Kristy’s Tropical Tudor

published Feb 14, 2013
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Name: Kristy Socarras Bigelow, Mitchell, Giana & Leele (Brian, a.k.a. daddy, is missing from the photos on account of his refusal to have pictures taken)
Location: Bonnie Brae, Denver, Colorado
Size: 3,500 square feet, with finished basement
Years lived in: 1 year

The bulk of my visit with Kristy and her amazing family was spent in the entryway. Upon stepping inside, the Colorado sun seemed to collect in the fabulous yellow wallpaper and dance around the silver metallic ginkgo leaves. I halfway expected a tropical breeze when I finally set foot into the living room.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Kristy grew up in Miami and spent a large part of her childhood in the Bahamas. After living in Colorado for a few years and missing all the Cuban culture and delicious food she had grown up with, Kristy and her husband Brian decided to take action and open a place of their own. Ten years and three happy kids later, they own the best place in town to order Ropa Vieja, and have successfully managed to bring all the color and light of the Caribbean 5,280 miles above sea level, to one of the driest climates in the US.

As you walk through their house, each detail gets better than the last. If you are drawn to fresh sea-breezy colors, bold patterns, Lego tunnels and secret hideaways, well, prepare to be delighted.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A little modern, a little urban, a little farmhouse, a little Caribbean, a little kiddo’d out, a lot eclectic and mostly cozy.

Inspiration: I am a first generation Cuban American raised in Miami. I spent much of my childhood in the Bahamas, and these experiences are a constant in how I design my houses and my restaurants. When I am dining out, I find myself scoping out the design of the place before I even think about food and cocktails. My favorites are French bistros — there is something so great about the style of authentic French bistros.

Favorite Element: The original crown molding, the openness of the main floor, the Cuban tile we put up in the kitchen, the colors and bold wallpaper.

Biggest Challenge: Designing my husband & son’s BOY cave (in the basement, thank goodness) — my goal has yet to be achieved.

What Friends Say: “It’s like you’re taking us on a vacation to the Caribbean.”

Biggest Embarrassment: The front yard and the backyard. I have not yet begun to tackle the landscape and trying to incorporate a tropical feel on the outside — other than my front door, which I painted aqua.

Proudest DIY: My daughters’ little butterfly room. There is a tiny entrance from their bedroom into the guest closet, which was transformed into a girl’s mini paradise.

Biggest Indulgence: Light fixtures.

Best Advice: Never be afraid of a little color. Stay focused on comfort and items that catch your attention that will bring you happiness — it’s all in the details. When choosing who to work with on your home, choose someone that understands your vision. In our case, we were lucky to work with Jonas DiCaprio from Design Platform. He held my hand throughout the entire project and made it come to life.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Living Area: Peacock Blue/Benjamin Moore
    • Dressing Area: Silver Shimmer/Benjamin Moore
    • Master Bedroom: Black Beauty/Benjamin Moore
    • Guest Bedroom Wallpaper: Susie Mendive (best friend and best designer)


    • Silver skull: Z Gallerie
    • White book case: Land of Nod


    • Silver poufs: One Kings Lane & Z Gallerie
    • Aqua & pearl chandelier light fixture: Benson’s Lighting out of Miami (Corbett fixture)
    • Couch: Restoration Hardware
    • Table/cart: Ebay
    • Printed chair: Lulu’s
    • Cow hide: One kings lane
    • Chaise lounge: Design Within Reach


    • Dining table: Posh (extra table leaf painted and distressed & placed on the wall—a little bit of art!)
    • Chairs: Guiry’s
    • Aqua armoire: El Paso Imports


    • Tile / Cuban Tropical Tile
    • Lillet bottles: One of my daughters was named after the french aperitif, Lillet, so we collect the bottles and showcase them in the kitchen.
    • Light fixtures: Home Depot
    • Large light fixture in the nook: Guiry’s
    • Vintage glassware: grab it when you find it — they are special finds


    • Round brass pendent: Serena and Lilly
    • Bedspread: Dwellstudio
    • Curtains: Anthropologie
    • French bistro table: Lulu’s
    • Silver dresser: Z Gallerie
    • Mirrors: One Kings Lane
    • Photograph by James Hoard & glossy black frame by Jonathan Adler
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Bigelow Family!

(Images: Ashley Poskin)

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