Home & Garden

Andrea Schumacher Reawakens A Historic Home in Denver

Thanks to the likes of Instagram, Pinterest, HGTV and Houzz, it’s easy for anyone to gather ideas regarding the decor of their space. But Tim White, the latest owner of a historic house in Denver’s Curtis Park neighborhood, felt no such temptation. “When I hire professionals who are creative folks, I never want to head them in a certain direction,” says the homeowner, who is a seasoned developer himself. “If I express my leanings before I hear their thoughts, it may inhibit our choices; I prefer to reach a solution organically.”

Besides, this house needed no spokesperson. Built in 1880, the Second Empire-style abode features a dramatic redbrick façade, an ornate front porch, classical wood cornices and a multicolored slate mansard roof. Having already been restored by Colorado Preservation, Inc. with great care, the mansion now begged for interiors with an equal richness of decorative detail—the perfect brief for a design studio known for bold interiors and color combinations.

“This home had a presence, like it was the proverbial house on a hill,” says designer Troy Rivington, who, in close collaboration with firm principal Andrea Schumacher, embarked on a top-to-bottom reimagining of the residence. “When you walk in, you can feel the history,” Rivington marvels, pointing out the original moldings, staircase and striking stained-glass windows. “So many of the details survived over 140 years of existence; it’s amazing.”

But charmed as they were by the home’s carefully preserved details, Tim and his wife, Stephanie, had no interest in living in a period piece. “Historic homes are often restored back to what they used to be,” Tim says. “We wanted the interiors to be sympathetic to the past but still designed for the here and now.” 

The newly expanded kitchen, for example, offers the contemporary conveniences of a sunny dining nook, large island and a wet bar. To its existing palette of natural wood, black cabinets and patterned floor tile, the designers added a dome-shaped concrete chandelier, emerald-green backsplash tile and striking Chinese brass cabinet pulls. “We wanted to bring in modern touches so the interiors wouldn’t lean too historic, but at the same time twist it a bit,” Rivington explains of the eclectic assortment. “Because this home has a very distinctive look, bringing in elements that wouldn’t normally mix together really worked.”

Further proof is on display in the study, where a gilded French antique chair, clean-lined velvet sofa and amorphous metal coffee table hold court between a giraffe-print rug and agate-patterned paper on the ceiling. And in the upstairs gallery, large contemporary paintings mingle with a glamorous curved settee, giant chandeliers and a carved-eagle console table painted a stark white in an unexpected departure from the typical gilt-wood finish.

But even such eye-catching compositions fail to prepare guests for the visual feast awaiting them in the dining room—“one of my favorite spaces because it provides some context for the home’s history, yet is totally different from what most people would expect,” Tim says. Here, the millwork and high ceiling are glazed in a vibrant raspberry-colored paint inspired by the hues of the living room’s exotic drapery fabric—one of several details throughout the house that nod to the Japanese American population that called Curtis Park home after World War II. Books with sky-blue spines line one wall, a mural depicting cranes and cherry trees covers others, and a massive 1970s-era Murano-glass chandelier, also pink, shimmers over a vintage table flanked by patterned settees and armchairs in a soft blush. “When you’re in this room, you can feel people light up,” Tim muses. “It’s as if they’re gathering some of the energy that was put into that space.”

For their private quarters, the owners desired a far quieter palette of creams and black. To compensate for the lack of color, Rivington and Schumacher lavished rich textures on every surface: a woven grass-cloth covering on the walls and ceiling, Belgian linen draperies trimmed with bands of bouclé, an upholstered bed adorned with brass nailheads, and, “for that touch of the unexpected,” Rivington says, a zebra rug. Amid the bursts of color, pattern and texture throughout such a spirited home, this calmer space underscores the design scheme’s all-encompassing quality: an elegance that marries modernity with timelessness. 

Article source: luxesource.com