A Tudor Tale
A family builds its dream house, a storybook Tudor, by mixing authentic wood details with fanciful color
When the design challenge is to build a new home that shows off a historic style—and puts a fresh spin on the look—finding the right team of people to do the job is essential. In the case of this Greenwood Village home, the owners hired builder Ed Venerable of Paragon Homes, who knew how to recruit the dream team: architect Brooks Bond of Brooks Bond & Associates and designer Cheryl Scarlet of Design Transformations, pros whom Venerable had worked with before and had the talent and skill to realize the clients’ vision for a Tudor home.
Bond’s love of the Gothic-inspired style goes back to his childhood outside of Cleveland, Ohio, where he lived in a neighborhood lined with Tudors, including his family’s home. Though this particular site was perfect for just such a home, city-imposed height limits presented a major constraint for the architect, a challenge given the 6,000-square-foot, two-story design the team had in mind. “We were still able to achieve the look of a house that appeared to be a series of rooms added on over time,” Bond says.
Designer Cheryl Scarlet was tapped because she had done the interiors for several of Venerable’s spec homes and the pair shared a similar creative vision. Her first meeting with the clients took place in their previous home, where Scarlet was able to see the furnishings they already owned and get a sense of what they wanted. “The homeowners loved Tudor architecture for its dark woods and traditional style,” she says. “They already had a few pieces that would fit perfectly in the new home.” But their major request was to move away from the dark reds, greens and golds common to the Tudor style, toward a lighter, less “medieval” look.
Scarlet jumped right in, selecting lively paint colors such as sky blue, apple green and creamy yellow to lighten the dark walnut walls, beams and floors. “Every room is a different color,” the designer says, “but they work together because they are all within the same tonal range.” She also created flow by accenting every room with accessories in the same shades of blue, green and yellow.
Though most of the furniture is brand new (the family moved from a home half the size of their new space), Scarlet was able to reuse two red sofas and an ottoman in the new formal living room, as well as the couple’s dining room table and chairs—their first purchase as a couple many years earlier. “They are sentimental pieces,” says Scarlet, “and they actually work perfectly in the new dining room.”
While traditionally patterned wallpaper graces the entry, powder room and laundry room, the prints are far from matronly. “Many companies now take traditional patterns and redesign them in an oversized scale, which makes them cool and contemporary,” Scarlet says.
The home is filled with Tudor touches—a double-arched entry with scrolled ironwork, beamed ceilings and walnut wainscoting, crown molding in a Gothic arch design. But the design is hardly stuck in the past. The light-filled spaces and fresh fabrics and furnishings make it a family home for the present day and years to come.
Making Outdoor Spaces as Inviting as Indoor Spaces
Designer Cheryl Scarlet offers these tips for creating outdoor rooms that are just as comfy as those inside:
Buy comfortable furniture, like wicker or wood. (Much of the furniture on this porch is faux wicker from Restoration Hardware.) Cover the cushions in weatherproof fabrics, many of which are now available in fabulous colors and patterns. Add pillows for coziness.
To define your outdoor space, create intimate seating areas with area rugs that can stand up to the elements.
Rather than installing sconces on your home’s exterior walls to illuminate the outdoors, invest in some weatherproof table lamps, which provide task and accent lighting, as well as drama.
Mix up colors and patterns just as you would inside the house. No need for everything to match perfectly.
Use a fire pit as the focal point of your seating area—and a heat source in cooler weather. (The one pictured here is from Restoration Hardware.)