Maximalism might be the ultimate 2018 trend, but when Havenly COO and co-founder Jessie Dixon moved into her Denver, Colorado home, she wanted to make sure that the space paid homage to her own design style of natural, organic, and neutral. The home was just built last year, so it already had great architectural bones and earthy design elements like exposed wooden beams, limestone and lime-washed brick, light oak wood floors, and marble elements.
“We wanted to create a coastal, Hamptons-esque vibe for this home, and focused on a lot of the natural elements in coastal design,” explains Dixon. “We used a lot of neutral colors throughout the space to complement and accentuate the natural materials, but I also wanted this home to feel functional for my family—I have two young kids, ages six and eight—while making it feel elevated. I think we really accomplished the right balance between elegant and livable.”
Dixon partnered with Havenly’s head of design Shelby Girard to create a space that allowed for both comfort and great design under one roof. For her, that started with the casual family room, which effortlessly pairs dark and light colors, which differentiates the room from the rustic, farmhouse-style kitchen.
“We really wanted to create a space that felt comfortable for our family,” says Dixon of the main living area. “It’s right off the kitchen, so it’s a room where we can hang out together while we’re making dinner, but it also functions as a space where the kids can do their homework after school or lounge on the weekends.” The lack of a traditional coffee table was also purposeful, so that the kids would have more room to play.
In contrast, the more formal living room, where Dixon entertains guests, has a more refined aesthetic since it’s not regularly used by the family. “We took more risks with lighter furniture and delicate pieces,” explains Girard. While she started with the white sofas and chairs, the metallic stools near the entryway were added later to give a touch of modern glam to the space, but also serve a practical purpose: “They were designed to create both a landing pad as well as extra seating for guests to pull over as needed,” says Girard.
The lower level is left fairly neutral as a way to bring more attention to the large windows, and the furniture is kept relatively low to allow the wood beamed ceilings to take center stage. A big issue, however, was making sure the home got enough privacy, which is where the multitude of curtains come in. Girard decided to keep them all neutral with a contrasting dark trim, which allowed them to switch up the details—roman shades on smaller windows, for instance, while large drapes were used when space allowed.
“The curtains don’t distract from the gorgeous windows and natural light, but do provide a layer of warmth and elegance in each room that elevates the space,” says Girard. This is especially seen in the two-tone grey and white curtains in the formal living space, and the darker rugs in the entryway also play with that contrast.
The dining area leans more rustic with woven chairs and an untouched wood beam ceiling, but the statement lights and a built-in bookshelf add a touch of elegance. The custom shelving is a prime example of the form and function that Dixon wanted throughout the home—it’s storage, but also a place to display all her favorite mementos like cherished photos and colorful books. Some other additions include carafes, cheese boards, and serving bowls, as Dixon wanted the items on the shelf to be “both functional and beautiful.”
The plants amplify the nature-inspired feel and bring a cohesiveness to the room. The woven chairs play off the wood beams, for instance, while the gold rods in the curtains match those in the statement lighting. “We wanted to incorporate natural elements and complement the finishes,” says Girard.
The upper level plays with more drama—particularly the library, where the dark walls and furniture provide a whole other vibe than the space below. But lest you think it’s a different home, peek those trimmed curtains and wood beamed ceilings. Dixon wanted the space to be dedicated library for her kids, and so, Girard took advantage of the high-gloss navy paint and built-ins that came with the home to create this striking room.
“Because the library gets a lot of great natural light, we were able to play around with the furniture arrangement as well,” says Girard. “It has more of a masculine feel, but the lighter furniture pieces and carpeting balance it out.” More metal fixtures are also part of the glam look, and a mix and match of patterns in complementing tones make sure the space isn’t overwhelming.
While the kids’ bedroom looks decidedly different from Dixon’s, they do have one commonality: They both play with several patterns in a relatively small space. For instance, in Dixon’s bedroom a white backdrop serves as the perfect blank canvas for a plush, jewel-toned headboard and deep green-and-white geometric throw pillows.
“We went a bit bolder than the rest of the home, using an emerald green headboard as the main statement in the room—and Jessie loves plaid, so we also had fun with the curtains,” says Girard.
Similarly, the kids’ room plays with paisley prints and touches of navy and pink, pulling from the colors of the artwork in the room as focal points for design. Yet, these options are never too overwhelming, since most of the furniture was still kept neutral.
The one lesson that Dixon wants people to take from the overall theme of her classic, family-friendly home? “Neutrals can definitely make a powerful statement.” We’d have to agree.
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