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Sea Meets Sky
After living in Massachusetts for many years, Nan and Chuck Procknow adjusted to Denver with a little help from their New England heritage. They brought with them family antiques and memories, and built a fresh new house inspired by summers spent on the coast of Maine.
To execute their vision, the Procknows hired architect Don Ruggles of DHR Architecture to design a two-story house in Greenwood Village that would have “lots of New England touches,” but would be “a bit more modern and clean-lined than a typical New England house,” says Nan Procknow, an interior designer, who collaborated with the architect. “We wanted to bring a little of the East coast with us, yet fit the Colorado landscape.”
The 5,500-square-foot house is rooted in 17th-century shingle-style architecture, which is defined by a sense of intimacy, comfort and protectiveness. Ruggles took the bones of the style—which is somewhat relaxed, not totally symmetrical, but with well-proportioned rectangles and simple curves—and gave the look a modern expression. “We responded to the Colorado environment by opening up interior vistas and connecting to the outdoors. There was a conscious effort to relax the floor plan and let it flow and breathe,” he says. “More freedom is what the West is all about."
The rooms are spacious and open with high ceilings and large windows; the color scheme is light and fresh with hues that blend and flow from room to room. “I used a lot of pastels to bring in the light. Coming from the East coast, we always try to maximize light,” Procknow says. “We weren’t used to the bright light of Colorado. Even on rare gray days here, the house is light and cheery.”
The blues and greens that once reminded her of the ocean now hint at the Colorado sky and evergreens. Soft green glass tiles comprise the kitchen backsplash and distinct accents of blue and green color the bathrooms. A hand-painted mural in the dining room is articulated in watery blues and greens.
The color revs up in the couple’s daughter’s blue bedroom, which is a perfect reflection of old and new, Eastern Seaboard and Mountain West. A lighthearted toile wallpaper pairs with a bold, modern plaid for the bedspread and upholstery. The bed is a New England antique, but the views from the built-in window seat are of the Rockies. “The house fits our East coast sensibilities and our new location,” Procknow says.
For the kitchen and bathrooms, Procknow custom designed furniture-like cabinetry that plays off the white-painted moldings and trim found throughout the house. “The style is honest and straightforward, but with a richness to it,” Ruggles says. “For example, the individual moldings are rather spare, but layered together, they make a strong statement.”
A New England sensibility is particularly evident in the bathrooms, where Nan chose classic finishes such as beadboard, marble countertops, basketweave marble tile floors and polished chrome plumbing fixtures. “I always try to use different materials in the various bathrooms,” she says, “but tie them in with similar cabinetry and the common thread of simple, clean lines that maximize space.”
Although the exterior of the shingled house features the columns and arches found in coastal Maine, the home is positioned so the Procknows can take in mountain views from their wide back porch. “A large overhang creates protection,” Ruggles says. “In the late afternoon, the homeowners can move into the shade and enjoy the sunset.” Three sets of French doors lead to the kitchen, dining room and front hall, accommodating the indoor/outdoor lifestyle that’s famous in Colorado.
“I feel like we have this oasis of East-coast-meets-West. The house fits in its setting so beautifully,” Procknow says. “There are stone walls made of Massachusetts bluestone and granite, yet we can look at the mountains and know exactly where we are: Colorado. We love it here.”
MURAL IN DINING ROOM Fisher & Chappell Paintworks, Denver, (303) 722-3221, laurachappellartist.com ARTWORK “A Summer Afternoon” by Frank Strazzulla, Guild of Boston Artists, Boston, MA, (617) 536-7660 KITCHEN CABINETRY Precision Interiors, Denver, (303) 761-7673, precisioninteriors.com TILE Waterworks, Denver, (303) 394-2940, waterworks.com COUNTERTOPS Honed Carrera marble and mahogany and holly island top LIGHTING Urban Archeology, available at Decorative Materials, Denver Design District, (303) 722-1333, decorativematerials.com DINING ROOM CHANDELIER Niermann Weeks, available at Town, Denver Design District, (303) 282-8696, townstudio.com FAMILY ROOM “Favorelle” by Schreuder Paint SCONCES Holly Hunt, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, (303) 744-7474, denverdesign.com COFFEE TABLE Scandinavian Antiques, Denver, (303) 722-2541, scandinavianantiques.com LIVING ROOM PAINT “French Canvas” by Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM WALLPAPER Travers (discontinued) UPHOLSTERY Plaid Silk Fabric, Designer Guild, available at Shanahan Collection, Denver Design District, (303) 778-7088, shanahancollection.com CHILDREN’S BATH TILE & PLUMBING Waterworks, Denver, (303) 394-2940, waterworks.com PAINT “Kennebunkport Green” by Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com MASTER BATHROOM PLUMBING Waterworks, Denver, (303) 394-2940, waterworks.com TILE Decorative Materials, Denver Design District, (303) 722-1333, decorativematerials.com BOTANNICAL PRINTS Tam O’Neill Fine Arts, Denver, 1-800-428-3826, tamoneillfinearts.com STRIE WALL PAINTING Neil Scott, Denver, (303) 260-6442, decopainting.com OUTDOOR FURNITURE Gloster, available at Moda Antica, Denver, (303) 733-9003
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