Characteristics

One of Boulder’s oldest homes gets a vibrant new look that marries an energetic color palette and “pow” prints.


The minute Ashley Rheingold stepped foot in this late 1800s Victorian near Eben G. Fine Park in Boulder, she knew it was the perfect place to settle down with her three children. “It was the first house I looked at and I loved the small spaces and the light,” she recalls. “I just felt like it was the right one.”

She also had an idea of ​​the decor she would fill it with – colorful, feminine furniture and artwork that was the opposite of the masculine rooms in her old home in the mountains. Instinct told her she would need help marrying such liveliness with historic Victorian architecture, so she called Boulder designer Stephanie Waddell, a former classmate from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to get some help. aid. Here, the duo describe their collaboration and the magnificent results.

5280 Reception October / November 2021

5280 Home: What made you a good pair of decorators?
Ashley Rheingold: I wanted a lot of colors, a lot of patterns, and I knew I needed help getting it right, so as not to make the small space look smaller.
Stephanie Waddell: Ashley wanted a feminine, colorful and playful angle, and my whole philosophy is pattern and color and really makes a place feel alive. It was one of those great projects where my client trusted me completely.

Even when you’ve made some bold choices, like stunning wall coverings?
AR: You just have to do with it until all the pieces of the room are in place and then everything works together.
SW: I often start with a key element, like a tile or wallpaper, and build the palette around that. For example, in the kitchen, bold wallpaper led to colorful choices like the fish scale backsplash tile in aqua tones and the blue-gray walls.

The kitchen wallpaper has a classic look.
SW: At first glance, it looks traditional and very feminine with all the vines and flowers, but when you take a closer look, there is an avant-garde vibe. In the vines, there are faint outlines of skulls, and the background is black. Even in a bright, feminine space like this, I like to sprinkle black all over; it gives the house a little gravity.

What other color theories are at play here?
SW: I have a background in pattern design and fine art and have always been drawn to high contrast colors and room compositions. I look at a room like a painting: if you have a heavy point here, you’re going to want to put a little bit there to balance it out. In this living room, we have a rich purple and pink vintage rug on the floor, so we pulled those colors in the cloud paint on the sofa and in the artwork behind the wing chair, to create a balance.

What do you think of the pairing?
SW: I don’t want things to be matchy-matchy. Especially when everything in a house is new, if you let the decor be eclectic, the furniture will appear to have been collected over time, instead of being totally organized by a designer. There are so many pop and bold colors here that anything goes.

How did you find the balance between this carefree atmosphere and the dignity of an old house?
SW: Keeping all the original fittings, the woodwork that goes up around the stairs, and several brass fixtures, which are very traditional. In the breakfast nook, a farmhouse-style dining table is paired with curved rattan chairs, another nod to the vintage vibe.
AR: Stephanie does a good job finding pieces that aren’t so modern that they don’t seem out of place in the old house, but that aren’t antiques either. My kids didn’t want the look to be “old and scary”.

The den’s fiery red-orange couch is far from it.
SW: Ashley fell in love with a limited edition print of [Rolling Stones musician] Keith Richards stepping out of a plane which informed the vibe of this room, which is more fun and playful with this super daring sofa.

Any other favorite design details?
SW: I love the pink vine patterned wallpaper on the risers. It’s a fun touch that adds a bit of emphasis to a walkway space.
AR: It’s something I would never have thought of and it’s what I love: Although every room has its focal point, the whole house is linked by this attention to detail.

Ashley, when did you know this was your place?
AR: The night we moved in, I walked into the old clawfoot tub to take a bath; I felt a little weird because we weren’t quite settled. Then I looked at the drain and saw the label: “Grand Rapids, Michigan,” my hometown. And I thought, “Oh my God, this house was meant to be.”

Advantages of the design

Interior design : Stéphanie Waddell, Istoria Interior Design
Renovations : Seth Murphy, SL Murphy Construction