When Stephanie Waddell of Boulder’s Istoria Interior Design first met her clients, they were recent transplants—returning home to Colorado after a decade in LA. “They approached us to open up and redesign the main floor of their new home, and we knew we were up for the challenge,” she says. “Their love of color, mid-century and modern furniture, original art, and out-of-the-box design elements were no easy match for the drab beige 1980s era interior of the home.”

The home is in North Boulder—a neighborhood that’s been turning over quickly in the past decade with new, modern, high-end homes popping up everywhere. “My clients’ house was built in 1987,” Stephanie shares. “It is large and spacious with great bones. The intention was never to rebuild the home from the ground up but, just update the interior to more modern lifestyle and aesthetic.”

The home is a split level over four floors. “We primarily just focused on the main floor, which includes the living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook and powder bath,” the designer tells us. “It is truly the heart of the home and the top priority for our clients. Originally all four of these rooms we distinctly separate spaces as is common in homes built prior to the ‘90s. By removing just one wall (separating the kitchen and dining room) and pulling back one other wall (from the kitchen to living room) by just a few feet we were able to completely transform the space with a more open and light-filled floor plan.”

Bold pops of color paired with carefully selected art pieces, unique decor items and family heirlooms, now evoke the happy and bustling energy of the busy family of four.  And fortunately, the challenges were few and far between. “The project commenced smack dab in the middle of the pandemic so, as to be expected, there were some delays, supply chain issue, and unexpected price increases,” the designer recalls. “But all in all the clients knew to expect this and the process was smooth.”

Take a tour + snag Stephanie’s favorite details and sources in the slideshow.