A Guest House Overflowing With Style
Emily Minton Redfield
Unusual buildings afford unusually interesting opportunities for design. And that’s just the ambitious approach interior designer Ashley Campbell adopted when she imagined the perfect dual-purpose guest quarters/pool house for her own Greenwood Village home.
Created in collaboration with architect Melissa Mabe-Sabanosh, of Ruggles Mabe Terrell Architecture, the petite outbuilding perches on a small knoll behind the main house and is used year-round. “I wanted a guest suite for family and friends that would provide a secluded sanctuary,” Campbell explains, “as well as a poolside oasis for entertaining.”
And the resulting structure is a sweet suite indeed. “Ashley wanted something fresh and timeless,” Mabe-Sabanosh recalls, “It needed to be a reflection of the young, energetic family that would be using it.” Inspired by the simple forms of Swedish barns and the easygoing California-modern aesthetic of Napa wineries, the compact gray and white-trimmed building has a welcoming informality. The place has a style Campbell describes as “casual chic,” with clean-lined furniture and sleek finishes. Most of all, it is a relaxed, family-friendly retreat, lovingly designed for visitors and kids and all of the wet towels and damp feet that come with them.
Appropriately, a watery theme flows throughout the cottage. Campbell began with an overall palette of soft gray, cream and black, but then decided it looked “too subdued,” so she punctuated it with splashes of blue—“a favorite color of mine,” she says—in shades of turquoise, peacock, navy and cobalt. “Timeless finishes in neutral tones allow for playful punches to pop,” she notes.
Furnishings and fixtures are what Campbell describes as “modern farmhouse,” especially selected with both children and entertaining in mind. She covered the casual seating in hard-wearing indoor/outdoor fabrics for worry-free comfort, and the pale flooring is durable porcelain tile with the look of reclaimed wood. Both the indoor and outdoor lights are simple, straightforward and stylish.
“I’m a big fan of the Edison bulb and exposed filament,” Campbell admits. And here and there, throughout the house, whimsical, aquatic-inspired artwork provides a fresh spritz of light-hearted charm.
A sliding barn door from Rustica Hardware separates the social spaces from the private ones, with a bedroom and bathroom tucked away from view. Adjoining living and dining areas offer plenty of comfortable space to accommodate summer pool parties or laid-back family gatherings, and a well-equipped kitchen can handle casual feasts. Cozy seating surrounds a double-sided fireplace, cleverly chosen by Campbell “for cool Colorado nights.” The fireplace also warms the pool deck. Two sets of double doors allow an easy flow between indoors and out, and a basement rec room is a popular spot for the kids regardless of the weather.
Combined with the refreshing swimming pool and hot tub, this little cottage is a home-not-very-far-away-from-home treat; both a sophisticated play house and a casually elegant guest retreat. Mabe-Sabanosh is delighted with the outcome of her creative collaboration with Campbell. “What a great example of making a smaller, tertiary building an amazing focal point,” the architect marvels. “It’s like a little jewel box.”
Designer and homeowner Ashley Campbell’s father helped design the landscape, which offers large open spaces for her three young sons to roam and play. “The cottage really nestles into its surroundings,” architect Melissa Mabe-Sabanosh says. “It feels like it has been there for years.”
The cottage is ready for pool parties and welcoming for guests. A long, cushioned window-side bench and slipcovered chairs provide seating for six at a large table, for farmhouse dinners with a cool, up-to-date twist. The watery theme is reflected in the luminous glass vessels and aqua-hued cushions, while a kooky Barbara Cosgrove clock keeps the time.
Warm gray Caesarstone counter surfaces and contemporary Arteriors bar stools in steel and black leather with hair-on-hide backs strike a refined farm note. High-diving artwork adds a playful, vintage vibe.
In the living area, vivid artwork is from the Longstreet Collection. Comfortable yet sophisticated seating provides a relaxing refuge. Campbell opted for indoor/outdoor fabrics that are durable and easy to live with. Beside the double-sided fireplace, an iron ladder holds a pair of woolen blankets Campbell found in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Extra towels are conveniently stashed in a big basket next to the Oly Studio sofa.
The stairway leads to a basement rec room. Knowing the carpet runner had to be hard-wearing, Campbell chose a bold and handsome pattern from Stark. The rope-like hand railing has a fun, nautical flair.
The bed with its soft gray Pine Cone Hill coverlet is custom made to Campbell’s design.
The freestanding vanity is from Bungalow 5.
Chairs from Lee Industries are flanked by Restoration Hardware chaise lounges. A small herd of sculptural sheep are crafted from twisted metal.
A family-friendly pool and adjacent hot tub are the scene of many get-togethers and the comfortably furnished pool deck has ample space for lounging.