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A Bachelorette Pad in Five Points

After flying the coop, a budding designer tackles the renovation of her first home, while repurposing pieces from her past



Photography by Eleanor Williamson

DESIGN OBJECTIVE:

As a first-time homebuyer, 24-year-old Colorado native Caroline Tryba landed much closer to her parents in Capitol Hill than she had originally hoped. Exhaustive Zillow searches targeting faraway Denver neighborhoods were fruitless, and she kept circling back to a three-bedroom townhouse in the San Rafael Historic District, just a 15-minute walk from her childhood home. “I was specifically looking to avoid this area, because it’s so close,” she says with a laugh. “But I finally ended up touring this house, and it was clearly perfect. It worked out, and now I’m within walking distance of my parents.” 

Built in 1901 and renovated in the ’80s, the townhouse was in good working condition but needed cosmetic updates, more storage space and better circulation throughout. Tryba, who has worked in interiors since graduating from college in 2015—first at her father David Tryba’s design firm Tryba Architects, now at Ruggles Mabe Studio—wanted to make the most of the limited space, while adding sophisticated finishes and colors inspired by East Coast colonial homes.

EXECUTION:

In tandem with her dad, Tryba devised a plan that made every square foot as functional as possible. They doubled the size of both bathrooms, converted a brick wall in the kitchen into a bar area, installed built-in bookshelves in the master bedroom and living room, and reconfigured bedrooms to make way for extra closet space. “A lot of people want large, open flex spaces nowadays, but our priorities were a little different,” Tryba says. “My bed barely fits in the bedroom, but it’s perfect because now I have a giant walk-in closet.”

The walls were painted a soft gray (Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood) to reflect the home’s natural south-facing light and contrast with the stained chocolate-brown wood floors. Antique furnishings, interior doors, and paintings of landscapes and portraits were all passed down from mom and dad, who have been downsizing Tryba’s childhood home—their now-empty nest.

Though she lives solo, Tryba’s finished home—especially the kitchen—is often a gathering space for friends and family. And yes, sometimes even her parental neighbors make the guest list.

Homeowner Caroline Tryba used an East Coast-inspired gray-green color for the fireplace wall. The shelves are styled with various collectibles, including her prized bug collection from a ninth-grade science project. An antique Windsor chair sits in the corner. 

A lot of people want large, open flex spaces nowadays, but our priorities were a little different. — Caroline Tryba

Straw Hat by family friend and Denver artist Sharon Brown

 

A vanity in the master closet includes hardware recycled from Tryba’s childhood bedroom.

 

The guest bedroom includes another Sharon Brown painting (above the bed), as well as antique nightstands snagged at La Cache. 

 

Bookshelves flank the master bed. 

 

Tryba says the light-filled kitchen was the biggest selling feature of the home.

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