Words by Betsy Marr | Interior Design : Steve Souza | Photos: Susie Brenner
When Steve Souza – founder and principal designer of Ouest Interiors – saw this enviable home in the Denver Country Club enclave, he was immediately inspired. Enlisted to complete an extensive renovation that spanned the entire footprint of the historic estate, Souza left no surface untouched in the pursuit. “Our goal was to reinstate the home’s original charm and timeless elegance while integrating modern-day conveniences,” Souza explains. To accomplish this, the designer focused on honoring the home’s architectural details and maintaining its character through traditional style décor and a nod to all things English – the perfect way to bring the 1920s Tudor back to life.
By adding rich layers, sumptuous textures and antique pieces to every room in the home, Souza created a collected look that felt natural to its aesthetic, while simultaneously modernizing the space for comfort and livability. “We designed the home to include comfortable places to sit and simply enjoy its beauty and charm,” the designer beams. “The living room is probably my favorite. I love that it is sunken which gives a sense of arrival upon entering.” The adjacent office not only adds formality to the room but also suggests its purpose for daily use, reflecting its practical yet welcoming nature.
Another guiding force in the renovation? Entertaining. “The ability to host dinner for four or holiday cocktails for 50 needed to be effortless,” Souza reveals. Indeed, in a home where grand gatherings were once de rigueur, he aimed to bring that splendor back with a design that was as inviting as it was impressive. And while the home is indeed up-to-date in its function, its form is as timelessly beautiful as it was nearly 100 years ago. “The elements that were original to the house and unaltered are stunning. The hearth in the living room, the leaded glass windows throughout and the staircase railings among them,” Souza points out.
Yet with any project of this scope, there were most certainly challenges along the way. According to Souza, reconfiguring the primary bedroom and kitchen layouts were the most significant. “There was no opportunity to expand the footprint of the house, so we had to work within the exterior walls we had,” he details. Case in point? The primary bedroom did not have its own bath but rather a Jack & Jill shared with guests. Moreover, the room itself was cavernous – 40 feet long with large windows and a fireplace at the far end. Souza worked within the home’s parameters to design a wonderfully private retreat reminiscent of a luxury hotel suite.
Souza also reimagined the kitchen, creating additional space for guests to sit and chat with the chef pre-dinner. “The original kitchen was long and narrow with a powder room so small one could barely squeeze in,” he details. “We removed all the walls to allow the powder room to be expanded and relocated closer to the office.”
The end result is a historic estate that is as beautiful as it was a century ago – one brimming with authentic charm.