Like so many remodeling projects, this one started with a single small idea. Homeowner Jeanette Azar thought it would be nice to have a larger window over her kitchen sink so she could enjoy looking out onto her gardens and landscaping. Since the old window had to be torn out, it seemed like an opportune time to make some other changes as well.
After drawing up plans on a napkin, she had the kitchen gutted—and the rest of the main floor followed—much to the surprise of her husband, attorney Frank Azar, who returned to the rubble after a business trip.
A trained interior designer who had overseen other remodeling projects, Jeanette Azar was ready for the
challenge. “We moved here 12 years ago, and we loved the neighborhood,” she says of The Preserve, a private community within Greenwood Village that offers a 55-acre nature preserve, trails and other recreational amenities. “But the house was originally somewhat cold and neutral—plus it had tall ceilings, bad acoustics and drafty windows.” Over the years she had upgraded walls and flooring, remodeled the master bathroom and added lush gardens and landscaping. Then, three years ago, she started thinking about that kitchen window.
“I knew it was time to update the kitchen,” Azar says. “In the process we changed virtually every aspect of the main floor. We knocked down walls, enclosed some of the soaring ceiling space to create a new master suite, built a new staircase and added French doors.”
After the space was rearranged, Azar called in Andrea Schumacher of O Interior Design to help with the rest of the remodel. “I love Andrea’s fresh, young style, and I asked her to help us make the house ‘pop,’” she says.
“When I entered the home,” Schumacher says, “it was refreshing to discover such a well-designed space with all the basic elements so beautifully done, from the cabinetry Jeanette had chosen to the texture on the walls. I got to do all the fun things.”
Designer and homeowner went shopping for fabrics, rugs, furniture and accessories. “She was a joy to shop with because she always insisted on the finest quality, high-end pieces,” Schumacher says.
The designer describes the new, open living area as “European with a modern Colorado aesthetic.” The space is light and bright, with comfortable furnishings and accents of color throughout. And above the kitchen sink is one subtle yet important feature that Azar appreciates every day—a new, generously proportioned window.
6 Ways to Utilize Kitchen Space
Fridge Flexibility: “We have a large Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, but increasingly I find we’re using our double set of smaller, U-Line refrigerator drawers,” homeowner Jeanette Azar says. “Because we have fresh organic fruits and vegetables delivered each week, we keep the produce in the drawers so we can enjoy it right away.”
Water Within Reach: “We use the water faucet above the range all the time, especially since we eat so much fresh produce,” Azar says. “It’s convenient and safe for filling big pots of water to steam vegetables and cook pasta.”
Half Full: “One of the best features of our Fisher & Paykel double dishwasher is that we can fill and wash just one half at a time—perfect after a light meal.”
Island Paradise: A stunning, eight-foot-long island topped with a polished granite slab is the centerpiece of the kitchen. “Someone asked why I didn’t put a sink in the middle of it, but we already have a sink; why do we need another?” the homeowner says. “Besides, I love the smooth, unbroken surface.”
Take Out: When the Azars entertain on the deck adjacent to the kitchen, they leave the doors open so the island can serve as a buffet. “We installed a smaller Wolf oven under the island to keep food warm, and an icemaker by the back door makes it easy to refresh drinks,” Azar says.
Cooped Up: “I have a big cookbook collection, so I repurposed an old chicken coop (not pictured) to separate the kitchen nook and hold my cookbook collection,” Azar says. More cookbooks are accessible from a built-in bookcase at one end of the island.
Interior Designer: Andrea Monath Schumacher, Allied ASID, O Interior Design, Inc., Denver, (303) 458-6462, ointeriordesign.com
CUSTOM BUILT-INS & FIREPLACE John Condolora, Denver, (303) 377-8383 DRAPERIES, PILLOWS & ELECTRIC SHADES Anna Nguyen Fabricators, Inc., Denver, (303) 750-3158 UPHOLSTERY & SLIPCOVERS Tien Nguyen Upholstery Inc., Denver, (303) 750-8111 GRASSCLOTH WALLCOVERING Highlands Wallcovering, Denver, (303) 263-3473 LIGHTING (most) Arteriors Home, Denver, arteriorshome.com FABRIC Draperies in study: Dedar, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver Design District, (303) 744-7474, denverdesign.com; draperies in living room: Groundworks, available at Kravet/Lee Jofa, Denver Design District, (303) 733-1891, denverdesign.com LIVING ROOM ARTWORK (hanging above gold chest) “She Brought Forth A Son” by Sister Mary Corita, Corita Art Center, corita.org CREAM CLUB CHAIRS Baker, baker.com GOLD CHEST Diamondchest, Barbara Barry Collection for Baker, baker.com POWDER ROOM TILE Bosque Brazilian Cherry Jatoba by Ann Sacks, annsacks.com FAMILY ROOM CHAIRS Baker, upholstered in chocolate velvet (slip-covered in natural linen for spring/summer), baker.com SINK Hand-blown glass sink by Vitraform, available through Ultra Hardware, Denver, (303) 571-5611, ultradesigncenter.com LIBRARY YELLOW CHAIR Grange, grangeny.com KITCHEN DECORATIVE BOWL (behind range) "Flower Bowl" by Artist Donna J.S. Causland, Pinecone Lodge Pottery, Dillon, dcporcelain.comBEDROOM WALLCOVERING Aqua Belvedere Damask 100% silk by GP & J Baker, gpjbaker.com ADDITIONAL FURNISHINGS Henredon, Denver Design District, (303) 282-0017, henredon.com