athy and Steve Beabout had been living in a French Country-style residence for a few years when they decided they wanted something more modern–a home Kathy envisioned as having a classic exterior and a contemporary interior. They sold their traditional home and, after unsuccessfully searching for just the right residence, they decided to build a dwelling in Cherry Hills for their family. In addition to a different style, the couple wanted a home that would be a draw. As Kathy expresses it, “We hoped for a really fun house that everyone could gravitate to.”
To start, the homeowners assembled a team, which included interior designer Jane Freking and architects JR Lamicq and Mike Woodley. Lamicq recalls seeing the property for the first time when it was covered in a foot of snow. The acre-plus site wasn’t wide, but it was long and wooded with an existing structure that was beyond repair, and was later torn down. On that snowy day, he and Woodley envisioned a house that was private from the street, but open in the back. Says Lamicq, “We even stamped out a large rectangle in the snow with our boots to figure out where the pool would go, and planned how the new home would be all about backyard living.” It was also decided that, although the new house would be contemporary, it would be designed to fit in with the neighborhood’s classic architecture.
As it turned out, the open-plan residence has a more traditional silhouette (classic dormers provide the family with a little more space in the four upstairs bedrooms) with modern styling. A high-contrast exterior of white brick and large, black-framed windows lend a contemporary, European feel. “Kathy was instrumental in getting us on board with design cues,” says Lamicq, noting his client amassed a wealth of inspiration from magazines, Pinterest and even television commercials. Landscape designers Phil Hoff and Jennifer Thomas created the backyard with an idea of blurring the indoor-outdoor boundary by continuing the organic feel and clean lines of the house into the hardscape using bluestone, granite and reclaimed-wood beams. “The direction for plantings was ‘less is more,’ ” says Thomas, who trimmed existing deciduous trees and added evergreens with a minimalist touch. “For shrubs we used a handful of like-colored plants in shades of green, white and lavender.”
Freking collaborated on the interior finishes for an appealing balance of textures, such as reclaimed hardwood beams in the living room and a wood ceiling in the hearth room–a smaller sitting area adjacent to the kitchen. Oak flooring runs throughout, a feature that general contractor Dick Tanner notes is “pretty amazing, simply because of the dramatic width of the planks.” Contrasting with the sensibility of wood are the gleaming Neolith countertops and a fireplace surround, as well as sleek stacking-glass sliding doors that open to the backyard.
“Kathy is very into texture and wanted a monochromatic scheme,” Freking says, noting her client’s love of fashion and desire for a “fun factor” ensured an edgy direction. High-style notes include a dining room carpet whose form recalls a chunky knit sweater, a pair of hearth room chairs in a burnt-orange, of-the-moment upholstery by Kelly Wearstler and chic Italian Flexform sofas with leather-wrapped bases. Contemporary art adds a distinctive note, including a tall African-style sculpture near the hearth room that wears a long, beaded coat. “Each of the beads is manmade,” Freking says. “We loved that because of the texture.”
From the front of the house–home to a foyer, music room and formal dining room–to the open-plan, outdoor-embracing living areas at the back, several visual moments provide a wow factor. A deep-blue butler’s pantry with glass shelving is accented with brass grommets and hardware (“the finish that everyone is loving,” notes the designer), while a branch-like chandelier stretches nearly the length of a 10-foot, wood-topped dining table. In the kitchen, a massive island offers more generous seating for casual dining.
Neutrals, mixed textures and a connection to the outdoors continue upstairs in the master suite. Here, a palette of black and white rules the room. Freking credits the texture-enhancing shiplap ceiling and swivel chairs placed near the giant picture window overlooking the backyard as having strong supporting roles in the space.
Going from French Country to an eclectic, transitional residence is a dramatic change, but Freking isn’t surprised that her clients embraced it joyously. “Kathy chooses out of the box, always,” the designer says. “She’s very daring and fun.” The wish for a home that draws people in is fulfilled by an inviting pool and patio, an outdoor fireplace and a bar. Steve describes their new home as a place filled with happy voices as friends, kids and dogs mix and mingle inside and out. As he says, “this place really is a magnet.”
Interior designer Jane Freking created this Denver home with architects JR Lamicq and Michael L. Woodley to suit a couple’s desire for a modern lifestyle. In the hearth room, a CBS Furniture sofa covered in Holly Hunt outdoor fabric and swivel chairs from Egg & Dart offer views of the backyard through the Andersen sliding doors. The brass-and-marble coffee table is by Century Furniture and the Jackson Firewood bamboo-silk carpet is by Tufenkian.