Real estate listings, for better or for worse, are kind of like dating profiles: you never really know what you’re going to get until you see it in the flesh. This was certainly the case for UK-born graphic designer Lauren Memarian. After recently moving to the states, Lauren took a tour of her current home at her mother’s behest. The listing looked drab and uninspired, but one visit to the home was enough for a quick change of mind. “I took two steps into the living room and said ‘I’ll take it!'”
It was really the light that clinched Lauren’s decision. “Light was pouring in the huge original windows and gleaming off of the iron radiators and I fell in love,” she says. The rest of the home had good bones but was, to put it mildly, a piece of work. The former owner was a woman who lived in the home until age 93 and had left it unchanged for seemingly the same amount of time. The interior was painted a questionable mishmash of colors that Lauren refers to as “baby poop brown, blood red, and tobacco teeth taupe.” The outdated knob and tube wiring could have rendered the 1921 home a veritable tinder box with a single spark. And this is to say nothing of the “chamber of horrors” that was the basement—complete with an asbestos-covered, fireball-spewing furnace and bootlegger’s footprints from the home’s Prohibition days. In summation: the home needed an update.
And an update it received! Lauren wasted no time in making over the home in her favorite style, a look that she casually refers to as “Scandinavian-Eclectic-Jungle-Mid-Century.” A few gallons of stark white paint, some expertly chosen thrift store finds, and a seriously impressive array of houseplants have left the home utterly (and beautifully!) transformed. Take a closer look at this lovely Colorado home + learn more about Lauren’s renovation process below!
Lauren’s favorite thing about her home? “The light! When the sun shines in the late afternoon, it FLOODS the house with perfect Sofia Coppola golden-hour light. I love baking in my kitchen and watching my cat Mingus sit on my windowsill watching the birds flit around the feeder in the little garden. It’s such a bright, peaceful place—and 300 plus days of Colorado sun every year means I get to enjoy this light a lot. It’s a great layout, such a great flow, and, well, thanks Mum for insisting I come and look at it!”
“I blasted ultra white paint everywhere,” Lauren says. “I wanted the natural light to really fill the space, and it worked! I also refreshed and painted the kitchen (though thankfully many of the beautiful original cabinets remained), fixed up the fusty bathroom with a shiny gloss black paint job on the floor, and refinished the original tub, and—maybe most importantly—updated the old knob and tube electric wiring and other outdated guts. It’s an old house, and maintaining little bits here and there, fixing cracks, updating creaky bits…its all part of the fun of a home with charm and character. I could never live in a new build—they have no soul!”