“Our initial plan was to subdivide the parcel and construct a commercial building for a restaurant. Then do something to the house,” said Reilly, “but we couldn’t do that.”
Instead, Reilly found his muse in Nashville, near his old stomping grounds, at a place called Urban Cowboy. Urban Cowboy is a home away from home — a really cool, Instagram-able home — with the name succinctly describing the overall design. The mission is to provide vagabonds with innovative hospitality experience.
With this inspiration in mind, Reilly and Hahn purchased and restored Henry Lee House for over six months with Reilly leading the design vision. The result is a luxury group-lodging and events space with Victorian-era impacts, Wild West nuances and comfortable, contemporary touches. This isn’t another old bed and breakfast but a luxurious retreat with a balanced mix of Old West and new Denver that would make the original builder, Henry Lee, proud.
Especially because Reilly kept the architectural integrity of the home, preserving original design details. They stripped the entryway’s many layers of paint to reveal the vintage wallpaper that the walls have worn for centuries. Also here, hanging proudly, is a pop art portrait of Henry Lee. Sprawling throughout are beautifully crafted original hardwood floors. In the living room, you’ll find the chartreuse-hued tile fireplace that’s also authentic to the architecture.
Even with the changes, Reilly was intent on incorporating a sense of history and honor to the neighborhood. The natural wood lath throughout is reclaimed materials from a tear down nearby.
The evolution of Henry Lee House has allowed the home to become a timeless marvel, and yet again, the house is ready for a new identity. Reilly and Hahn will reshape the use of the space in 2020. Although we can’t do a full reveal (trust us, it’s cool), we can assure this — the changes will be an exciting addition that will make Highlands an even better place to live and eat.
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