A Lineup Of Artistic Touches Makes A Denver Dwelling A Home Run

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dog sitting in industrial entryway

The family dog relaxes in a light-filled entry. Beyond, the dining room is filled with art.

blue couch in living room...

The owners of this Denver home say they find themselves gravitating to the living room in cooler months, and the Como sectional by Giorgio Soressi for DWR makes a great place to relax. Designer Jayna Barber says the piece is durable for family gatherings but also sophisticated for entertaining. The painting is by Chuck Meyers and the coffee table is by Orren Ellis.

industrial and wood dining table...

In the dining room, Herman Miller Eames chairs provide seating at the owners’ existing table. The wood screen on the stair not only lets natural light flood the staircase, it allows the owners to keep in contact with their children when they are using the downstairs playroom.

Rift-sawn oak cabinets and dramatic...

Flying C Woodwork crafted the stained rift-sawn oak cabinets topped with Chroma Quartz countertops and the black-and-white Dalmata marble is from Galleria of Stone. A row of brass-and-leather Reverb counter stools pull up to the island. A pair of Dcor pendants hang above the countertop, and the brass-toned Trinsic faucet is by Delta.

hallways with bench and chairs...

A library and sitting area is located off the main bedroom and provides a well-lit place to sit and consult a book. The Tilt sconce is by Cedar & Moss.

living room with floor to...

The owners’ leather sofa and a Metropolitan chair and ottoman by B&B Italia make a comfortable seat for relaxing and binge-watching television. The accent wall is coated in Sherwin-Williams Black Magic. The Greta Grossman Grasshopper floor lamp is from DWR.

bed in front of blue...

The navy-colored Ralph Lauren acacia-grass wallcovering was purchased at Kravet. It’s the background for a painting by local artist Lui Ferreyra, who is represented at William Havu Gallery, and a bed by RH. Sidnie bedside lamps are by Schoolhouse. The Mesa Indus rug is by Calvin Klein.

powder room with geometric black-and-white...

In the powder room, the walls are covered in a graphic black-and-white Frekvenssi pattern by Marimekko. The same Dalmata marble used in the kitchen has a fresh look on the vanity. Leila sconces by the Jesco Lighting Group flank the mirror.

large swinging bed on balcony...

One of the owners wanted an outdoor sleeping area, so the architects provided the space right off the main suite. The rafters, modern takes on the neighborhood’s traditional architecture, were reinforced by general contractor Jeremy Larson to allow the hanging bed, designed by the husband.

While dining at a storied Denver restaurant, a family’s attention was captured by more than the menu. The scene was Linger, an eatery housed in a century-old building that used to be the Olinger Mortuaries (the current moniker was achieved by turning off the “O” in the neon sign that’s long stood above the building). The couple was entranced by the way the remodeled building captured the view and the eclectic decor. “It was different,” says the husband. “And we wanted something different for the home we wanted to build.” The husband asked their server if he could get the name of the architect, and the next morning he called Boss Architecture. After talking to principal Chris Davis, he laid the idea of working with anyone else to rest.

In truth, the couple was thinking more about the land than the house when they purchased a large Wash Park lot with a multi-family building on it. “We wanted a backyard where we could throw a baseball with our kids,” remembers the husband. But soon, the architecture enthusiast looked beyond games to something more. “I grew up in Chicago, and that gave me a taste for good architecture,” he says.

The most important directive became creating a home that was modern but also fit in with the historical homes in the area. Noting that their work is all about context, Davis says they were up for the challenge. “We paid a lot of attention to materiality to make it happen,” he says. “For example, the mortar lines are thinner, and the rafters are exposed—just like some of the classic bungalows you see in the neighborhood. We took these features, which were popular 70 years ago, and used them in a modern way.”

Architect Kevin Stephenson, co-founder of the firm, says that stripping such classic elements to their essence often provides a fresh take. “There’s the perception that bigger and shinier is better,” he says. “But we find that if you minimize the materiality and the composition of a home, less can be more—and that’s what we did here.”

Inside, a striking staircase connects the home’s three levels: The lower level is a dedicated children’s play zone; the middle level houses a kitchen, family room and living room; and the upper levels are bedrooms. The floating staircase is marked by its open nature, with a handsome wood screen separating it from the kitchen area. “The couple was clear about wanting to be connected with their children, who are still young, while they played downstairs,” says Stephenson. “In our projects, we strive to make things that are functional yet beautiful, and that’s the case with this staircase. It’s celebrated here as a piece of sculpture and walking up and down it is a kinetic experience.”

Artistic touches also reign in the kitchen, where a striking black-and-white marble backsplash was chosen because it reminds the husband (a doctor and an artist) of the work of one of his favorite painters, Franz Kline. “We had imagined this as being a solid Carrara marble piece, but when we saw this stone, we spotted a new opportunity,” says Stephenson. “By cutting it and matching it, it became a dramatic feature.” Designer Jessica Dornan, who worked with the couple on all of the spaces save for the living room, says the burnished- brass accents make the stone sing. “The color of the range hood, the faucet and the counter stools underline this feature as a focal point,” she says.

In the living room, furnished with the help of designer Jayna Barber, the focal point—a large, wall-spanning fireplace composed of Summit Brick in Winter Sky—is more than a pretty feature. “It not only adds a nice materiality to the room, but also privacy by screening a view of a nearby neighbor,” says Davis. “We added metal panels to the long firebox to visually extend it and make it fit with the scale of the surround.”

As the homeowners envisioned, the backyard— designed by landscape architect Ariel Gelman—has been the scene of many baseball games. “Given how many windows we have, it’s amazing we haven’t broken one,” the husband jokes. Turning serious, he notes, “The value of good design isn’t something I fully appreciated until now. It has made our life at home better and more comfortable.” Consider it a home run.

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