A Modernized Boulder Farmhouse Filled with Eye-Catching Furnishings


Gray Modernist-Style Farmhouse Front Elevation

The homeowners were immediately attracted to the clean lines of this modernist-style farmhouse in an established neighborhood. A pergola fashions a sense of entry as well as provides covered seating. The metal bench is from Crate and Barrel.

Eclectic Gray Living Room

The 10-foot-high ceiling was painted a metallic green-blue to add height and depth to the living room.

Eclectic Gray Front Entry

In the entry, JS Raccan ottomans from Profiles in New York nestle under a custom demi-table by Parrish Construction. The Horizon wallpaper, which features four custom colors, and the artwork are both by The Alpha Workshops in New York.

Eclectic Gray Living Room

The 10-foot-high ceiling was painted a metallic green-blue to add height and depth to the living room.

Eclectic Gray Living Room Vignette

Designer Erin Iba defined one corner of the living room with a pair of wood chairs from Restoration Hardware, upholstered in a white fabric, and a Kelly Wearstler white lacquer cabinet with cerused doors. The lamp is by Nate Berkus.

Eclectic Gray Kitchen and Breakfast Nook

The breakfast nook banquette’s custom Sunbrella fabric and Schumacher pillows color-coordinate with the porcine portrait on painted tin that the owners found at a flea market. The Intersection chandelier is from Profiles and the counter stools are from Crate and Barrel.

Eclectic Multi-Colored Family Room

Chevron-patterned curtains made from Schumacher fabric pull together the hues of the family room, where existing built-ins were painted apple green by Jacobsen Brothers Painting. The sofa and chairs, both by Cisco Brothers, and the coffee table are from Bloom by Anushka.

Flagstone Patio with Eclectic Furnishings

Two major selling features for the owners were the grapevine pergola and flagstone patio, where they love to entertain. The wicker barrel chairs and metal benches accessorized with brightly patterned pillows are all from Crate and Barrel.

Eclectic White Office

In the office, Iba used the clients’ existing sofa and added a custom ottoman fabricated by Ablyss Upholstery & Refinishing. Shearer Touch fabricated the Christian Lacroix window shade. The floor lamp is by Jonathan Adler, and the desk and chair are both from Restoration Hardware.

Eclectic Pink Guest Bedroom with Accent Wall

The guest room’s custom headboard is upholstered in Not Square fabric and the bench wears Babe’s Tweed, both by Jamie Drake for Schumacher. The Celestial Dragon wallpaper is from Flavor Paper in New York.

Eclectic White Office Nook with Multi-Colored Accent Wall

Flavor Paper’s Cave Man wallcovering adds interest to the basement nook; The Alpha Workshops painted the console/desk. The silver-leaf stump side table is from HW Home, and the Griffith floor lamp from Arteriors in New York boasts a shade made of recycled newspapers.

Eclectic Master Bedroom with Silver Wallpaper

A moiré silk wallpaper by Arte from Egg & Dart covers the walls and ceiling in the master bedroom. The Italian gilt-wood mirror is from Melissa Levinson Antiques in Los Angeles; the plum mohair headboard with nailhead detail and Parsons bench were fabricated by Ablyss Upholstery & Refinishing.

Eclectic Silver Master Bedroom Chair

The master bedroom’s lambswool chair is from Edelman Leather in New Milford, Connecticut; the drapes are from Moda Antica; and the oil painting is by Andy Berg.

Modern Master Bath with Gray Marble Tilework

Milestone Remodeling did the marble tilework in the master bathroom featuring a Waterworks tub.

Erin Iba got the call as she was driving across the country to relocate from New York City to Denver. Would she be willing to do a little color consult for a house in Boulder? “No problem,” replied the designer, happy to land her first Colorado client. Little did she or the homeowners know that this gig would go way beyond just a few paint chips.

The homeowners had been renting when they spotted a For Sale sign in front of their favorite house on the block, a 10-year-old contemporary farmhouse. “I was literally walking by when it went on the market,” recalls the husband, who had the house under contract the following day. Iba landed on their doorstep the next.

With its balconies, tall windows and sun-splashed open floor plan, the house was fine structurally speaking, but the finishes had to go. “There was so much wood it looked like a mountaintop,” says Iba. And although the couple agreed that the rustic aesthetic didn’t really work for them, they couldn’t reconcile their own dichotomous tastes: cool tones and minimalist lines for him, cheerful patterns for her.

In response, Iba prescribed an injection of urban chic, transforming every finish—floors, walls, ceilings, and trim—in a neutral palette of taupe, gray, beige, and brown punctuated by soothing accents of blue, green and gold. Step one was to sand down the natural pine floors and millwork to eradicate the “weird orangey shellac,” the designer says. Then, she had every baseboard and window frame painted a dark gray that pops against the taupe walls and gives the public spaces an industrial loft feel. The trim also contrasts with the pine floors, which were stripped and waxed for a lighter look. The one large expanse to get a darker hue was the 10-foot-high living room, where the ceiling was painted a metallic green-blue. This bit of “visual trickery,” Iba says, adds height and depth, but the real feat was to prep the uneven surface. “With metallic paint, the surface has to be smooth as glass or you get an orange-peel effect.”

The ceiling finish coordinates with two elements produced by The Alpha Workshops, a New York City-based nonprofit that trains HIV-positive individuals to produce high-end decorative arts. The first is a large abstract painting in moody tones of teal, which dominates one wall of the living room. The other is a hand-painted wallpaper covering the fireplace surround and chimney. The artisans also created the intricate wallpaper in the entry, where the horizontal bands on the striated pattern were made by hand by folding the paper like origami and then painting it. “It’s an extremely laborious process that involves using a straight edge and an iron,” Iba says.

If the husband’s favorite room is the swanky living room, the wife’s is the vibrant, pattern-packed family room. Iba toyed with ripping out the cabinetry but, inspired by the wife’s upbeat personality, she instead color matched the built-ins to an apple-flavor Jolly Rancher and sealed them with lacquer. “I wanted not just the green hue but also that great sheen, almost like candy itself.”

In the master bedroom, Iba contended with an awkwardly angled vaulted ceiling by introducing a pearl gray moiré silk wallpaper extended to cover the entire ceiling to form a luxurious cocoon. Taupe trim and scalloped silk moiré curtains continue the near-monochromatic symphony of textures. The room’s Gary Ponzo chandelier meticulously composed of 4,000 paper clips required not only scaffolding to hang it but also flying the artist himself in from New York.

“The original idea was just to have a little paint and a touch of wallpaper,” recalls the husband about his initial phone call to Iba. “The next thing I know we’re moving out, and a 20-person work crew is in here redoing every surface. But the end result has exceeded all expectations. It’s now a home that we want to live in forever.”