See How a Denver Home Emphasized Its Mid-Century Details with Staging
Selling a family home can be bittersweet. You’re watching a house move on to its next chapter (and to a new family ready to make new memories) while also closing your own chapter. That was certainly the case for the seller of this retro home in Boulder, Colorado.
Realtor Jennifer Fly and the seller, who grew up in the house and whose family had owned it since it was built, wanted to navigate this dynamic by respecting the integrity of the space. They discussed the pros and cons of listing the home as is, or putting work into updating it before listing, ultimately making it more in line with what buyers today might expect. But the home’s vintage-inspired style had been impeccably maintained and, for the right person, this would be seen as a creative time capsule. “They ultimately decided to honor the original design and bring in my wonderful stagers at Ivy Lane to help,” says Fly.
The home had light and charm in spades and, as Kate Keyser of Ivy Lane Home Staging explains, “A lot of designers would have viewed this home as ‘dated’ in a negative way, but we really felt that the architecture and history of the home were a major contributor to the overall charm of the space.” That’s why Fly and the seller brought Keyser and her partner Lauren Dalrymple in exclusively for staging. Her assignment was to work completely within the constraints of the existing finishes, as well as using some of the homeowner’s existing furniture.
In situations like this, Ivy Lane’s goal is to acknowledge the home’s style (in this case, mid-century) and embrace its unique character without turning it into a time warp. For example, she didn’t want to use a decades-old color palette, and instead incorporated more neutral pieces.
“We knew that whoever bought this property would have to love the existing style but would likely want to modernize it,” Keyser says. That led them to make furnishing decisions that felt light and updated, while still fitting with the sleek lines of the architecture.
Keyser chose warm neutrals that fit with the existing wood finishes, exposed brick walls, and terrazzo floors, but kept them feeling airy and bright. “We really felt like the color, the brick, those incredible windows, and the modern lines embodied the heart and character of the home,” says Keyser.
She chose sleek accent chairs and a metal coffee table with slim, exposed legs, giving a minimalist foil to the cozy sofa. The artful styling of the coffee table books and the abstract work on the brick wall make it feel like your eclectic great-aunt’s home that hasn’t been touched in decades, but still looks incredibly cool.
Yet one of the trickiest details in the room was the wooden room divider between the living room and dining room. Keyser and her partner actually thought it was going to be removed — walking in on install day with the divider in place was a surprise. “We ultimately worked with the Realtor and were able to embrace it rather than try to hide it,” says Keyser. Its honey wood finish and silhouette emerging from both the top and bottom added a funky, warm element as the room flowed from the living area to the sunken dining room.
In the end, the listing actually didn’t sell, which brings a heartwarming end to the story. The seller realized this home and its private setting was meant to stay in their family, and they are turning it into their own dream family home.