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That Stapleton Mom: Master of her domain - Diane Gordon

Monday, November 29, 2010 Leave a Comment

by Maria Lucas

We have all seen those adorable yellow signs posted in our neighbors' yards.

Well, now, meet the woman behind them.

Diane Gordon.

Walking into her cozily-appointed home one chilly, damp morning, I was immediately enraptured by the warmth of her space. She invited me into her office for the interview but with my eyes darting around from crystal chandeliers to jars full of swatches to beautiful cabinets jammed with fabric samples to whimsically framed artwork, she offered, "How about a tour first?" I was giddy.

On the way out of her office, I was introduced to Diane's daughter, who at almost 13 had me thinking she would be packing her bags for Stanford any day now. This meeting made me realize that not every family in Stapleton has a child under 4 and, wow, they do grow-up and turn into little adults who can greet company with a smile and a sentence or two. Not that I wish these years away for my precious two little ones, but what a dream to walk down a hall and not pass a stroller, push mower, play kitchen and a couple of dolls dropped haphazardly onto their faces.

Thanks, Diane, for allowing me to remember that one day, I, too, will be the master of my domain once again.

But, I digress. Back to the woman behind the signs.

To stroll through Diane's euro-stylized funky farmhouse is to fall in love. There is nothing builder-basic here. Every nook and cranny has been thoughtfully planned. Nowhere to be seen are Home Depot issued light fixtures, instead, antique wall sconces, modern shade-style chandeliers and even a hot-air balloon fixture in the stairwell. No Craftsmaid cabinets in deep walnut or cherry, instead a mustard-colored infused space with intricate tile back splash next to a red-knobbed Viking cook top. No Crate & Barrel beige sofas either, instead, thick upholstered light yellow sofas with perfect throw pillows and complimentary artwork. Forget about the 12x12 standard issue tiled bathroom, instead heated multi-colored marble hexagon floors with sparkling white subway tiles and Benjamin Moore stained cabinets looking out onto the yellow fluttering leaves of their backyard Aspens. Even their cat, Maggie, has an amazing perch on a one-of-a-kind chaise.

So how did this Valley Girl with a Masters in Architecture end up becoming the Candice Olsen of Stapleton Basements? In a word, cancer.

At age 35, Diane was doing large scale remodels throughout the Denver area, yet she barely had the energy to get her kids dressed and out the door for school before she had to crawl back into bed from exhaustion. She knew something was awry.

Then came the diagnosis no family is ever prepared for. Diane was suffering from a rare type of ovarian cancer called Granulosa Cell Tumor of the Ovary or GCT. She took action. In May of 2006, Diane underwent a procedure to have the cyst removed and then two months later, a full hysterectomy. Just three weeks after that, Diane took a much needed vacation to San Francisco and immediately regained her energy. She fought and won.

After her battle, Diane regrouped, restrategized and relaunched herself. She still had the desire to work but wanted to be close to home and her kids. Thankfully, she lived in Stapleton. The community that rallied behind her during her treatment would also become the one to help recreate her business.

Five years and 90+ basements later, Diane Gordon Design is a company whose name is synonymous with comfy Stapleton living.

And though we may all have marble dreams on a formica budget, don't dismiss Diane as unaffordable. Diane suggests the "mini." Think about getting new counter tops and back splash or call for a color and lighting consultation. She can charge hourly to help you get the character into your cookie-cutter. And in anticipation of shortly reaching the milestone of 100 basements designed in Stapleton, all new clients will receive an hour of paint color consultation for their basement FREE by mentioning this blog. Thanks Diane!

For more on Diane, check out her answers to "That Stapleton Mom: The Profile":

Favorite Stapleton Park: Greenway Park, which I look at everyday from my home office window.

My Favorite "Mommy" outfit: an easy-breezy dress and a pair of boots

My go to dinner: um, truthfully, OUT to dinner... I'm so busy that we tend to eat out a lot.

My proudest Mommy moment: when one of my kids does something out-of-the-ordinary and sweet for the other.

Favorite TV show: Dancing with the Stars, all four of us enjoy it together.

What is your greatest extravagance? remodeling my brand new Stapleton home for 6 weeks before moving in - I didn't upgrade a thing with the builder.

What is your greatest fear? child abduction... even though my children are in middle school now, I seldom let them out of my sight in public.

The one thing I do for myself every single day: take at least a few minutes to chat with my mom, who lives in Hawaii.

Best morning activity with the kids: weekday mornings are crazy, but on the weekends, we enjoy making pancakes together or going out for brunch.

My Sanity Saver: emailing almost daily with my best friend from high school in California, just to check in on each other.

All of Diane's contact information can be found on her website: dianegordondesign.com. Now get decorating!


  • Unknown said:  

    Makes me think of the unique houses in my neighborhood - what is it that makes them stand out? Sometimes it's the little things - the light fixtures, the curtains... the just-right color walls...