A Paradise in Wash Park
New to the neighborhood, a fresh white brick residence takes full advantage of its parkside locale
After years of residing in a traditional English Tudor, a local businesswoman with two grown sons decided it was time for a change. “I wanted something more modern and totally different,” she says. While she was house hunting, a three-story white brick-and-stucco spec home located one block off Denver’s popular Washington Park caught her eye.
Steeped in urban international-style flair, the collaborative effort by architect Carlos Alvarez, Alvarez Morris Architectural Studio, and builders Tina and Bob Fitzpatrick, Living Mile High Development, “was inspired by the old townhouses of London and their flat rooftops,” says Alvarez, who notes the tight 50-foot-wide lot and park locale also played key roles in the evolution of the stacked design. “We kept the lower level with its enclosed courtyard as private as possible, then the second-floor primary suite starts opening to views of the park, and the top floor is fully open to the surroundings,” he adds.
Meanwhile, the potential buyer remained ambivalent. “I loved the location and the third-floor balcony, but I didn’t buy it right away,” the homeowner says.
Admitting that “spec house finishes tend to be a little less personal to appeal to a wider audience,” Alvarez along with designers Carolyn Morris and Annie Tobin customized the interiors to the homeowner’s taste: The rift-sawn white oak cabinetry in the kitchen, Spanish marble fireplaces and new decorative lighting added warmth to the modern spaces.
“We used artwork and textiles from [the homeowner’s] travels as starting points.” —Interior designer, Carolyn Morris
From the street, the brick structure with its classic window proportions and a downsized portico—the latter a nod to the local porch vernacular—intentionally melds modern and traditional design, but inside, walls and ceilings devoid of moldings and decorative details skew modern. Ever mindful of the clichéd concern about modern being cold, the designers took steps to warm the spaces with layers of color and texture. As Morris shares, “The homeowner has traveled extensively to exotic places, and we used artwork and textiles from her travels as starting points.”
Her antique Persian dining room rug provided inspiration for the color palette of both the sitting room and dining room. The muted rug in the sitting room is an antique from Azari. “In both rooms we used wall coverings to define space and increase character and depth,” says Morris, pointing to the vertical menswear-inspired stripe that envelops the sitting area and part of the dining room. A second horizontal charcoal-stripe covering backs a console in the latter before flowing to the pantry and powder room. “It’s like a box in the center of the first floor, and you can see the pattern from four vantage points,” she adds.
Located near the kitchen and with easy access to the courtyard living room, the family room is intentionally light and bright. The design team continued the lightness in the owner’s bedroom, where neutral walls provide a soft backdrop for the variety of pink and blush tones that populate the room. “The caned bench and French linens evoke the south of France,” Morris adds.
In the top floor hangout—a favorite location for more intimate conversations— things go intentionally dark, and the dramatic black wallcovering and ceiling to match serve as perfect foils for setting off the greenery of the park landscape. The homeowner notes it is a space that definitely gets used. “When I entertain, some group inevitably ends up on the third floor,” she says. “And thanks to
the fire pit, even in winter we are out there enjoying the views.”
COURTYARD TABLE AND CHAIRS Fermob by BLOOM by Anuschka LOUNGE by RH FIRE PIT by Lifescape Colorado LANDSCAPE by Lifescape Colorado and BLOOM by Anuschka LIVING ROOM WALLCOVERING by Phillip Jeffries from TOWN, installed by Jodi Stoehrmann MIRROR by Lee Broom Split Mirror SOFA by Lawson Fenning upholstered in ROgers and Goffigon Mohair from Kneedler Fauchere COFFEE TABLE by Nicky Kehoe CHAIRS by Lee Jofa upholstered in Calvin striped linen from John Brooks LAMPS by Gubi LIGHT FIXTURE by Marset DINING ROOM LIGHT FIXTURE by Kelly Wearstler from Circa Lighting TABLE Custom White Oak by Rooster Socks Furniture CHAIRS by Noir Furniture from CAI Design KITCHEN CABINETS by Aspen Leaf Kitchens LIGHTING by Ralph Lauren from Circa Lighting BAR STOOLS by Oak Stools upholstered in C&C Milano Fabric ISLAND TOP in Caesarstone organic white countertops and Calacatta marble backsplash fabricated by Brekhus ENTERTAINMENT AREA WALL COVERING custom FAYCE from WALLTAWK OTTOMAN by Rooster Socks Furniture from Clarence House Textile CONSOLE by RH LIGHT FIXTURE Vintage Italian Brass BEDROOM BED by Rooster Socks Furniture upholstered in Holly Hunt Fabric BENCH by HW Home with Rose Tarlow upholstered seat SIDE TABLES in custom oak by Faithful Roots FIXTURE in Brass Dome by Lawson Fenning MIRROR by Homebody Denver STAIRS DRAPES by FabriKATE in Kerry Joyce Linen OUTDOOR SPACE SOFAS by RH COFFEE TABLE by RH FAMILY ROOM SOFA by RH COFFEE TABLE from Stahl + Band CHAIRS in Lauren Hwang Linen upholstery by Kneedler Fauchere FIREPLACE by Brekhaus LIGHTING FIXTURE by Brenden Ravenhill RUG by Cavan Carpets from Aztec FOOTSTOOL by DISC DRAPES in Lee Jofa Trim