Proprietor’s vision permeates Georgetown B & B

By Ian Neligh
Posted 4/12/10

With all the gusto and grace of a symphony conductor, Joyce Jamele moves through the house at 314 Argentine St. pointing to brightly lit bedrooms and marble counters as if they were string, brass and …

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Proprietor’s vision permeates Georgetown B & B


With all the gusto and grace of a symphony conductor, Joyce Jamele moves through the house at 314 Argentine St. pointing to brightly lit bedrooms and marble counters as if they were string, brass and woodwind sections.

The former interior decorator and current proprietor of the Silver Queen Bed and Breakfast can speak to every facet and nuance of the house’s interior design as if they were carefully composed arias and symphonies.

Jamele has worked on the house for three years, bringing her years of design experience to the B&B, which opened this year.

In 1892, when Thomas Cornish originally built his elaborate home, he spared no expense.

Cornish made his fortune in the mining industry and as superintendent of the profitable “Terrible Mine,” and he was able to accentuate his mansion with a French Mansard roof with Italianate and Gothic Revival detailing. The Victorian-style mansion was also fitted with state-of-the-art amenities such as hot and cold water, gas and electricity.

The Colorado Miner newspaper said in 1893 that “Mr. Cornish has been foremost in supplying his residence with all the modern improvements.”

When Jamele bought her first home in Georgetown in the late ‘90s, she knew the Cornish house’s former owners. She had fallen in love with the house, and when the opportunity came to buy it, she happily did so and moved from California to Colorado permanently.

“I decided that I would buy this house and move up here,” Jamele said. “And then somewhere in there, I got the idea of doing a bed and breakfast; I’m not quite sure how that came to me.”

Jamele said she fell into the bed and breakfast business because she loves meeting people, cooking and entertaining.

“I’ve met so many people that say, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to do a bed and breakfast,’ and I was one of those people that always wanted to do one,” Jamele said. “I was just the one that said, ‘Yes, I think I’ll do it.’ ”

The idea for her new business came in part from trying to think of uses for all the space in the old mansion.

“Part of it was thinking about this house and going, ‘Geez, it’s an awfully big house for one person,’ and then I just looked at the floor plan and how it laid out, and I just realized how it would be perfect for that kind of endeavor,” Jamele said. “I needed to do something. I’m not ready to totally retire and do nothing.”

Jamele said she attended bed and breakfast conferences and seminars, talked with owners and had stayed in a fair share of B&Bs over the years to learn what she liked as a guest.

Jamele graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a concentration in interior design. A professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, she has designed houses since the late ‘70s.

“And so that sort of prompted me to kind of take this house and do some things to it,” Jamele said. “And I have done major overhauls of several homes for myself and for other people and so on — nothing quite as daunting as this.”

During the three years of preparation, she “really got into it,” putting up new wallpaper and repainting to give the interior a brighter feel. Then she started looking at the existing house plans with local architects.

“I just started moving things around, and then doing all the space planning and eventually came up with what I wanted it to be,” Jamele said. “… I’m very particular about everything, and I’ve done this kind of work before.”

Little by little, her dream bed and breakfast began to come together.

“It was quite a process,” Jamele said. “I had no kitchen for several months and camped out in (a) room with a microwave, a toaster oven and a refrigerator.”

She said the kitchen was gutted and rebuilt, which is always one of her favorite areas to redesign.

“I love doing kitchens because I like to cook, and I like to make it a kitchen I can actually work in,” Jamele said.

In the back of the kitchen sits her 1,290-pound pride and joy, an Aga cooker — a unique British oven that stays at a constant temperature all day long.

“It’s a whole different way of cooking, but I just wanted one — when I leave, this is going with me — I want to be buried in this thing …,” Jamele joked. “I just absolutely love it.”

Her first paying guests came on New Year’s, and by Valentines Day she was booked.

“I love it; I had so much fun,” Jamele said. “Like I said, I love to cook, I love people, I love doing all the entertaining — it was just really nice, and the people who came gave me wonderful comments. It just made me feel really good — they totally enjoyed it.”

For information about the Silver Queen Bed and Breakfast, call Joyce Jamele at 303-569-3511. Room rates are around $200 per night.


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