A Home In Tune

> Story by Richard Anderson
> Photography by David Agnello

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Wooded Setting: The Will Bruder-designed home at the base of Teton Pass was built in 1998 and added onto in 2007.

Interior Design
Grace Home Design

BUILDER
Jackson Hole Contracting Inc.

The Moosebrush home near the base of Teton Pass has a laid-back, jazzy, improvisational feel that belies the deep thought and multitude of decisions invested in each space. Designer Jennifer Prugh Visosky, of Grace Home Design, and contractor Craig Olivieri, of Jackson Hole Contracting, proved equally adept at achieving the same flow when they were tasked with renovating it.

“My clients tried to identify the style they wanted in the home,” Visosky says, “but at the end of the day, they wanted a marriage of many styles that felt natural to them.” Yet it also had to come together coherently—to play like an album, to read like a story.

The Moosebrush home—2,600 square feet, with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, by Arizona architect Will Bruder—was built in 1998. Adding even more to the pastiche, the home was expanded in 2007, Visosky says. Originally, it had a lot of small spaces and private areas. Visosky and Olivieri’s job was to open these up, transforming the residence into a family home for children and entertaining.

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Pattern and Contrast: An exquisite Vitra sink, Élitis wallcovering, and Jason Wu-designed lavatory faucet bring a touch of high fashion to the powder room.

“In ways, we let the space breathe,” Visosky elaborates. “The house doesn’t get a ton of natural light—it’s truly in the woods—so that was one of my concerns: how to make it feel alive.”

Opening spaces, brightening walls with paint and patterns, and mixing and matching for a sense of spontaneity were all key to enlivening the interiors. “There were things we wanted to keep that were Will Bruder’s style, like fun window sizes and placement, but a lot of it we really changed,” she says.

Structurally, that involved quite a bit of effort, Olivieri adds. “We took off the entire roof, added insulation, took the walls down to studs, and rebuilt 40 percent of them.” Working with architect Troy Kampa of Minneapolis, the team created a new entry and updated lighting plan. A loft that once half-enclosed the stairs that lead from the entry to the main living area was removed—this went a long way toward creating a sense of openness in the main living area.

From there, the kitchen was entirely ripped out and rebuilt with an island, a high-end Aga stove and hood, and cabinets that were custom-crafted to accommodate a quirky, 5-or-so-degree inward cant to the back wall—a detail that Olivieri calls fun, but also a challenge for the team throughout the project.

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Artistic Flair: The main living area presents a mélange of contemporary lines and traditional touches; earthy tones and splashes of color and pattern; high-end furnishings and simple solutions.
Clean Canvas: Visosky and Olivieri worked with their clients to rebuild the kitchen from scratch. The island’s Paperstone top had to be carefully fitted around the load-bearing pole.
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Quirks: A slight inward angle to the back wall of the home proved challenging, especially when it came to designing and installing the custom cabinetry.

Visosky notes that the home ended up being a “really cool mix of high and low.” French Élitis wallpaper and a Vitra sink bring a sense of high style to one bathroom, while 11/4-inch steel tubing makes for a clean and contemporary grab rail on the stairs—just one elegantly simple solution that Olivieri engineered.

“That’s why I like to work with Craig,” Visosky says. “He’s so immaculate and skilled and attentive to details and budget. … It makes such a difference if the team members are playing nice.”

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Family Nooks: Most of the four bedrooms remain tight and cozy, but were revitalized with the use of vibrant color and off-the-wall light fixtures.

Visosky has been in the design business since 2004, and Olivieri has been a contractor since 2003. Citing their mutual depth of experience and solid working relationship, the two have collaborated on several big projects in recent years, bringing clear design principles and expertise to each one.

As Visosky points out, sometimes in life we are inundated with too much information. The role of a designer, she says, is to narrow down the options in order to lead clients in a direction that is right for them. At the same time, it’s important to stay original and retain one’s own voice.

“Jen’s not afraid to go out on a limb and do big things,” Olivieri reflects, thinking of a wide, bright stripe that accents a bathroom wall or the vermilion leather of the chairs at the kitchen island. “These are fun, playful things that really add a unique twist to the home.”

In some cases, success comes down to a unity of aesthetics—the quality of craftsmanship or a deep understanding shared by designer, builder, and client. At Moosebrush, everything clicks.

As Visosky says, “At the end of the day, it’s all that communication that makes these projects really successful.”