoration Hardware bed dressed with John Robshaw fabric and sundry patterned pillows complete the cheery, youthful look. As for Lord’s discerning client? “I think it will carry her for a while,” the designer says of the space. “I can’t imagine her getting tired of it now. It’s a happy room.”