Designer Joyce Wirth infuses a dark, dated—but essentially functional—Victorian kitchen with light, warmth and fresh detailing
This historic farmhouse in Aspen's Little Woody Creek area had plenty of admirable attributes: its own pond, machine shop and original homesteaders’ cabin still standing on the property. Its kitchen, however, hadn’t been updated in decades. The owners charged Joyce Wirth of Weiss & Wirth Interior Design with renovating the space while preserving its character and charm.
“When you first walked into this old-fashioned Victorian house, you had the immediate sense that the kitchen was the hearth of the home,” Wirth says. “At the same time, the beadboard paneling, dark pine and oak—although popular at one time—made the room very dark.” Fortunately the room had good bones: an efficient layout, solid oak countertops, a sturdy tile floor and a standout retro Wolf commercial oven and range.
Wirth specified soft white paint to cover much of the dark woodwork. “We witnessed the gradual transformation each day,” Wirth says. “As more of the original paneling and cabinetry was painted, the room got lighter and brighter.” She kept the solid oak countertops but had the original orange terra-cotta floors epoxy stained and sealed. “The process gave the floors a leathery feeling and a warmer glow,” she says. The ceiling beams were refinished, cabinetry hardware was replaced, an old wagon-wheel light fixture was updated with custom sconces, and new window treatments and wall sconces were added. “Although the kitchen’s footprint remained the same, the updates took it from the 1960s to contemporary,” Wirth says.
PROJECT MANAGER Cortney McDougall Godowski, Weiss & Wirth Interior Design, Glenwood Springs, CO, 970-945-5701, weissandwirth.com INTERIOR DESIGN Joyce E. Wirth, Weiss & Wirth Interior Design, Glenwood Springs, CO, 970-945-5701, weissandwirth.com IRONWORK, WAGON WHEEL CHANDELIER Flying Dog Forge, Carbondale, CO, 970-704-1526, flyingdogforge.com HANDBLOWN GLASS GLOBES, WAGON WHEEL CHANDELIER K Dahl Glass Studios, Crawford, CO, 970-921-6160, kdahlglass.com WHITE DINING CHAIRS The Conran Shop, New York, NY, 866-755-9079, conranusa.com INTERIOR PAINTING Doug Klees Painting, Inc., Basalt, CO, 970-927-4989 LIGHTING Vaughan Designs, Inc., New York, NY, 212-319-7070, vaughandesigns.com RANGE HOOD Myers & Company, Basalt, CO, (970) 927-4761, myersandco.com