Sweet Caroline

BY CARLA RIEDEL

I have a friend, we’ll call her Caroline, because that’s her name. She is a true wonder – humble and kind, considerate and wise, passionately compassionate.

She has always treated me as though I were my own true best self…despite the fact that I have been my own true best self exactly zero times.

Caroline and her high school sweetheart bought a home when they married in 1978 and they still live there today. It’s a ranch in an older part of town, a charming but not particularly sought-after neighborhood. A cursory drive-by might leave the fleeting impression that the home is unassuming, perhaps even modest by today’s ultra-McMansion standards. Though my line of work provides entre into some the grandest and most extravagant homes in the region, I am willing to officially pronounce, here and now, that Caroline’s is simply one of the most achingly beautiful homes I’ve ever visited. And this is because the home reflects the homeowner. Perfectly.

Not surprising for a 1960s era home, Caroline’s front door opens directly into her living room. This situation is widely regarded as a highly unfortunate architectural faux pas. Volumes have been devoted to helping homeowners cope with this debilitating malady. Solutions typically range from building dividing walls, at minimum, to bulldozing and starting over from scratch. Caroline effortlessly handles this with deft placement of sofa, hall console and mirror – all textbook solutions elevated to the remarkable by just the right sofa, an antique carved oak bona fide davenport upholstered in cobalt linen, and the perfect ultra-slim hand-me-down console table overlooked by everyone until Caroline lacquered it in an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous tangerine.

Her walls are covered in colorful original artwork. I am so envious of her unerring taste that I have blatantly and shamelessly followed her around many a silent auction with single-minded purpose – to outbid her on whatever piece of artwork she has taken a shine to. I’m not proud of it but I have done it. Lots of times. Having spent her career as a scientist in the male-dominated world of Soil Analysis at CSU, the subject matter of much of her artwork depicts strong female figures, though I would guess this is a subconscious rather than overtly purposeful choice.

Color decisions tend predominately toward the calming hues of nature. After all, she is an avid gardener and holds a Master’s Degree in the natural sciences. The original wood floors always seem spotless and polished, as Caroline lovingly makes a proper home as part and parcel of her devotion as a wife and mother.

Last, but decidedly not least, the welcome you feel from Caroline is both heartwarming and heartfelt. Stepping into this remarkably special home is much like Caroline herself – more than you expected, perhaps more than you deserve and everything you could hope for.

CHEYENNE, WY  •  307.632.4278

FORT COLLINS, CO  •  970.266.2717

LITTLETON, CO  •  303.237.5469

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO •  719.471.4008