• Whitney Clarkson

The Interior Design Process

I did not follow a "process" or set of rules when designing the interiors for The Silver Rose of Leadville. I did my own thing and went with what felt right. As far back as I can remember, I have always been intrigued with older Victorian, Queen Anne, and Empire styles. The interiors are so decorative and elaborate. I wanted to match the look from that era but not religiously. Sometimes late 1800s styles can feel a little stiff, and I wanted folks to walk into the house and feel comfortable. I added different elements to make the design unique and warm yet elevated and luxurious so guests can feel pampered.



When my husband, John, started drawing the house's architectural design, I created design boards on Pinterest and Houzz. I do not know how I could have lived without these two fabulous tools. As we worked in tandem, I was also scouring Craig's List, online swap and sells, and flea markets. One of the first buys was a loveseat from the late 1800s from a family in Denver whose ancestors were the original owners. The loveseat was not big enough as an actual couch, and so where were we going to put it? John re-drew the living room to create the ideal spot for it sandwiched perfectly between two built-in bookshelves.



The first items I started buying were light fixtures. When I saw the hand-blown glass chandelier on One King's Lane, it was game over. I had to have it. It was probably one of the most expensive buys, but in my opinion, it was worth it since it truly is a focal point of the house. One day, as I was listening to The Black Keys, "Gold On The Ceiling," I had an epiphany, I had to paint the dining room ceiling gold. It does help highlight the chandelier, don't you think?



The antler chandelier in the pool room was a dumpster find. Yes, it was in a dumpster. We salvaged it and painted it silver since that is what you do when your house's name is The Silver Rose. It looks fabulous, and it's so happy now and appreciates its new life.



John was three years old when his parents planted a Blue Spruce in his family home's backyard. Fifty years later, John's dad wanted to build a garage where the tree stood, and down it came. All the wood was salvaged, planed, and dried in our garage for over a year. John's idea was to build a large dining room table where everyone could have lots of room. Ever go to dinner, and you have barely enough room to set your drink down in front of you? Not with this table. There was lots of wood left over to build the master bathroom vanity, an end table in the game room, an end table for John's office at home, a table for his father's office, and there is still tons of wood leftover. It was a big tree!



How did we come up with adding in two reading nooks? Our kids, our son especially, loved to do his homework on the tiny stair landing at our house. He felt snuggly and protected there, and it helped him get his homework done. Of course, we had a heck of a time trying to climb over him to get up or down the stairs. When John was drawing the house, he thought how easy it would be to add in space for reading nooks at the stair landings. One for each kid. They both got to decorate the nooks how they desired. Our daughter wanted a star and moon theme while our son wanted to match an old mine look on the inside.




There are so many more stories, but the one thing folks ask the most about is the wallpaper. I think I spent approximately 438 hours online and in stores looking at wallpaper. Wallpaper does elevate the design of a home to new heights. The wallpaper in the master bedroom was hand-printed on-demand and matched a vintage pattern used at the turn of the century; the guest room wallpaper is modeled after botanical drawings from the London Royal Botanical Gardens. The favorite among people is the wallpaper in the living room. I had found a beautiful damask with gold in it and had my heart set on it. When it came time to order, it was discontinued. I searched and searched for a replacement, and my heart was broken as I couldn't find anything suitable. John went on Amazon, yes Amazon, and found the beautiful find you see today. I don't know why it hadn't crossed my mind to search Amazon since you can find anything there.



Come stay at The Silver Rose of Leadville, we would love to have you. You can book directly at https://www.silverroseleadville.com/book-now

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