When Havenly Chief Business officer Veronica Collins and her husband purchased a 1908 Denver home, their two young sons were impressed. While the children didn’t seem to notice the historical architecture, they immediately fell in love with the huge outdoor space. “Coming from New York City with no outdoor space, the kids were amazed the home came with ‘our own park’,” Veronica remembers. “The backyard was the really special X-factor. It transported us to our own little oasis.”
Since the interior was simple and plain, the couple enlisted local Havenly designer and colleague, Heather Goerzen, to take advantage of the blank canvas and really personalize the house. Veronica’s pre-Havenly career life included stints in both the art world and fashion, so it was imperative that Heather’s design show off her energetic, avante-garde style, including special opportunities to highlight her abundant art collection, while still making it a comfortable and liveable space for the whole family (including two young, “semi-destructive” boys).
They were also excited about the open floor plan, which would allow them to always be near their kids while still carving out dedicated areas meant for work, play and rest. “The goal was to design distinct spaces for distinct uses, but we wanted them all to talk to each other and play nice,” explains Heather.
A Balancing Act
While Veronica is naturally drawn to vibrant tones (her closet is filled with bold colors and fun patterns), she and Heather aligned on a foundational neutral palette while weaving in pops of playful color to create a cohesive flow throughout the home. Heather helped her curate furnishings with an eclectic modern style, mixing sophisticated pieces with family-friendly ones.
“It’s such a balancing act,” Veronica shares. “We spend so much time at home because we have young kids, but that makes it even more important for us to have an environment that feels grown-up – a home we truly enjoy unwinding in, often with whiskey or wine in hand.”
The white Jason Wu for a Interior Define couch in the living room is a chic, adult decision, but it’s juxtaposed with a Leanne Ford for Crate & Barrel rounded coffee table that’s as cool as it is safe for children running around. “My first priority was to create a space where they could play without getting hurt, after that I felt I could make all the choices I truly wanted in terms of colors, fabrics and styles,” Veronica reasons. “That might mean something gets broken, or I have to clean up a stain, but Ii kinda just accepted that fact and structured my home to embrace the beautiful mess.”
One delightful outcome of Heather’s styling was that the decor, sourced from things the couple had collected over time, told a story. “I can look around my living room and see the progression of my life and my marriage and my family through the objects that are there,” she describes. “Individual pieces take me back to specific moments and time periods and I love that. Sometimes it means things don’t look perfect, but they look like me and my family. I want people to feel like I’m welcoming them into our home and our life.”
Heather thoughtfully styled every room to showcase the most sentimental items, from Veronica’s grandmother’s iconic Goyard trunk to her grandfather’s photos that are hung in the dynamic black-white-and-orange kids room. An aquarium tops an antique dresser that’s been with her husband for decades, while her existing artwork is the hero in every room. She and her sons made small clay figurines (from miniature spiders to baby dinosaurs) that are hidden throughout the home, while her sister’s father-in-law crafted all the pottery throughout. “There’s something so amazing about fresh flowers in pieces made by someone I love,” Veronica muses.
Reading Room with an Artful Edge
Veronica and her husband installed shelving to create a floor-to-ceiling Reading Room in the office, where they can retreat and feel productive during the remote workday. The office serves double duty as a playroom with toys and children’s books stored on lower shelves. Heather helped them corral the clutter to create a cosmopolitan feel, complete with an artful primary color scheme, modern plaid shag rug, and of course, bins filled with the boys treasures (charmingly labeled “guts” and “bugs”).
Most importantly, though, the large collection of books is never organized by color. “I’m a big believer you should arrange by subject matter and author,” she laughs. (That’s a designer debate for the ages.)
Designing a Tranquil Retreat
The couple can also find peace and quiet in their bedroom, which Heather outfitted in soothing tones of white, cream, and wood, alongside soft blue accents – inspired by Veronica’s existing Western artwork. A Scandinavian minimalist IKEA bed frame is paired with a global-inspired rug and mid-century modern dresser, which together achieves the eclectic modern vibe Veronica was going for.
We still can’t get over the swoon-worthy bathroom, complete with an intriguing twist on traditional wainscotting in a rich French blue. The modern Room & Board wood vanity is juxtaposed with ornate brass hardware alongside vintage mirrors and artwork, while the Anthropologie cabinet was styled by Heather to house all of Veronica’s spa essentials, from towels to lotions. Like everything in their home, it’s a well-balanced masterpiece.
Three things you can’t live without?
#1 My family #2 salt & vinegar chips and #3 books and art.
Three things everyone with kids should have?
Legos, a dining table WITHOUT carpet underneath, and Folex instant spot remover!
Favorite activity when no one is looking?
Drinking my coffee illicitly on the “fancy” couch in the sunshine.
Weirdest thing we might find hidden in your sofa cushions?
Tiny dinosaurs. Or tiny toy bugs. We’re really into reptiles and insects.
Favorite piece of decor?
Googley eyes! We stick them on unexpected pieces and then see who notices first! Oh and handmade pottery.
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