Easy and breezy living in an art collector’s country club castle


How do you realize the design dreams of an art lover? With classic and comfortable interiors and plenty of well-lit wall space.

When Dara Deshe first encountered the Denver Country Club home that would become her home, she found it “very castle-like, in an almost exaggerated way,” she says. The stone structure was beautiful and majestic on the outside, but inside the rooms were enveloped in dark colors, heavy fabrics, and Gothic details. Despite this, Deshe, the founder and CEO of Simply Framed, an online personalized framing company, loved historic architecture and the grand property. “Plus having a ton of wall space was fun because I could collect and collect [art] and still have walls to fill, ”she says. With a little help, Deshe knew she could transform the house into something bright and sophisticated, with room for her growing family and works of art.

On a mission to find help, Deshe and her mother picked up the book from Los Angeles-based design firm Atelier AM – full of photos of a house similar to the one Deshe envisioned – and headed to Denver Design. District to ask which local interior designer could deliver. such a look. “At Kneedler Fauchère, someone said to me, ‘Call Kirsten Brundage’, so I did,” Deshe says. “We met that day and we hit it off.”

5280 Reception June / July 2021

Brundage immediately saw the potential of the house and understood the direction of his client. “Dara wanted something tailored but comfortable,” she says. “I would call it ‘the East Coast meets Santa Barbara’. “

Deshe had already begun to sift through evidence of an early 2000s renovation: she removed the window mullions to let in more light, and moved up carpeting in the living room, which revealed pink marble tiles from 12 inches by 12 inches. She covered this dated barn wood flooring from Reclaimed DesignWorks that matched the original floors throughout the rest of the main level.

Then Brundage stepped in and chose furniture that “gets better over time,” she says, and high-quality textured fabrics, including heather silks and linens in muted tones. In the Great Room, for example, where the surround of the old stone fireplace has been transformed into an elegant, ceiling-high monolith, Brundage opted for a clean-lined Cisco Home sofa in Mokum fabric and a pair of dining chairs. Michael S. Smith wood frame covered with durable perennial fabric. Likewise, a vintage console in Deshe’s office is a basic counterpoint to her gallery wall and elegant Room & Board desk. “We chose pieces to rejuvenate the house and balance the weight of the architecture,” explains Brundage.

Against the backdrop of this easy elegance, Deshe’s art collection is particularly compelling. She has always been drawn to art, she says, and the idea for Simply Framed came because she found framing artwork frustrating. “I’ve tried everything: high-end custom picture framing stores, Ikea, having custom rugs cut for Ikea picture frames,” she says. Her work at several web-based businesses, including 20 × 200.com and Facebook, combined with this desire to collect and hang works of art that she loves, led to a brainstorm that spanned several years: “I was looking for companies that offer complex shopping experiences — like buying glasses or a bra and making them really simple,” she says. “I thought there was an opportunity in bespoke coaching. I wanted Simply Framed to be like your tastefully best friend who knows how to help frame your art. In 2013, this metaphorical best friend was born.

It’s no surprise, given her profession, that Deshe’s house is full of beautiful works of art. Some pieces are original – she has works by Ethan Cook and William Powhida – and others are less conventional: she framed a tea towel by Alex Katz and a “doodle drawing” of her then 2-year-old son. . “We had a piece of paper lying on a Fisher-Price game table and every day he drew on it,” she says. “Friends would come and doodle on it. In the end, I liked it so much that I wanted it to hang in our house.

Deshe moves her works around her house when she feels inspired or when she gets new pieces. Her renovated spaces make it easy to turn things around, but, she says, she doesn’t care too much about coordinating her art. “You can think of art as decoration, but I think it’s a lot more fun and meaningful to think of it as a collection that has grown over time. It’s not just for your current place. It’s something you want to live with, regardless of the space.

Advantages of the design

Interior design : Kirsten Brundage, Inside
Construction: Ryan Morrissey, RPM builders
Landscaping: Christine and Scott Davis, Eccentric Pierre

Norma D. Ross