Before and After, Interiors, Kitchen

Gorgeous Area Rugs and A Handsome, Walnut and Brass Kitchen: Denver’s Shaver-Ramsey

Denver’s Shaver-Ramsey is the kind of place that makes you want to immediately ditch your cheap Wayfair rug (which I may or may not own) and splurge on the real deal.   If you were decorating your place and had a certain amount of money to spend – get a rug from Shaver-Ramsey and a comfortable sofa and your home will be elegant and stylish just by doing those two things.

I had the pleasure of working with the owners recently to design a kitchen for their new Denver location in Cherry Creek North.  They were at their previous location in Cherry Creek since 1976 so I imagine the change was both stressful and energizing.  The new retail space is gorgeous.  High ceilings, huge windows and hardwood floors.  Unfortunately for me, the kitchen is just off of this space in an area that, when I first saw it, could be described as submarine-esque.  The hallway was so tight, that my photos look like I’m running from something.  I wasn’t, I was just trying to get as far against the wall as possible to get the shot.

Before photo
Before: Lovely, no? There’s my ubiquitous L.L. Bean tote.

The ceilings are less than 7′ here.  The only natural light is what you see at the end of this hallway.  We removed the storage room on the right to make room for a kitchen.  What you don’t see in this photo, is a large HVAC duct that, unfortunately, could not be moved and runs right where we needed to put the kitchen.  The previous tenants of this space clearly didn’t care what this part of their space looked like.  My clients leave the door open from their beautiful retail space and customers can see right into this hall.  They also have a restroom at the end for clientele and they host and cater events frequently.

materials retail space
This is the material palette we arrived at – warm, handsome and classic.

We selected a heavy duty porcelain tile for the flooring – Pental’s Material Stones.  The kitchen area gets moderate use, but the floor flows into their shipping/receiving area and it will get heavy use.  We went with a natural stone for the bathroom wainscot and the kitchen backsplash.  The splash is Soci Tile’s Ethan Blend in the Normandy Pattern.  To keep the handsome, classic look rolling, we chose walnut cabinetry with brass hardware and a quartz remnant, Pental’s Borghini.   I think if we had put in a white kitchen in this little space thinking that it would brighten it up, it would have looked bland.  I love the way the warm wood and brass warm up this little space.

walnut kitchen cabinetry
AFTER: Low ceilings? Check. Obnoxious HVAC duct? Check. Handsome kitchen? You bet! (Photo by Sara Yoder for Laura Medicus Interiors. Styling by Kristy Oatman)

We added brass, library sconces to keep the look traditional and add an intimate feel.  The ceiling height was not changeable and I think at some point in the process of a renovation, you need to accept what your space is not.  That’s also why I chose not to enclose the ductwork in a wood or drywall soffit.  I get tired of seeing things like that boxed up; it always makes me wonder what someone is trying to hide.  If you’ve got the awkward ductwork, accept the awkward ductwork – especially in an office/retail kitchenette.

Here’s the part that’s fun about doing a photo shoot at Shaver-Ramsey.  They bring you gorgeous rug after gorgeous rug to try out in the space.  The above rug is an antique late 19th Century Serab rug from Iran.  See below for another shot of it.  In person, this rug is a complete stunner.

antique serab rug
Gorgeous, very long, antique Iranian Serab rug from Shaver-Ramsey.  I probably shouldn’t even be standing on it.
turkish runner
This is a new rug made in Turkey with hand-spun wool and natural plant dyes. We loved it in the showroom but it didn’t look quite right when we had it laid in the kitchen.  You can see a gorgeous gray rug peeking out underneath this one.
all silk rug
Wow! This is an all silk rug handwoven in India. It looks beautiful next to the walnut cabinets.
gray silk runner
It’s a gorgeous rug, but it didn’t necessarily do anything for this space. If you decide to purchase a quality rug, have multiple rugs brought to your home and laid out so you can see them in your space. You will know when it’s the right one. That’s Sara, on the left, working the camera.
silk rug made of saris
This is a rug made from unraveled silk saris from India with an ikat pattern. The colors are really rich.
Here’s our “final” rug choice.  It warms up the space and adds some interesting color to the mix.   I could have stood there and had them bring me rugs all day though.  (Photo by Sara Yoder for Laura Medicus Interiors. Styling by Kristy Oatman)
Another view of the kitchen and rug. The walnut table here is designed so that it can be moved into the retail space for parties or used as an extension of the countertop.  (Photo by Sara Yoder for Laura Medicus Interiors. Styling by Kristy Oatman)

If you’re in town, stop in and check out Shaver-Ramsey’s new space at 589 Fillmore Street in Denver.  The main space is gorgeous and is filled with rugs, pillows, throws and other lovely things from around the world.

“I always begin a room with the rug; it is literally the foundation of the space. I then go on to the furniture.”  Lee Radziwill






















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