The New Modern – Decorating Your New Home Using Reclaimed Items
By Holly Lange, Visitor Center Ambassador
There are many wonderful things about buying a brand new home in Stapleton. You can customize your home to your taste and choose the latest and greatest for not only things like the appliances, but also the fixtures, tile, flooring, counters – you name it! If you are a fan of a modern look, there are many options like glass tile and quartz counters, plus you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to worry about many maintenance issues common with older homes.
However, an older house has the character and craftsmanship that can really make it feel special. I love the Victorian hardware still present in a number of Denver homes, or details like a hand-carved newel post, stained glass windows, and wide plank floors. I sometimes find it hard to reconcile my two interests: the modern, clean lines of a mid-century look, and the beautiful details of the styles of the early 20th century. There is beauty to be found in the things that were crafted many decades ago, things that were saved and treasured, rather than discarded when the new “2.0 or better” version came along. There is beauty in patina, rust, wear and tear, and even a little chipped paint. So, short of pulling out the sandpaper and the chains, how do you add character to your shiny new home?
One way is to visit a place that specializes in recycled furniture and décor, or even architectural salvage. Here are a couple of my favorites, and they are all locally owned businesses:
Rare Finds is just west of Stapleton on Monaco Parkway and Stapleton Drive South. Every time I go there I find something new, and something that makes me smile. I recently saw a cabinet there that seemed like a cross between a 50’s diner and a 19th century barn (don’t ask me how they did that). Their distressed items seem to have a certain extra style that would make them fit equally well near an Eames lounger or a wingback chair. They have these wonderful leather counter stools with steam-punk style metal legs, reminiscent of something you’d find in a 1930’s dentist’s office, or a medieval torture chamber (which would be about the same thing, in my opinion).
Revampt and Lulu’s are also great places to find one-of-kind items, like a coffee table made from the hood of a Studebaker, or tables from salvaged barn wood. They even have smaller items like pillows, gifts, and purses, all made from recycled materials. Christy, the owner of Lulu’s, can help you create an entire space with some new, custom upholstered items and some of their wonderful “found” objects.
If you prefer more creative input on a new addition to your home, there are also architectural salvage places in the area that are worth checking out. Even Bud’s Warehouse and Goodwill in Quebec Square can be great sources to discover something inspiring for a project of your own. The prices at Bud’s and Goodwill enable you to experiment without much risk. Try painting bedside tables the same color, like a vibrant green or peacock blue. Even if they don’t match, the color will tie them together. An old dining chair can be a great accent in a guest room with some updated fabric and a fresh coat of paint. Vases, lamps, and picture frames can all be given a new look relatively quickly and inexpensively, too.
If you like the idea of recycling, and making the most of what’s here, but want the ease and comfort of living in a new and energy-efficient home, you have more ways to achieve both. Even our own Stapleton Visitors Center has a number of examples of recycled art and accents. Have fun exploring!
In addition to being one of our ambassadors at the Stapleton Visitors Center, Holly is a decorator and home stager), and has been a resident of Stapleton since 2004.