For two designers, a one-off collaboration was not enough

When Kimille taylor agreed to design the interior of a house in Telluride, Colorado, in 2013, she expected the job to go as usual. Thi...


When Kimille taylor agreed to design the interior of a house in Telluride, Colorado, in 2013, she expected the job to go as usual. This was before Ms. Taylor, a New York-based designer, met Steve morton, the local architect working on the project.

“We hit it off right away,” said Ms. Taylor, 50. “It was a very good collaboration, professionally.

But as the project – the renovation of a church turned into a residence – drew to a close in 2016, their conversations about space planning and carpentry took a personal turn, and they found they shared. more than just a passion for design: they were also crazy. one over the other.

Over the next two years, they embarked on a long-distance relationship and in 2018 decided it was time to get serious. “Our relationship was really strong at this point,” said Mr. Morton, 57. “We started to talk about a future together.”

For the couple, that meant getting married and buying a house together in Telluride.

Both had children from previous relationships. Ms Taylor’s daughter, Georgia, is now 11, but Mr Morton’s sons – Mitch, 27 and Everett, 22 – had grown up and moved. He was looking to downsize his house in Telluride, but not that much.

“We wanted to make sure we had enough room for all the kids – my daughter and Steve’s boys – when we were all there,” said Ms. Taylor, who planned to keep her Manhattan apartment, so they could split their time between New York and Colorado. “But we didn’t want too many houses either.

At first they looked at the condos, but felt uninspired. Then they noticed that an original postmodern cottage they had admired for years in the nearby town of Placerville, designed in 1992 by an architect named James Bowen, was on the market.

“It is unlike anything else,” Ms. Taylor said. “Every time I drove by, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I love this house. I have to say I panicked when I saw it on the real estate agent’s site. I was so excited, and so was Steve.

Mr. Morton, an avid fishing enthusiast, was particularly pleased with the location, as the house is directly on the San Miguel River. “That’s what really got me down,” he said. “The descent down to the river and the ability to fish straight from our backyard was super intriguing.”

The couple bought the 2,200 square foot home in July for $ 737,000. They moved in immediately, albeit with minimal furnishings, as they started planning for a renovation. Although they were hit from the outside of the house, they found a lot of problems inside.

“It was in good shape, sure, but not to our liking, not our style,” Ms. Taylor said. “And there were also some functional issues that we had with it.”

To open up the ground floor and create a larger living and dining space, they moved the kitchen from the center of the house to a corner. They also opened up a line of sight from the entrance through the house to the new gas fireplace in the living room, making the compact structure more spacious.

Upstairs, they were surprised to find that the master bedroom only had small windows facing the river and the closets were on another level, accessed by a spiral staircase. So they reconfigured the master suite, enlarging the window at the foot of the bed for a better view of the river; the addition of a walk-in closet at one end of the bedroom; and move the spiral staircase to Georgia’s bedroom, where it now climbs to a play loft.

The interior finishes were chosen to create a clean envelope of white paint and natural wood that would highlight some special features. “This was to minimize the visual confusion of the house,” Ms. Taylor said, noting that the house previously had heartbeat pine floors and dark woodwork that seemed to cut things off.

They sanded and waxed the floors for a natural look and painted all the woodwork. Then they added touches like a leafy Calico wallpaper in the lobby; a table made from melted waste by Dirk van der Kooij, a Dutch designer, surrounded by bespoke benches in the dining room; and an elongated Akari light sculpture by Isamu Noguchi which hangs in an atrium in the center of the house.

“We wanted to add some exciting elements,” Ms. Taylor said. “It’s just a very personal mix.”

Work on major architectural changes began in March 2019 and ended in June, at a cost of approximately $ 250,000. But the couple took longer to finish the interior, and have spent an additional $ 75,000 collecting furniture and accessories since then.

Although Mr Morton and Ms Taylor have now collaborated on many projects, they recently found themselves in the converted church that started it all: they got married there on July 10.

“Our room failed, and this client stepped in and thought, ‘You know what would be great? Why don’t you get married here? ‘ Ms. Taylor said. “It was the fun and complete moment.”

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