Chillaxing Jackson Style


Story By
Meg Daly

Story By
Sargent Schutt + Krafty Photos

Recreation rooms designed for serious play

The abundant recreation opportunities in Jackson Hole don’t stop at the front door. Inspired by their outdoor playground, local homeowners are designing their homes to be bastions of play and relaxation, where families and houseguests can unwind after their adventures on the slopes and trails. We visited three homes where fun is the focus. From a vintage billiards table to super-modern ping pong stations, and even indoor shuffleboard, these design elements offer an elevated experience of indoor recreation.

This rec room includes a home theater, a ping pong table, a mini bar area, two large televisions, a fireplace and a hidden wine cellar.

1 FAMILY FUN

The rec room in this Shooting Star cabin embodies the overall purpose of the home: ultimate family vacation. “The whole house was designed as a getaway,” says Christopher Lee of Design Associates Architects. “It’s a place where the family can play.”

The Silicon Valley-based owners and their two kids love ping pong, so that was a central element of the space, with an overhead TV screen (one of more than 30 TVs in the house) as well as a view of the nearby ski slopes from the table.

A window seat hides a shuffleboard table.

Opposite the ping pong area, a home theater welcomes a more relaxed viewing experience. All screens in the room can be synced so viewers never miss a moment.

The wet bar features wood from a regionally sourced, deconstructed barn. According to Elisa Chambers, of Snake River Interiors, the entire home emphasizes an urban ranch aesthetic. She calls the interior, which features Montana rock, barnwood, walnut, metal and glass, “elegantly understated.”

Clean lines define the modern aesthetic of this pool table.

Three glass panels in the floor serve a playful peek-a-boo function to the wine cellar below. The glass can be tinted white with an electric charge; when “fogged,” the panels obscure the view of the wine below. “You have to know which rock on the fireplace to push to open the ‘secret door’ to the wine room,” Lee explains.

2 PLAY, ELEVATED

At another Shooting Star cabin, recreation is also the main focus. (See page 69 for a description of its wine cellar.) This cabin features a singular modern pool table designed to be a statement piece for the client, an impassioned pool player. “We chose sharp edges and a sleek design, keeping the colors monotone and minimalistic,” says Katie Merritt, principal of KAM Designs. “We added hidden storage in the wall to store a ping pong topper for the table.”

In the cabin’s great room, a long, elegant window bench provides dual purpose and function. When not used for seating, the bench can be transformed into a shuffleboard table via a scissor lift.

Merritt notes that there is no designated area for fun and games in this cabin. Instead, she says, “The house has some aspect of fun in every room.”

A 19th-century pool table contrasts with a 21st-century bar and wine cellar in this hip West Bank guest home.

3 Eclectic Spirits

At this West Bank guesthouse, recreation is the name of the game. The client’s interest in vintage pool tables led to this amazing find: a completely reconditioned H.W. Collender pool table originally made in 1879. Collender was one of the most respected billiards table makers of his time.

“My client searches for something special in everything he does,” notes architect Michael Howells. “The pool table was a very serious piece for its time. To me it reads like something made for someone like J.P. Morgan. Not many people had a pool table in those days.”

Situated opposite a futuristic bar and wine cellar (featured on page 68), the pool table provides a dynamic, stylistic contrast.

“The contrast works,” says Howells. While the bar is very much of the present, with no historicism or precedent, the pool table is steeped in history, as is the Tiffany lamp hanging above it.

According to Howells, the juxtaposition of modern and vintage reflects the homeowner’s sensibility. “This owner knows what he likes and he is putting it together,” he says. “His home exemplifies how there are other ways of dwelling in Jackson Hole and other aesthetic attitudes that can be completely compatible with this place.”