2014 Home of the Year: Lived-In Chic
A stylish new home in Denver’s Washington Park neighborhood combines luxury with livability for a large and active young family
All too often, the words “family-friendly home” conjure up defeated visions of design compromise: lumpy, dumpy furniture, stained rugs and smudged walls, all looking as exhausted as a pair of hard-working parents. But living with children—in this case, five little ones (including triplets)—doesn’t have to mean giving up on sophisticated design and high-end furnishings, especially when the talented designers of Denver-based C + A Interiors are on your team.
When C + A’s Conni Newsome and Ashley Larson got the call to work on a young family’s newly-built Washington Park house, they were excited for the opportunity to design a gorgeous yet practical home to fit the family’s lifestyle. Fortunately, the design duo’s signature style—mixing quality new pieces with carefully selected vintage finds for a fresh look of easy elegance and comfort—fit perfectly with the moods and moves of the big, busy family.
The new brick home, designed and built by Larry Larsen of Larsen Development, blends effortlessly into the surrounding neighborhood of tree-lined streets and handsome historic houses. “The owners wanted a finely-detailed, traditional home with a timeless look, like it was built 100 years ago,” he recalls. The interior designers continued that sensitive approach. “We wanted to be sure that the house would speak the language of Wash Park,” Ashley explains, and the homeowners agreed. “They wanted the house to look lived-in,” she says. But not in an old-fashioned way. Given the family’s youthful energy and style, the designers wanted to avoid anything stodgy or stale, choosing chic, clean-lined furnishings and mixing and layering patterns, colors and textures, to give the spaces an unexpected edge.
The light and airy living room pairs sophisticated furnishings with durable upholstery. The fireplace surround and daybed are C + A Interiors custom designs, joined by two Donghia chairs and a sofa by Christian Liaigre. The tables are antiques.
With deep wood tones and a baby grand piano, the foyer sets an elegant entry mood. The bench cushion has a whimsical custom Kyle Bunting hair-on-hide butterfly pattern, and the Paul Ferrante light fixture features an antique mirror base that reflects light upward.
Formal yet fanciful with a coffered ceiling and high-gloss emerald walls, the dining room is graced by Rubelli drapes and family heirloom furniture. The designers upholstered the chairs in outdoor fabric and added “little undershirt” slipcovers. The ceramic birds perched on the tabletop are from Formations.
The bright and spacious kitchen adjoins the living room, providing plenty of room for big parties. Two dishwashers, towering white cabinets and abundant seating add practical beauty on a grand scale. Durable granite counter and backsplash surfaces complement the kitchen’s style, which the designers refer to as “classically industrial.”
The “everyday dining space” features a set of new chairs woven with vintage leather and a new light fixture painted by an artist to look aged. The designers intended to make it look “like it was found at the bottom of the ocean.”
Gray walls make the lemony-fresh yellow velvet sofa and drapes pop in the cheerful sunroom that also serves as the children’s playroom. Outdoor upholstery fabric by Perennials tolerates youthful feet and feasts alike.
The sunroom’s storage wall was designed around the baskets, but toys and books are welcome too. Pendants from Visual Comfort light the kids’ collections.
Pale pewter walls and the silvery-lavender drapes and rug in the master bedroom create a soft and inviting framework for the cozy bed, custom-designed by C + A with an extra-tall headboard to complement the room’s height. The designers added beadboard to the ceiling for a casual mood, and a hand-forged iron Paul Ferrante Eternity Chandelier offers a warm evening glow.
The crisp and clean master bath is a study in contrast. Dark espresso-stained wood vanities stand out against the pristine Carrara marble tile, installed in various scales and patterns. An elegantly wacky three-hoofed tripod table flanks a sculptural freestanding tub.
Shades of apricot create a delicious guest bedroom space, with drapes and pillow shams in a bold and splashy pattern of Cloth fabric. The bedside table and armchair are antique.
C + A Interiors
Architectural Design and Construction