Carpet design

Clever design tricks transform a 1990s repairman into a hip family nest


A design influencer and DIY enthusiast takes us inside the impeccable Arvada house that she and her husband have completely renovated.

If you logged onto Instagram in early spring 2021, you might have spotted a video of a pregnant Cait Pappas and her husband, Jason, standing in the garage of their suburban home in Arvada, surrounded by huge boxes. These contained custom kitchen cabinets that Cait designed and ordered from an online retailer Cliq Studios, and the couple were giddy about them. They were jokingly debating the terms of the damage return policy (none could remember the time frame the company had given them) when suddenly they heard a banging noise in a corner of the garage where their then 2-year-old son , Joe, was playing. There were laughs (Joe was fine, cabinets were fine) and the video ended.

This is an example of the controlled chaos associated with home renovations, especially the DIY type. And for Cait, a seventh grade teacher turned interior designer, Instagram influencer and DIY design blogger (known online as @Nest.Out.West and @CaitPappas), documenting that chaos is part of the design process. Cait’s 80,000+ Instagram followers are invested: They’ve watched over the past three years as she and Jason, a self-taught builder, transformed the unremarkable coating of yellow pine, black granite and beige carpet into the interior of their 1990s repairman into the camera-ready dream home it is today, and they even weighed in on some design choices (voting for Rejuvenation’s kitchen brass drawers in an online poll , for example).

5280 Home February/March 2022

“Jason and I are very active people, mostly because we’re also incredibly frugal people,” says Cait. “We both grew up in families where our parents did all their house plans themselves, so it was a bit foreign for us to pay someone to do something we could do ourselves with. enough research and planning. Most of our knowledge has come from our dads and YouTube, to be honest. Although she admits there are some things she still hires subcontractors for: “finishing drywall, electrical which requires a licensed electrician and painting, when it comes to a ceiling or more than just a small bedroom”. Apart from that, this renovation is the product of the sweat equity from the Pappas “We’ve spent about 90% of our weekends working on our house since we moved here,” says the designer.

The week the family moved in, they ripped out the beige wall-to-wall carpeting to make way for wide-plank French oak floors. They’ve since redesigned the function of some spaces, like the barely used formal dining room, which they’ve transformed into an open-concept office (after setting aside some of the space for a larger laundry room). A former office has become a cozy music room, where Jason, an accomplished musician, can play music and the couple’s two children can dance to bluegrass records. The 1990s master bathroom features a freestanding tub (instead of the old alcove tub) and an elegant teak double vanity with brass finishes. And the all-pine kitchen has had a facelift.

There’s something universally appealing about the mix of neutral organic materials, white walls, and metallic accents that define Cait’s family design aesthetic. “I would describe it as a kind of chalet, but with a decidedly modern and minimalist touch,” she says. “Looking deeper, some rooms might have a more Scandinavian vibe, while others might have a more art deco feel.” She says she’s “loath to cut and paste” a look from the internet into her own home (or the homes of her design clients), but she turns to other online designers for whiffs of inspiration, including Shea McGee of Studio McGee, Joanna Gaines of Magnolia and Shelby Girard of Denver’s Havenly.

In turn, Cait’s followers look to her for design ideas and advice. “My best advice for an aspiring DIYer is to trust yourself and follow your instincts,” says the designer, whose online persona is the picture of confidence. But also, “Ask lots of questions and do your research,” she adds. “We learned a lot through trial and error.”

Design Benefits

Interior design : Cait Papas, west nest
General contractor : Barbe Rousse home services