I would be lying if I said I never daydream about moving someplace new, and starting over with a clean slate. It’s not for everyone, but I think there’s something so thrilling about new prospects, new surroundings, new acquaintances and a new place to call home. Today I get to share a wonderful home, full of pattern, whose owners moved across the country in search of something completely different from what they were used to — and found it!
When Batya Stepelman and her husband Matt Berman had lived in small apartments in Brooklyn for almost eight years, things started to feel a bit cramped. Sharing a 600 square foot home with a toddler, an infant and the elderly Rottweiler, Omar, was an achievement of sorts, but it soon became clear that the growing family’s living situation needed to change. Batya, a fifth generation New Yorker, and Matt didn’t just dream of a bigger space though. They longed for something entirely different for themselves and their young boys Otis and Theodore — a home with a garden, surrounded by mountains. Batya and Matt fell in love with Denver, CO, and despite having to leave all their family and friends, they decided to pack their belongings and embark on a new adventure out West.
After arriving in Denver, Batya spent a lot of time walking around the city in order to find the right area for her family to settle down. Something about Congress Park, with its tree-lined streets, historic homes, and a politically active and engaged community, felt spot on. Batya and Matt also wanted to find a home with plenty of charm, a bit of green space and enough room to accommodate visiting family members. A Denver Square style home that was on the market ticked all the boxes, and the family knew it was the right house for them.
Batya and Matt’s late 19th century home is a real Colorado gem. Unlike many old houses that have been stripped from their original details, this home oozes old charm. Even though it was once divided up into five separate units and then later converted back into a single family home, many historic details that have been lovingly preserved.
When Batya and Matt bought the house nearly four years ago, it took a while to turn it into their dream home. Having lived in small spaces for the better part of a decade, the family didn’t own much and the decorating process began with bare bones. “When we moved into our current home it looked like we had been robbed! There was no dining table, coffee table, dressers, rugs, etc,” Batya recalls. To reflect the family’s quirky style, one of the first things that Batya did in the new home was install wallpaper in the entryway. “It immediately warmed up the space and made the blank walls look homey. That’s when I got hooked!” During the past four years, six more rooms have been updated with gorgeous wallpapers, creating personal and colorful statements in each space. It’s safe to say that wallpaper has developed into one of Batya’s biggest passions. Eight months ago, she took a leap of faith and opened up a wallpaper boutique and design consultancy, WallTawk, which she now operates from the family’s historic home. “I felt extremely motivated to bring independent artists and designers to Denver…and wallpaper is my obsession, so it was the design category that made the most sense!” Batya says.
The family loves living in their patterned home, which has a strong design perspective without feeling formal or stuffy. Batya is a strong believer in unique homes that feel layered and tell a story — no two homes should look the same. Sentimental pieces, keepsakes and objects from independent artists can be found throughout the house, and make this home charismatic and one-of-a-kind. The family feels lucky to have a home that makes them happy, and where they can build memories and finally put down some roots. “As human beings I think we all crave happiness, beauty, and joy — and there isn’t anything frivolous about those things,” Batya reflects. I couldn’t agree more! — Sofia
Image above: Happy wallpaper and a nod to history greets visitors in the entryway. “I always think about the people who walked up and down those stairs: what they were like, how their lives were different or similar to ours, what they wore, what it felt like to live in the untamed West,” Batya shares.