This 1959 Denver ranch is remodeled and redesigned after decades of décor disinterest.
If you want to see how a home can be transformed from design-era disaster back to its former glory as a mid century marvel, this 1959 Denver ranch provides an amazing case study for you.
Meg Tracz and Matt Mendell moved into this 1959-built ranch in Denver, Colorado, so they could feed their passion for hiking through the region’s mountains. They loved the home’s architecture, but the interior displayed decades of outdated décor and floor plans. It was a daunting task that required a design professional at the helm, so they asked Ashley Christensen, lead designer at TVL Creative, to transport the home back to its former glory.
“Our clients purchased the home from the original owner/builder and brought us in to orchestrate their remodel before moving in,” Ashley says. “There hadn’t been any major additions or updates made to the home beyond a 1980s kitchen remodel. The original owner took care of the home but hadn’t done any aesthetic updates in the last 40 years. We all fell in love with the original bones of this house but couldn’t wait to strip away the fussy ’80s elements to let those mid century features shine.”
Reviving the Revival for the 1959 Denver Home
Before the interior design could begin, there was some major remodeling work that needed to be done. Dave Lowrey, contractor at Homeland Remodeling was up to the formidable task.
“This was an extensive full-home remodel, though we maintained the original footprint of the house,” he says. Major renovations included converting the single-car garage into a living room, expanding the kitchen and creating a primary suite by converting an existing bedroom into an en suite closet and bath.
“The homeowners wanted to create a more open flow on the main level and incorporate a primary suite into the home,” Ashley says. “They also needed dedicated office spaces and plenty of room for entertaining their extended family. They wanted to keep their home feeling light and playful while leaning into clean, modern lines.”
The kitchen was the first project the design team took on in the 1959 Denver ranch, and it illustrates how striking the change was from before to after the remodel and redesign. “The kitchen we started with had ’80s oak cabinetry, a ceiling fan, linoleum floors and stained-glass shutters,” Ashley says. “It was the first space we focused on since it was going to set the stage for design decisions throughout the rest of the home. We wanted the kitchen to flow better with the rest of the home, so we expanded the kitchen into the former dining room.”
Ashley spent a lot of time finessing the color palette of the kitchen before settling on the rich aqua backsplash and navy-blue island. “Those cool tones informed the accent colors we used throughout the home,” she says. “This is also where we made the decision to incorporate dark wood accents, such as the shelves and butcher-block counter, which we developed into a theme that reappears in each space.”
The main bathroom showcases Ashley’s creative approach to mid century styling. “This space was originally a bedroom, but we reimagined it to create a primary suite with a walk-in closet and five-piece bath,” she says. “This is the only space where we didn’t incorporate color—we wanted it to be a calmer sanctuary—but we still love an opportunity to have contrast so we installed a black hex tile on the floor to let the dimensional wall tile pop. The floating walnut vanity cabinets bring in the mid mod vibes and work beautifully with the natural tones on the wall tile. And who doesn’t love an opportunity for a touch of brass?”
Ashley observed that the success of the project hinged on finding the right balance for each room. “I live for the little moments in design: those perfect pairings that seem to exist together so naturally,” she says. “This home is such a fun balance of warm and cool tones that feel effortless—although I assure you there was a lot of effort—and I think that’s what makes it so inviting.”
Want to see more MCM in Denver? Read on for a 1955 Harvey Park home and another Denver post and beam home’s renovation. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more Atomic Ranch articles and ideas!