This Townhome is Heaven Sent

Photography by Emily Minton Redfield

A charming renovation breathes new life into the old St. John’s rectory in Denver


WELCOME HOME As soon as you enter the house, through original antique church doors, you feel its history. A “Jonathan Charles” cane bench from Moda Antica, an “Emerson Street” ottoman bench from Hoff Miller and “Reunion” chests from Whitney Evans complete the look.

God is in the details of this lovely townhome, part of what was once a storied Denver rectory.

The 2,500-square-foot space tells the latest chapter in a long history: The original St. John the Evangelist Church was dedicated in 1903 at the northeast corner of East Fifth Avenue and Josephine Street, standing like a beacon of faith over the decades as the nearby Cheesman Park, Cherry Creek and Country Club neighborhoods were developed. But after its parish membership declined, St. John’s was combined with St. Philomena’s church in 1981 to form the Church of the Good Shepherd. In 2012, the rectory was turned into two townhomes as part of what is now called St. John’s Gardens, and a recent redesign by Lisa Bowman of Nob Hill Design transformed one of the two townhomes into a little gem.

The entrance to the home, through the original wooden antique church doors, is—dare we say it?—divine. Two antiqued chests from Whitney Evans Ltd. at the Denver Design District topped by gilded lamps from Hoff Miller’s “Collectibles Collection” greet visitors. A striking circular handmade paper piece from Art Source & Design Denver adorns the wall over a caned “Jonathan Charles” bench from Moda Antica; a second bench, this one from Hoff Miller, provides additional seating; fabrics are from Robert Allen.


LUXE LIFE A large, sophisticated sectional and copper coffee table, both from Arhaus, anchor one side of the living room.

“I would call the home a transitional space,” says Bowman, who did the design work for a couple who were looking for a second home here where they could stay when they came to visit their daughter and grandchildren. “It’s not traditional, but it’s also not modern. It’s really a mix of old or antiqued pieces with contemporary.”

In the living room, Bowman created two distinct areas: In the reading and television nook on one side, she designed a European-style fireplace surround out of “Stone Impressions” tile from DSKB Plumbing & Tile, adding a custom-designed mantel with hand-blown sconces from Mary Matchael at Crystal Glass Lighting Studio in Carbondale. The cozy “Jessica Charles” chairs, from Moda Antica, as well as their pillows, are covered in Robert Allen fabrics, and Bowman added a “Metro” ottoman from Century Furniture. On the other side of the living room, Bowman brought in a huge but elegant sectional and copper coffee table, both from Arhaus, which she staged under another hand-blown chandelier from Matchael and next to a CAI Designs floor lamp, all sitting on a Floor Coverings by CPA area rug. Adding to the feel are pillows covered in Robert Allen fabric.


PRIVATE TIME The client’s own custom bed in the master is dressed in Martha Stewart bedding, with an area rug from the Artisan Rug Gallery, Arhaus nightstands with Century Furniture lamps, tub chairs from Whitney Evans and a starburst mirror from Beck’s Silk Plant in Denver.

Upstairs are two bedrooms, including a master that Bowman turned into an elegant, stylish retreat.

“The house is condensed, but it’s a great use of a small space,” Bowman says. “It has everything you need, and I love the flow. It’s warm and cozy, but it’s also got some neat features that you don’t see in every house. It turned into a warm, inviting nest.”


HEARTH AND HOME Designer Lisa Bowman created a distinctive fireplace surround out of tiles from DSKB Plumbing and Tile, installed by United TIle and Stone. It is flanked by Moda Antica chairs covered in Robert Allen fabric, and a Century Furniture ottoman, all sitting on a Floor Coverings by CPA area rug. The unique recessed TV is from Quality Audio Video.


DINING IN Rich maple-veneer cabinets by International Custom Woodworking are flanked by elegant Arhaus barstools.

Architect: DH Ruggles & Associates PC / 303.355.2460
Builder: Saguaro Company / 303.791.9363
Interior Design: Lisa Bowman, Nob Hill Design / 303.807.3779