Bright and Lively


Sophisticated yet unpretentious, a remodeled Hilltop home blends vibrant
colors and bold patterns with functional, family-friendly spaces

Having a successful long-distance relationship requires a measure of finesse—and faith. Take the case of Erika Rundiks and Katie Schroder, owners of Atelier Interior Design, who were given the charge of completely updating a five-bedroom Hilltop home while their clients remained in New York and prepared to move. And just to keep things interesting, the homeowners were also expecting a baby—so every room in the house had to be move-in ready within four months. Fortunately, the Denver design duo was up to the challenge and flew to New York for several days of intensive planning.

“Our clients asked us to give their home a modern, eclectic vibe with a bit of mid-century modern,” says Schroder. “During our initial meetings we also learned that a global, rustic aesthetic resonated with both of them, along with vibrant earth tones and contemporary, geometric patterns.”

After perusing furniture and fixtures at the New York Design Center, the group visited the Flavor Paper wallpaper studio in Brooklyn, where the homeowners were drawn to a boldly-colored, whimsical design that would eventually end up in their dining room and set the tone for a fun, practical family home with plenty of character. “The wallpaper was a brave choice and we loved it, because we’ve never been known as ‘the beige designers,’” Rundiks says. “Our strong suit is mixing pattern and color.”

While the homeowners and designers communicated daily via a flurry of phone calls and emails, the craftspeople from True North Construction began the remodel. After removing obtrusive cabinetry that hung over the kitchen island to open up the space and bring in more light, they constructed a comfortable, built-in cushioned banquette for casual meals.

Because of time constraints, Rundiks and Schroder opted to have the existing kitchen cabinets painted in a cool gray hue rather than replacing them. Dated counters were replaced with creamy honed marble topped with a glass mosaic tile backsplash, and the hardwood floors were refinished with a walnut stain.

The fireplace’s pink marble surround in the family room was chiseled off and replaced with sculptural, carved limestone tile. American Clay—a natural, soft finish similar to Venetian plaster—was troweled onto the chimney and walls. The contractors updated bathrooms, painted walls and trim, swapped out light fixtures, hung new window treatments and replaced hardware. Using nine coats of paint in five different colors, a team of painters refinished the fireplace mantel, bookshelves and stair banisters, transforming the plain woodwork with deep, tonal browns and grays.

Furnishings were chosen with style and durability in mind. “Katie and I both have kids, and we believe you can have a beautiful home where you enjoy being a family if you choose tough fabrics and furnishings that are practical and fun,” says Rundiks. A custom, zinc-topped farmhouse table in the kitchen with faux-leather vinyl cushions on the banquette eliminated worries about spills. The designers eschewed formality in favor of a simple, rustic wood dining table and a sealed, copper-top coffee table in the living room. Other sturdy choices include commercial-grade rugs, outdoor fabrics on some of the furniture and a pair of vintage ABS plastic Vico Magistretti Gaudi chairs in the children’s playroom.

Despite the complicated logistics, the home was completed on time and the homeowners were able to move in before the baby arrived. “The clients are down-to-earth, they know what they like. They were decisive and they trusted us,” says Rundiks. “Those are good elements for making any long-distance design project successful.”

Design Details
Interior Designers
Erika Rundiks, Katie Schroder
Atelier Interior Design

David North
True North Construction

Categories: Interiors