Fresh Spaces

The Powder Room

Inspiration: The Mountains

Shayne Smith of Slifer Designs wanted to break from the ­traditional mountain style when she reimagined a penthouse ­condominium in Bachelor Gulch. The result: a modern mountain ­retreat that marries natural elements and sophistication.

The Powder Room

Inspiration: The Mountains

Shayne Smith of Slifer Designs wanted to break from the ­traditional mountain style when she reimagined a penthouse ­condominium in Bachelor Gulch. The result: a modern mountain ­retreat that marries natural elements and sophistication.

“I wanted to incorporate natural materials—wonderful stones, organic elements, earthy components,” Smith says. The powder room is a perfect representation of this vision.

Smith used braided stone around the mirror and on the ­­opposing wall to give the room texture and warmth. The sleek lines of the Sonoma Forge faucet, which juts out of the mirror, feel ­balanced against the chiseled stone sink from Stone Forest. Smith designed the dramatic iron sconces and had them created by Iron Accents in Houston.
Smith is especially proud of the niche on the wall opposite the mirror. “Usually, when you’re in a powder room and you look in the mirror, you see the toilet,” she says. “So I created this niche covered in pearlized glass and put a Thomas Corbin bronze sculpture in it. Now you see art while you’re washing your hands.”

tips: “You can get away with so much in a powder room. You can get away with more extreme design than you’d want, say, in your kitchen or bedroom. Take the opportunity to go beyond the limits of your everyday style.”

Photography: Tim Murphy, courtesy of Slifer Designs


The Outdoor Living AreaInspiration: Blue Colorado Skies

Designed to be a natural extension of the interior space, this outdoor living area in a home in northeast Denver proves that you really can enjoy the outdoors year-round. Fully retractable doors on each side of the courtyard open to the kitchen, living room and front foyer. A roof covers half of the space,  where Jane Gates of Interior Settings created comfortable areas for entertaining. “We used the same colors we used inside, so it felt like a natural part of the home,” Gates says. And of course, the room boasts an impressive outdoor TV and audio system, so the homeowners and their guests can watch movies or a Broncos game.

tips: “I would strongly advise homeowners to add an outdoor kitchen because living outside is not just about the patio. It’s about the backyard, the pool, the dining, the entertaining. In today’s market, there are so many choices in outdoor furniture, fabrics and appliances. No matter what your style, you can pull it off.”

Photography: Ron Ruscio


Interior Design
Jane Gates
Interior Settings, (303) 985-1980


The Kitchen Nook

Inspiration: Natural Light

When France Lavin of France Lavin Design creates a room, she always begins with the lighting. In this Lone Tree kitchen nook, the walls of glass doors flooded the room with great natural light—a feature Lavin maximized by adding sheer fabric inspired by shimmering Aspen. “The fabric feels full enough to be dressy, but it’s also very comfortable,” she says. “And it takes on different qualities at night than it does during the day, so this little room is a really interesting space.”

Instead of hanging a traditional chandelier, Lavin chose two Flos lighting fixtures. “The entire effect is to make this small room feel bigger,” she says. The glass-top table from BoConcept and the Crate and Barrel chairs add to the room’s contemporary style. And two glass pears from Accessory Warehouse in Englewood  are the perfect finishing touches for this simple, stylish space.

tips: “A wall of fabric works just about anywhere with any style. It gives a room visual interest and elegance. And remember that the eye needs to relax when you come into a space, so don’t put too much stuff on shelves, countertops and kitchen tables.”

Photography: Greg Scheller


Interior Design
France Lavin
France Lavin Design
(303) 741-3878


The Orangerie

Inspiration: Old French Farmhouses

This orangerie was inspired by the centuries-old concept of a European conservatory where residents put their delicate citrus plants in the winter. But instead of designing an ornate, Old World space, the architects at Knudson Gloss created a room that embraces the Colorado views and feels like a French country farmhouse. The lap pool, unique artifacts (collected during the owners’ travels) and artisan finishes make this eclectic space a fascinating place to wander.

“The owners wanted the building to look like it had been there 100 years,” says Graham Swett, the project architect. (Principal John Knudson did much of the initial concepting.) “The wood is salvaged beams and reclaimed timbers,” he says, adding that French farmers built their homes with recycled materials, using whatever was available.

“The details are amazing,” Swett says, giving credit to the owners’ clear vision and artistic talents. “That’s what creates the charm of this type of building: a collection of the raw materials available and the unique finishing touches the owners added. It fits right into mainstream thought about how we should be building.”

tips: “It takes a lot of time to develop a concept that is original and unique in character and design. These owners were exceptional. Their ideas for detail and their research—you have to prepare to create a strong vision.”

Photography: John Robledo Foto


Knudson Gloss
(303) 442-5882


The Nursery

Inspiration: Her Daughter

Caroline McMorrow wanted to create a beautiful, functional nursery for her daughter, but she faced a single challenge: crumbling plaster walls in her Denver home, built in 1912. Her solution? Cover them. McMorrow added wainscot to the bottom two-thirds of the wall to mask the cracking and unevenness in the plaster, and then covered the remaining one-third with a pink-, red- and-cream striped, quilted fabric. “It softens the room and gives it some warmth,” McMorrow says.

The rest of the design came easily. She opted for a Corsican iron crib in antique white and a checked oval area rug made from a woven wool broadloom carpet. She chose a fabric she loved from Brunschwig & Fils and had a seamstress create a custom bumper, crib skirt, basket liners and pillows. She also covered the glider armchair and ottoman in a custom slipcover—a solution that’s beautiful and easy to keep clean.

On the walls hang framed watercolors by 19th-century English artist Kate Greenway, family heirlooms that McMorrow’s mother gave to her. “They’re perfect because they’re illustrations of little women,” McMorrow says.
McMorrow’s daughter is now two years old, and the nursery is growing up, too. But its style remains: “I love that it has a feminine feel without being bright pink or too fussy,” McMorrow says. “It has a comfortable sophistication to it.”

tips: “The best thing to do is find a wonderful fabric and work around it. A great fabric is an ideal design guide. And don’t be afraid to pull things from everywhere.”

Photography: Michael Shopenn


Interior design
Caroline McMorrow
Metropolitan Designs, LLC
(303) 596-3830


The Laundry Room

Inspiration: The Shore

Believe it or not, this Front Range home feels like it could be a lake cottage on the Atlantic shore. “We chose a palette of colors and materials that connect to outdoor hues,” says Mary D. Miranda of HRI Design. “It feels natural.”

The cabinets were painted in a beautiful antique ivory color, set off by a graphite gray stripe beneath the crown moulding. The beadboard on the walls gives the room texture and depth, and the framed black-and-white photos add architectural interest. Together, the design elements prove that even a laundry room can feel inspired and fresh.

Miranda designed with the family in mind: The custom cabinetry includes cubby space “for all of the things you never have room for,” she says. And a custom bulletin board holds mementos of family trips and activities.
The room’s crowning touch is a nod toward good friends and happy families. A painted quotation from French author Marcel Proust reminds the homeowners: “Let us be grateful to people who makes us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

TIps: “Simple touches go a long way. Rich ­colors can make a room feel cozy and attainable. Frame artwork the kids have done or photography from a family trip. The laundry room doesn’t have to be drab; it should be an extension of the rest of the home, and it can be a great reflection of the family.”

Photography: Jeff Scroggins Photography


Interior Design
Mary D Miranda  HRI Design
(303) 794-0051

Categories: Art, Entertaining, Furniture & Accessories, Interiors, Kitchens, Stylemakers