Relaxed, Refined, Refreshing

The light-filled library glows with golden tones on the walls and the faux bois bookcases and window frames painted by artist David Schultz. “Accessories play a large role here and in every room,” says designer Melinda Douglas. “They are the exclamation marks at the end of the sentence.”

The light-filled library glows with golden tones on the walls and the faux bois bookcases and window frames painted by artist David Schultz. “Accessories play a large role here and in every room,” says designer Melinda Douglas. “They are the exclamation marks at the end of the sentence.”

Artfully arranged bookcases are the focal point of the master bedroom sitting area. “Bookcases function on a multitude of levels, offering shape and texture, an unexpected way to decorate, and a place to display accessories as well as books,” Douglas explains.

The newly remodeled master bath is highlighted with fabulous 17th-century Chinese panels fashioned into doors. Marble countertops and crisp white vanities complement the darker marble tile floors.

There are houses—and then there are houses with soul. Take this recently remodeled Country Club home in Denver, transformed by interior designer Melinda Douglas of Douglas Associates. “This house has soul—a rich, kind, generous soul that reflects the warm personalities of the homeowners,” she explains. 

The gracious Georgian-Tudor has been home to the family for 25 years. With children grown, the homeowners decided it was time to renew the house for a lifestyle that emphasizes entertaining family (which now includes grandchildren) and friends. Their goal was to update the interiors and create a comfortable home without pretension.

The remodel was addressed in two phases over the past five years. The most recent, completed in 2005, involved renovating the kitchen, bathrooms, master and guest bedrooms, and finishing the basement to include a dining room/wine cellar, exercise space and media room. Working with her associates Conni Newsome and Nadia Hartman, as well as a cadre of skilled craftspeople, Douglas created warm, beautiful interiors that pay homage to the home's early 20th-century origins. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can the inside reflect the fine workmanship of the exterior?'” Douglas says. “Everything was chosen with care and attention to history, patina and uniqueness.”

The home is furnished with fine antiques, such as the circa-1740 George II burl walnut architectural bureau bookcase in the living room. Most of the antiques are English, with some French and Irish pieces, as well as painted Swedish chairs and dressers in the bedrooms. Douglas drew upon a variety of local antique stores, including Black Tulip, Asian Treasures and The Collection in Denver. “The exquisite antique furnishings were selected not so much for their period as for their lines,” she says. Douglas also introduced contemporary elements: a clean-lined Japanese coffee table in the living room, a sleek titanium-faced buffet in the kitchen. “Juxtaposing opulence with minimalism is much more interesting and edgy,” Douglas says. “It creates a dialogue between the two.”

She added comfort into the furniture mix with plush, custom-upholstered sofas and chairs. “With an idea of how the piece should look, we collaborated with furniture designer and upholsterer Danny Langston, who is a brilliant artist,” Douglas says. Langston painstakingly builds each piece by hand with solid hardwood frames and top-quality materials and fabrics. “Custom furniture can be designed to never go out of style; properly cared for, it will last for generations,” he says. Douglas appreciates the practical as well as aesthetic advantages of working with a local craftsman: “We can look at each piece, sit on it and check if it's what we had in mind while it is being built,” she says. “The result is exactly what we want.”

The comfortable upholstered pieces are executed in lush, inviting fabrics such as white velvet chenille or quilted cotton. “White is so fresh and crisp, providing a wonderful foil for any other color,” Douglas says. 

Soft, pretty colors fill the home. Shades of green provide a unifying thread and mix beautifully with the coral tones of the living room, the crisp white cabinetry in the kitchen, the feminine pink of the master bedroom, the pale gold of the library. “There is an incredible conversation between rooms, a peaceful environment that is never jarring or interrupted,” Douglas says. She achieved that cohesive flow with harmonious colors and a gently tailored style.

The updated bathrooms combine timeless materials like marble floors and countertops that reflect the era of the house with the best of modern conveniences. “It was time to bring things up-to-date, especially in the kitchen and baths,” Douglas says. “So much new, exciting product for tile, fixtures and lights has been developed in recent years.” Examples include the custom-pattern mosaic tile by Waterworks in the guest bath and Robern bath mirrors with integrated lighting by Ultra Design.

The remodeled kitchen throws a curve with its very contemporary design. Focusing on simple, subtle detail, Douglas specified clean-lined white cabinets topped with green granite countertops. Against this backdrop are stunning opposites: ultra modern titanium-faced appliances mixed with traditional tufted chairs and an ornate antique mirror.

As with many of the best projects, the design is in the details—from French plaster walls to top-quality hardware, from dressmaker detailing to luxurious textiles and bedding. “This house is luxury without headlines,” says the designer. “It doesn't shout; it whispers.” With soul.

Interior Design:
Melinda Douglas, Nadia Hartman & Conni Newsome
Douglas Associates
(303) 722-6979

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

Categories: Art, Entertaining, Interior Designers, Interiors, Stylemakers