2019 Designer Showhouse

The 2019 Denver Life Magazine Designer Showhouse takes a variety of diverse concepts and brings them together in dazzling fashion.

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

It wasn’t easy getting so much natural light in a home in the heart of Bonnie Brae, surrounded by other two-story homes, but the architects at Alvarez Morris and the team from Caliber Construction made it happen. The finished project is a five-bedroom, single- family home that architect Carlos Alvarez calls “a fresh house that a cool family would love to live in.”

“We started from scratch, scraping an existing structure on a modest lot and building from the ground up. And from the very beginning, we knew the result was going to be amazing. From the first pen strokes by the architect, we really knew we landed on something pretty special with the design and the exterior appearance right out of the gate,” says Caliber’s owner Brad Liber.

One might be tempted to label the style as “modern farmhouse,” but it defies categorization. “We did part of it as a traditional brick on which we did a German schmear,” says Caylin Engle, Caliber’s in-house designer. “Instead of painting the brick, we covered it with mortar. It’s kind of a rustic look. But then there’s the siding that’s black. There’s a 10-foot black door, black exterior lighting, and a deep charcoal siding.”

“Our goal was to create a house that was unique, but also recognizable as our work,” says architect Conor Robinson. “It had to blend well with the neighborhood, which consists primarily of traditional houses.” He adds that although “the form of the project is traditional in nature, we were able to add enough modern elements to make the house stand out.” Alvarez describes it as “new yet timeless, modern yet warm, classic and elegant.”

“We’re always striving to do something different,” says Liber. “Something that stands out, something that feels grand.”

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Jaw-dropping elements continue once you head inside 1036 S. Columbine St., which the public is invited to do Oct. 5-20, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday (the house is closed on Mondays). Again this year, 100 percent of the $20 admission donation ($5 for kids under 11) will go to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.

Coming in through the dramatic front door, Alvarez says, “you are drawn in all the way to the back patio.” Robinson adds, “When you enter through the front door there’s a direct visual connection to the outdoor fireplace on the back patio. This was quite effective in connecting the interior living spaces to the outdoors.”

And then there’s the light: One feature that Robinson says stands out is the wraparound windows in the dining room. “We maximized the amount of glass on this house, and the natural light that you experience inside is amazing,” he says.

“The floor-to-ceiling windows are pretty incredible,” says Liber. “Most people I’ve brought to the home say they’ve never seen a house with so much natural light.”

“The layout is really unique,” Engle says. “There are a lot of really great open gathering spaces. The main floor, the kitchen and family room right off the kitchen, is just such a great space. And, this year, it really feels like a home. All the designers picked up on the overall aesthetic of the house and brought that in. All the lighting works really well. There really aren’t any spaces that seem odd.”

This cohesiveness is the result of an impressive team of designers willing to collaborate while also expressing their individual visions for the space. It’s a collaboration that attracts great talent. “This is our third year being a part of the Denver Life Magazine Designer Showhouse, and we have loved it every year,” says Nikki Holt of Kimberly Timmons Interiors. “The people we get to meet and work with who are involved in this project are such talented individuals. Good design is so important to us, but good causes are even more important, so it is the best of both worlds!”

“It’s such an honor to be included in this talented group of designers,” says Courtney Wells of LuSi Design. “I could barely sleep after I was asked to be a designer for the 2019 Showhouse.”

“Honestly, there’s something in every room I really enjoy,” says Engle, “and the more times I walk through the house, the more I pick up on things and notice different details. The kitchen is really beautiful. It’s a really clean, crisp kitchen. There’s great wallpaper this year and just some cool architectural features. The fireplace is all white oak with this interesting treatment. The stairwell has these posts that go from the basement to the second level, and it’s a really cool statement piece. I don’t think I can pick a favorite space. I love pretty much every room.”

She adds, “Prepare to be inspired. There are simple things that I think people can always take away from the Showhouse. You don’t have to go home and remodel your whole kitchen, but you can go home and switch out your kitchen faucet for something that’s a little more decorative or paint a few walls. The designers always do a really good job of making the design relatable on a scale that you can replicate at home.”

Family room

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“Our vision was to keep the room light and bright, cozy and warm—livable and with enough seating for a family to gather and spend time together,” says Angie Hamm, general manager, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. “Our design combined natural elements, earth tones, and cool hues to inspire a sense of serenity combined with global inspirations and textures.”

What makes the room special
“The Tremont console table behind the sofa provides a wow moment from all angles of the open floor plan,” says Hamm. “It is a natural teak root console, crafted from reclaimed wood, that introduces an organic shape to the decor. Note the contrast of the bark’s natural lighter color with the dark flat areas where the root was cut and smoothed. Each root is unique; no two are alike.”

The takeaway
“There are three areas in one space to create a moment with any family member—the bench is perfect for reading solo, the sectional area can fit the entire family after a great meal, and the two small chairs by the window create the perfect opportunity for family members to share a quiet moment,” says Hamm.

THE DESIGNERS
Farin Fragola, Kevin Whitley
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
720.214.8060

Dining room

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“The room was an open concept with limited wall spaces and lots of windows that presented a challenge in creating a warm and inviting space for dining,” says O’Neill. “We wanted to center and focus the room to create a more comfortable dining environment.”

What makes the room special
“We anchored the room by drawing your eyes in with layered window treatments and a display cabinet on the far end of the space,” says O’Neill.

The takeaway
“Using two light fixtures helped change the perception that one light is the only correct answer,” Osgard says. “In the design world, people always say ‘odd numbers, odd numbers.’ In this case, the odd number is even.”

THE DESIGNERS
Rob Osgard, Beth O’Neill
Howard Lorton Furniture & Design
303.831.1212

Kitchen

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“We wanted to make the kitchen feel modern while still feeling comfortable and homey,” Holt says. “We wanted to make sure to maintain an overall clean and modern aesthetic while still making sure that the kitchen was warm, inviting, family-friendly, and not sterile.”

What makes the room special
“Keeping the overall color palette neutral, we added lots of texture and pattern for visual interest. Opting out of multiple smaller pendants, we decided to further emphasize the size of island and went with an oversized modern chandelier, with black and gold accents,” adds Holt.

The takeaway
“Do you love classic marble backsplash tile but still want to do something a little different?” Holt asks. “You don’t have to pick one or the other—you can do both! In this kitchen, we opted for a classic marble tile but laid it out in a fun and unique pattern. That way, we got the best of both worlds: a timeless material in a modern application.”

THE DESIGNERS
Nikki Holt, Becca Clark, and Carter Brasch
Kimberly Timmons Interiors
303.904-8244

THE CABINETRY
Angela Otten
Inspire Kitchen Design Studio
720.650-0500

Nook

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“Our vision was to create a fun and casual dining area perfect for a family,” says Holt. “Since the rest of the kitchen was so neutral, we thought this little tucked-away nook was the perfect place to add our pops of color and texture.”

What makes the room special
“We added a custom-designed, two-toned bench with a fun patterned base and cognac vinyl top, fabricated by Rooster Socks with Brentano upholstery,” Holt says. “By utilizing a bench under the windows instead of chairs, we were able to keep the view into the gorgeous backyard open, and also create a perfect spot for kids to slide in and enjoy lunch or do homework.”

The takeaway
“Just because your space is smaller doesn’t mean you can’t go big. In this little kitchen nook, we have a handful of different materials: concrete, cognac vinyl, a fun patterned upholstery, black wicker, black metal, brass, and a colorful abstract piece of art.” THE

DESIGNERS
Nikki Holt, Becca Clark, and Carter Brasch
Kimberly Timmons Interiors
303.904-8244

Office

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“I asked myself what kind of office would I want to work in,” Nusser says. “I wanted a design that reflected my personal taste and style. The room has lots of light with its tall windows and metal and glass doors. I wanted to bring in natural elements with a custom wood desk and plenty of plants. Then, I added a large rug and curtains that hung from the ceiling to soften the space. Finally, adding the painted, striped ceiling gave the space its own identity within the house and gave it a lively yet natural feel.”

What makes the room special
“The space is very functional,” Nusser says. “The desk is a workhorse big enough for the whole family to be together, and you have just enough storage to keep everything out of sight but not overwhelm the space.”

The takeaway
“In regards to selecting artwork, go with your gut,” says Nusser. “Select the piece that speaks to you the most rather than a piece that might blend into the background or go with a specific color scheme.”

THE DESIGNER
Jamie Nusser
J Designs, Inc.
925.998.4289

Buter pantry

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Inspire Kitchen design installed a functional butler’s pantry connecting the kitchen and dining room. It blends seamlessly with the kitchen area, continuing the look designed by the team from Kimberly Timmons Interiors, including the clean white cabinets and contrasting matte black cabinet pulls.

Powder room

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“I wanted to play on casual yet sophisticated elements throughout the house and to add subtle organic color to the space,” says Wray.

What makes the room special
“The grasscloth is calming and adds textural interest to the space—even the ceilings,” says Wray. “The light installation is unexpected, and the mirror adds to the casual aspect of the whole house’s feel.”

The takeaway
“Don’t be afraid to add color and texture to your spaces!” Wray says.

THE DESIGNER
Julee Wray
Truss Interiors and Renovations
303.386.5276

Entryway

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“I love the open floor plan,” says Osgard, “and we like approachable design as opposed to super formal.”

What makes the room special
“The entry piece is world-class gorgeous,” says Osgard. “It’s a Swaim Design piece with an art glass front. From the side, it reads texturally. And as you come up the stairs, the blue metallic tones that are inside the art glass pop, and it’s just spectacular.”

The takeaway
“People should take time to think before they make their choices in furniture,” says Osgard, “and make sure that they buy quality furniture and do quality design that is balanced, not to just bring visual joy but also to bring great value to the person’s home.”

THE DESIGNER
Rob Osgard
Howard Lorton Galleries
303.831.1212

Master bedroom

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“The vision for this space was that we wanted to create a natural oasis, an earthy feeling with organic materials, but mix it with a little bit of that sophistication that I always want to see in a master suite,” says Bravo. “The way I go about my design is always very uncluttered, very minimalistic. At the same time, we always want to bring a timeless feeling to every space without, of course, making it boring.”

What makes the room special
“When you go into the master bedroom, it is very calm, very sophisticated but, at the same time, earthy,” syas Bravo. “I want this to feel like a space where you can relax and feel comfortable as a family. You have neutral colors but a lot of texture going on. Also, I wanted to bring something that would help the space feel bigger. We decided to install a six-foot round mirror on the wall opposite the front window of the house to provide a feeling of more space. The room never ends with this mirror.”

The takeaway
“Try to find a balance between focal pieces and calm pieces,” Bravo says. “For example, in our case, the bed is covered with a very simple but interesting pattern for the fabric. It’s white bedding, but then we have a very interesting set of pillows that mix a lot of different textures.”

THE DESIGNER
Margarita Bravo
MARGARITA BRAVO
720.735.7533

Master bath

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“We knew that we wanted to go very organic, so we brought in stone, metals, and wood,” says Bravo. “There is a very raw and natural essence.”

What makes the room special
“A master bath needs to have that spa feeling where you can relax, meditate, and think about your day,” Bravo says. “So, again, we used very natural materials with marble across the bathroom floor as well as in the shower. Definitely the bathtub is a focal point.”

The takeaway
“Make sure that every single selection, every single piece works together,” says Bravo. THE

THE DESIGNER
Margarita Bravo
MARGARITA BRAVO
720.735.7533

First girl’s bedroom

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“After discovering a colorful wallpaper, I knew I had found my starting place for this little girl’s room,” says Wells. “Then I realized the print had a faint image of a butterfly. Butterflies symbolize so much for me; they remind me of my grandfather and my family. It all just came together so easily from that point on.”

What makes the room special
“My philosophy was the brighter, the better,” says Wells. “I interviewed my 8-year-old about what would make a bedroom special. Seeing her eyes light up when I showed her the wallpaper and the butterfly art and all the other pieces really made me feel I was on the right path. For the bathroom, I decided to keep it simple, yet full of contrast. The color palette in the bathroom is black, soft whites, and the blue carried over from the bedroom.”

The takeaway
“A high-low contrast of light and dark helps to create a sense of interest in a space, which is especially important in a kid’s room,” says Wells. “Here, I took a solid, dark upholstered bed and then carried that deep navy color throughout in small doses: in the art, lamps, and pom-poms on the drapes. I also incorporated it into the custom art. When using a large-scale print, especially on such a large wall, remember to keep other patterns in the space smaller and complementary. Different textural characteristics also add visual interest and present the unexpected. Of course, fur adds softness to any space, but you can also layer a textured blanket on a bed, pop in some accent pillows, bring in woven baskets, or even put out a few stuffed animal friends.”

THE DESIGNER
Courtney Wells
LuSi Design
415.336.6228

Second girl’s bedroom

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“I wanted something that felt young and vibrant but wasn’t childlike or too grown up,” says Ireland. “And, typically, I do a ton of color in my design, so in this one, I wanted to step out of my traditional comfort zone and add pops of color in a unique way.”

What makes the room special
“I love succulents,” Says Ireland. “I wanted something that involved succulents yet in a nontraditional way. So, basically, I designed a lot of the room around the three-dimensional art piece of hexagonal shelving and ‘plants’ made of felt.”

The takeaway
“Think outside of the box,” Ireland says, “and be creative with different materials and textures.”

THE DESIGNER
Angela Ireland
Angela Ireland Interiors
970.402.7788

Boy’s bedroom and en suite

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“We wanted to create a handsome space for a young gentleman that allows room for growth,” says Poole. “A room for a boy doesn’t always need trucks or a sports theme—you can use layers of masculine lines and textiles to achieve that.”

What makes the room special
“We really enjoyed celebrating the vaulted ceiling with a large chandelier and canopy bed frame,” says Poole.

The takeaway
“Play with shapes and patterns,” Poole says. “You will see that we deliberately layered stripes and checks with plaids to give visual interest to the space.” THE

DESIGNERS
Cassy Kicklighter Poole, Austin Horne, Kelli Douglass
Kaleidoscope Design
303.521.7297

Lower level recreation area

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“We wanted to create a family-oriented space that would make for a great place to spread out and entertain,” says D’Amore Bauerle. “The warm, earthy wall color with a crisp ivory sectional for contrast makes it feel fresh and current. The rug introduced accents of rust that we pulled out in the chairs and other accents.”

What makes the room special
“This is the largest space in this home and the only one that would allow for an entertainment space where many people can still be part of the same room,” says D’Amore Bauerle. “It was important to us to design multiple conversation areas within this room to maximize the function while organizing the wealth of space in a way that doesn’t feel cluttered.”

The takeaway
“Don’t be afraid to do warm or dark colors just because it’s a basement,” D’Amore Bauerle says. “It’s naturally a darker space, so why not finish the job and make it a whole different atmosphere from the rest of the house? We promise it will make you want to use your basement more!”

THE DESIGNERS
Gina D’Amore Bauerle and Marilyn D’Amore
D’Amore Interiors
303.422.8704

Guest bedroom and bath

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“Guest bedrooms nowadays are very small, and we ended up actually having to take out several pieces that we thought would fit,” says Osgard. “It’s like an outfit—you edit. Because it was so small, we wanted to create one very strong central focus at the headboard. So we put a piece of favorite artwork over the bed, and then we did matching nightstands. Originally, we were going to do one nightstand and a mirror, but we thought we really had to play that bilateral symmetry to create a focal point.”

What makes the room special
“It has warm-colored walls,” Osgard says. “We had 14 years of gray, and the grays are getting warmer, but we thought we’d push it a little bit because we’re seeing more and more of these warm tones: rich jewel tones, forest greens, ochre, and warm golds. So we used a background color to accent those colors and bring them into the room even more. It has this warm, homey, old-world feel but it’s all contemporary furniture.”

The takeaway
“Mixing contemporary and traditional pieces brings more color, more warmth, more texture, but it doesn’t just drop in,” Osgard says. “Sometimes it’s a process, so you have to blend and work with them. Also, we’d really like people to think before they make their choices in furniture and design, to create something balanced and not just bring visual joy, but also bring great value to the person’s home.”

THE DESIGNERS
Rob Osgard, Eliana Dzhikova
Howard Lorton Furniture & Design
303.831.1212

Laundry room

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“It’s a small space, but very functional in terms of the layout,” says Ekle. “I wanted to do something really bold and interesting so that the everyday chore of laundry would be exciting.”

What makes the room special
“I think the bold and saturated color of the emerald cabinetry and the striking yet organic black-and-white agate wallpaper makes the space special,” says Ekle.

The takeaway
“My hope is to inspire visitors to think of their small, utilitarian spaces as an opportunity to be bold and infuse their personality,” Ekle says.

THE DESIGNER
Corinne Ekle
c2Design
720.457.1600

Mudroom

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“With a smaller, utilitarian room, we knew we needed to make a big impact by focusing on the details,” says Yates. “We chose finishes that create a distinct feeling, a design that utilizes the space efficiently for storage, and accessories that add character—neutral and simple with black and metallics to create a unique yet classic feel.”

What makes the room special
“We all know what it feels like to return home after a long day and how incredible it is to kick off your shoes, knowing you can relax,” says Yates. “By making the layout functional and the design familiar, we wanted the homeowners to have that feeling of comfort and ease the second they enter through the garage. The mudroom isn’t just the first room they see, it’s a portal to what they know and love.”

The takeaway
“Don’t be afraid to experiment with tile textures,” Yates says. “Use wall space to your advantage to maximize utility. Keep in mind that it’s the details that matter. Add a few creative, fun, and tasteful accessories to make an impression, like 3D wall play over traditional hooks to hang your mudroom necessities.”

THE DESIGNERS
Wendy Yates, Jenna Redman
Abigail-Elise Design Studio
970.485.5228

Patio

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The vision
“We didn’t want to define the space by one single design element,” says Rokosz. “Outdoor spaces are meant to feel like an escape and that can mean adding those extra details that remind you of a favorite vacation or experience. On the back patio, we pulled in a mix of fabrics and furniture that could make you think you were abroad or remind you of travels. Out front, we wanted to keep it simple and clean—enough to invite you outside, but nothing to draw your eye away from nature or to distract you from the beauty of the inside. The point was to blend in with the architecture but still give you enough seating to extend your entertaining space to the outdoors.”

What makes the space special
“The Lloyd Flanders Low Country three-seater sofa is a great centerpiece that allowed for simple additions on the rest of the patio,” says Rokosz. “The rockers in light blue also gave us an opportunity to add color outside year-round, so when the pillows and cushions are away for the season, you still look outside and see a bit of vibrancy. We also wanted to give the homeowner a space that could host an intimate party or be easily rearranged for a larger gathering. We didn’t want to overwhelm the patio with large heavy pieces; instead we grounded the design with detail and texture.”

The takeaway
“Don’t be afraid to mix bold patterns or bring two opposite elements together,” Rokosz says. “Outside furniture can be fun and creative. Just because you don’t live in the tropics or have a New Orleans sun porch doesn’t mean you can’t pull bits and pieces from those places and drop them into your space. When people walk into a space, you don’t want them to label the style right away; you want them to catch small details that make them wonder how those details came to be in the space.”

THE DESIGNERS
Shawn Rokosz, Lindsay Kenison
Christy Sports

About the art

The artwork you see throughout the 2019 Designer Showhouse was supplied by Mirada Fine Art. Gallery owner Steve Sonnen shares his favorite elements of the finished project as well as some good advice for anyone interested in art.

What makes this year’s house distinctive?
There are a lot of unique touches that make this year’s home special. I love the wood accents on the fireplace in the living room as well as in the stairwell. It really brings a warmth to the home. The house also has huge windows. It’s bright and cheerful, which is wonderful for making the artwork pop.

What are some of your favorite moments?
I love that one of the first things you see when you walk through that gorgeous, huge front door is the vibrant mixed-media female face. It’s a painting by Cynthia Chartier titled Freedom/ Stars & Stripes. It’s almost like she is blowing a kiss hello to all who enter. In the living room, Caliber Construction created a warm and sophisticated look with strips of wood on the fireplace. We hadn’t seen the fireplace and the wood treatment, so we brought a painting that fit that spot and went well with the other artwork. But despite being stunning, it just didn’t work in that spot. That’s when we brought in Every Restless Night by Holly Van Hart. The burst of color made the wall come alive. Another magical piece of art is the encaustic work by Gabriela Firehammer in the living room. It’s an ethereal abstract landscape, and it inherently gives a sense of calm to the room with a depth that you just immerse yourself in. Margarita Bravo did an amazing job with the master bedroom. To contrast the warm, inviting linens and furniture, she went bold and beautiful with the artwork. The vibrant colors of the Stephanie Paige painting over the headboard are just stunning— and a view through the giant mirror transports the artwork everywhere. The first thing you are greeted with when you come down the stairs to the basement is a wonderful abstract buffalo painting by the artist Bruce Marion titled Tatonka: Powerful, and it definitely welcomes you to a completely different area of the house. You know you are heading into the “fun zone.” There are little touches all over the house that are really wonderful. In the mudroom, Abigail- Elise Interiors chose a wonderful piece by Marcela Panasiti, who works in adobe. Is it contemporary art or some ancient relic? Either way, it feels like a perfect fit. It’s also fun that the mudroom has a piece that is literally created out of mud.

What can visitors take away from seeing the home?
I think it’s great to mix it up. Although you may love abstract or representational art, the whole house doesn’t have to be one thing—in fact it’s typically much more interesting to have a variety. You also don’t have to have a certain style of home to hang a certain style of art. Put up what makes you happy. The art will adapt. And I know it’s cliché, but your artwork doesn’t have to match your couch. Go for what you love and not what has the perfect colors to match your rug. A lot of times it’s great to have your art be the thing that brings the color into your rooms. If you have calming neutrals throughout your home, let your artwork be the thing that exudes some color. Folks worry about picking the “wrong” art, but there absolutely isn’t any—as long as you love it.

MIRADA FINE ART
5490 Parmalee Gulch Rd, Indian Hills
303.697.9006

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield