Small Changes, Big Impact: A French Provincial Remodel in Wash Park

A Wash Park residence transitions from its dark and moody beginnings to a bright and airy home for a growing family. The owners and newlyweds enlisted KGA Designer and Project Manager Brent Paul to improve curb appeal and fix a few of the home’s layout quirks to match their lifestyle. The finished home is a lovely example of how a whole house remodel of less-intrusive — but intentional — design adjustments can significantly impact flow, feel, and comfort.

Project Details

  • LOCATION: Denver, CO
  • PROJECT TYPE: Whole House Remodel
  • BUILDER: Diamond Homes
  • INTERIOR DESIGN: Maura O’Malley Interiors
  • SIZE: 5,978 SF

Exterior Refresh

Paul’s first order of business was to give the Colonial-style façade a well-deserved update. Its dark and moody traditional exterior home design no longer matched the vision the owners had for a bright and cheery family home.

“From the beginning, our clients’ first and primary desire was to transform the character and street presence of the house to a more refined and upstanding stature, while keeping as much of the existing structure intact as possible,” says Paul. “Their precedent for the house favored the French Provincial style, so we took that very much to heart.”

A synthetic slate roof replaced the original barrel tile in a colorway to complement the updated palette. Akin to removing an oversized and ill-fitting hat, Paul reduced the eave overhangs to open up and invigorate the façade. The effect is significant — it instantly makes the home appear taller from the street and allows more natural light to stream into the second-floor rooms.

Instead of removing or painting the brick, Paul covered it with a slurry coat and added an accent of creamy white painted trim. Keeping it also created an interesting bonus: A bit of the brick’s texture is still faintly visible and adds dimension. Leaning into the French Provincial theme, Aegean blue-painted shutters offer a pop of welcoming contrast, as do the rich copper downspouts and collector heads along each side of the residence.

The replacement of the balcony was a change that came during construction as a reaction to the overall house transformation. The older painted wood structure was replaced with a refined curved plate steel design that better complements the exterior updates. The updated façade is more open, welcoming and full of curb appeal. And while the resulting look is vastly different from the original, it still fits in and blends well with the surrounding homes and streetscape.

Primary Suite Improvements

One of the many benefits of hiring an architect or design team is their ability to see how small changes can make a dramatic impact. The home’s primary suite was already spacious, however its entry was awkward to navigate. The door opened directly to the bedroom area and required walking through the sitting area to access the ensuite bathroom. The door’s new location opens directly into the bedroom’s sitting area, creating a sense of arrival and a more natural movement throughout the suite with the bed to the left and bathroom to the right.

Paul repurposed an adjacent secondary bedroom into an expanded and ultra-luxe walk-in closet for even more space to get ready for the day. The addition of a built-in vanity provides a comfortable and seated area to dress and undress and exudes a retreat-like feel. He designed the old bedroom’s remaining area into a second primary bathroom for the couple, creating an opportunity for his-and-hers baths.

Elevated Interiors

The brightened and lightened exterior sets the design foundation for the refreshed interior spaces. Maura O’Malley Interiors created a natural progression from the porch and into each room, replacing the home’s original dark blues, browns and blacks with a lighter and subdued neutral palette. Paul’s addition of a picture window in the breakfast nook welcomes the morning light to open up and move around the room.

Lighter neutrals and more natural light created opportunities for high-impact accents to highlight various features, like the green-painted walls in the dining room that make a bold statement. It also allowed O’Malley to add more dimension to the rooms through layers of various textures for a warm and inviting feel.

A Case for Restraint

There are many different types of remodeling projects, from down-to-the-studs construction to a collection of smaller updates. This particular project was in between the two, with Paul working closely with the homeowners to make fewer changes that still have a major impact, both visually and functionally. “This project was a testament that simple and minimally intrusive actions can result in a drastic change in appearance, even changing style completely,” says Paul.

For more information, see our full portfolio of remodeling projects or contact us below for a consultation.

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