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1. Dining Room
Set in a picturesque location—a boundless meadow on the outskirts of Aspen—this home practically begged for a designer who knows how to steal scenes. Enter Los Angeles–based Kerry Joyce, who won an Emmy Award in set direction for his work on a Ben Vereen special before jumpstarting his career in residential and furniture design. One of the biggest showstoppers in this Aspen project is the pasture-side dining room (pictured above), which is a study in wood tones—but not your typical rustic cabin logs. The live-edge dining table, for example, was hewn from one hulking piece of claro walnut. The walls and ceiling are clad in rift-sawn oak—a cut that transforms tree rings into a clean-lined, linear motif—in a muted, honeyed finish. “We wanted a warm, handsome, and modern envelope,” the designer says. Adding to the cozy-cool vibe of any dinner party here are polished concrete floors, a Jonathan Browning Studios chandelier that casts a bewitching glow, and a large-format artwork by German photographer Andreas Gursky. Joyce may be based in LA, but what he achieved in this space—evoking “the textures and colors of nature,” as he puts it—is pure Colorado.
2. Powder Room
Massachusetts’ misty shores are more than 2,000 miles from Denver, but that didn’t stop Andrea Monath Schumacher’s client from adding them to the decorating wish list for her Bow Mar residence. “Our client, who grew up on Cape Cod, asked us to create a home that is vibrant, curated, and reminiscent of her roots,” Schumacher says. No space was too small for this look. Take the powder room, which the designer intended as the crown jewel of the home: “We designed a hand-painted wallcovering on gilded silk that [embodies] opulence,” she says. Speaking of luxe: The vanity was crafted from an antique Dongbei sideboard made in the late 19th century in northeastern China. To achieve the challenging but rewarding revamp, the piece was carefully cut to accommodate a sink and plumbing fixtures, then topped with a custom waterfall-edge stone countertop. A ceiling sheathed in sisal wallpaper from Stroheim ties it all together. Its deep aquamarine hue—appropriately called Ocean—calls to mind the sea views from Cape Cod’s beaches.
3. Great Room
A room that’s too cavernous may be the epitome of a first-world problem, but it’s still a problem—especially when you’re going for a friendly feel in a family home. Such was the design dilemma encountered by Jess Knauf, principal of her namesake firm. Her clients’ Mediterranean-meets-Colorado-style home in Cherry Hills Village has cathedral ceilings and stone walls that are an impressive 18 feet tall. “They have all this gorgeous stone that they didn’t want to change in any way,” Knauf says. “It brings so much depth, texture, and coziness to the space, but there’s a lot of it.” Her fix: introducing complementary finishes and light-and-airy fabrics. She tweaked the existing cherry wood ceiling by sanding and lime-washing it—“a major feat, as it was practically the color of cherry syrup!” she says—and stained the reddish floor a medium-brown hue before topping it with the client’s own gray, celadon, and stormy-blue rug. Knauf upgraded the homeowner’s existing armoire with the help of local artist Mimi Finn, who refinished it with a taupe glaze that echoes the softness of the room’s ivory linen Schumacher draperies. And because her clients have four sons and five bulldogs, Knauf chose a soil-, mildew-, and UV-resistant Rose Tarlow for Perennials fabric for the sectional that holds up to living large.
You might not think that corporate America could inspire such a sumptuous, relaxing bedroom, but for this respite in a contemporary Washington Park townhome, it was the perfect muse. “My clients are two gentlemen—a bank executive and an advertising executive—who wear super-fashionable, beautiful suits, and who wanted a really masculine bedroom,” says designer Katie Schroder of Atelier Interior Design. To keep the space’s cool-blue palette feeling warm and welcoming—a must-have at the end of a hectic workday—Schroder employed woven wool fabric from Innovations in lieu of standard-issue wallpaper on the walls. “It creates a very different feeling,” she says of the enveloping effect. A fuzzy bench by Bernhardt and a bevy of plaids on the bed add to the room’s “luxurious, cozy vibe,” Schroder says. She topped the campaign-furniture-inspired side tables with sculptural lamps from Visual Comfort that are, of course, frequent touchpoints. “Good-quality table lamps show the luxury of the space,” Schroder notes. Hung above it all is a round wall mirror framed by porcupine quills—perhaps an unintentional nod to the very important business of looking sharp.
Interior Design – Katie Schroder, Atelier Interior Design
A dose of Southern comfort was the inspiration for this study within a 1970s Steamboat Springs home, which is owned by a couple of Louisiana State University grads. To kick off a New Orleans–style green-and-gold color palette, Rumor Designs selected an enveloping paint color: Vogue Green by Sherwin-Williams. “It felt bold but timeless all at once,” designer Katie Siegel says. It was the perfect backdrop shade to help transform the formerly cluttered playroom into an adults-only cocktail lounge with coffered ceilings, chartreuse velvet upholstery, and an antiqued mirror bar. “The goal was to create an intimate space, and because this room is a lock-off from the rest of the home, we decided it could be bold and completely different,” Siegel says. “We were inspired to do a more monotone look, and we love that the wainscoting, ceiling, wallpaper, Roman shades, cabinetry, and furniture are all green tones.” Subtly adding to the ambience: the brass library lights and cabinet pulls, which have a living finish that will burnish over time.
If you’re looking for the perfect ingredients to whip up an airy kitchen, there’s no reason to limit yourself to a bland white-on-white color palette. For proof, consider this cookspace in a modern farmhouse in Morrison, which combines the warmth of white-oak cabinets and Taj Mahal quartzite countertops and backsplashes with sculptural eye candy in the form of Hinkley brass pendant lights. “Our clients wanted a space that felt really open and clean, with lots of concealed storage to make sure it
had a crisp, pristine look,” says designer Lauren Winter of Littleton firm Inside Stories. To grant that wish, Winter tucked many of the kitchen’s workhorse elements into the butler’s pantry behind the range wall. “To the left of that area is the garage, and from a functional standpoint, walking directly into the pantry with a bunch of groceries keeps messiness and clutter hidden away,” she says. Another adjacent space—the dining room—provides this design’s key ingredient. There, walls painted Benjamin Moore’s super-saturated Midnight Blue hue provide a delicious contrast to the kitchen’s warm tones, like a sprinkle of salt atop a sweet confection.
From Switzerland’s Baroque-style Abbey Library of Saint Gall to Brazil’s Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, some of the dreamiest libraries on earth are as deliciously dark as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Castle. So, it’s no surprise that when Motif Design Solutions was enlisted to Ralph Lauren–ify their clients’ library (which doubles as a living room) in Ken Caryl, they decided to go deep. “The clients wanted the interior to feel like a castle,” principal Jennifer DesJardin recalls. Her first step: Coat the home’s existing golden oak woodwork in a custom black gel stain “with a rich brown undertone to warm it up just enough to make it seem like it has some history,” she says. Next: Create balance. “We used painted white trim and millwork in adjacent spaces so that the library didn’t feel like a black hole,” DesJardin notes. (It also helped that she opted to recolor the room’s window mullions, a move that shifts the eye toward natural light.) The clients got their wish for a dose of traditional sophistication, thanks to leather ottomans by Four Hands, a leather-shaded CB2 lamp, and tribal-inspired throw pillows from RH—all tailor-made for curling up with a dram of scotch and a good book.
Interior Design – Jennifer DesJardin, Motif Design Solutions
Boulder’s Mapleton Hill Historic District is a fairytale neighborhood, complete with turreted Victorians galore. “Being the crown jewel historic district in this town…it’s tricky to get new construction built,” says Nicholas Fiore, principal at Flower Architecture. His challenge: to stick within the district-mandated guidelines while still pushing the proverbial envelope with his client’s newly built home. “I’m not a fan of doing an International minimalist-modern house in the middle of a historic neighborhood,” Fiore says. So instead, he celebrated some of the best design elements of the past—including a traditional one-and-a-half-story silhouette and a Juliet balcony—then gave them very au courant touches. Graphic lattice wood screens and an exterior painted Sherwin-Williams’ Iron Ore hue make a bold statement, while Douglas fir soffits add a welcoming warmth—a characteristic that’s accentuated when the house is aglow at twilight.
9. Public Space
Let’s be honest: There are portions of the Platte River that aren’t exactly worthy of a John Denver song. When the architects and engineers at Denver studio Tres Birds were hired to revamp this particular stretch of its banks in an industrial section of Denver near Brighton Boulevard—now known as the Arkins Promenade—for example, it was a sea of asphalt and weeds. To beautify the area while reconnecting the community to the river, the design team created an art park and pedestrian walkway, employing sustainably sourced lumber and benches hewn from recycled plastic milk jugs.
The promenade’s centerpiece, a 400-foot-long elevated walkway that provides a bird’s-eye view of the river from multiple seating areas, is certainly eye-catching, but what you don’t see is just as impressive. Tres Birds created a series of bioswales to act as a filtration system for stormwater pollution, says Mike Moore, the firm’s founder and design principal. Now, “the surface water that comes off of surrounding streets goes through native grasses and riparian flowers and trees, percolates down layers of sediment that clean the water, and then enters the river.”