A Sim­ple Switch

Take a cue from these Colorado home­own­ers and turn your house into a coun­try show­place, what­ever its ar­chi­tec­tural style.

Country Sampler - - Contents -

Adopt in­no­va­tive styling ideas from a Colorado cou­ple and turn your home into a quaint show­place full of clas­sic coun­try pieces.

The fact that her his­toric home is tech­ni­cally a Vic­to­rian cot­tage didn’t stop Lynn Erbesti from turn­ing the three­bed­room, two-bath res­i­dence into her own prim­i­tive par­adise. “I used to like and col­lect Vic­to­rian an­tiques but fell in love with prim­i­tive about 20 years ago,” she says. Built in 1905 in Long­mont, Colorado’s Old Town dis­trict, the home fea­tures en­vi­able diamond-pane win­dows, spa­cious sun­lit rooms and a wrap­around front porch Lynn loves. She was, how­ever, less en­thralled with the some­times fussy fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories that dec­o­rate Vic­to­rian homes, opt­ing in­stead to em­brace the sim­pler style she now prefers in the 3,350-square-foot in­te­rior she shares with her hus­band, Rob.

The daugh­ter of par­ents who were house “flip­pers” long be­fore the ti­tle be­came pop­u­lar, Lynn grew up in a va­ri­ety of homes, watch­ing and learn­ing as her par­ents re­habbed one af­ter an­other. “My dad was the handy­man and my mom the dec­o­ra­tor,” she ex­plains. Lynn and Rob bought their cur­rent home in 2009, re­turn­ing the con­verted two-fam­ily flat to its sin­gle-fam­ily sta­tus by re­mov­ing the sec­ond floor’s kitchen and awk­ward makeshift en­trance. “We were lucky that the struc­tural changes had been min­i­mal,” she notes. Past own­ers had re­mod­eled the first floor’s kitchen but, luck­ily for the Erbestis, the home’s orig­i­nal nooks and cran­nies re­mained in­tact.

Af­ter fix­ing the floor plan, the cre­ative cou­ple turned their at­ten­tion to dec­o­rat­ing. An an­tiques dealer with space at Rocky Moun­tain An­tiques in Love­land, Lynn en­joys hit­ting the road on the hunt for trea­sure. Although she ad­mits to lov­ing a long list of coun­try col­lectibles, she notes that she is care­ful to keep them from be­com­ing clut­ter.

To­day, the Erbestis’ home show­cases Lynn’s prim­i­tive pieces against a pleas­ing back­drop of orig­i­nal ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments, in­clud­ing win­dows, mold­ings, trim and pe­riod light­ing. Early spice boxes, sturdy pie safes, red­ware and yel­lowware—all items Lynn uses reg­u­larly—add cozy coun­try char­ac­ter and shine against a pri­mary pal­ette of navy blue, bur­gundy and black, col­ors cho­sen be­cause they work well with wood. “I re­ally just choose what I like and bring in color to pull it all to­gether,” Lynn says of her com­fort-first phi­los­o­phy. “I don’t be­lieve in things be­ing just for show. I use ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing.”

Lynn is quick to sell or pass along a piece that has out­stayed its wel­come, an­other way she keeps her col­lec­tions from be­com­ing over­whelm­ing. “I like ev­ery­thing to have a space,” she ex­plains. “If I fall in love with some­thing new, I’ll let some­thing else go. That way, my home is con­stantly chang­ing, which keeps it in­ter­est­ing.”

Built in 1905 and once di­vided into a two-fam­ily res­i­dence, the Erbesti home fea­turesVic­to­rian style out­side and a more rus­tic coun­try look in­side.

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