Form and Function

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

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Published on July 6, 2018

A Family Home With Distinctive Style

A certain holy grail exists for an interior designer. A blank-slate home, hopefully beautifully renovated and up-to-date. A client willing to take risks and trust the designer. Even more so, a client who’s a friend.

For Havenly’s Head of Design Shelby Girard, that holy grail became reality when her colleague Jessie, bought a gorgeous new family home in Denver. With beautiful, modern finishes and some serious architectural pizzazz, Jessie’s new house was the perfect canvas for Shelby to bring her particular brand of sophisticated style to life.

Jessie’s house was a new build, and a perfect fit for a family with two children. Built with great attention to flow, the house suited Jessie’s needs, something she fell in love with right away: “I loved the kitchen and family room area, so I can see the kids and we can stay engaged. There’s even a place for them to do their homework,” she said in an interview about the property. But even beyond basic function, Jessie and Shelby felt the home combined the family’s taste for older, classic homes with a modern sensibility. Jessie found “the best of both worlds”—a marriage of the older architectural details she loves, with the convenience and polish of a new build.  The interior was neutral and bright, and Jessie enjoyed the elements that made the home feel “special” from the get-go, like French doors that let in tons of light, and gorgeous paneled walls in several rooms.

living room

Shelby approached the home with Jessie’s sophisticated taste in mind, a neutral, monochromatic take on the “washed out,” “Hamptons”-inspired style that Jessie had employed in her previous home. Both designer and client were fans of the textural, muted look, one that relied on the contrast of black and white rather than bright pops of color. A base of creamy white paint in almost every room was the perfect foundation for a design that ultimately pulled the large spaces together in a cohesive, lovely way, that still considers the functionality important to the life of a busy family.

The home is anchored by a spacious chef’s kitchen in subtle neutrals (cream, grey, blonde wood), that blend beautifully. Tied to the living room with dramatic beams and a shiplap ceiling treatment, the space feels cohesive across two distinct areas of functionality. In the living area, custom draperies from Loom Décor are sheer enough to let in plenty of Colorado sunshine. The striped chair, which Jessie declares as her favorite piece in the entire house (“It’s very, very comfortable”) pulls together the black sofa and white loveseat perfectly.

“I loved the kitchen and family room area, so I can see the kids and we can stay engaged.”

lilac scene

While a bright white loveseat may seem like a gamble for a family with two young children, Jessie was un-phased when Shelby suggested the piece. An admitted “lover of stain remover,” Jessie chose performance fabrics and makes sure her children know not to eat on the piece. Ultimately, she didn’t want to “compromise her style now,” when her kids would grow out of their messy phase in just a few years. Shelby balanced out the risk, though, with the dark ottoman and sofa, which are stain-hiding in the extreme.

Breaking off from the nucleus of the kitchen and living area, the dining room is a light filled space, with the best windows in the whole home. With built-ins opposite, the room has plenty of storage for serving pieces and barware, a feature that keeps the space feeling clean and uncluttered. Shelby paired a dark, heavy table that anchors the room with seating that feels beach-y and unfussy. The rattan chairs have an unusual striped motif that echoes the black and white color scheme running throughout the whole home.

Jessie’s home is truly built for entertaining. Adjoining the serene dining room is a formal sitting room that presents an elevated take on the home’s dominant color scheme. Shelby pulled the white shades of the dining room through but chose a lighter grey as an accent to complement the bright light from a southern exposure. While Jessie worried that incorporating her old furniture into the new home would be “a challenge,”  Shelby used Jessie’s old sofa and rug in this space beautifully. With new side chairs from Serena & Lily that echoed the grey of the rug, the room came together as if all the furniture was custom built for the space.

Tucked behind the sitting room lies the home’s final surprise. Lacquered walls in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy envelope a library that serves as cozy counterpoint to the airy main space. Without losing sight of the overall color scheme (the white chaise ties it all back to the main living area), Shelby used this secluded room to create a truly unique look. Shelby loves that she could create a room for a true “family space”, where the kids can lounge and do their homework. For Jessie, the room is a bold statement that still fits within her breezy style.

Jessie couldn’t be happier with the way her new home turned out. Shelby was able to bring together her uniquely sophisticated taste with the functional demands of her busy family– a husband who loves “comfortable, quality pieces” and children who wanted their own spaces. Altogether, the effect is a comfortable, welcoming home that doesn’t sacrifice an inch of its distinctive style. Design holy grail, indeed.

Words by Kate Connors