Step Inside a Denver Loft With Clean Finishes and Antique Furnishings

In downtown Denver, the homeowners meld their very different tastes
Fresh Style Frontis Copy

Because the homeowners relocated from New York, they wanted a Denver condo with a classic loft feel. A historic building with exposed brick walls and industrial accents helped them create their downtown oasis. In a corner of their kitchen, open shelving creates the perfect spot for a beverage bar. | Photography by Kylie Fitts

When the homeowners of this downtown Denver loft decided to remodel, they had to meld very different tastes. The wife loves antiques. The husband loves everything modern. “If she could go to a lower Broadway antique store and pick all the furniture, she would do that. I wanted very updated and clean finishes,” the husband says. “We wanted to still be married by the time we were finished.”

Design Living Copy

Brick walls make a great backdrop for the homeowners’ art collection. A gallery wall hides a television in plain sight. An eclectic mix of furniture includes beloved antiques.

To maintain harmony, the homeowners sought the help of interior designer Chris McGovern, who admits, “There’s always the role of mediator in the design process.” His plan was to create a clean canvas that set off the homeowners’ art and antiques as well as the industrial features of the historic building. “Overall, the renovated space creates a gallery for their collection of furniture,” McGovern says.

The first step in the redo was to emphasize the loft’s architectural details. The husband, who is co-owner of Aspen-based Rutgers Construction and served as the project manager, says, “With heavy Douglas fir timber and a two-story brick wall, you couldn’t mess it up.”

Design Kit Copy

The large island combines two organic materials, natural stone and wood cabinets. Modern black-and-gold pendant lamps illuminate the island, which is a great place to prepare food and serve guests.

But the loft was stuck in the 1990s. “Unfortunately, the space had a fairly taste-specific kitchen, and the existing floors were the infamous red oak you see in so many places,” McGovern says. “The tongue-and-groove ceiling also had a very orange tone. We wanted to de-orange everything.”

After refinishing the existing floors, ceilings and beams, McGovern started with a fresh palette, painting the walls and spiral staircase white. “We used a clean, quiet canvas that honors the industrial history of the building,” McGovern says.

Design Stairs Copy

A spiral staircase leads to the light-filled bedroom, which is open to the downstairs living area.

The white extends into the kitchen. “The simple white counters and cabinets turned out awesome,” the husband says. The kitchen island is oversize, out of desire and necessity. While the wife wanted a big island, a pesky plumbing issue made it even bigger. “We ended up having to make the island larger because of the location of the water [line],” the husband says. Not only is it a very large island, it is also separated from the cabinets by a lot of space. “The exaggerated distance makes for a great party pad,” he notes.

Design Bed Copy

Exposed brick walls and wood beams show off the building’s historic roots.

Guests can congregate in the kitchen or can wander around the loft, where they will find unique art and antiques the homeowners have collected. Says the husband, “My wife’s favorite piece is this old African chair. Every time you try to sit in it, you fall over.” All the objects—including the tippy chair—represent the homeowners. “The space is like a physical portrait of them,” McGovern says.

The eclectic loft mixes old and new to create a wonderful space. The husband sums it up beautifully: “What we achieved is a really serene living experience in the city.”

INTERIOR DESIGN McGovern Project, Chris McGovern
BUILDER Rutgers Construction

Categories: Interiors