When Rose Clark of Chateau Design and Interiors wanted to bring two green sofas into Carl and Anna Hamilton’s living room, Carl Hamilton had a few choice words. “Not in our living room,” he remembered telling her. However, Clark was hired to infuse color into their dark and heavily wooded interiors. She insisted green was the way to go. “We’re CPAs. We’re not real cutting-edge, modern people,”Anna Hamilton said.
“Basically, we had to say, ‘OK, Rose, we’re trusting you,’”
Carl Hamilton said, “and when the sofas came and were put in, it was fabulous.”
The Hamiltons have been Clark’s personal accountants for 20 years. The worktables turned when the Hamiltons asked Clark to redesign their office space, and later their home.
Several years ago, the Hamiltons purchased a lot to build a new home in the Oak Lawn neighborhood, located around NW 158th Street and Council. The tree farm views behind the property made them picture a traditional Colorado cabin. This was their fourth home to build together, so they were comfortable with the overall process; they charged forward with the build.
“We were trying to get that cabin feel,” Carl Hamilton said, “but we ended up with so much brown wood, trying to achieve that cabin look.”
“Oh my gosh, it was overwhelming,” Anna Hamilton added.
“We were ready to get more color in the place instead of just brown,” Carl Hamilton said.
The Hamiltons had good reason to trust Clark. She updated their accounting offices in 2015, brightening the traditional decor with modern touches and lighter colors.
“I think what makes my style unique is I don’t have one style,” Clark said. “I can mix in traditional. I can mix in modern. If you do that, it makes it more interesting.”
The Hamiltons loved the design choices Clark made for their office, so she was a natural choice to redesign their 4,750-square-foot home.
“I should have been brave to start with and gone a little bit more modern. I should have, but I didn’t,” Anna Hamilton said. “By the time Rose came on the scene with me, I was ready to be a little bit brave. Between the three- and five- year mark of living in the home, we just got more comfortable with being a little more modern in our look.”
In the end, Clark changed more than just the home’s furniture and color scheme. She rebuilt an island to be more functional and refashioned cabinets to reach the kitchen ceiling. Then she painted the cabinets in a pleasing combination of cool blue and warm gray. Colorful wallpapers went up in the powder bath and primary bathroom. Heated floors were added to the bathroom. The dining room—once a dull and overlooked space—received special attention.
“The dining room was an expansive area, like a walk-through. There was no definition to it,” Clark said. “So I wallpapered the wall and put the wainscoting in. Then we did the rug and new end chairs to anchor it and give it its own place. Of course, we added the new chandelier—and now they love it.”
The wallpaper, with a large bloom print, didn’t get immediate client approval. They were concerned: Wasn’t the pattern too big? Too bold? Somehow Clark talked the Hamiltons into letting her install it.
“When it went up, Carl and I were like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ Anything smaller would’ve looked like a little drop in the bucket. She was exactly right,” Anna Hamilton said. “She understands scale and color; what will fit or not fit. And how to move you around to where you need to be, even when I don’t want to go there!”
The ultimate trust test came when Clark asked to design the powder bath independently, without input or approval, and then surprise the Hamiltons with the completed design. Once again, they said “yes.” Once again, she earned rave reviews.
“‘I said, ‘OK, Rose, I will let you do it, but don’t you dare do something so terribly extreme,’” Anna Hamilton recalled. “The minute I saw the wallpaper—she showed me a sample—I was like, ‘Yes, we can go that bold!’ I love all of those shades of pink and the black. It’s very dramatic. It’s wonderful. We love it.”
“I’m not the designer that does one style,” Clark said. “To me, it’s all about the customer. Period. If they’re not happy with it, I haven’t done a good job. I always say to them, ‘I want you to love it long after I’m gone.’”
It appears Anna and Carl Hamilton are happy. Now when they look around their home, they smile— especially when they see those green sofas.