A Happy Convergence

Blue Herman Miller Eiffel chairs flank a new “Gus” walnut table (from One Home). The teak sideboard is vintage Danish modern and sits below two pieces of modern art purchased at a gallery in Canada. Maharam fabric in brown and blue covers the windows, tying the chairs and the wood together.

Blue Herman Miller Eiffel chairs flank a new “Gus” walnut table (from One Home). The teak sideboard is vintage Danish modern and sits below two pieces of modern art purchased at a gallery in Canada. Maharam fabric in brown and blue covers the windows, tying the chairs and the wood together.

The interior brick wall in the family room was the home's original façade. A comfy B&B Italia sofa surrounds a metal coffee table, creating a vignette in front of the painting by Alexandra Huber, one of the couple's favorite contemporary artists.

A sanctuary of soft grays and white, this master bedroom is grounded by the Casamilano bed covered in a gray wool (like a man's suit). The black and white pillow by Adam and Victoria, made of velvet and linen, adds a small but powerful counterpoint to the sea of pure white linens.

CH&L: You had worked with the owners before. Talk about the genesis of this project.
Heather Mourer, owner of One Home in Denver: The homeowners, professional photographers Jennifer Olson and David Raccuglia, each had their own residences. They needed to merge the contents into this 1930s bungalow that David bought five or six years ago for his two daughters and himself. During the last two years, he worked with architect Jack Rudd to remodel the kitchen and add on a family room and master suite at the front of the house. I helped them create rooms that are comfortable yet sophisticated, using their combined mid-century modern furniture and art collections. The inspiration for the warm-yet-cultured look was Chateau Marmont—one of their favorite Los Angeles places.

Given the amount of great “stuff” to work with, how did you—and they—approach the task of deciding what to use and what to store?
I asked the homeowners to start editing their collections. First, they had to pick  “can't live without” pieces—the ones that made them smile. Then they had to decide what other pieces of furniture and accessories worked with the first picks. We looked for complementary colors, shapes, lines. It's a tough job editing things you love; in the end, the couple used about 50 percent of what they had.

This couple clearly has no fear of color. The living room has sage green Knoll Scissor chairs, a blue mohair vintage couch and a rust-colored Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair. What's the key to pulling off these colors?
Interestingly, the couple said they wanted a neutral palette with pops of colors. In this case, they meant big pops of color. But the colors of the fabrics we used to recover the pieces aren't bold: the green chairs are sage, which is considered neutral; the Egg Chair is rust, not an in-your-face red; and the couch is a deep blue mohair. Set on a neutral Meridia Meridian shag rug against warm white walls, the colors work.

This home has many classic mid-century modern pieces (Knoll, Eames, Jacobsen) and yet it doesn't look like a museum; it's obviously a home where people actually flop down and watch TV or relax. How did you do that?
The couple was clear about comfort. They wanted a home that “felt” good, that was for living in, not looking at. To that end, we mixed Danish modern woods with mid-century classics and contemporary pieces so that no one era dominates. Rather, good design sets the tone. Old furniture was recovered in lush fabrics—mohair, frisé, soft wool. There's nothing about this house that says: “Do not touch!”

When you work with clients who have a strong aesthetic sense (both of these owners are art collectors and professional photographers), how do you reconcile your vision with theirs, if you have different ideas?
The customer's sensibility always rules. I just make suggestions. But, in this case, I learned a lot from David and Jennifer. For example, their bedroom is soft gray with clean lines. I suggested one of David's photos—a black-and-white image of a butterfly—above the bed. He absolutely did not want to see his work every day when he went to bed or woke up. Instead, they picked this large abstract painting—with yellows and oranges and browns—that once sat above a sofa. I wasn't so sure how it would look, but they were right. It adds the right amount of sizzle to this serene bedroom.

This house has both vintage pieces and new contemporary furniture from One Home. How did you select contemporary pieces that would serve as soul mates to the vintage furnishings?
We looked for contemporary pieces that had classic lines, and the pieces we chose—the dining room table, the B&B Italia couch—could've been designed 50 years ago or today. That's how beautiful and classic they are.

Interior Design:
Heather Mourer
One Home
(720) 946-1505

For more information about the products in this home, click here.

Buying Vintage Pieces on the Internet

Homeowner Jennifer Olson and designer Heather Mourer offer tips on how to shop for vintage furniture on an Internet auction site:

1. Look at how customers have rated the seller. Be wary of someone who has very little or very mixed feedback.

2. A reputable seller will be generous with specific information, along with photos of joinery and details. Do your own research so you know what you're looking for.

3. Understand the language: an Eames-era chair is not an authentic Eames chair. Conversely, if the furniture is the real deal, the seller should be able to provide a photo of a label or marking that identifies it as such.

4. Be aware—even if you get an authentic piece at a great price (it can happen), shipping can double the bottom line. “I've gotten excited about a $300 table,” says Olson, “only to realize it turned into a $700 table by the time I received it.”

Categories: Architects, Furniture & Accessories, Interiors, Stylemakers