Before and After, Interiors, Kitchen

Country Living near Denver: Adding Rustic Charm to a Builder Grade Home

This week I thought I’d give you a glimpse of the design process with a fun before photo paired with a sketch idea of “after”.  I have a lively young family who just bought a home with some land very close to Denver – it’s Country Living 20 minutes away from the city which is pretty hard to beat!  The home is in good physical shape – it’s just very much not their style.   Take a look at the before photo:

before after renovation photos
BEFORE: A lot of drywall going on here!  My client is a professional photographer and this before photo is benefitting greatly from his skills.

The pro’s here are the large, eat-in kitchen, the light and the high ceilings.  Cons being the boring backsplash, Granite with a lot of peach in it that the clients don’t like, the high bar top (most of my clients are lowering these now for counter height seating), the odd stepped drywall and the orangey flooring that’s the same tone as the orangey cabinets.

This family loves country rustic style and wanted my help updating the kitchen with a few practical things – like a roll-out trash can for instance which was curiously lacking – but mostly it’s just cosmetic changes to give this slightly dated, a little bit dowdy house some country rustic charm.  For budget and practical reasons we are keeping the perfectly good kitchen cabinets.

Chauncey Kitchen Nook
AFTER SKETCH: I know it’s a little frenetic at first – just stare at it a bit and it will take form! The clients did not want a breakfast table in the nook area – they wanted comfortable chairs and room for their son to play.  I still felt like a pretty chandelier would help anchor the area and be an easy update.

One big change that I think will really add to the easy, eat-in style of the kitchen is taking out the 42″ high bar counter.  This is a young family that doesn’t need a small child clambering up to get on a bar stool every morning – counter height chairs and stools are great for this.  Yes, you see the sink more – but it is a kitchen and it’s not like you couldn’t see it before.  A new faucet and a farmhouse sink will dress it up a bit.

What country rustic home would be complete without a little shiplap?  Adding planking to the island will help give it a protective wrapping and adds some character.  I also wanted to add planking around the windows to subtly draw a little attention that direction and highlight a nice view.

Per the client’s request I added a little color to the sketch so we could understand it a little better as we make our finish selections.

rustic kitchen denver
I added quick color to the sketch to give it some life and help the clients and myself understand the balance of color and texture.  I thought the glass pendants were needed as a texture contrast to the wood and stone.  I could also see using natural wood on the island instead of painted shiplap.
James River Gray
James River Gray by Benjamin Moore is a possibility for the cabinet color
stacked stone denver
Ivory Split Honed Stack Stone from Arizona Tile as a backsplash option.
Buttermilk caesarstone
To keep it light, yet warm – something like Buttermilk from Caesarstone might work for the countertops.
white oak floor denver
It would be nice to replace the flooring with something wide planked and more rustic looking, but for budget and environmental kindness we might refinish.  This is a gorgeous wire brushed white oak floor

So there you go – the start of a project – it’s easy to play with ideas when it’s just a pen and paper.  Adding little bits of texture to your home with stone, wood and glass go a long way toward giving your home easy, rustic charm and don’t forget to update your lighting!






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