2024 Homestead Magazine


Homestead Magazine


Dream Property: Snake River Sporting Club

A Home Within ‘The Club’

+ Story by Kirsten Rue
+ Interior Photography by David Swift

WRJ Design Associates
wrjdesign.comPROPERTY & CLUB
Snake River Sporting Club
RE/MAX, Obsidian Real Estate
jacksonholeobsidian.comFINE ART
Altamira Fine Art


Perched majestically on a bend overlooking the Snake River, the clubhouse at Snake River Sporting Club can’t help but catch the eye. Yet “the club,” as it’s called, deliberately leaves wild borders undisturbed. From the dining room’s vantage point, the first hole of its signature Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course undulates in harmony between willow stands and riverbank.

Pristine Landscape

Fall colors flare, rimming the Snake River and signature club course with gold.

In fact, harmony is a word that gets used a lot around here. “We provide a comprehensive Jackson Hole experience in a private club setting,” says Chief Operating Officer Jeff Heilbrun. From the opportunity to trail ride, cast on private waters, and even dabble in archery with 3-D targets, that lifestyle is one of rugged luxury. After investment firm Cygnus Capital purchased the property, they sought a design team that could capture the singular lifestyle for the interior design of the club.

Above Par

Marvin points out that Tom Weiskopf dubbed the Sporting Club’s course his favorite North American design, no small feat considering his discerning tastes.

Rustic Pursuits

Horseback Riding
Nearly 800 privately held acres ensure a true respite for members and their families. “The club’s amenities are truly a subset of Jackson Hole activities,” says Jeff Heilbrun of offerings that run the gamut from guided river rafting to cross-country ski trekking.

Enter New York- and Jackson Hole-based WRJ Design Associates. Working within a tighter turnaround time than usual, WRJ Principal Rush Jenkins notes that “the club’s newowners were looking for us to guide them to an aesthetic that was fresh and a little bit more contemporary, and yet still have rustic qualities. They really handed us that ‘aesthetic’ latitude.”

Enticing Entrance

The interplay of texture and rich color against the solid backdrop timber provides an irresistible invitation to linger for a conversation or glass of wine.

Design Resonance

“It’s all about the lifestyle,” Klaus Baer emphasizes. Elegant dining chairs by Ralph Lauren are custom-upholstered in leather paired with red-and-gray wool, a blending that, with the bleached pine tables, fits a variety of different dining scenarios.

From the outset, Jenkins and Klaus Baer’s objectives were twofold: on the one hand, resist expected lodge flourishes and lighten the cavernous 26,000-square-foot space with plush textiles and creamy neutrals. “The other objective was to make the environment feel like a home. We didn’t want it to feel like a commercial installation. You’re relaxed and you want to sit down on the sofa because it’s inviting over there by the fireplace. The materials speak to that,” Jenkins says.

Envisioning the comfort of every hand- selected piece was crucial to this goal. Custom alpaca fur pillows and a sumptuous chocolate brown alpaca throw are draped over a sofa of soft-spun wool in the lodge’s great room. “Textiles that are luxurious and have great textures are really important to our aesthetic. That sort of tactile experience for the visitor is really key,” Jenkins says.

Fluid Curves

Whimsical, English-style deck chairs do their part to break up the rectilinear lines of this ample deck, lending a dash of playful comfort.

Working closely with Altamira’s Katherine Harrington on the chosen artwork and its placement helped hone the more residential aspects of the club’s distinct spaces as well. “I thought about the setting of the clubhouse: To me when I walked in, it had a very sophisticated and inviting feel. We wanted art that blended well with the space to create a welcoming atmosphere,” says Harrington.

From the gestural red loops of the September Vhay canvases that catch your eye as you enter, to the serene blue and green shades of Jared Sanders’ landscape paintings in the great room, each work harmonizes tonally with outdoor foliage and WRJ’s chosen accent colors.


“The clubhouse is a sizable building, but WRJ’s thoughtful design creates a number of smaller, more intimate spaces perfect for spending time alone or with a group of friends,” Chip Marvin of Obsidian Real Estate says of the team’s work. As brokers for a diverse range of the Sporting Club’s residential properties, he and co-broker Fred Harness are in and out of the clubhouse frequently, and observe that the blend of traditional touches and more modern elements “really speak to people” as they move through the building.

Heilbrun echoes this sentiment: “They nailed it. We have very ample space to run a club operation, but the feel of the club is anything but ‘clubby.’ ” He and WRJ both emphasize the inviting nature of each nook: a passageway that doubles as a gallery and occasions extra steps of contemplation; a tranquil women’s lounge that charms with soft blue colors and delicate Belgian stitchwork.

Great Room, Great Comfort

Custom-sewn pillows by John Robshaw and cashmere throws by Loro Piana lend warmth and visual contrast to the great room yet don’t pull focus from the expansive views beyond.

“Memorial” by Jared Sanders

Sanders, represented by Altamira Fine Art, is a favorite painter of the design team at WRJ Design Associates, who believes he “captures that soft beauty you feel from the West.”

Even the club’s entrance is positioned with a familial sense of pride. Rather than abandon members to a gleaming expanse of floor, a snug sitting area in light wood and beige linen immediately beckons at the foot of the staircase. “It must feel really welcoming and set the tone for the rest of the lodge. If you’re going to greet a friend when they come in, you want to be there like the host or hostess to greet them, and to make them feel comfortable,” Jenkins says.

Heilbrun remarks: “You can live in this space.”

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