Artist House Tours: Photographer Jill Mustoffa's Wheat Ridge haven

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Editor's note: Indie design blogger Jeanne Connolly loves to see how creative people put their houses together. In this series, she'll be sharing some of her favorite homes by taking us inside the unique private spaces of metro Denver and beyond.

Wheat Ridge-based creative Jill Mustoffa combines holiday cheer and wall-to-wall inspiration at her museum-like mid-modern ranch home. A self-coined "phone photographer," she has a way of turning everyday things into extraordinary ones.

Turn the page to find out how.

See also: Artist House Tour Series: Dana Cain and Mark Putt

Where can we find your artwork?

Online and on Instagram. Third Friday, December 20, at Kanon Collective on Santa Fe or by appointment.

What's in your artist toolbox?

My phone, Lumix 3, Canon T-3, Mac and my eye. Fix-it tip: Super 77 is better than duct tape.

Continue reading for more on Mustoffa's house. What's your favorite thing about your Wheat Ridge neighborhood?

The fact that I can have livestock in my backyard. I can have my horse in my backyard And it's really close to the city. Wheat Ridge is very reasonably priced. There are so many cute little neighborhoods, but you have to drive around to find them.This is paradise and the best part -- it's hidden.

Is there a hidden gem in your neighborhood?

You betcha -- my home! I am very drawn to urban decay, but I need grounding. I love the city, I thrive on it! I am a city girl at heart. When you put me in the city, I'm a country girl, and when you put me in the country, I'm a city girl.

I need to have the earth around me so I get grounded. I need the sound of animals to make me calm. This is my sanctuary. If I want the city, I am there in fifteen minutes. I have the best of both worlds here.

Continue reading for more on Mustoffa's house. What is your best local creative resource?

I love alleys, and we don't have them in Wheat Ridge. The alleys in Five Points are phenomenal. You find graffiti and dilapidated things. I find beauty in things that are falling apart. Urban decay. I love texture, and I see it in everything. I photograph more in a poor neighborhood than I do in a richer neighborhood. Money does not impress me, and it's not interesting.

Continue reading for more on Mustoffa's house. Do you create your art at home?


Define your home's style?

Mid-Mod ranch home. This house is like a misinformation campaign. From the outside, it looks like a barn, and when you walk in, it's very eclectic and Mid-Mod.

What are you favorite artistic touches?

That's hard because there is one in every single corner of my house. I am constantly changing them around too.

What inspires you about your home?

Most of my stuff here is from a thrift store, an alley or estate sales. I can tell you that the garage sales in Wheat Ridge are really cheap. You will find some cool Mid-Mod stuff. It's really reasonably priced, not like in Denver.

Continue reading for more on Mustoffa's house. What is your favorite piece?

John Haley III's hand forged curtain hardware. He is amazing. His work is so inspirational. I needed to buy curtain rods. I could have spent the money on crap, or I could ask John to whip me up something. I really like art nouveau, and it goes really well in here. I commissioned John to do the fireplace, too.

What are your guests reactions?

"Wow, this place is huge." "I love your home!" "It's a museum." "Sweet -- you have themed rooms." "What, your horse sticks his head in the house?" There is eye candy everywhere.

Have you re-purposed any materials in your home?

The bathroom has Volkswagen car mirrors in it.

Did you indulge in any of your rooms?

Um, yes! All of them. Each room you come into, you feel like that room is giving you a hug. You have a different feeling in each room. It just makes me happy. Everywhere I look, it just makes me happy.

Best design advice?

Use color, it is your friend. If you don't like it, you can always paint over it. Color flow is very important to me. Have things around you that make your eyes happy, and don't be afraid of those nail holes. They can be filled!

Follow Jill's favorite hashtags on Instagram. #byegonelabels #robinsproject #payphonephotography #tresspassingforart #worlddecay #partnersincrime #findbeautyoutofshit #moocowmonday #itsokimvine #toiletsformichelle #scoobydooish #imaginarycrimescene #theresalwaysanexit

Find Jill Mustoffa's latest book One Hundred Days of Rural Decay online.

When Jeanne isn't doing House Tours, she is blogging on how to create bohemian style with both vintage and recycled materials.

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