Visit a Platt Park home that borrows from Japanese and Scandinavian design traditions
The wish list reads like amenities in an exotic resort: Japanese onsen spa with ofuro tub, lanai, gourmet kitchen, rooftop lounge, bamboo garden and pool, leisure spaces, and sleek modern architecture – with an interior flow / homogeneous exterior – which borrows from Japanese and Scandinavian design traditions.
But Brett and Julie Mosley, the authors of this list, didn’t have expansive resort-style grounds at their disposal. They had a 37.5-foot-wide empty lot in Denver’s South Pearl Street neighborhood that was just the right size for the 1,300-square-foot bungalow that had previously occupied the site for more than a century.
5280 Welcome June/July 2022
Luckily, the couple also had a creative architect who could play genius. “They gave me the flexibility to make the items they wanted,” says Katrina Eckelhoff, director of StudioHoff Architecture“and it allowed me to be more creative as I worked to get a cohesive design.”
When faced with tight urban terrain like this, “most clients want to push the house as far back as possible, so the backyard is bigger,” says Eckelhoff. “But I thought to myself, what if we pushed the house as far as possible to the north side of the lot, created a courtyard-patio on the south side and wrapped the house around it? That gave us more indoor/outdoor connection. exterior, more [windows]and really made the outdoor spaces [including an in-ground container pool] an extension of the house.
Eckelhoff’s unique design fits 4,174 square feet over four levels, including a partial upper floor at the front of the house, which allowed for vaulted ceilings and skylights in the bathroom inspired by the couple’s veranda (which includes the ofuro tub from Julie’s dreams) aft. This move also allowed Eckelhoff to provide the front façade with a gable roof, which beckons
to the character of the original houses in the area.
But the materials the Mosleys chose to clad their new home — thin, dark bricks and light, vertical-grained cedar — were inspired by architecture the couple encountered while traveling around the world. “Julie and I love the Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetic; the simplicity of design and the use of natural materials,” says Brett, who has developed and built many homes in Denver through his company, HIWA Development.
With the help of designer Angie Graham of Compliment design interiors, the couple brought some of the clean finishes into the home, where black brick covers the fireplace wall and warm white oak defines the millwork and floors. “Angie also recommended that we use the same collection of plumbing fixtures throughout the house, lighting from the same brands, and subway and penny tiles in just a few colors and finishes, so it all ties together,” says Julie.
But if simplicity was a goal, austerity was not. “We also love the color and the fun,” adds Julie, “and we really went for the flowers.” In the powder room, a wall covering with a tangle of tropical flowers complements the glossy black wall tiles. In the bedroom of her daughter Isla, a mural depicts a meadow of spring flowers. And in the basement playroom, interior designer Kate Carroll from HUT Collective created a bespoke tree house and climbing wall, on which she painted giant tropical leaves.
Carroll has also helped homeowners choose modern furniture made from natural materials that offers plenty of visual interest. “Our living room sofa color is called Terracotta, and there are pops of this hue throughout the house, from the woven leather headboard in our bedroom to the counter stools in the kitchen,” says Julie. “It’s not a direct match, but subtle connections.”
Vibrant textiles and local art add more color to the mix. Family favorites include a custom painting by street artists Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molinaa sandstone wall hanging Adrian Leighand illustrated photographic portraits of Isla and her little brother Calvin by the photographer Sarah Ford.
“I love that we commissioned local art; I’m proud of that and the local female design professionals represented here,” says Julie. “There was so much intentionality behind every choice we made,” adds Brett. “The wish list was long, but we wanted every detail because it spoke to us.”
Architecture – StudioHoff Architecture
Interior design – Compliment design interiors (fixed finishes), HUT collective (furniture) + Platte Designs (kitchen design)
Construction – HIWA Development