Before and After, Interiors, Living Rooms

Before and After: An 80’s Home Gets a Rustic Refined Overhaul

Suburban Style ain’t exactly glamorous in the interior design world.  1980’s Suburban Style?  Even less so.  This home in Littleton, Colorado was a double whammy. It was built in 1981, and while it had been maintained, very few updates had been done when my clients found it.  Raiders of the Lost Ark could still be in the VCR.  The clients, new to Colorado, were looking for a home in a family friendly neighborhood large enough for their 3 kids and themselves.  The views of the mountains from the back of the home sold them immediately.  They hired me to help them transform the house into a rustic, craftsman-inspired family home that would encourage togetherness, highlight their stunning mountain views and reflect their personal style.

Before photo
Before: There’s that amazing view.
during construction living room
During construction: We updated all of the windows in the home and the husband demoed the upper part of the fireplace himself early on in the process.  Yes, the family lived here during most of the construction.
colorado interior design
After: There’s a new, natural stone fireplace, new windows and new hardwood flooring.   (Photo by Sara Yoder courtesy of Laura Medicus Interiors)  The area rug is from Ellen DeGeneres collection for Loloi Rugs.  Don’t tell anyone but that’s a faux fig tree which is probably why it looks so healthy.
rustic refined living room
After: The client wanted a natural stone fireplace surround – we decided to take it all the way up to the ceiling to add some drama and balance out the windows.  (Photo by Sara Yoder courtesy of Laura Medicus Interiors)

There’s a nice glimpse on the right of the custom designed cubbies that the wife wanted to make sure was incorporated into the house.  We didn’t have any other spot in the home to put something like this and at first I was hesitant about putting something so casual in nature in the living room, but they actually are used here and they’re quite handsome!

Before photo family room
Before: Looking towards the cubby and stair area.  There’s a lot going on in this photo.
cubbies with wire mesh
After: A great view of the custom cubbies and the new stair railing.  I took stuff out of the cubbies for the photo shoot and now I’m wondering if I should have left more things?   (Photo by Sara Yoder courtesy of Laura Medicus Interiors)

We used Banker Wire in copper and stainless steel for the mesh on the cubbies to help with air circulation and to help the kids see what was inside at a glance.  Oak Tree Classic Woodworks from Sterling, Colorado made the cubbies and did the stairs and all the trim work for us.  The wood here is knotty alder.  Kristy Oatman styled all the shots – that’s her area rug and the client’s beautiful botanical print – hung high so that kids and dogs don’t run into it.  Here’s a tip from Kristy – turn your area rug over to get a more vintage look.  She flipped this rug upside down and I thought she was crazy until I saw how pretty it was!

laundry room blue cabinets
The laundry room – this room changed quite a bit – wouldn’t you love a before photo? I would too…I need to get better about taking before photos.  (Photo by Sara Yoder courtesy of Laura Medicus Interiors)

The laundry room used to have a door leading out to the garage in it – we moved the door to help make a smoother transition for the family from the garage to the house.  We added the wood trim around the ceiling to hide plumbing from upstairs that we couldn’t move.  I love the navy blue cabinets here and I think they especially look great with the brass hardware from Emtek.  It’s a handsome little room!  And yes, I’m sure we’re all envious of the double machines in here…

I’m looking forward to showing you the Before and After kitchen photos in a few months – it turned out beautifully.   It’s a little different than my “usual” and I’m happy to have had the chance to work on it.

I’ve been really grateful recently to my clients for their different viewpoints and aesthetics.  I feel lucky that I’m able to broaden my design brain alongside others who are just as into their homes as I am.  Most days I “live” design all day long and I can’t believe my good fortune.

“Sometimes we can choose the paths we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all.”
Neil Gaiman, Season of Mists





3 thoughts on “Before and After: An 80’s Home Gets a Rustic Refined Overhaul”

  1. I really love the wood you put in this house! My husband and I are really struggling finding a home here. We’re from the eastern half of the country and love the Georgian/Federal/Colonial styles of the Northern Atlanta area — never going to find that here. The houses we’re finding, north of Denver anyway, are bland and sans any kind of architectural detailing (why is crown moulding so rare here?).
    So, like your clients, we’ve been looking for an older home we can upgrade/update. Thank you for sharing your work!!

    1. It’s a different aesthetic out here, isn’t it? Also, they use a lot of orange peel wall texture and I really hate that! Just remember that you can always add trim to the homes you see – it just takes work and money. Ha! Good luck in your house search! – Laura

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