How bathroom tile with a motivating message and other special finishes add personality to this 1892 High Victorian Gothic.
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.
Exterior Renovation: Mick Lindquist, 5280 Exteriors
General Contractor: David Schultz, L&D Construction
A Thoughtful Mix of Decor Tells a Rich Story in This Cheesman Park Home