Bold and Beautiful
Interior designer Jane Freking layers Old-World elegance with high-contrast style to make a creatively traditional home
When you spend your formative years ensconced in classically elegant surroundings, it’s bound to rub off on you. So when it came to her own space, the young owner of this home in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood drew upon her traditional design sensibility, but decided to add a youthful twist with modern-leaning furnishings and bold color.
A recent graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado, she was willing to be adventurous with the home’s palette and owns an envious array of original art—a recipe for a contemporary take on classic design. She recruited interior designer Jane Freking of Denver-based JF Design to help her customize the newly-built spec home, complementing its stately trim and Brazilian hardwood floors with formal but comfortable furnishings.
Starting with the blank canvas of this brand-new home, the pair decided to experiment with a sophisticated rainbow of hues (rather than carrying one or two colors throughout the home), while relying on a black-and-white design scheme as the foundation. They found inspiration for this inclusive color palette in the sumptuous fabrics they chose for the space.
“The homeowner loves fabrics and was really involved in selecting them, so that’s where our theme colors came from,” Freking says. “We wanted to bring crisp colors into each room. In the living room, we brought blue. In the family room, we brought red. In her bedroom, pink. We created a palette for the entire house in one fell swoop.”
The dining room skews neutral, although it’s anything but bland. Freking stayed true to the black-and-white palette and let the homeowner’s art add color to the space. Using these pieces, she composed a funky backdrop, hanging a subdued landscape next to a vibrant, large-scale portrait of John Lennon. Then she surrounded the high-gloss dining table with oval-backed chairs from Artistic Frame that she had upholstered with off-center stripes. She hung two contemporary chandeliers, added pom-pom trim to the Osborne & Little drapes, and installed an Art-Deco-inspired chrome and rosewood bar from Ralph Lauren.
Freking then carried the Lennon portrait’s vibrant blue tones into the adjoining living room, adding blue glass accessories, blue floral pillows and a custom rug from Kravet accented with big blue petals. She treated a pair of contemporary armchairs to soothing sky blue upholstery and gave them a traditional touch by outlining their contours with silver nail-head trim.
In the master bedroom, the designer took inspiration from the dramatic drapery fabric, Designers Guild’s Tokyo Dahlia, and peppered hot-pink upholstery and accents throughout the room. Layers of rosy shades on the four-poster bed and the spindle-legged bench create a feminine focal point. To modernize the room, she juxtaposed the traditional wood furniture a mirrored dresser and airy chandelier. “Most of the time, less is more, but when you have a large room and a large pattern like the one in the drapery fabric, I think it can handle more,” Freking says.
“Normally as a designer you would not get people to go this far outside the box with color,” she says, “but with the client’s youth and interests, this was an exceptional job. I got to use all of these bright colors and get away with it.”