Home Makeover: An Interior Designer’s Black & White Abode

Black, white, and gold modern glam living room
Morgan Levy for Havenly
  • 01 of 09

    Finding the Right House

    Living in a rapidly growing city, real estate is often top of mind. You can’t help but think about the potential appreciation the buildings around you, especially as you start to see neighborhoods gentrifying quickly. Like many other cities before it, Denver has experienced major growth and booming home values in recent years. In fact, according to the Denver Post, Denver has grown by nearly 83,000 people since 2010.

    With major growth comes major real estate competition. Turn-key, updated homes will fetch a high price point, leaving budget-conscious buyers to bid on homes in need of upgrades. 

    Shelby, the head of design for Havenly, and her husband, Chris, an architect, had a pretty good idea of what they were looking for in their future home (surprise, surprise!). They knew they wanted tall ceilings, an open floor plan on the first floor, big windows and a house with a Victorian or historic feel. And even though one would think it's hard to find a place that meets that criteria, they found their dream home the first day they went house shopping.

    Their find? A 19th century, two-story home with charming historic character and details still intact. Since Shelby and Chris loved the black and white brick exterior (with structural stars built into the facade), the house only needed renovations within the interior. It’s safe to say they found an Instagram-worthy abode—once all the renovations were done, of course. “It was a dump," says Shelby, "Other people would have been scared of the state it was in.” However, in classic Havenly fashion, she was able to spot a diamond in the rough and they were looking forward to the re-decorating challenge.

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  • 02 of 09

    Getting Started on Renovations

    We’ll start with saying, unless you hire someone else to manage the renovation process or you really, really like to get dirty, the renovations are not necessarily the fun part of a home makeover, but they sure do yield a beautiful, custom, comfortable home.

    Here, the kitchen was outdated and completely forgettable, with tiled countertops and builder-grade tile flooring.

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  • 03 of 09

    Their Renovation Timeline

    With their home, Shelby and Chris didn’t make things any easier for themselves, committing to completing their DIY home renovation in just a few months. Some prefer working with a contractor but if you’re eager to get things moving along quickly, it’s best to manage the project yourself.

    While some rooms were in decent shape, like this guest room here, the wall-to-wall carpeting and textured wall treatment had seen better days.

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  • 04 of 09

    The Reno Project List

    With this particular renovation, there was a lot of work to be done. The biggest projects included:

    • gut renovation of kitchen and bathroom, including all new appliances including kitchen and bathroom; and rerouting the plumbing
    • adding a few closets and moving around some walls
    • tearing up existing tile and carpeting and installing new flooring, including a custom tile job in the bathroom
    • skim coating of the walls with fresh paint (done by a professional)
    • new countertops and cabinets in the kitchen (installed by the vendor, in this case, quartzite from a local stone yard for countertops; IKEA cabinet frames and semi-handmade cabinet fronts)

    Most of these projects, although time intensive and a lot of work, were something that Chris and Shelby were ready to tackle themselves. Something worth noting since it was a big expense that was non-negotiable is the skim coating of the walls. When they moved, in the walls were thick texture on plaster. So, if you’re going to prioritize a vanity project in your home and you have the budget to do so, skim-coating the walls is a game changer.

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  • 05 of 09

    Determine an Interior Design Concept

    Glam black and white bedroom
    Morgan Levy for Havenly

    Shelby’s home is a true black and white modern gem. She has nailed the aesthetic that she calls “Parisian Modern”–a chic contrast of the minimal, the ornate and the edgy. And, we’re impressed with her dedication to her black and white color palette (which allows for gold accents, of course).

    The master bedroom feels light and airy, with a touch of glam (check out that sparkling chandelier). The bed is bedecked with neutral linens, grounded with a gold bedframe, and flanked by acrylic nightstands on both sides. 

    The floor-to-ceiling drapes draw the eye upward, emphasizing those tall ceilings that were on the couple's "must have" list. 

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  • 06 of 09

    It's All About the Details

    Black and white bathroom modern 3D illusion tile
    Morgan Levy for Havenly

    Designing the home, came easy for Shelby since she spends her days at Havenly sourcing furniture for clients–so, she really knows what’s out there. Some of the most exciting changes to her home include the installation of sixteen light fixtures (including three chandeliers!), white-washing the staircase, and designing a very chic two-toned powder room.

    In the bathroom, the 3D illusion tile floors make a powerful statement in an otherwise sleek, minimalist space. The ornate, gold-framed mirror (an Anthropologie find) plays up the Parisian vibe​ and coordinates beautifully with the metallic fixtures. 

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  • 07 of 09

    A Glam White and Gold Kitchen

    Monochromatic white kitchen gold accents marble backsplash
    Morgan Levy for Havenly

    A marble backsplash and countertop and gold hardware add a subtle touch of color and glamour in an otherwise monochromatic kitchen. White lacquer cabinets and white appliances feel modern and help to brighten the space. 

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  • 08 of 09

    A Formal Sitting Room

    Black white and gold modern glam living room
    Morgan Levy for Havenly

    Old and new combine in the living room. A striking oil portrait, painted by Shelby's grandfather, hangs above the custom Interior Define sofa, and other playful art pieces are peppered throughout the space. 

    A black, Sputnik-style chandelier, which hangs from a plaster medallion, dominates the room.

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  • 09 of 09

    An Airy Entryway

    Black and white entryway
    Morgan Levy for Havenly

    A gold globe pendant illuminates the entryway, and a plaid Dash + Albert runner decorates the white-washed flooring.

    “The daily grind of it all was the worst part of the process,” Shelby says. Part of that had to do with the quick turnaround. Luckily, Shelby does, in fact, work in the interiors business; otherwise taking on the design of the home and the sourcing of the furniture would have been a whole other beast.

    "Although it was exhausting (there were breakdowns, too!), now that the renovations are behind us, I’m so proud of the work we’ve done," says Shelby. "I can’t believe how far the home has come in a short period of time. After months of literally not having a proper place to sit it’s the best feeling ever to relax in a home we put so much love and care into."

    If you’re not a “Shelby,” we do recommend hiring a professional to help finalize your home. One option? Havenly, an online interior design business, that works with you to virtually set you up with a designer to design your space, and source all the products (from a variety of price points).