2022 Home of the Year: Retro Elegance

A Denver fashion maven with an affection for Art Deco builds her dream house
Hoty Ext Copy 2

“I loved the idea of softening the house with rounded forms,” says architect Scott Parker about his International Style design. Hand and guardrails by Spark Metal Design delineate the entry sequence. | Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

In the popular movie classic “Top Hat,” Fred Astaire famously croons “Heaven, I’m in heaven” while dancing cheek-to-cheek with Ginger Rogers. The year was 1935, and everything from Rogers’ clinging satin gown to the white marble floor they effortlessly glided across exemplified the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era. It was the allure of that time period that Terri Garbarini wanted to bring to the Hilltop home she shares with her partner, blues and rock guitarist Eddie Turner.

3 Exterior 230scherry

Multi-level terraces step down to the swimming area, and turquoise cushions on the patio furniture take their cue from the sparkling blue water. “It’s like living on the Amalfi Coast,” enthuses the homeowner. The privacy screens were salvaged from the Cherry Creek post office renovation.

“I’ve been collecting Art Deco treasures for decades,” says the owner of the eponymous woman’s clothing store, who also cops to a fascination with old black-and-white movies. “Films were very much fantasy back then, and Art Deco was very sexy.”

Hoty Kit Copy

Polished Skyfall granite tops the islands, and the cabinets, all wearing Belwith Keeler hardware, are by Aspen Leaf Kitchens Ltd. The main sink faucet is Dornbracht and the prep sink version is by Moen.

From the outset there was never any question that Garbarini’s passion and vision were the project drivers, and architect Scott Parker and interior designer Tina Stoecklein, both of Nest Architectural Design, were delighted to be along for the ride.

Hoty Couch Copy

“Before we moved in, I often found myself literally designing rooms in my head around my existing furniture,” says homeowner Terri Garbarini whose extensive collection of art deco pieces inspired the architecture and interior design. Throughout the house the rooms were designed around her artwork including this grouping of African drawings.

“She wanted the house to be designed in the International Style, and everything to be black-and-white and simple,” says Parker, who followed the dictates of the genre on the exterior with bright stucco walls contrasted with dark aluminum-clad windows, and intersecting circular and rectangular forms totally void of ornamentation.

6entry 230scherry

A gilded metal and black iron chandelier from Wired Lighting is the appropriate scale for the grand sweeping circular stairway. Floors are by Rock Solid Hardwoods.

Inside, the requisite glamorous tone is established in the entry foyer, where a circular wall composed almost entirely of glass block encases a grand spiral staircase. As Parker shares, “It took several iterations to make sure the glass block actually worked in the radius we created, and the staircase itself needed to be craned in through the roof.” That challenging maneuver fell to builder Chris Withers of Old Greenwich Builders, who explains, “You have to drop the staircase in before you set your roof trusses. If you don’t have the sequence just right, you’ll end up having to pull things apart.”

17powder 230scherry

Tile composed of individual glass pieces from Decorative Materials offsets the vessel sink from Maestro Bath. The Nero Marquina floor tile
is from Floor & Décor and the framed artwork is from the homeowner’s collection.

The structure’s main central mass contains the living and dining rooms, both featuring soaring 22-foot ceilings. Bisecting the spaces is a mezzanine. “Instead of one large room you walk under the mezzanine to reach the other space, and this transition helps to give each room a more human scale,” says Parker.

7 Livingrm 230scherry

Vintage sconces and a Moonring ceiling fixture from Architectural Lighting Works complement the eclectic mix of furnishings including a drum coffee table from RH.

Garbarini’s deft mixing of vintage pieces with contemporary items further softens the edges. “I have an affinity for things that have seen life and don’t think everything should be new,” she says. “I bought that vintage living room sofa 30 years ago, and it still looks great.”

8diningrm 230scherry

Much like the rest of the house this space features an assemblage of items including the chairs and vintage sideboard, the latter found at Wazee Deco, collected over the years. A Donghia chandelier lights up everything.

In the dining room a deco-era palisander sideboard, also purchased decades earlier, houses antique dishes and glassware, and a blend of chair styles collected over the years surround the table.

14bedrm 230scherry

“The ceilings are so high we had to have the bed custom made,” says the homeowner about the Spark Metal Design creation. A Fortuny chandelier, luxurious gray Donna Karan bedding and a framed Milton Avery poster are romantic touches. The shagreen nightstands are RH.

The homeowner’s affinity for glamour continues in the primary bedroom, where the four-poster bed with a luxurious gray velvet frame is seductively lit by a gold Fortuny chandelier, and deco-inspired Venetian blinds make beautiful shadows. “The room has that sexy Hollywood feel,” she says.

16primarybath 230scherry

Nero Athens vein-cut brushed granite wall tile, milk glass floor tile, an absolute granite tub surround and a glass block wall invoke the art deco era. The tub hardware is by Delta.

Meanwhile Stoecklein worked behind the scenes “to curate the architectural details with the interior décor.” Playing off the black-and-white motif, in the kitchen double islands topped with polished granite countertops meet bright white cabinetry. “Like everywhere in the house, the colors are simple, and in the breakfast nook the metallic silver banquette adds a touch of sparkle,” says the designer. She followed suit in the primary bathroom, where the white tub sits in an absolute black granite tub surround. “Thanks to the glass block wall there’s beautiful indirect light, and the casual glam atmosphere is so Terri.”

5exterior 230scherry

Homeowner Eddie Turner’s lower-level office opens to a private garden populated with vintage furniture. The concrete walls topped with decorative brick buffer the space from local noise.

Along with the dining room and kitchen, the primary suite has doors that open to the courtyard. There, an oversized fire pit makes dining al fresco a three-season affair, and terrace seating overlooks the swimming pool. Alissa Shanley and Christopher Silkwood of B. Gardening Landscape Design selected the greens and whites of Annabelle hydrangea, Chanticlear pear trees and sweet potato vine as perfect complements to the turquoise water.

4 Exterior 230scherry

The European-style courtyard, opposite, was designed for ease of flow from inside to out, and the covered area includes fans and heaters to accommodate all kinds of weather. The Greek key motif pool tile complements the railings.

According to Garbarini the end result is better than any Hollywood movie, and perhaps in homage to Fred and Ginger, she exclaims, “I’m in heaven.”

2 Exterior 230scherry

The home’s back and white motif is firmly established on the approach to the entrance, where sconces from Urban Lights frame the front door.


ARCHITECTURE Nest Architectural Design INTERIOR DESIGN Nest Architectural Design CONSTRUCTION Old Greenwich Builders LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT B. Gardening Landscape Design POOL Aquality Construction METAL WORK Sparks Metal Design CABINETRY Aspen Leaf Kitchens SLAB INSTALL YK Stone Center TILE INSTALL Versatile KITCHEN HOOD Weld Wright Fabrication LIGHTING DESIGN HLB Lighting Design LIGHTING Urban Lights

Categories: Interiors