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