Colorado Designers Preserve The Historic Johnson House in Central City

Design pros from across Colorado come together to redecorate the Historic Johnson House in Central City.

” Central City Opera was founded in 1932 and is renowned for its world-class productions. The Opera owns and maintains 28 Victorian-era properties, including the historic Johnson house in Central City. Built-in 1867, It was home to several local luminaries who were the first supporters of the central city opera; it was also a place for events, parties, and hosting overnight guests.

All those parties took a toll, and the home was in desperate need of repair. So, you can imagine the excitement when  The Colorado chapter of the American Society of interior designers ASID decided to restore the Johnson house pro bono.

The Historic Johnson House in Central City has a rich history, as told by Eric Chinn, the Opera’s director of historic properties. Christie Delciotto, with ASID and Luxe magazine, teamed up along with 18 Colorado interior designers to renovate and re-imagine each space.

Johnson House in Central City


Johnson House in Central City




Designer Premier designer, Jenn teamed up with another designer to tackle the Main Level Bedroom, which was clad in flowers.

It was a little overpowering as the walls and bedspread matched!

Their goals were to celebrate the history of the house, while also giving it new life as a loungey Sitting Room, and we felt the back corner of the house could be moody and dramatic. We reupholstered several Opera-owned Victorian pieces in sumptuous velvets. A stunning stenciled wall by Pam Grace in the Sherwin Williams color “Juneberry” became wall jewelry. The room was small with a low ceiling, so we opted to paint the remaining walls a bright white, and continue the tone on tone metallic stencil up until faded out. The result is unexpected and adds a luminescent detail to a large dropped surface.

Johnson House in Central City

Johnson House in Central City

However, the stunner of the room is the framed print by Karen Fisher. The piece, which has musical notes in the background, was used previously for the Opera’s marketing materials. The print speaks of the allure and mystique of the Opera while providing a sizable focal point for the room. It is the first thing you see when you walk in the room, and it holds your gaze.

Johnson House in Central City

The dynamic design duo employed solid design principles for this space that would translate to any private room in someone’s home, first by embracing the architecture, finding pieces that speak to the heart, and generating focal points. Then we balanced “texture with clean,” “busy with empty,” and ramped up the drama to create the feel they imagined.  They started with the art and built around it. Jenn shared that she felt that most residential spaces are the same; you choose where to start, what’s most important, what the goals and feel should be, and then the space builds itself.

The design team had a blast punching up the color and bringing a feminine vibe. Unlike many residential projects, they were able to go exactly where their hearts led them. Typically, designers are guided more by the client’s desires and needs – so this was an opportunity to show what can be done when the designer is given a little more artistic freedom.

Johnson House in Central City

As anyone knows when they have been involved in a project before, there are surprises and moments where you think it’s not possible. But the combined volunteer efforts of these design professionals preserved a piece of Colorado history in a beautiful way.

Jenn is one of many Denver Interior Design firms that were selected by Marina Dagenais to be the experts that she represents as “The Design Matchmaker“.

Thinking of remodeling or adding on to your home – let us simplify the process by matching you with the right design pros.

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