A Classic Original
You would think an architect would love to hear the directive, “Just create something beautiful and original for us.” But John Mattingly says that without any other guidance, such a task is daunting. The architect and his wife Regan co-own Denver-based Chalet, a full-service architecture, construction, custom furniture and design firm specializing in new construction that features the craftsmanship and look of older homes. So he was thrilled when his client just happened to show him a picture of his grandfather’s farm in central Illinois. “He wasn’t showing it to me because that’s what he envisioned for his family,” John Mattingly says, “but I knew that the Italianate Greek revival farm home was going to be my inspiration.”
The homeowners had purchased a lot in Denver’s Washington Park neighborhood, on the same street where they’d once lived years before. They had three children (and another one on the way) and wanted a home they could live in for years. The oversized lot lent itself to a farm-style house, as well as an interior shingle-style layout that allowed for a formal living room, a semi-formal dining room, a large cheery kitchen, a casual family room and even a secret cellar turned game room. The couple was starting anew—everything in the house would be selected specifically for this home.
The Mattinglys oversaw every detail of the project, which, from construction to furniture installation, took just about 18 months. “The couple said they wanted a contemporary spin on the historic style,” says John Mattingly. While the red brick exterior doesn’t have the patina of age, for instance, the interior looks as if it could have been a remodel of an existing space rather than one-hundred percent new.
Because the common areas—living room, dining room and kitchen—open to each other, restraint was a key concept in the design. “We wanted to have fewer, more important details instead of too many details that compete,” John Mattingly says. Case in point: the exquisite 10-foot coffered ceiling in the formal living room pairs with simple painted walls and dark, long-planked heart pine floors. “To have introduced any more ornamentation into the room would have taken away from the classic ceiling,” he says. So they kept everything else understated and neutral.
The Calcutta Gold marble in the large kitchen island draws the color scheme of the first floor together. “Every color in the marble is somewhere in that first floor,” Regan Mattingly says. (The same principle holds true upstairs in the master bedroom and bath.) The area rugs provide subtle cues for organizing the individual spaces in the open main floor. (Rooms with more shag are less formal.) As do the fireplaces. (Marble, formal. Wood, more casual.)
To leave space for art in the house, which is full of windows, John Mattingly created anchor walls. “But the couple only had some vintage ski posters,” he says. So Regan Mattingly called in her pal and art consultant Ann Benson Reidy, who entered the design process when the house was nearly complete. Reidy started by educating the husband and wife about art. “I brought my computer and we looked at different artists so I could see what they both liked,” Reidy says. “My key piece of advice: buy what you love no matter where you ultimately decide to place it.”
The couple eventually visited the studio of local artist Duke Beardsley, whose Western themes speak to the simplicity of cowboy life. His aesthetic melded well with the home’s style. After selecting a cowboy painting, Come Along, that hangs in the study, the couple worked with Beardsley on a four-panel painting for the kitchen, called Con Fuerza.
The art enhances the rooms but never overshadows the classic details, which is the way it was meant to be. After all, art can be moved; timeless details stay put. And, presumably, so will the owners—who plan to enjoy their classic original for years to come.
Creating a Timeless Bath
Designer Regan Mattingly created a bathroom in this Washington Park house in Denver that will stand the test of time. With these tips, you can too.
Always use some kind of natural stone. “The elegance of stone lasts forever,” says Mattingly, who loves marble and limestone.
Choose hardware and accents in polished nickel—the most timeless of finishes, in Mattingly’s opinion.
Work the walls. Instead of simply painting them, try wainscoting or a classic wallpaper like grasscloth or toile. (But keep it neutral—a timeless bath is never painted in outrageous colors.)
Soak in splendor. There’s a reason people still buy claw foot tubs—they combine beauty with function. Find one that suits your style.
Coordinate counters and floors. Whatever stone you select for your floor, choose also for your
vanity counter and shower walls. The key is a pulled-together look, not a mishmash of finishes.
Architecture, Building & Design: John Mattingly and Lance Gutsch, Chalet, Denver, (303) 282-0787, chaletdevelopment.com
Interior Designer: Regan Mattingly, Chalet, Denver, (303) 282-0787, chaletdevelopment.com
Art Consultant: Ann Benson Reidy, Ann Benson Reidy & Associates, Denver, (303) 522-2979
UPHOLSTERY & CUSTOM FURNITURE (Upholstered chairs, ottomans and throw pillows in living room; slip covers on bar stools in kitchen; throw pillows in loft; bench in master bedroom; benches in living room) Custom built and upholstered by Daniel Curtis, DC Upholstery, Denver, (720) 317-3148, firstname.lastname@example.org TILE INSTALLATION David Goodman, Goodman Tile & Stone, Denver, (720) 308-3455 ARTWORK Colorful painting in kitchen: “Red Always Shows Up” by Miani Carnivale, Walker Fine Art, Denver, (303) 355-8955, walkerfineart.com; Four-panel oil on linen in kitchen: “Con Fuerza” by Duke Beardsley, Visions West, Denver, (303) 292-0909, visionswestgallerycom / dukebeardsleystudio.com; Oil on linen in study: “Come Along” by Duke Beardsley, Visions West, Denver, (303) 292-0909, visionswestgallerycom / dukebeardsleystudio.com; Pigment transfer/glass in living room: “Moonlight” by Bonny Lhotka, Walker Fine Art, Denver, (303) 355-8955, walkerfineart.com; Toned gelatin silver photograph in dining room: “Blue Oak, Black Butte”/ “Homeward Bound” by Roman Laronc, Susan Spiritus Gallery, Newport Beach, (714) 754-1286, susanspiritusgallery.com; Mixed medium in master bedroom: “Me Water 20” and “Me Water 21” by Udo Noger, Walker Fine Art, Denver, (303) 355-8955, walkerfineart.com CUSTOM RUGS (In living area, kitchen [runner] and loft) Celestial by Feizy Rugs, Coventry Carpets, Denver, (303) 768.8599, coventrycarpets.com DINING ROOM TABLE & CHAIRS Noir, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com RUG Feizy, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com BUFFET CFC, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com LAMPS ON BUFFET Arteriors Home, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com WOVEN WOOD SHADES (also in living room) Hunter Douglas, Spectrum Windows, Denver, (720) 210-5478, spectrumwindowdesign.com CHANDELIER Visual Comfort, JJ&S lighting, Denver, (303) 777-1007, jjslighting.com LIVING ROOM WOOD-AND-LEATHER CHAIRS Peninsula, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com LEATHER SOFA Custom built and upholstered by Daniel Curtis, DC Upholstery, Denver, (720) 317-3148, email@example.com ALL FABRIC FOR UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE AND THROW PILLOWS Baker, Town Studio, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8696, townstudio.com COFFEE TABLE Peninsula, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com SOFA TABLE Antique, Eurasian Interiors, Denver, (303) 998-5632, decorasianstyle.com METALLIC LOG SIDE TABLE Phillips Collection, Ashley Campbell, Denver, (303) 996-6195, ashleycampbell.com FABRIC FOR CUSTOM DRAPES Pindler & Pindler, Hoff Miller, Denver Design District, (303) 698-0800, hoffmiller.com ENTRY BUFFET TABLE, MIRROR, AND IRON-AND-LINEN BENCH Noir, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com LANTERN Visual Comfort, JJ&S lighting, Denver, (303) 777-1007, jjslighting.com MAN CAVE CHAIRS, OTTOMANS, RUG & FABRIC FOR CUSTOM DRAPERY Arhaus, Cherry Creek, Denver, (303) 394-1001, arhaus.com TABLE (between leather chairs) Antique KITCHEN TILE BACKSPLASH Waterworks, Denver Design District, (303) 394-2940, waterworks.com BAR STOOLS Furniture Classics, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com; fabric for slip covers, Old World Weavers, Town Studio, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8696, townstudio.com PENDANT LIGHTS ABOVE ISLAND Robert Abby, JJ&S lighting, Denver, (303) 777-1007, jjslighting.com LOFT SECTIONAL Calvin Klein, Town Studio, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8696, townstudio.com FABRIC FOR THROW PILLOWS AND CUSTOM DRAPES Galbraith & Paul, Town Studio, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8696, townstudio.com TILE ON FIREPLACE Waterworks, Denver Design District, (303) 394-2940, waterworks.com MASTER BEDROOM BED & LINENS HW Home, Cherry Creek, Denver, (303) 394-9222, hwhome.com SIDE TABLES Noir, Homestyle Showroom (to the trade only), Denver, (303) 295-1283, homestylesales.com ALL ACCESSORIES, MARBLE & LIMESTONE Waterworks, Denver Design District, (303) 394-2940, waterworks.com
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