Upscaling in Uptown

This full condo remodel included the kitchen, guest bathroom, principal bathroom and closet. We also elevated the space with new flooring and window treatments throughout the home.
The condo is located in the Uptown neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. Spark Interiors completed the project in the fall of 2021.
Emily and Rob came to us tired of their outdated, late 90’s style condo and finishes. They also felt the layout of their kitchen and master bathroom could be more functional. And, they were ready to make some big changes!

In their new design, they were looking for bold taste, rich color, and drama. If you know us, you know this type of work makes you a dream client! Our first meeting was pre-pandemic. During the initial shut down their jobs and free time experienced some shifting, but we were able to move through the design phase virtually.

When it came time for construction, the couple decided to travel for a few months. This allowed us to move into the construction phase while keeping contractors safe and adhering to CDC guidelines.

The kitchen, principal suite, guest bathroom, floors and windows all presented their own unique challenges.

The kitchen was our biggest design opportunity. Rob and Emily wanted a space where they could entertain large parties of people. The original floor plan wasn’t ideal for gathering. Plus, the outdated finishes left a lot to be desired, let alone talked about at a dinner party.

In the principal suite, Rob and Emily dreamed of a large walk-in, pass through closet with a vanity area that was equal parts eye catching and useful. They planned to use it as an extra storage space within the condo. They also wanted to replace their shower and tub combo with a larger shower and add dual controls.

In the guest bathroom, Emily and Rob hoped for a brighter, more open feel with a fun twist to showcase their taste. This bathroom was the main bathroom for any visitors they would be entertaining. We knew we needed to make the right impression.

When it came to flooring, Emily knew she wanted a chevron wood-look floor. And who could blame her? Their condo flooring before the remodel was laminate in the living room and dining room area, with tile in the kitchen. We assured her she wouldn’t have to deal with mixed flooring much longer! We planned out a wood-look LVT (luxury vinyl tile) that would be durable, easy to clean, and would retain it’s beauty and charm for years to come. Our LVT selection meets sustainability criteria, rated by floor score for indoor air quality, and it has a natural cork backing.

Lastly, Rob and Emily wanted the new design to shine with functional window treatments. We planned for bold finishes to complete their condo’s newly remodeled look.

Our Dream Design Requirements

  • Rework the kitchen layout while updating the finishes and appliances.
  • Create a large walk-in pass through closet with a storage vanity area.
  • Find room for a dual system shower in the principal bathroom.
  • Create an open, brighter guest bathroom, with a twist.
    Update the flooring throughout the condo.
  • Instal window treatments to match their stylish remodel.

While we wanted to create a more open, party approved kitchen, we couldn’t affect the structural concrete pillars that lurked behind the 90’s design. We also needed to ensure that with the addition of a luxury gas range we could ventilate to the exterior from the range hood. We couldn’t make changes to the plumbing or sprinkler heads. We kept all these restrictions in mind as we embarked on to the space planning phase.

The principal suite had two closets. One was a small framed out closet. The other was a larger open closet with a walk-through that led to the bathroom. In the bathroom, the vanities were mounted snuggly together on the same wall. In whole, the bathroom didn’t have enough storage for their needs. It was dark and uninviting, the complete opposite of Emily and Rob!

The guest bathroom had a shower that was a 32” x 32” hole in the wall, we’ll call it “the cave.” It’s size meant it was basically useless if Rob wanted to use it. There was also a smaller pillar we needed to figure out how to conceal to make this space feel more open.

Our functional and operational challenges were significant as well. Remodeling a condo is a different project than a single family home. Project access, construction noise, and concrete structural limitations all play a role.

Then there were the pandemic challenges. Much of this project was completed during the winter of 2020. Vaccines were not available. Scheduling deliveries and trades was tricky, because our first priority was keeping everyone on site safe. To practice social distancing measures, no trades could overlap during this remodel. Also, lead times became much longer than they ever had been. While we can anticipate products taking ages to get to us now, vendors, clients and designers didn’t have the hindsight at this time. For example, lead times were 8-12 weeks for crown molding during this job, which is 4x longer than usual.

Jobs like these have now given us that invaluable experience and hindsight for today’s clients. The lessons and take-aways during Emily and Rob’s remodel were significant. We were so grateful for their ability to roll with the punches despite the frustration.

The Uptown Condo Remodel Challenges

  • Creating an open kitchen while not disrupting structurally necessary pillars.
  • We were unable to move the sprinkler and plumbing systems in the kitchen.
  • Luxury gas oven which needs to vent to the exterior from the range hood.
  • Two closets with very different layouts in the primary suite.
  • A bathroom with an awkward design, and not enough storage.
  • A “cave” like shower in the guest bathroom.
  • A small pillar in the guest bathroom that needed to be concealed.
  • General condo remodeling hurdles like structural limitations, construction noise and project access.
  • Longer than average lead times due to the pandemic.
  • Tricky scheduling to ensure no trades interacted with one another during the pandemic.

A Kitchen Worthy of a Gatsby Party
We removed the half wall that separated the dining room from the kitchen. This provided our home owners access to the kitchen from two points rather than one.
We strategically placed an island to separate the space. It’s truly stunning, and perhaps the thing we receive the most compliments on from this remodel! It is a head turning, bold, thick vein Cambria quartz that spills over each side of the island into a double waterfall. Just the dramatic flair Rob and Emily were looking for!

One of our favorite moments from this remodel was when we showed Emily the renderings of the island. Her happy squeal elevated the mood of our entire presentation, and is one of the highest compliments that can be bestowed upon an interior designer!

We created a two-tone kitchen with black appliances, keeping the black cabinets on the base and the white cabinetry on the wall. The luxury appliances by KitchenAid, Sharp, and Fisher & Paykel all work beautifully together. And, we’re smitten with the dishwasher. It has two drawers so you can save water by only running one drawer at a time, or both! A genius idea for anyone who may not cook often but doesn’t like their dishes sitting in the dishwasher.

For the vent hood, we were able to tie in the black with a custom piece. In the end, the remodeled kitchen was dramatic, yet not overly intrusive. The perfect platform for an Uptown Denver party!

Maximizing Space and Creating Custom Touches in the Principal Suite
We worked on removing a few small walls from the vanity area that boxed in the space. We took out one small closet and added a door from the bedroom into the now larger, walk in closet. This closet serves as an access to the corner ensuite where we were able to add counter space and storage by doing a corner vanity.
The finishes all play nicely together. We feature oversized mirrors with delicate wall sconces, and wall-mounted faucets. The room is tied together by custom shower tiles that coordinate with the cabinetry. Our favorite details in this room include the shower niche of green tiles, and the dual shower heads that can be operated independently.

A Punchy Blue Guest Bathroom
This long, narrow space receives no natural light, which always creates restrictions. The biggest opportunity here was creating a corner shower to optimize light and floor space. Plus, having lived in city condos ourselves, we understood the need for storage. A good linen cabinet can make a big difference.
We concealed the small pillar behind the tall linen cabinetry. That’s our little secret, because only the people reading this will even know it was there!
We removed the “cave” and instead created a corner shower. This allowed more light to flow into the shower. Plus, now grown adults can fit in it! The color inspiration is derived directly from Emily and Rob. This fun, punchy blue is unique and lively while also brightening up the space!

Upgrading the Floors and Windows Treatments
We were able to redo the flooring throughout the condo for Rob and Emily. Now most spaces have a beautiful, chevron wood floor like Emily requested. We utilized a natural blue slate in the bathrooms, which we love for it’s beauty and sustainability!

The new windows that were installed during this project made the entire space feel more open and bright. We provided the windows with functional window treatments.

Rob And Emily’s Finishing Touches
We supplied the colorful, bold backdrops and optimized the space. Rob and Emily used their newly remodeled space to display their amazing collection of art and décor they’ve accumulated from their travels over the years. We want to be sure to give styling credit where it’s due! It was so fun working with clients that have a good eye, and a sense of adventure when it comes to taste and style. Their finishing touches were the perfect ending to this Uptown Remodel.

Bravo, Emily and Rob! Thank you for letting us create a home where you can showcase your personality and style with all who visit.