Caroline Ashley wasn’t expecting to come home to a majorly flooded house in 2019. However, Caroline notes that what began as an emergency situation led to an opportunity that turned out to be both beautiful and joyful.
“This remodel started with chaos,” says Caroline. “But it brought forth the most amazing regeneration of this home.”
Caroline called her longtime connection Harvey Hine, principal at Boulder’s HMH Architecture + Interiors, to help her address the issues in her home caused by the flood and give it a sweeping refresh. With the help of the HMH team, including designer Leah Civiok, the group set out to rediscover the home’s core beauty and transition it to a new iteration.
“When we work with clients who have had major home damage, we often see them wanting things to go back to how they were before,” says Harvey. “Caroline was very open to exploring how we could make her home even better than it had been with new and different colors, finishes and other rearrangements.”
“As we approached each decision with this remodel, we considered what the element had been before and how we could improve it for the next chapter of this house,” says Leah. “How could each element be re-energized and refreshed?”
The original incarnation of the home was completed in the 1990s. Situated on 150 acres of land in Gold Hill that is under a conservation easement, it is perched on a knoll with panoramic mountain views stretching from the Continental Divide to Boulder and beyond. The home was purposefully designed as a classic, yet splendid log cabin that respected its spectacular natural surroundings and represented a culmination of the past houses that the homeowners had loved and lived in around the world.
The home was also thoughtfully laid out to encourage and complement the homeowners’ everyday life experiences. All of the media, entertainment and gathering spaces are downstairs, while the second floor is dedicated to rest and relaxation. It was important to Caroline that these principles of simplicity and consciousness were honored and even further emphasized in the home’s refresh.
“This home is very straightforward in its layout,” says Harvey. “Its simplicity is a big part of its beauty. We were fine-tuning something that was already quite magnificent.”
The result of the home’s remodel is a series of harmonious juxtapositions between the modern, the historic and the natural. In the living room, the old, the new and nature beautifully synchronize with pieces from Caroline’s vast antique collection—including a desk and piano—complemented by striking modern metal sofas.
“Caroline has an incredible collection of antique pieces from Europe and artwork from all over the world,” says Leah. “Creating spaces to hold and serve as a backdrop for those pieces was a big part of the process.”
This array of antiques and artwork is showcased throughout the home and enhanced by striking colors and materials. A bold indigo hue bathes the kitchen, which houses a 450-year-old elm table. Meanwhile, a friendly yellow paint envelopes the loft space, an ideal area for yoga and play complete with a collection of antique children’s furniture. Multiple fireplaces throughout the home are made fresh and bright by plaster surrounds, which emanate modern elegance and a welcoming, personable feel. Natural elements are used and emphasized throughout, such as the standout existing Yellowstone logs brimming with natural character. Handcrafted woodwork serves as a further example of the exquisite care and quality poured into the home’s construction and refresh.
Grand yet approachable, stunning and comfortable, timeless yet filled with history, it’s a home that Caroline feels now even further encompasses her life experiences of the past, the day-to-day needs of the present and the promise of tomorrow.
“It’s so important to find joy in where you live no matter what happens in the chaos,” says Caroline. “Turn it into a miracle every chance you get!”