Old World Turned New 8

An old-world architecture home breathes reinvented warmth for a Littleton family.

reativity can be hindered by two situations: a completely blank canvas with no limitations or a strict set of instructions to follow. With the home on Michener Way, the Design 571 team was granted the perfect mix of a blank slate and useful guidelines. While there was plenty of space to stretch their creativity, the home’s existing design elements meant they had to work with what they were given.

Before Design 571 started, the home had several old world–style features the family wasn’t keen on keeping. But rather than changing the unwanted details, Shawna Jaramillo, owner and designer of Design 571, opted to find ways to reinvent the style.

“We had to ask ourselves, ‘How do you take this old-world style and do an updated look?’” says Jaramillo.

For example, rather than replacing stone tile flooring in the foyer, living room and dining room, Jaramillo let it determine the color palette: The warm, earthy tones of the tile naturally led to a neutral palette. Meanwhile, soft blue undertones in the artwork in the living room add just a touch of color to the otherwise neutral room.

Elements of old-world architecture—the columns and raised arches decorating each entryway, the intricate vaulted ceilings—didn’t quite match Jaramillo’s usual aesthetic.

“My preferred style is more modern with clean lines and bright colors. This is really kind of the opposite of my typical,” Jaramillo says. Jaramillo used the existing architecture to fuel her vision. “The architecture definitely dictated the direction we went.”

There were a lot of possible directions, she admits, but she set on a path to achieve a style that felt not only pretty and luxurious but also warm, inviting and welcoming.

Despite the limitations, the home was, in many ways, a blank slate. The previous owners took every single light fixture before moving out, giving Jaramillo an opportunity to play with one of her favorite design elements.

“I love lighting. I think it makes such a statement—like the jewelry in the room,” Jaramillo says. “Some people don’t want to spend the money on it, but a great light fixture really does finish off the room.”

She picked a different chandelier for nearly every room, each making its own statement and complementing the other fixtures without any dominating the others. For example, a damask wallpaper on the ceiling of the dining room draws the eye toward the statement-making capiz shell chandelier, but doesn’t overpower the room.

The simple color palette also presented a chance to experiment with patterns and textures. Throughout the home, you’ll find unexpected textural combinations: linen chairs around a wooden dining table, mercury candlesticks displayed in front of metallic grasscloth wallpaper, a leather ottoman atop a feathery area rug.

Ultimately, the design pulled inspiration from the neutral, relaxed style of California beach homes and the soft, elegant features of French country homes. The result: A modern, truly Coloradan home that’s soft yet elegant, welcoming yet luxurious.