Annie Wolfe Transforms Rundown Parker Horse Property into Light, Bright Homestead
“I’m very proud of the fact that I have persevered through so much and done so much stuff myself. It was my dream come true, and I made it happen—the horse, the property, the gardens.”
In 2011, Annie Wolfe bought an old horse property just east of Parker and immediately set out to bring light into the dark, overgrown place. Recently divorced at the time, the 53-year-old immediately started doing what she’s always done: using her hands to create something beautiful.
“If you love it, it’s not a lot of work,” she says of her tidy homestead tucked into rolling hills off the main dirt road.
Annie works as a property manager for nearby homeowners. She also recently started Annie Wolfe Designs, which features her fine-art photography and drawings and handmade garden boxes. She says she must have inherited her art from her father’s side of the family. Her grandfather is the famous Western artist Byron Wolfe, and her uncle, artist Wayne Wolfe.
Transforming a rundown property mirrored the transformation going on in her own life, rebuilding after the breakup of what Annie describes as an emotionally unsupportive marriage.
“The month before I moved in, I had the painter, the plumber, the electrician knocking it out. After I moved in, I kept working and working. A lot of the work I’ve done myself,” Annie says of her house, which was built in 1972. “The previous owner came over after I had done a bunch of work to drop off a key, and he was blown away. He asked, ‘Are you an interior decorator?’ Guests would come over and say, ‘Has Pottery Barn been here to photograph your house?’ I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done here.”
She’s been building and creating things for as long as she can remember, and working with her hands is just part of who she is. As a child in Kansas City, Annie was her dad’s sidekick while he remodeled all the homes they lived in.
“I was his helper, and I just paid attention,” she says.
Sitting at the rustic dining table she built herself, Annie looks proudly around at her beautifully remodeled kitchen and living area. She points to where she knocked down a couple walls to open up the cramped kitchen. Sunlight floods in from three windows above the sink and the french doors in the adjoining living room, which she also installed on her own.
Annie created for herself a cook’s kitchen, with spacious Carrera marble and sycamore countertops, a five-burner gas stove and open shelving for easy access to dishes. Here, she can put her culinary training to good use. In 2012, she pursued another lifelong interest and completed a program at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts in Denver.
Annie shares her property with a yellow Labrador Retriever named Willie and a dun-colored quarter horse named Reno. Everywhere you look inside and out is filled with her woodwork and fine art: dining and side tables, benches, garden boxes, a daybed in her studio office, screen-printed throw pillows that showcase her photography. Her walls and mantle display her photography and drawings.
She’s almost giddy when she shows off her latest creation: an outside shower stall with an attached garden hose, which she uses to clean up after tending to her beloved gardens or riding on nearby trails with Reno.
When she first moved here, all the sheds on the property were overgrown with weeds and filled with broken-down Big Wheels and other toys from the previous family. She spent months cleaning everything out.
One of Annie’s favorite areas of her home is the back porch she screened in herself, overlooking the deck she built and gardens and trees that she planted.
All of her house projects and woodworking still connect her to her dad in Kansas City.
“My dad is so proud of me,” she says. “I’ll call him and say, ‘Guess what I did.’ I’ll call him and ask him about things, even when I don’t really need to.”
Before the Parker farmhouse, Annie lived in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood in Denver in a house that she and her husband razed and rebuilt, making the plans themselves and working with a builder.
Annie says she liked living in the city and still misses seeing lots of people walk and jog past her house every day, but she feels at home in the peaceful country, where she has a closer relationship with her neighbors despite the distance between them. Here, she is able to work and play outdoors every day, garden and roam around with Willie and Reno.
She recently came across a journal entry from when she was a teen, and it described a future for herself that included living in the country on a horse property but not too far out that she couldn’t enjoy city life. Annie muses that she must have subconsciously always had the plan to make that happen.
After a tour of Reno’s stable, Annie looks around at her house, gardens and sheds, musing about all the work she’s put into the place over the years. She knows how magical her farmhouse life is.
“A lot of times at night, before I go to bed, I come out here to say goodnight to Reno,” she says. “I look up at the moon and listen to the coyotes.”
Annie Wolfe Designs
Photography, greetings cards, fine-art prints, handmade garden boxes