How To Get This Vintage Modern Living Room Look

A Boulder couple gives a nondescript ‘70s ranch a vintage modern aesthetic.

Vintage modern living room by Wandertree
Photo courtesy of Kylie Fitts.

When Wendy and Josh Talmon bought their 1972 southeast Boulder ranch house, it was, to put it politely, a mess. The longtime rental had been divided into odd-shaped rooms. A previous tenant had turned the basement into a weed grow.

But the Talmons loved the house’s high ceilings and the surrounding acre and a half of meadows. With architect Joey Pruett of Denver-based A21 and builder Ryan Wither of Boulder-based Buildwell, they took the house down to the studs. Then Wendy Talmon, who owns Wandertree fiber arts in Boulder, designed a modern interior with a vintage vibe.

Directly inside the front door, the home’s living room sets the design aesthetic for the rest of the house through its eclectic juxtaposition of family heirlooms with contemporary art.

170s-style Hygge

Talmon removed the original fireplace and replaced it with a green Malm freestanding hearth that harks back to the home’s 1970s construction. Malm fireplaces are normally vintage, but Talmon opted for a new version designed to look older. “Because of the tall ceilings, the chimney can rise up, creating a focal point,” she says.

2Framing the Space

Because the house had few existing design features, Talmon highlighted the tall ceilings with whitewashed pine boards. “We did wood ceilings in every room,” she says. “They add texture and interest, and the pine is cost-effective.”

3Honoring Family

The photos to the left of the fireplace were taken by Talmon’s uncle in the 1970s near his home in Steamboat Springs. The rug draped over the couch belonged to Talmon’s grandmother. “As a weaver and fiber artist, I like having elements of texture in my living spaces,” she says.

4High-tech Art

The large photo to the right of the fireplace disguises a television. “We’re not trying to hide the fact we watch TV, but we don’t want it front and center, either,” Talmon says. Samsung’s The Frame smart TV allows the couple to display their artwork, including this photo of Josh Talmon’s great uncle skipping rocks on a river.

5Stylish Stick

Talmon loves shopping at thrift stores and estate sales, but for the living room’s statement art piece, she went contemporary. The squiggly sculpture of heated and molded rattan above the TV was created by California artist Katie Gong. “Since I work with fibers that hang off of sticks a lot, I have an admiration for sticks. I even collect sticks,” Talmon says. “I love how this piece honors that and is minimal but still stylistic.”