Kirsten’s Bluebird of Happiness House

updated Sep 11, 2019
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Name: Kirsten Coplans & Pearl
Location: Uptown, Denver, Colorado
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 11 years

Kirsten Coplans is not just a collector, nor is her house just a house. Artwork, family memorabilia and rescued taxidermy grace the walls, shelves and floors of her tiny dollhouse of a home, all displayed lovingly and with purpose.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Strongly connected to deer, birds and rabbits, Kirsten finds comfort in sharing her home with figurines and artwork of animals. She recently rescued a taxidermy deer from a yard sale and brought her home, hung her on the wall and adorned her with pink plastic garland. With her amazing talent for picking, she has outfitted the entire house. I’ve met my share of weekend warriors, but no one has a gift like Kirsten. She has an uncanny ability to blend colors, eras and textures in a way that wouldn’t otherwise seem possible. While her palette and sense of style may not be yours, it’s authentic and it’s hers and it’s lovely.

For more of Kirsten’s unique style, check out the tour of her shop, SEWN.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Vintage eclectic with an Asian influence.

Inspiration: I love vintage Japanese and Chinese things. I also get inspiration from natural elements. I like the idea of bringing the outdoors in. I once cataloged all the things in my home made from natural materials. Furniture, fixtures, clothing, everything. It was quite a list, but because I like to move things in and out of my house my list is ever changing and now is sadly out of date. Color, of course, is a big inspiration. Even neutral colors can have a lot of impact, like my white pottery collection. I am also inspired by multiples. Repeated elements have a lot of strength.

Favorite Element: The house is like a little dollhouse with high ceilings. It looks like the house shape a child would draw.

Biggest Challenge: Because it’s a small house, its’ a constant challenge to keep it from being overcrowded. I like each space to have a separate function, and looking out for messy overlap is always a concern. It’s also a tiny house sandwiched between a big building and a large house, so it tends to be a bit dark and has less than scenic views.

What Friends Say: “You keep it pretty organized for someone who has a lot of stuff!” They say it doesn’t seem cluttered and that they would like to live in a small dollhouse, but I think they are just trying to console me.

Biggest Embarrassment: It has a tiny, funky old bathroom. When I moved in, there wasn’t even a sink in the bathroom. For a time I had to brush my teeth in the kitchen! Also, most of the light fixtures are utilitarian and not fitting the style of the rooms.

Proudest DIY: The dining room had a door that opened to a closet that I converted to a space for a washer/dryer. For me, adding a laundry is the best improvement in the house after spending 11 years in a San Francisco laundrymat. For a long time a door leading to the back of the washer/dryer remained. Recently my Dad and I designed and built a recessed shelf in the original doorway. Not an easy task in a wavy old house, where each shelf had to be custom measured and cut to fit the space. Thanks to my Dad, who is an amazing engineer and craftsman, the shelf looks like it was part of the original dining room.

My second best DIY is the light fixture in the dining room. In the alley my sister found this solid brass chandelier which she knew I couldn’t resist. I spray painted it a color called Lagoon and added the gold metal butterflies. My Dad helped me install it, complete with dimmer switch.

Biggest Indulgence: My constant addition to my collections. I have narrowed the number of collections I am actively adding to, but I don’t hold back when it comes to getting a new piece for a current collection. I can never have enough Pyrex or Japanese lacquer boxes.

Best Advice: Don’t go for any particular style. Always include what you love, and your house will look great and make you extremely happy.

Dream Sources:
For plants, natural objects, and art: Ironwood: 14 South Broadway Denver, CO
For pillows: SEWN, 18 South Broadway Denver, CO
Also: Alameda Flea Market, Oakland CA, yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


  • Living Room: River Gorge Grey-Benjamin Moore

  • Bedroom: Peony-Benjamin Moore

  • Dining Room: Snow Cone Green-Benjamin Moore

  • Kitchen: Cotton Balls-Benjamin Moore

  • Lagoon- Rust-oleum Painters Touch


  • Christopher Dyer
  • Lynne Whipple
  • Jeff Richards
  • Ashley Bellamy
  • Joseph Coplans
  • Macy Mattrazzo
  • Mika Nash
  • Jimmy Sellers
  • Becky Wareing Steele
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Thanks, Kirsten!

(Images: Ashley Poskin)

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