When comedian Adam Cayton-Holland is not traveling to perform stand-up, he’s enjoying his 1885 Victorian in Denver. Although the avid traveler — 30 countries and counting — told jokes before this season on Conan, he takes himself seriously enough to provide his house with purpose, displaying artwork and collectibles from his excursions. With an eclectic mix of family heirlooms and travel memorabilia influenced by Cayton-Holland’s dad and art-collecting grandfather, this hot and innovative atmosphere provides a welcome intermission between gigs.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Adam Cayton-Holland along with his puppy, Annabel
Location:Baker neighborhood of Denver
Size: 1,500 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Cayton-Holland relaxes from the master bedroom along with his puppy, Annabel. “I remember bringing her to my home for a puppy, and I thought, ‘Now this is my property,'” he states.
“I travel a lot for work, and when I come home, among the first things I do is walk my puppy. I like to check on the few-block radius round here and see what, if anything, has changed. Folks say they always find me walking my puppy. It’s my way of announcing, ‘Hey I am back.’ I like things like this.”
Cayton-Holland regularly hosts friends and fellow comedians in his bedroom that is . “A lot of comedians come into town for a monthly stand-up comedy show I do called The Grawlix,” he states. “People are always wanting to come in town for it, so we try to fly comics and then they wreck together with me for a few days. I prefer trying to give them a wonderful spot to stay.”
He’s traveled all around the world and at a single point called the Spanish city Santiago de Compostela house. So obviously, virtually every decor piece in his house includes a narrative along with a passport stamp. A print in the Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamin hangs over a vintage record player. A classic Indian wood carving out of Denver’s Antique Row on South Broadway hangs in an adjacent wall.
This dining set, nevertheless, is a family heirloom.
The comedian attributes his style — what he describes as that of a “tenured professor’s office” — to his father, a civil rights lawyer, and grandfather, who was an art dealer. When he was growing up, his father “needed a room we called ‘the library’ because of the number of books,” he states. “My father had only festooned the place with paintings — Indian arrowheads, old binoculars, garudas from Indonesia, Persian carpets, old lamps. It’s very eclectic, but everything gets the feel of being a treasure. I have always wished to emulate ‘the library’ from the living room.”
It was a challenge to distinguish the living room and dining room, but afterwards what Cayton-Holland describes a “war of attrition,” he now loves his open area. “I slowly acquired more and more stuff, which I deemed fitting of the space, and now it seems full and lively. I am still moving. Next I need a player piano.”
A kitchen rug, just past the dining room, hides a panel that opens to a stairway leading into a basement. The previous homeowner was a contractor who upgraded the area, and this is one of their home’s few untouched original features. “To get down to the basement, you have to scale down,” the homeowner says. “It’s kind of terrifying but also really cool, because you can see the skeleton of the home and an old staircase I assume led up to storm-shelter doorways now just goes nowhere.”
The homeowner and his dad are known to regular antiques shops and are great friends with local antiques dealer Rick Rose.
The antique chest here originated out of a Mexican monastery and dates back to the late 1800s. The three birdcages are also antiques.
Typical of early-20th-century homes, the walls in this house are extremely thick. Red paint adds dimension to the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen.
Masks from Senegal line the stairs from the foyer to the next story.
A vintage window framework that has been a Christmas present from Cayton-Holland’s sister hangs out of the 14-foot ceilings.
The foyer’s mission-style furniture piece is from an antiques shop in Colorado Springs and holds the homeowner’s many hats.
Once leased to a roommate, this space is now tCayton-Holland’s office, using a mission-style desk, chair and lamp.
Mexican folk art retablos and tapestries out of Mongolia and Indonesia adorn the wall.
Cayton-Holland sometimes performs in Los Angeles in The Meltdown, linking other comics, such as Pete Holmes, Rory Scovel and Brent Weinbach. The place is found in the back of a comic shop, and for each display a poster is made. Some of them decorate the cupboard doors.
Cayton-Holland relaxes on front porch with Annabel. “I am always visiting new cities, and I always love returning to Denver,” he states. “It’s fun to be a part of a city that’s constantly defining itself, that no one has really written the book on yet. This makes you feel a part of something. There is a spirit of anything that you need to see or do, you can do it here.”