Wendy’s Calming, Coastal Retreat

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on February 23, 2021

Coastal decor can transport you to the ocean, even if you live somewhere totally landlocked. Case in point? Wendy Kramish’s Denver residence, which underwent a coastal-inspired overhaul in the expert hands of Havenly designer Kelsey Fischer. With its serene palette and textured touches (think caning and rattan), Wendy’s living and family rooms would feel right at home in a West Coast beach house. The best part is, the rooms are as functional as they are beautiful, with an emphasis on seamless layouts and performance fabrics perfect for Wendy’s young children. “We shared our ideas and inspiration, and Kelsey translated it into meaningful designs that worked perfectly for our family,” Wendy says. See how it all came together.

Good Bones, Blah Design

Since Wendy had renovated her home two years prior, the living room and family room were a blank canvas filled with old furniture that “didn’t properly fit the space,” Wendy says. “We needed help designing and wanted to ensure our new furniture was correctly sized — I‘ve made too many mistakes before.” Wendy also wanted to make sure there was continuity and flow between the living and family areas, which serve two distinct purposes. The family room is where Wendy spends the bulk of her time with her young children, while the living room is a more formal space. “It’s more for looks, but I do envision curling up and reading a book with a glass of wine some day,” Wendy says with a laugh.

Coastal Cravings

When Wendy took the Havenly interior design style quiz, she found she was consistently drawn to a coastal, casual vibe with lots of blues and whites. To her, this relaxed aesthetic embodied the atmosphere she wanted to create at home for her family to enjoy time together in a comfortable and inviting space. And while white might be a scary color for a family with young children, Kelsey came through — every last furniture piece is crafted from performance fabrics. “They’re perfect for our kiddos,” Wendy says.

All About Layout

In addition to smart, kid-friendly fabrics, Kelsey also helped Wendy create a seamless layout to the family room. The big coffee table (a favorite spot for Wendy’s family to play games) anchors the room while still allowing for enough clearance, while two couches let this busy family of four sprawl out, lie down and watch a movie together.

Building Confidence

Without Kelsey’s vision and expertise, Wendy admits she would’ve had trouble pulling the trigger on furniture items — they’re investment pieces, after all, and Wendy had made mistakes in the past when it came to sizing. But with Kelsey’s help, she knew she was in good hands. Many of Wendy’s favorite pieces in the final design came from Serena & Lily, like the Sunbrella armchairs in the living room and the rattan armchairs in the family room. “I already knew how much I loved Serena & Lily from their catalogs, but I had never purchased,” Wendy says. Fortunately, Kelsey gave her the confidence boost she needed to ensure all items were the perfect size and look for her space. The final look is one she’ll love for years to come, she says, sparking feelings of calm, peacefulness and relaxation — even with the busy reality of looking after two rambunctious children.

Want a coastal-cool retreat like Wendy’s? Get started with our design quiz.

Words by Sara Watson