During the pandemic, New York experienced an exodus of residents seeking sanctuary from cramped city living. One young family escaped to a 2002-built Spanish Colonial–style house in Denver, purchased sight-unseen due to travel restrictions. These constraints also required a virtual design process, which Miroslava Brooks and Daniel Markiewicz—partners at the New York firm FORMA—embraced, imbuing the home with a touch of Big Apple minimalism.
The architects maintained the building’s external vocabulary by carrying its characteristic arches throughout the interior, converting all existing openings to segmental archways, and introducing new ones. The old kitchen was split into three sections, one a butler’s pantry off the main space, resulting in an awkward flow and poorly situated island, not easily accessible from the breakfast nook. FORMA opened the room by replacing the pantry with a wide, barrel-vaulted passage that connects the kitchen and family room. The design team flanked this portal with curved built-in storage to compensate for the lost shelf space. Then they consolidated the appliances in a central location, opposite an enlarged, repositioned island with room for casual dining.
FORMA consolidated the appliances and built a spacious work/ dining island opposite. Photo © Devon Banks Photography, click to enlarge
Per the clients’ request, the architects kept things clean and white, with pristine painted cabinets punctuated by strong black accents and a blue-and-white Mediterranean-style backsplash, all balanced by expanses of bamboo. “It doesn’t get more fundamental than black-and-white,” says Brooks, who, with her partner, created a subtle New York vibe in Colorado.
Click plan to enlarge