Lighten Up

Photographer: 
Don Riley
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Redecorating this Denver home started like many such projects—a little at a time.

It began when the homeowners asked interior designer Lane Oliver to bring in some new furniture and create a better space plan for their family room. “Afterward,” says the award-winning designer and owner of LEO Interior Design, “the client told me, ‘Wow, I didn’t know we could rearrange the room this way. It’s changed the way we live. What can we do to change other rooms?’’’

So Oliver got to work on the whole home. The spacious Tuscan-style residence features authentic architectural details: archways, wood beams, stonework and rich wood stains. “But everything was heavy and dark,” she says. “Our goal was to transform it into a lighter, brighter, more tranquil area. It’s all about the color, fabric and space planning.”

Lighter paint colors throughout brighten up the walls, while punches of bold color ground the rooms—golden yellow in the breakfast room, green in the living room and red accents in the kitchen and entry hall niche. “Each space took on its own story based on what the clients needed,” Oliver says. In the master bedroom, for instance, they asked for a calm atmosphere. True to request, the suite is awash in neutral colors—pale taupe and cream with hints of lavender. “We were trying to achieve some serenity,” Oliver explains.

 

 

The designer used much of the homeowners’ existing furniture, but painted and refashioned traditional pieces to make them more fanciful. “It’s all about the fabric and how it is applied,” says Oliver, who loves to mix prints and use contrasting welting for interest. For the master bedroom, she reupholstered an Art Deco bench with a contemporary flower print, transforming it from heavy and traditional to light and ethereal. Dining room chairs were treated to slipcovers, “to bring in something lighter and more flowing to contrast with the hardness of the stone walls,” Oliver says. Tangerine leopard-print fabric takes a wing chair in the dining room from stuffy to show-stopping.

New furnishings were introduced as well—whimsical overscale pub chairs and a tufted settee add fun to the living room; bright red bar stools and dining chairs enliven the kitchen and breakfast nook; and sleek light fixtures sparkle in every room. “Contemporary lines add some fun and a feeling of ‘now,’” Oliver says. “We took heavy pieces and remade them to reflect what’s going on in 2012.”

Responding to the homeowners’ lifestyle, the designer also rearranged rooms: she swapped the living and dining spaces, creating a welcoming living room/parlor right off the entry, and delegated the less frequently used formal dining room to a space farther into the house.

An exercise area off the master bedroom became a lovely sitting room and office. “We established more conversation areas,” Oliver says of her space-planning strategy. “Every room has multi-functional spaces to relax, talk and gather.”With its intriguing mix of contemporary and traditional elements, the house is not only more refined and sophisticated, but it lives more comfortably. “The clients didn’t even know this was possible,” Oliver says. “That they could keep their house and existing furniture and make it into something they love.”

 

 

COLOR CUES

Designer Lane Oliver shares how to use one of her favorite decorating tools: color.

Use fabric, rugs and paint to help color flow throughout the house.

Use similar values and tones, if not the exact colors, to carry the palette.

Paint accent walls, such as niches, to create special, intimate spaces.

Add color to the ceiling to make a space more warm and welcoming.

Don’t judge painted walls too soon: bold colors require three coats of paint, and the color needs about two weeks to mellow. Plus, painted rooms need furnishings to absorb the color—fabrics, rugs and furniture make a big difference.

 

 

 

Design Details
Architect: Michael Woodley, Woodley Architectural Group, Littleton, (303) 683-7231, woodleyarchitecture.com
Interior Designer: Lane Oliver, LEO Interior Design, Denver, (303) 722-4288, leointeriordesign.com

 

ARCHITECTURE (ADDITION) Michael Murphy, Michael Murphy Architecture, (303) 341-8919 CONSTRUCTION (ADDITION) Bond Construction, Denver, (303) 929-8090, bondconst.com PARLOR AREA RUG Floor Coverings by CPA, Denver Design District, (303) 722-4700, cpacarpets.com SETTEE Campden Settee and Fabric by Vanguard, Objets, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 727-6830, objetsltd.com PUB CHAIRS by Stanford, Whitney Evans, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 777-1886, whitneyevansltd.com; upholstered in fabric by Quadrille, Shanahan Collection, Denver Design District, (303) 778-7088, shanahancollection.com END TABLE Urban Dwellings End Table by Drexel Heritage, Columbine Showroom, Denver Design District, (303) 722-4400, columbineshowroom.com FLOOR LAMP by Jamie Young, Whitney Evans, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 777-1886, whitneyevansltd.com CHANDELIER Asilah Chandelier by Ironies, Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, (303) 744-7474 DINING ROOM CHEST Provencal Single Bow Chest by Grange, Denver Design District, (303) 777-1866, grange-london.co.uk CHANDELIER by Currey & Company, JJ&S Lighting, Denver Design District, (303) 777-1007, jjslighting.com CANDLESTICKS Modern Crystal Candlesticks, Objets, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 727-6830, objetsltd.com DRAPERY FABRIC Brunschwig & Fils, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, brunschwig.com DINING CHAIR SLIPCOVER FABRIC Cowtan & Tout, Egg & Dart, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 744-1676, egg-and-dart.com WING CHAIR FABRIC Brunschwig & Fils, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, brunschwig.com MASTER SUITE KING BED Currin and Company, Chuck Wells & Associates, Denver Design District, (303) 744-8584, chuckwells.com NIGHT SIDE TABLES Christopher Guy, Objets, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 727-6830, objetsltd.com NIGHT SIDE TABLE LAMPS Wildwood, Columbine Showroom, Denver Design District, (303) 722-4400, columbineshowroom.com OCCASIONAL CHAIR Stanford, Whitney Evans, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 777-1886, whitneyevansltd.com STOOL Round Bone Inlay Stool by Ola Accessories, Whitney Evans, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 777-1886, whitneyevansltd.com FLOOR LAMP Hugo Floor Lamp by Currey & Company, C.A.I. Designs, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8100, caidesigns.net TABLE LAMP Roxy Table Lamp (with black shade) by Brunschwig & Fils, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, brunschwig.com CHANDELIER C.A.I. Designs, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8100, caidesigns.net CARPET The Carpet Studio, (303) 777-1716 MASTER SUITE OFFICE DESK European Retreat Collections, Columbine Showroom, Denver Design District, (303) 722-4400, columbineshowroom.com DESK LAMP Columbine Showroom, Denver Design District, (303) 722-4400, columbineshowroom.com CHAISE LOUNGE Barclay Butera, Phoebe Marsh, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8600, phoebemarsh.com CHAISE LOUNGE FABRIC Highland Court, Chuck Wells & Associates, Denver Design District, (303) 744-8584, chuckwells.com FLOOR LAMP Wesco Fabrics, Inc., Denver Design District, (303) 777-5524, wescofabrics.com CHANDELIER Fine Art Lamps, Chuck Wells & Associates, Denver Design District, (303) 744-8584, chuckwells.com CARPET The Carpet Studio, Denver, (303) 777-1716 DRAPERY FABRIC Groundworks, Lee Jofa, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, leejofa.com KITCHEN STOOLS Rustic Oak Counter Stools by Stanford, Whitney Evans, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 777-1886, whitneyevansltd.com COUNTER STOOLS FABRIC Pindler & Pindler, Hoff Miller, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 689-0800, hoffmiller.com VALANCE FABRIC Osborne & Little, The Shanahan Collection, Denver Design District, (303) 778-7088, shanahancollection.com SET OF THREE TREES Objets, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 727-6830, objetsltd.com BREAKFAST ROOM BANQUETTE Kravet, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, kravet.com BANQUETTE FABRIC Clarence House, Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, (303) 744-7474 DINING CHAIRS Kravet, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, kravet.com DINING CHAIR FABRIC Clarence House, Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, (303) 744-7474 LOUNGE CHAIRS Charles Pollock, Egg & Dart, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 744-1676, egg-and-dart.com LOUNGE CHAIR FABRIC Jane Shelton, Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, (303) 744-7474 AREA RUG The Carpet Studio, Denver, (303) 777-1716 POOL ROOM AREA RUG The Carpet Studio, Denver, (303) 777-1716 OTTOMANS Clover Ottomans by Lexington Home Brands, Denver Design District, (303) 733-5888, lexington.com OTTOMAN FABRIC Cowtan & Tout, Egg & Dart, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 744-1676, egg-and-dart.com TABLE LAMP Jamie Young, Whitney Evans, Ltd., Denver Design District, (303) 777-1886, whitneyevansltd.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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