It can be challenging enough to design a home for a client and make sure it’s something they really, really love. As the lead stylist at West Elm Boulder, this is something Meghan Inglis does every day at work (and she’s great at it!). But it’s a whole other thing to design your own place – especially when you and your fiancé have totally different styles.
“My space was really tricky because… John lives here,” she says, laughing. “Trying to work with more than one personality when we have really separate ideas of what we wanted our space to feel like was a challenge.” Her personal style is Scandinavian-inspired and super-neutral; his is colorful and traditional and involves a collection of fly-fishing art. John bought this Colorado home 12 years ago when he moved to Boulder for school, then moved to Breckenridge years later, where he met Meghan. He sought out her help when he was thinking about sprucing it up to rent it out. “When I first came down here, it was just a total college-boy mess,” she says. “Tapestries all over the place, a crappy carpet that had disgusting stains all over it… It just needed to be loved a little bit.”
Fast forward to two years ago when the couple decided to move in and renovate the apartment together: adding all new floors, putting in a whole new kitchen and replacing an ’80s carpeted staircase up to the loft with a show-stopping army-green one. They also eventually found a happy medium with both of their styles through a southwestern-meets-mid-century look, which blends the contemporary feel of the renovation with John’s more traditional leanings. “It’s been a labor of love,” Meghan says. “It definitely doesn’t happen all at once, but we’re finally at the point where we want it to be.”
Tour the full space below!
Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt
Meghan’s favorite part of the house has to be the olive green staircase (the closest Sherwin-Williams color match is Eclipse SW6166) with railings by Atomic Forge in Erie, Colorado. “I initially wanted to go black. I am super-neutral with everything and really love Scandinavian influences – strictly black and white would make me really happy,” Meghan says. But John thought that black might look a bit harsh and the dog hair will show up like crazy. “He’s the practical one,” she says. After spitballing a few options, they landed on this green color. “It’s great because it’s still neutral but it has a bit of color. It’s earthy and it does the whole bringing-the-outdoors-in thing that I like to do with design.”
The fully renovated kitchen is dotted with plants, which is Meghan go-to easy styling move. “If you feel like your room is missing something, try to put a few plants in it. It tends to do the trick for a lot of people.”
They landed on the Slope Counter Stools in a roundabout way. They were the couple’s first choice, but after the renovation they were trying to save some money by going for something super-simple. They spent six months looking for alternates, but nothing came close. “We sat on SO many stools. But at the end of the day, these were the ones we wanted to begin with and there’s nothing better. They’re my favorite piece from West Elm in here.”
Meghan’s original Scandinavian vision wasn’t really coming together, so they decided to pivot into a mid-century and Southwestern vibe. On the Southwestern side, they have the Hieroglyph Rug – “that patterning just really alludes to the Southwest for me,” she says – the cow skull and hats on the wall and touches of leather with the Slope Counter Stools in the kitchen. On the mid-century side, they have the Mid-Century Show Wood Chair and the Overarching Linen Shade Floor Lamp above the couch. “That wall is so angular and needed something to break it up, so the overarching lamp adds some roundness to it,” she says.
The plant shelf (an indoor-gardener’s dream!) is a recent addition to the space and makes the room feel 300 times bigger, she says. “When you have a tall ceiling like that, you don’t want to just throw a picture up there, because that feels like you just threw a picture up there,” she says. “You want to take advantage of how tall the ceilings are, but not make it feel too heavy.” She came up with her vision for the shelf while sitting at the top of the stairs with a cup of coffee and looking at the living room from a birds-eye view. “When I’m trying to come up with an idea, I just like to see everything from the top.”
Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt