We’re the first to admit that fresh-from-the-showroom home decor is lovely. But it’s also a delight to find that rare home where the finishes feel layered, lived-in, and beautiful—and where every piece tells a story. In this renovated 1892 Cheesman Park High Victorian Gothic, Nell and Mick Lindquist (he works in construction; she manages web development) achieved just that—thanks to a thoughtful renovation and interesting mix of inherited and found objects. Here, Nell gives us a tour of her favorite spaces and shares the stories behind the design.
1. A Little Love
Mick Lindquist, who co-owns the home-renovation firm 5280 Exteriors, gave the 1892 home’s facade its fresh update using a black-and-white paint scheme (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore and Tricorn Black from Sherwin-Williams). The Lindquists placed the oversize heart decal on the wall in the summer of 2020, during the height of the pandemic and racial-justice protests (many Denver marches started in nearby Cheesman Park), as a show of support. They loved the decal (and its sentiment) so much, they decided to keep it there permanently.
2. What’s Old Is New
This oversize print is a photo taken by Mick’s outdoorsy grandfather, Mel Lindquist. Mick and Nell found a cache of hundreds of his photos (taken using a stereo realist camera) when they were living with Mick’s parents during the renovation. A box of the original slides, plus the camera’s viewer, are also on display.
3. Hidden Treasures
All of the historic objects displayed on the wall—newspaper pages, a hammer, horseshoe, doorbell, and nail—were discovered during the demolition and later arranged by Nell in this artful vignette. The large piano was a gift from a previous homeowner, who also raised two boys in the house. The small piano belonged to Mick’s father when he was a child.
4. Ode to Adventure
Bowie the Buffalo once belonged to Mick’s grandfather—the mount was a prize from a long-ago hunting trip to Yellowstone—and today holds court in the Lindquist boys’ bedroom. (The buffalo’s attire changes with the seasons.) The well-worn, knotty-pine dresser comes from the same grandfather’s house. Flanking Bowie are hats once worn by patriarchs from each side of the family. Atop Curious George’s head is a hand-me-down coonskin cap from now-grown cousins.
5. The Family Mantra
“Mick is an extremely positive and supportive person, and he says this phrase a lot,” Nell says of the encouraging words embedded in the boys’ bathroom floor. To create the eye-catching detail, she made a to-scale layout of the design in Adobe Illustrator, which the fabricator replicated using a mix of black and white penny tiles from Floor & Decor. The Ikea vanity is dressed up with custom black doors by the Cabinet Face.
6. Positive Affirmations
A vintage-font Oxford Pennant banner greets the couple’s young boys each morning with a reminder to just go for it. “I wanted to add something a little playful and irreverent to their room,” Nell says. The modern Ikea crib is softened by a graphic-print Ruggable rug and perfect-for-story-time bean-bag chair by HomeDay.
Homeowners Nell and Mick Lindquist are bringing their inventive design eye to the high country. The couple recently bought a run-down motel in Leadville, which they are in the process of renovating; it will open this year as the Timberline. Guests can expect to see the couple’s personalized decor, including more framed photos from Mick’s grandfather’s outdoor adventures. For more info, visit timberlineleadville.com.