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20 Years Of Dream Homes

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF HOMESTEAD MAGAZINE

Leafing through Homestead’s 20 years of covers is like taking a walk back in time. When I started this magazine in 2001, my vision was to showcase these works of art, which are rarely seen by those who have an appreciation for great design. It was also to create a resource guide for those looking to build or redesign, a platform for professionals to share their work from year to year.

Jackson Hole brings out the artist in us all, generating a desire to capture, frame and share our inspirations in many mediums and, in this case, our living spaces. Our valley attracts a tremendous talent pool of designers that unite together in each home project to assure that the shape, forms, lines, colors and textures all materialize into another work of art on our landscape.
From the beginning, we hired local salespeople, writers, photographers and designers. (Four of the original Homestead members—Mindy Duquette, Martha Vorel, my wife, Megan, and I—still make up the core of today’s team.) Then, as now, our dream was to produce elegant, sophisticated, coffee table-worthy keepsakes that also serve as invaluable resources, offering local insights, ideas and information to help Jackson Hole residents pursue their own home design dreams.

As you peruse the following pages, we hope you’ll enjoy walking down memory lane with us.

Be Well,
Latham Jenkins
Founder & Publisher

2001

2001 The timber frame construction of this home by Strout Architects creates an elegant living space. Reclaimed hand-hewn timbers are used to articulate the dramatic grand hall, and to frame the more intimate spaces.
PHOTO: CONRAD JOHNSON

2002

2002 Harker Design: The magnificent stone and log fireplace enhanced by generously proportioned chenille sofas and rich hand-rubbed woods creates a timeless casual elegance in this mountain residence.
PHOTO: ROGER WADE

2003

2003 For this dramatic Tucker Ranch dining room, Laurie Interiors started with an antique Bijar carpet from Kismet Rug Gallery and a custom-made oak drop-leaf table. Gold wallpaper laid in from torn strips is the perfect backdrop for White Horse IV by Kiki Martinez.
PHOTO: DAVID SWIFT

2004

2004 This beautiful Teton Village home demonstrates that elegance, sophistication and Western style can coexist. The Red Chair designers have expertly blended polished and rustic textures. The mantel features the work of Tal Walton from the Legacy Gallery.
PHOTO: LARK SMOTHERMON

2005

2005 Harker Design approaches each home and each room with the goal of creating spaces that are uniquely suited to the client, now and well into the future. From antique furniture to custom- designed pieces, Harker designers blend styles, colors and textures.
PHOTO: ROGER WADE

2006

2006 From the rich colors and textures of fabrics and paint to custom-designed lighting and unique accessories, Laurie Waterhouse and her experienced team of designers aim to create a room that showcases each client’s singular personal style.
PHOTO: DAVID SWIFT

2007

2007 Strout Architects and Harker Design create an unequaled and extraordinary, livable Western vacation home atop Gros Ventre Butte, combining traditional materials with contemporary design in a quiet, hospitable way.
PHOTO: DAVID SWIFT

2008

2008 Respect for place and a desire to create a timeless home that leaves a lasting impression drives Dan Schou Construction, Harker Design and MD Nursery to complete the dream that is Ellen Creek.
PHOTO: CAMERON NIELSON

2009

2009 Ellis Nunn & Associates and Pioneer Log Homes take tradition to a whole new level. Two families. One Dream. And nothing but lodgepole pine.
PHOTO: ROGER WADE STUDIO

2010

2010 An airy and captivating floor plan is the key to this Western contemporary design by Teton Heritage Builders. Three Rivers Stone, expansive windows and exposed steelwork create an atmosphere that’s both Western and contemporary.
PHOTO: ROGER WADE STUDIO

2011

2011 Pocket Ranch, a home designed to be one with the environment, is a collaboration between Strout Architects, Teton Heritage Builders and Laurie Waterhouse Interiors. It offers a glimpse at how a dwelling becomes part of the ecosystem.
PHOTO: DAVID SWIFT

2012

2012 Clean lines and a blend of textural elements come together in this home designed by Stephen Dynia in collaboration with Dynamic Custom Homes. This masterpiece displays an ever-evolving play of space, light, unusual angles and dynamic views.
PHOTO: CAMERON NIELSON

2013

2013 Embracing Stephen Dynia’s portfolio of innovative design, this treasure is open yet intimate. Interior designer Jacque Jenkins- Stireman used natural colors and textures that speak to the outdoors, while John Walker, of Mill Iron Timberworks, made it all come together.
PHOTO: DAVID AGNELLO

2014

2014 Snake River Interiors owner Elisa Chambers gives a personal tour of her home. A mix of grand and intimate spaces showcases the family’s lifelong collection of exquisite works. The home is a warm living environment for the family of six— functional yet aesthetic.
PHOTO: CAMERON NIELSON

2015

2015 Grace Home Design and Jackson Hole Contracting take us through a complete home remodel. Our cover home opens up to a vivid canvas of confident choices, ingenious renovations and picture-perfect detailing.
PHOTO: DAVID AGNELLO

2016 Spring/Summer

2016 Spring/Summer After the retreat of a wildfire, a property is renewed by an extraordinary home, its roofing melding with the landscape. Despite its modern design and size, the home’s profile fits into the contours of the property. Ward + Blake Architects, Cox Construction, ek Reedy Interiors.
PHOTO: PAUL WARCHOL

2016 Fall/Winter

2016 Fall/Winter An exquisite chandelier and sleek steel fireplace anchor this complete interior remodel, bringing city style—with a twist—to Jackson Hole. Expertly executed by Howells Architecture + Design, Dembergh Construction, Kate Binger, of Dwelling, and Willow Creek Woodworks.
PHOTO: DAVID AGNELLO

2017 Spring/Summer

2017 Spring/Summer This hillside residence blends mountain lodge with urban convenience. A hand-selected team including New West Building Company, Enclosure Architecture, Trauner Fay Designs and Frederick Landscaping contributed to produce this meticulously-crafted home.
PHOTO: DAVID AGNELLO

2017 Fall/Winter

2017 Fall/Winter A striking home designed by Richard Keating issued a challenge to all involved—spurring the new owners to embrace contemporary and their designers, WRJ Design, to achieve warmth amid the angularity.
PHOTO: ED RIDDELL

2018 Spring/Summer

2018 Spring/Summer Simple lines, clean details and walls of windows. Chris Lee, of Design Associates, captures incredible Teton views from every room in this stunning residence, which feels as though it is entirely made of glass.
PHOTO: KRAFTY PHOTOS

2018 Fall/Winter

2018 Fall/Winter If every house speaks a different language, the latest design by Berlin Architects is fluent in the echoes of the Tetons. This home embodies rustic turned contemporary. The interior space resounds with natural light and views.
PHOTO: JIM FAIRCHILD

2019 Spring/Summer

2019 Spring/Summer WRJ Design. Expert sourcing leads to an interior design rich in history, culture, craftsmanship and nature in a majestic mountain home.
PHOTO: WILLIAM ABRANOWICZ

2019 Fall/Winter

2019 Fall/Winter JLF Architects, Big-D Signature and Verdone Landscape Architects transform an 1890s dairy barn into a contemporary home on the range.
PHOTO: AUDREY HALL

2020 Spring/Summer

2020 Spring/Summer MountainScapes, Clearwater Restoration and Agrostis Inc. combine natural materials with geometric designs to surround this modern home with inventive, enjoyable exterior spaces.
PHOTO: KRAFTY PHOTOS

2020 Fall/Winter

2020 Fall/Winter Jacque Jenkins-Stireman, Berlin Architects and Two Ocean Builders paired modern materials with traditional treatments in a home designed to suit both the unique site and the clients’ extended family.
PHOTO: DAVID AGNELLO

Trusses Of Trust

A singular yet shallow site in Shooting Star presented as many opportunities as it did challenges. For instance, architect Larry Berlin had to devise a driveway and parking area that did not distract from the mountain views beyond the entrance. “The fun part was designing a really livable plan that fit the site and still created a sense of entry,” he says.


INTERIOR DESIGN
JACQUE JENKINS-STIREMAN DESIGN
JJSTIREMANDESIGN.COM

ARCHITECTURE
BERLIN ARCHITECTS
BERLINARCHITECTS.COM

CONSTRUCTION
TWO OCEAN BUILDERS
TWOOCEANBUILDERS.COM

Story By
KATY NINER
Photos By
DAVID AGNELLO + TUCK FAUNTLEROY

Trust braided together every aspect of this standout residence in Shooting Star: the clients’ trust in the crew, assembled by interior designer Jacque Jenkins-Stireman, and the trust among team members as they confronted site-specific challenges with creativity, reimagining traditional elements through contemporary treatments. Woven together, these strands of trust made anything and everything possible within the amiable yet ambitious family home.

The project rose from the working foundation laid during the clients’ first commission of Jenkins-Stireman’s boutique firm: a cabin within the same development, renovated to suit their large clan. Thrilled with that first foray, the family engaged Jenkins-Stireman in their search for a new homesite. With a lot secured, they charged her with assembling a team of Berlin Architects and Two Ocean Builders.

“I was their emissary,” she says. “They were clear in their objectives, not directive about the outcome. They knew how they wanted to use the house, how they wanted to live. It was a seamless conversation that started with the clients telling me to explore my wildest dreams: ‘You know what we love,’ they said. ‘Live it out.’”

Impeccable materials were used throughout the house, epitomized by the Brombal windows manufactured in Italy. “The windows and exterior doors are truly unmatched in quality and appearance,” says Sam Sehnert, of Two Ocean Builders. “You can absolutely feel the difference when you see and operate the units. They feel uniquely substantial yet look uniquely elegant.”

This invitation to dream—most often issued to, not from, clients—empowered the team to envision fresh adaptations to the distinctive site. Crescent-shaped and shallow, the lot is bordered by creeks, which offer a feeling of remoteness amid the residential development. Also a boon: abundant views in all directions—of the Teton foothills, across the valley to Sleeping Indian, and through the willows to Fish Creek. Jenkins-Stireman thrived in the face of the site’s strictures. Solutions became features, like the fire wall encircling the front fac?ade, screening the parking court.

Characteristic of the entire aesthetic, the kitchen marries traditional elements with contemporary treatments. The drawers and shelves, painted a rich blue (Mysterious by Benjamin Moore) reminiscent of a farmhouse palette, complement the sleek custom china cabinet artfully displaying the owner’s ceramic collection.

“That’s the fun of it all,” says architect Larry Berlin, “having a challenging site with great views and great light, as well as privacy, water and trees—and then designing the house to be part of the site.”

At every turn, the team considered the clients’ extended family. Take the bunk room above the garage—an expansive space that could have assumed utilitarian traits. Instead, the vaulted area exudes play, with two sets of triple-high bunk beds facing a wide sectional sofa, snack bar and custom foosball and pool tables. Each niche serves as its own bedroom replete with shelving, lights and outlets. Dormer windows flood the playroom with light. Oak paneling sheathes the walls and ceiling, creating a clean, continuous embrace.

Form surpasses function in the staircase, designed by Berlin to exist as a sculptural element floating between floors and laced by steel.
“The drinking library was completely custom, down to the refrigeration units used to cool the insulated wine storage cabinets,” Sehnert says. “This was described as the most important room in the house by the homeowner, so everything underwent an extra level of scrutiny, from lighting to sound to temperature and, finally, furnishings.”

The adults have their own special “play” space. Winemakers and connoisseurs, the clients wanted a bar that felt both cozy and commodious. Thus inspired, the team brainstormed, building on a design idea of a classic gentleman’s lounge. A hybrid haunt took shape, spacious enough for a large wine tasting yet still intimate enough for two. Every element is custom, down to the refrigerated cabinets cooling the varietals—meticulous details that meld into an overall ambiance of gracious hospitality, reflective of the owners themselves, Jenkins-Stireman says.

Epitomizing the family ethos, the kitchen welcomes all with its warm blue cabinetry, wide island and upholstered stools. It opens onto adjoining casual dining and family rooms. In an elegant twist on the classic china cabinet, a built-in steel case displays a ceramic serving collection under soft spotlights, simultaneously evoking an art gallery, farmhouse pantry and the casements of the surrounding windows.

Berlin delighted in tackling the design conundrum of the outdoor shower, succinctly described by Sehnert: “The challenge was creating a space that felt open and outdoorsy but still private.”

Showcasing the views throughout the house became paramount, particularly in the front hall, which could have taken on grandiose proportions considering the scale of the house at six bedrooms and bathrooms (plus two half-baths). A typecast formal entry would have detracted from the mountain sightline, so the team created an intimate but elaborate vestibule defined by exquisite juxtapositions of materials: a steel door accented by glass, opening onto a beloved piece of art. Set to the side of the house, the foyer greets visitors with a view corridor of the Tetons framed by interior glass walls.

“In the bunk room, integrating the two sets of triple-high bunk beds and floor- to-ceiling white oak paneling took a lot of thought and planning with the cabinet company, carpenters and design team,” Sehnert says.
When designing a residence, Berlin strives to create a balance between “a variety of spaces: ones that are warm and cozy, and others that are more dramatic and transparent to the outside.” The great room epitomizes the latter with its panoramic views and ample seating.

Modern pairings of materials continue throughout the interior. Brombal windows—minimalist steel-framed panes from Italy—set an Old World-meets-contemporary tone. “They allowed the rest of the architecture to shine,” Jenkins-Stireman says. Inventive interpretations of traditional treatments abound. Instead of rote barnwood paneling, white oak was milled to perfection, and plaster takes on sleek effect sans trim or baseboards. Organic accents—pendant clusters custom-made by a New York artist—transform stairwells into sculptural passages, replete with floating treads. Even the mudroom suggests singularity with a real, forest-perfumed birch veneer.

A dining terrace extends the great room, nearly doubling the expanse. And a second deck does the same to the kitchen and family room, allowing for casual grilling and indoor/outdoor living. In a final stroke of knife-edge genius, an outdoor shower strikes the delicate balance between feeling both open to nature and private, by way of stone-and-slatted walls. Hot tubs and fire pits, attached to suites, make for quiet moments in situ.

No interior detail escaped the imagination of Jacque Jenkins-Stireman. Real birch veneer lines the walls of the mudroom, lending woodsy aromatics to the functional threshold space.

“We are always exploring ways in which finish materials can interact,” says Sam Sehnert, of Two Ocean Builders. “Those details take a collaborative effort to work through successfully, and we had an outstanding team to do that on this project. The owners played a key role as well by encouraging us to explore unique solutions in design and assembly.” A dream come true from every exquisite angle, including the perspective of every party involved.

Architectural Connections

Contemporary components of steel and glass were used in this passage to connect the reclaimed stone building to newer construction in the rest of the house.

Architecture
JLF Architects
jlfarchitects.com

Construction
Big-D Signature
big-d.com

Landscape Design
Verdone Landscape Architects
verdonelandarch.com

Story By
Seabring Davis
Photos By
Audrey Hall

For four decades JLF Architects has been creating connections through architecture. Connections to place and history, to people and the landscape. The impact of timeless design is what makes The Creamery, a house on the Snake River Ranch, so distinct.
“Our philosophy is making contemporary spaces with reclaimed materials—the parts and pieces of old buildings,” says partner and design principal Paul Bertelli.

Since the firm was founded in 1979, Bertelli and his partners have been known to occasionally drive around the country searching for old, neglected—and beautiful—architecture, such as dilapidated barns and cabins, stone structures, even old fencing. JLF pioneered the use of those recycled components in their designs.

This home incorporates stone from a forgotten 1890s dairy barn in Montana. The stone creamery was dismantled, moved piece by piece, and reconstructed in Wyoming. Built on a property that was once part of a large homestead ranch, the architectural language of the house honors that pastoral link. Combining rustic stone and reclaimed wood with refined style, the owners found a way to re-imagine a home on the range.

Utilizing the ruins of an early 1890s limestone creamery, JLF Architects reconstructed the structure stone by stone as a new home near Jackson.

The reclaimed stone was incorporated in the living, dining and kitchen spaces, all reassembled in original form. Adding personal touches, the owners folded rustic furnishings with comfortable current pieces into the interior design throughout the home. Antiques pepper the living spaces, including a French refectory table and Chippendale chairs to anchor the dining room.

The home represents the owners’ personal connection to the land, as well as an example of what has become a JLF Architects signature: the melding of old and new elements into contemporary architecture. Partner Logan Leachman credits JLF’s philosophy of working hand in hand with construction company Big-D Signature, trusted artisans and craftspeople.

Inside, a French refectory table and Chippendale chairs add a touch of refinement to the rustic materials of the home.

“A design-build approach has allowed our team to look at the design of each structure holistically to create continuity and quality within architecture,” explains Leachman.

The Creamery is evidence that dedication to building timeless structures rooted in integrity and elegance shows best when natural materials, inspired design and an ethos that stems from a unity of nature, beauty, balance and imagination all come together.

The Art And Soul Of A Home

While the clean lines of the midcentury modern furniture fall in step with the home’s geometry, the whites in the bench, chandelier and lampshade align with the afternoon sunlight on the textured rug.

INTERIOR DESIGN
WRJ Design
wrjdesign.com

Story By
Zachary Barnett

Photos By
Audrey Hall

This quote resonated with me as I stood with Rush Jenkins, CEO and principal designer for WRJ Design, in the entranceway of this award-winning Jackson Hole home he designed recently. He pointed out the half-seen, half-hidden elements of the architect’s lines and angles, and noted how the earth tones in the Elizabeth Eakins floor covering subtly called out the textures and pitch of the reclaimed timber.

For lines, there was the simple geometry of Mountain Hardware’s chandelier echoing the trim in the glass doors beyond, and the crisp contours of the midcentury furniture balanced by the streamlined, upholstered bench. And there hung one of the owner’s paintings capturing all of these elements combined.

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
– Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize-winning physicist

“One of the lessons I learned at Sotheby’s,” Jenkins recounted, “is that paintings always have a way of finding their place.”

We had not yet moved beyond the entranceway, and already there was enough to appreciate about the art of Rush Jenkins. He was, indeed, thoughtful, with a sound eye for the narrative of the home as the owners and architects had meant it, which is when the word “intrigue” first entered our conversation.

A Bradford Stewart painting and custom wool-and-silk rug, along with Edward Wormley sofas, accentuate the power of light, balancing the imposing steel, stone and timber.

JLF Architects/JLF Design Build had used steel, stone and timber to layer this house high up on a vista-rich butte between Jackson and Wilson. They had done so in a way that the rooms appear to have been built sequentially, as if they were the chapters of a fantastic novel about the life of a family, unfolding gradually and surprising at every turn.

It occurred to me that not only is the designing of a home very much like the telling of a story, but that in every design—every creation—is revealed the thread of the designer.

A WRJ-designed breakfast table, Holly Hunt glass pendants and Lindsey Adelman chandelier play off the glass-fronted white cabinets.

AN ARTIST FINDING HIS PLACE

Raised on an Idaho farm with views of the Tetons, Jenkins studied landscape architecture in California and then moved abroad for studies in the Fine and Decorative Works of Art graduate courses at Sotheby’s London. Eventually, he became the first-ever director of design at Sotheby’s New York, before “returning home” to Jackson Hole with his partner, Klaus Baer, to found WRJ Design.

Jenkins tells stories, good ones about how his styling of a collection for Cher led to his designing the exhibition for Nancy Reagan at the Reagan Library; of interviewing with the former first lady’s board members, including Merv Griffin and the advisor to Prince Charles. These stories become one story of an artist with many talents and interests, woven from a deeply curious, creative mind and drawn from the well of experiences and terrain.

Nature is a major source of inspiration to Jenkins. “The natural surroundings and authenticity of where I grew up had a great impact on my desire to return to the West,” he says. “Open spaces, rugged terrain, majestic mountains feed my soul.”

The master bedroom takes on a cabin-in-the-woods feel, thanks to the custom, textured Elizabeth Eakins rug, linen drapes and rising butte beyond, which becomes, in the mind’s eye, another painting.

Open spaces, rugged terrain, majestic mountains feed my soul.
– Rush jenkins

WRJ chose unadorned Ochre light pendants to complement the owner’s option of a windows-on-the-world view in place of traditional mirrors.

In fact, WRJ created its own word for this relationship with nature—a very telling, brilliant word—and used it as the title of its statement publication:

INTERROIR

1. The combination of environmental elements—soil, land, sky, climate, light, terrain, texture, fibers, altitude, palette—that imbues a specific object, material or space with distinctive character
2. The imprint of nature upon interior design
3. The signature approach of WRJ Design

Drawing the outside in

That afternoon, interroir is what I saw: line and form and color in harmony with nature. Paul Bertelli, design principal at JLF, had conspired with the owners to follow the lines of the landscape and defer to nature. It made sense that Jenkins would identify with this philosophy.

“The philosophy and work of JLF is something that resonates deeply with me,” he says. “We have a similar approach to understanding context and place and using natural materials in the design of our clients’ homes. Their homes have a deep authenticity and soul that feel like they’ve enveloped the lives of many generations.”

And here was the brilliance of Jenkins. As we walked the rooms, I saw again and again the wisdom of his choices. Instead of out-muscling the heaviness of the stone, steel and timber with big shapes and colors, he saw the need for light, cream tones and simplicity of pattern. With a plein air painter’s eye for the distant, muted colors of the far-off mountain ranges and horizon, he sought softness and clean, soothing lines. In the white linen drapes that embraced the sunlight in every room, and in the light blues and grays of the floor coverings that drew from the clouds and sky, his intentions were clear: Allow the mind’s eye to rest. Establish harmony. Create a sanctuary.

WHEN THE JOURNEY BECOMES A HOME

In the end, by Jenkins recognizing the lines and palette of the journey already established, the shared beliefs about what this home could be were interwoven with the memories and moments of what it did become.

It began with the owner’s love of midcentury furniture and a dream of building a home in the mountains of Wyoming. It continued with Bertelli wandering the butte with fellow architect Ashley Sullivan and landscape architect Jim Verdone one summer day, seeking a site for the home and happening upon a little meadow of wildflowers. Those flowers became the owner’s sanctuary and the anchor for the whole project.

And then there was Jenkins’ meeting with the owner in New York City. Though he was not originally slated to join this journey, Bertelli and Sullivan thought the owner should meet him.

Says Bertelli, “The thing about Rush is, every time we work with him, the project turns out great. He has an innate ability to see what we’re trying to accomplish. He gets it. I really think of him as a part of the team.”

Metamorphic Manor

Metamorphic stones define many aspects of the house, creating unique spaces within an open floor plan.


CONSTRUCTION
CC builders
jacksonholehomebuilders.com

ARCHITECTURE
Michael Remsik Designs
michaeljremsikdesigns.com

CABINETRY
Willow Creek Woodworks
willowcw.com

LANDSCAPE
MD nursery & landscaping
mdlandscapinginc.com

Story By
Julie Fustanio Kling

Photos By
Jim Fairchild


An enormous amount of site work and collaboration went into transforming this piece of forested land in Wilson into a stately stone manor. The metamorphosis was completed just in time for its unveiling on the day of the total solar eclipse in August 2017.

“We scrambled at the end because we had visitors, but we had so much fun working together,” says the wife of a retired couple who owns the house. She designed and built six homes for her family before she got it right. “It took three and a half years to plan this one and we are still really good friends with everyone who helped build it.”

The team, including Dallas-based building designer Michael Remsik, local homebuilder CC Builders, Willow Creek Woodworks and MD Nursery & Landscaping, picked out unique slabs of onyx, limestone, quartzite and granite to achieve the metamorphosis. They even found a piece of snow-white onyx with a natural line on it that creates the illusion of a snow cap on the hand-cut Teton Range backsplash over the backlit powder room vanity. The half-moon-shaped mirror above the vanity hearkens back to the owners’ first day in the house, when the path of the eclipse cast awe-inspiring shadows on the property, then lit up their dream home again.

The scale and quality of the stone throughout the house is a source of pride for builder Clint Cook. He even used scraps of the exterior stone to make benches lining the wraparound terrace and the fire pit out back.

Vaulted monastery stone arches add a grandeur to the kitchen/living area, harmonizing with heated Oakley stone floors and hand-picked quartzite and granite slabs.
Hand-textured Douglas fir beams bring scale to the two-story great room, which looks out onto the Grand Teton. The window seat matches the Brazilian cherry floors and doubles as a storage chest for blankets and toys.
The hum of the Frank Lloyd Wrightian waterfall brings the outside into the dining room, where warm tones from knotty alder moldings frame the view.

Monstrous blocks of Oakley stone and reclaimed old-growth fir make the edifice as noble as the mountain range it faces. The stone is also used for the terrace and the heated walkway to the front door.

Remsik, who has now designed two houses in Jackson, enjoys bringing natural elements into mountain homes. “To me, that inside/outside feel is vital in mountain homes,” he says. “I spent a lot of time tweaking views.”

Earthy combinations of hand-textured Douglas fir beams and stone create a majestic yet cozy feel in the home’s entrance. Two giant, vaulted stone thresholds cloister the 23-foot-ceilinged great room, which Remsik elongated to create two seating areas, one facing the Grand Teton and the other facing a stone fireplace. “The space is defined by the stone arches and fireplace rather than walls themselves,” he says.

Adjoining the great room, the dining room has an air of Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous home built around a waterfall outside of Pittsburgh. “The best thing about the house to me is when you sit at the dining room table, it feels like the waterfall can get you wet,” Cook says.

The 20-foot-wide, man-made waterfall drops 20 vertical feet and is dispersed in seven pools leading to a small pond in the backyard. “We were trying to create a natural, spring-like feature that comes out of the hillside and down into the yard,” says Jared Searle, general manager at MD Nursery & Landscaping. “We wanted to create a soothing ambiance with the sounds of the water.”

To me, that inside/outside feel is vital in mountain homes. I spent a lot of time tweaking views.
— michael Remsik

For the husband, the dream is spending hours looking out at and listening to the waterfall, then turning his head to the opposing office windows, which paint a picture of the Snake River and the Tetons. “I wanted him to have the best views back and front, so we lined the windows up with the center of the Grand,” says his wife.

The kitchen offers a view of the waterfall. The natural materials inside reflect the palette of colors in the forest behind the house.

A custom handrail with glass inlays allows an unobstructed view from the office. “We created an open balcony with glass so it still feels like you are part of the great room,” says Jaxon Ching, founder of Willow Creek Woodworks. He suggested rustic walnut for the office’s built-in desk, bookshelves and cabinetry to add diversity to the palette of woodwork throughout the house.

A Murphy bed is hidden in the junior master bedroom, opening up the space so this guest suite can double as a sanctuary for the wife. Her private view of the Grand is framed by two aspen trees in the front yard.

In the evening, the mist from the waterfall and the crackle of the outdoor fire pit create a dreamlike atmosphere in the backyard. The benches were custom made by CC Builders.

A library nook off the junior master holds the biggest secret in the house: a bookshelf that opens into a storage space with easy access to the elevator, so the owners can carry things up from the mudroom or down to the media room and woodworking workshop on the first floor, depending on who’s doing the shopping.

The workshop, an unfinished space off the guest bedroom built for the owners’ grandchildren, will be the next metamorphosis for Remsik, who has his own woodworking shop in Dallas. Next, the owners plan to dream up some furniture.

Maison Studio: Create Space

Maison Studio - Jackson Hole, WyThe client’s pins sketched a contemporary aesthetic, influenced by Italian design—a sleek, sophisticated world far removed from the traditional home they had purchased. Charged with bridging the two, Saxon Curpier and Kim Dean of Maison Studio studied the pins and revealed the dynamic occurring beneath the silhouettes and labels: The client was drawn to high contrast, the juxtaposition of clean whites and defined darks. This focus translated into a harmony of careful contrasts, a primacy of light.

“Design is not a formula,” Saxon says. “Clients bring a vision. Our job is to expand beyond their vision to find their values. We see in, above and around what they give us.”

Maison Studio - Jackson Hole, WyEvery project receives the direct attention and personal involvement of both principals, as well as the benefit of their collective two decades in design. From new builds to room renovations, Kim and Saxon embrace the full spectrum of design and interiors. Complements of each other, together they provide all the elements and full scope of design services, from architectural and space planning to designing custom pieces, finding the perfect mix of fabrics, finishes, furniture, fixtures and accessories – creating truly inspired and unique interiors for each client.

Each designer draws on her distinct background: Raised in Encinitas, California, Kim has lived in many locales—Boston, Tucson, London, Philadelphia, New York, San Diego—a breadth of experience reflected in her discerning design aesthetic. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Arizona, a master’s degree in interior architecture and design from Drexel University, a certificate in interior design from Parsons School of Design. An ASID member, she won first place in an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) competition.

Maison Studio - Jackson Hole, WyAn East Coast native, Saxon spent her formative years in New York City, working at juggernauts like Women’s Day Home Magazine, The Rockefeller Foundation, The New York Public Library and Sony Music, before moving to Jackson in 2004 and becoming a designer, creative director, buyer and art consultant at a luxury home boutique and interior design firm.

In 2016, Saxon and Kim joined forces to launch Maison Studio under the credo: Create Space. Dually inspired by the designed and natural worlds, the pair find themselves fascinated with the many facets of spatial creativity. They constantly ask themselves: How do you create a home that reflects your personality and your passion? How do you delineate the ethos of a room, beyond its specific function? How do you create space for beauty amid utility? On a more macro scale, Kim and Saxon recognize their role in creating space for a wider, more varied design landscape within the context of mountain living. To this conversation, they bring a fresh eye and holistic approach that balances not just every artisanal detail but also considers the well-being of the individuals for whom they design. At their core, they forge authentic relationships—between themselves and their clients, between their work and their context, between place and personality, between built and natural, between distinct design elements.  maisonstudio.com | 307-203-2266

 

A Housewarming

a-housewarming-01

INTERIOR DESIGN
WRJ DESIGN
WRJDesign.com

ARCHITECTURE
RICHARD KEATING
KeatingArchitecture.com

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
VERDONE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
VerdoneLandArch.com

Story By
Katy Niner

Photos By
Ed Riddell

Is contemporary intrinsically cold? That was the concern of a couple when they found an architectural masterpiece in Alta, Wyoming. Designed by skyscraper architect Richard Keating, the striking structure felt like a stretch for them, their East Coast roots and their predilection for mission-style furniture. “I thought it was absolutely gorgeous, but the house was essentially all steel, cement and glass,” one of the homeowners says.

They turned to their friend Rush Jenkins, CEO of WRJ Design, for advice. His counsel ultimately became the deciding factor in their decision to purchase the 70-acre estate.

“Our caveat was: Can modern be warm?” the homeowner says. “Rush assured us that it can be. He told us: ‘I promise you I can make your house feel like a home.’ That’s what convinced us to pursue a purchase.”

From the moment Jenkins glimpsed the house—cutting a daring silhouette above the rolling Teton Valley—he knew it would become a capstone project. Drawing on his background in both landscape architecture and interior design, he believed the residence represented a singular opportunity to design a holistic schema in communion with the setting.

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“We consider every element in our design by envisioning a world that transcends the distinct components,” Jenkins says. “Everything must come together to create a calm, tranquil environment in harmony with their surroundings.”

Contextual complement

Honoring Keating’s angular architecture and its roofline reflection of the jagged Tetons, Jenkins imagined the interiors as a warm complement by channeling the wheat fields below the bold home. Also conscious of context, Keating had referenced Alta’s agrarian setting by using the corrugated metal sheathing silos and sheds to create a clean, minimalist stage for an interior vision.

Jenkins and WRJ Design Director Nida Zgjani rose to the occasion with an eloquent plan that proved worthy of the architectural statement Keating had made. Upon installation, Keating wrote Jenkins: “I wanted to relate how much I appreciate your firm’s work and the quality of interior design that the house never achieved in the prior owners’ time. … Please pass on to your team my appreciation and thanks.”

Harmony is the essence of WRJ—the foundation of our design philosophy.
~ RUSH JENKINS

Keating had sited the house in a particularly dramatic location, with endless views west and south. By his placement, the house serves as an amphitheater for nature: storms rolling in from the west, the wind whispering through the tawny waves of wheat, the fields changing hues with the seasons. “The house is immersed in the beauty of movement and seasonal change,” Jenkins says.

Thus inspired, he pulled this palette inside: the whites and grays of winter as upholstery, the wheat color from the fields as wood finishes, the azure of the endless bluebird sky as accents, the rich brown of the fertile soil as anchoring elements.

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“The architecture is obviously a statement,” Jenkins says. “The interiors must communicate with the architecture, but also the landscape. All three elements must speak to each other and, through this open dialogue, achieve an overall harmony. As a designer, I consider the full circle: the architecture, the landscape, the interior. If you get that dynamic right, the house feels harmonious. Harmony is the essence of WRJ—the foundation of our design philosophy. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to have a place where you can retreat and feel nurtured.”

Graceful sanctuary

Attuned to art, Jenkins incorporated key pieces from the homeowners’ collection, including a landscape painting by their friend and Teton Valley neighbor Scott Christensen. The lustrous oil painting now lives within the entrance hall, its rich composition tying into the textured leather-and-bronze BDDW console—one of the first pieces picked for the house—and a pair of bubble sconces from Paris found at Ralph Pucci in New York. This serene vignette serves as an interior threshold, setting the tone for the rest of the house: for the majesty to unfold in the open living area, for the tranquility achieved throughout the interior. “Like the unfurling mystery of nature, the house reveals itself in moments,” Jenkins says.

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Generous philanthropists, the homeowners needed living spaces capable of staging charitable events with many guests, but also cozy evenings with their family. The resulting living room flows with grace between seating and dining areas. Honoring their more traditional past, Jenkins chose several key pieces that translate the gravitas of classic furnishings into sleek shapes, such as the Holly Hunt seamless dining table in a deep walnut and the June Ho game table with its solid bronze trunk and white top.

To complement the concrete floors, Jenkins blended in gray, bamboo-silk rugs by Ralph Lauren, low-pile masterpieces that nearly disappear. Rife with such careful pairings, the home feels harmonious. “Your home is your sanctuary, the place you go to escape the troubles of the world,” Jenkins says. “Your home should rejuvenate you.”

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Two enclaves, in particular, issue invitations to relax and restore. The first is the circle of Janus et Cie handwoven armchairs on the veranda, ergonomic designs that encourage sinking into (no pillows necessary). Guests can sit, sink and soak up the vista with a cup of tea or glass of wine, listening to the owls perched on the fence posts, tracing the pathway that leads to a fire pit imagined by WRJ’s COO, Klaus Baer. The other memorable moment lives inside, in the window bays Jenkins upholstered and plumed with pillows from Turkey. Loro Piana silk-and-linen drapes frame the bay, creating the perfect place to page through a book.

Luminous landscaping

Echoing WRJ’s approach, Brannon Bleggi, of Verdone Landscape Architects, set out to ground and soften the concrete, steel and glass structure without tethering its transcendent architecture. “We wanted to make it seem like it was floating in a sea of native grasses and plants, so that you see bits of the concrete poking up above, like waves lapping against a boat.” This sense of soft movement honored the structure’s form while simultaneously better integrating it with its surrounds. “The big thing was to showcase what the site had to offer,” Bleggi says.

The original overgrown shrubbery had made the house feel dark and cold, so Bleggi prioritized light. Rather than break up the geometric lines of the structure itself, he allowed filtered sunlight through aspen stands to soften the angles.

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The element of water was further cultivated by revealing the brook to the south, a natural waterway previously heard but not seen. “We went in and surgically plucked out and poked holes within view of this mass of willows. We opened up peekaboo views into the brook which changed the whole liveliness of the house.”

Like WRJ, Bleggi considered texture and palette. “The native plants played well with texture, while allowing sprinkles of color to rotate throughout the seasons.”

Your home should rejuvenate you.
~ RUSH JENKINS

Such intrigue endures: Having lived in the finished home for several years now, the homeowners feel entirely at peace in the space. The warmth they hoped to see in the final product was actually achieved throughout the process. “All projects like this are fun, but there’s always a certain amount of stress involved,” the homeowner says. “This project turned out to be just fun. Rush and Klaus removed the stress for us.”

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Timeless East Jackson Mountain Retreat

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INTERIOR DESIGN
TRAUNER FAY DESIGNS
traunerfaydesigns.com

CONSTRUCTION
NEW WEST BUILDING COMPANY
newwestbc.com

LANDSCAPE
FREDERICK LANDSCAPING
fredericklandscaping.com

ARCHITECTURE
ENCLOSURE STUDIO
enclosurestudio.com

Story By
Kirsten Corbett

Photos By
David Agnello

Settled on a picturesque hill in East Jackson, the Hoover residence blends a mountain lodge with urban convenience, modern lines with a rustic timber-beam structure, and indoor comfort with nearby wilderness. It’s the perfect in-town retreat for a mountain-inspired family.

A hand-selected team composed of Enclosure Studio, Trauner Fay Designs, New West Building Company and Frederick Landscaping contributed its unique talents and finest work to produce this meticulously crafted home.

While appearing as one property from the street, the structure cleverly conceals a dual residence. The primary home holds five bedrooms, seven baths, a recreation room, personal library, sauna and hot tub, theater and gym. Mirroring it is an attached three-bedroom, five-bath townhome for extended family.

Owners John and Jenifer Hoover originally envisioned a modern mountain home with an open floor plan, yet they wanted a timeless design. Choosing a traditional timber-frame structure met their goals, while providing character and warmth.

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From rustic, wooden skis to geometric, hide-hair ottomans, carefully layered interior elements create a comfortable yet sophisticated dining area for both intimate dinners and larger celebrations.

New West sourced the post-and-beam structure from Colorado Timberframe, where the Douglas fir wood and joints were machine cut with such exactness that only wooden pegs now join them together. Trauner Fay advised builders on just the right color of stain to retain warmth and bring out the wood’s natural grain.

All of this brings the beauty of the outside in, being the main reason why we live in Jackson in the first place.
~ the hoovers

A charming entry features a black, iron staircase against a three-story illuminated rock wall. Timber beams extend forward, leading visitors along hickory floors past a small office and into the open living area. Building designer Destin Peters intentionally varied ceiling heights here to create intimacy, strategically revealing some structural beams while enclosing others. He also featured reclaimed-pine ceilings in some areas, while in other spaces a more traditional white ceiling contrasts with the beams.

“We felt that all great spaces have an appropriate level of detail,” says John Hoover. “In an effort to make cozy spaces we put thought into how each area would feel.”

The dining room’s lower ceiling and stone fireplace protect the space, making it an inviting place to celebrate with family and friends. Though the well-equipped kitchen could easily turn out a multi-course meal, built-in and medium-distressed white cabinets and a marble island create family comfort.

Directly adjacent to the kitchen and dining areas, a vaulted ceiling sweeps up two stories with uncovered windows. The design draws your eye to views of the Tetons and the National Elk Refuge, a rarely obtained perspective in town.

Throughout the house, a one-eighth-inch inset on the Sierra Pacific windows, provided by View Point Windows, eliminates windowsills. Thoughtful window coverings and skillful landscaping conceal most of the surrounding development, so a gentle sea of rooftops and forest takes precedence.

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Natural rock extends in one continuous wall from the ground level to the third floor, making a dramatic statement in the Hoovers’ primary entry, while bringing a bit of the outdoors inside the dwelling.

Although the main living room’s scale is truly grand, Trauner Fay’s inviting touches mix a modern palette of white, cream, grey and black tones with natural wool rugs and sophisticated textures. The iron accents on an ottoman and table decorations echo the entryway and tie the spaces together.

Open iron-railing walls overlook the living room from the second floor, sheltering a private library complete with fireplace. An adjacent seating area faces the Tetons. Here, the ceiling trusses are inset with an iron bar, rather than solid wood, to further enhance the view.

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Multiple beams meet in this timber-frame intersection,
illustrating the meticulous craftsmanship and design
inherent to the structure.

The master bedroom also opens toward the mountains. A wall behind the bed conceals a circular, walk-through closet, making it easy for one partner to rise early, while the other sleeps in. A children’s bunk room and nursery are thoughtfully located nearby.

In the master bath, a light copper tub fills via a ceiling-mount spout with a gentle column of water. Travertine tile and a sealed glass door separate the wet bath environment for convenience. Interior designer Kristin Fay employed tumbled and honed travertine in all seven of the home’s bathrooms, designing a unique pattern for each application.

This continuity of key materials applies to the transition between the interior and exterior of the building, too. The same flagstone appears on outside porches as in the foyer and pantry floors. Exterior barnwood is also used as an accent wall in the entry powder room, as well as in the dining and entertainment cabinets. The same stone used for the main hearth, fireplaces and interior stone stairway wall is used outside on the chimney and entrance.

As the Hoovers say, “All of this brings the beauty of the outside in, being the main reason why we live in Jackson in the first place.”

Hickory-and-iron stairs lead from the main floor down to ground level. Designed for casual entertaining, this space features a third fireplace, floor-to-ceiling glass accordion doors that open to a hot tub, and a barnwood-adorned bar. A home theater, designed to acoustic proportions with a surround-sound system, next to a home gym and steam shower, complete the amenities.

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The home’s three fireplaces were designed to appear as if they rest on top of each other, from ground level, to dining area, to library. However, they each use a separate flue, which required technical expertise in the installation.

During summer, generous decks draw the family outside. Sam McGee, owner of Frederick Landscaping, created a paved-rock seating area near the front entrance that provides a relaxing outdoor setting complete with natural gas fireplace. Careful placement of shrubs along the edge of the steep hill draws your eye beyond the nearby rooftops to beautiful scenery. A stream, fed by a 400-gallon ground vault that collects rainwater and recirculates the site’s runoff, provides both a safety measure and the ambient pleasure of running water. The deliberate yet organic landscaping ensures that the family will maximize use of the outdoor spaces during warmer months.

With such extraordinary attention to detail, the residence took nearly 1½ years to plan and design. Despite working on a tight site located on a hillside on a curve in the road, the team completed construction, landscaping and interior design in just 14 months. The result is outstanding: an in-town oasis designed and built to last for generations.

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Thoughtful site planning, combined with shrubs installed to just the right height, creates the ideal outdoor seating area for viewing the National Elk Refuge and Tetons, while camouflaging its in-town setting.

Modern Tranquility In Alta

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The open floor plan draws in full daylight through the large, energy-efficient, triple-pane windows that line both sides of the great room.

CONSTRUCTION
WITH THE GRAIN
BuildWithTheGrain.com

ARCHITECTURE
NATURAL DWELLINGS ARCHITECTURE
naturaldwellings.com

DRYWALL SOLUTIONS UNLIMITED
Email: ajwoolstenhulme@yahoo.com

ROOF RESCUE
rescueyourroof.com

TETON CONCRETE SURFACES
facebook.com/tetonconcretesurfaces/

Story By
Julie Fustanio Kling

Photos By
Joe Burns +
Tony Jewell Photography

Nestled between pastoral landscapes to the west and rugged mountain peaks to the east sits Yellow Rose Ranch, an Alta neighborhood where a Philadelphia couple staked their retirement claim. Recreational pilot Joe Burns caught a bird’s-eye view of Teton Valley in 2002 while on a solo flight along the Lewis & Clark Trail from Ocean City, New Jersey, to Bend, Oregon. He fell in love with the valley when he stopped for fuel at the Driggs-Reed Memorial Airport and envisioned retiring in this sleepy community.

But first, he had to sell his wife, Dot, on the idea. Her first thoughts of life in the West resembled that of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie—until she met a local group of well-read, outdoorsy women that goes by the name of WHALES (Women’s Hiking And Literary Epicurean Society). After that, she never looked back.

Early on, the Burns dreamed of building a rustic log cabin; but in the end, they settled on an elegant, energy-efficient modern design so they could implement the latest technology and lower their carbon footprint. After putting the project on hold when the financial crisis hit in 2008, they finally completed it last August. They’ve now known their builder, Kurt Mitchell, for almost a decade and think of him as a member of the family.

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Inset wood floors in the great room mirror the soffit line above, defining the space. The soffit additionally hides high-intensity LED strip lighting, which indirectly illuminates the ceiling.

Mitchell, a founding partner of With The Grain, has been building custom homes in Teton Valley since 2004, after moving his company from Colorado. Last year, he engaged Todd Witek as a partner in the company and became a full-service design-builder. Joe Burns and Mitchell share a passion for construction. “I was looking for a builder who would let Dot and me collaborate on the project,” says Burns. With 42 years of major construction experience, he has worked with many general contractors. Selecting one to entrust with his largest personal construction endeavor was a calculated decision. “Kurt is a straightforward and genuine guy. He has a great deal of passion for building homes and a meticulous manner that I can appreciate. I knew we’d make a good team,” says Burns. His wife is quick to agree.

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To round out the project’s leadership team, the Burns selected a local architect who advocates for collaboration in a design-build environment. Meghan Hanson, a Passive House-certified architect based in Idaho and Montana, started Natural Dwellings Architecture in 2008 after working with Carney Logan & Burke Architects in Jackson. She enjoys working with clients to combine their goals with high-performance design elements, including highly insulated and air-sealed structures and passive lighting, heating and cooling options. She received recognition early on in her career for an innovative straw-bale house she designed and built for herself.

“Joe is a researcher who has a methodical, mechanical mind,” Hanson says. “This house was a wonderful learning experience because all involved passionately believed in utilizing environmentally conscious, energy-efficient strategies.”

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The dual-island kitchen creates both a welcoming workspace and a natural environment for entertaining.

One of the materials she researched and used in the process is ROXUL insulation, a spun rock mineral fiber comprising basalt rock and recycled slag, a byproduct of steel and copper. It offers excellent fire and water resistance while providing sound absorption and thermal qualities. It was an integral part of a very sophisticated wall system.

The exterior of the home’s creative H-shaped design is made of Corten steel and Charwood™ siding, a product made by a Japanese process known as shou sugi ban, which was invented to create weather-, fire- and pest-resistant material. In this case, it is just a facade. The real weather barrier is the rainscreen underneath the exterior steel and siding, which brings air up and moisture down. “Meghan provided the most thorough and detail-oriented architectural plans I’ve ever seen,” says Mitchell. “They provided a solid foundation for our design-build collaboration.”

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Inside the house, it is as quiet as a walk in the forest, thanks to the triple-paned windows, an impenetrable air envelope and an exceptional insulation package. With a light and airy feel, the great room boasts large windows with a view of Fred’s Hill at Grand Targhee Ski Resort and two ambiance-building elements—a propane fireplace and a wood-burning stove.

Concrete dominates the floors throughout the home. “Joe and Dot wanted the concrete floors to have a light sheen to them, one that would stand the test of time,” says Mitchell. “We selected Teton Concrete Surfaces for their expertise in concrete floor polishing.” The floors create a pattern that, together with the functional yet decorative soffit, frames the open living space. The soffit gives the room an intimate feeling, while also providing a buffer for canned lighting.

The home features drywall-wrapped windows and door jambs and a smooth drywall finish. To achieve this labor-intensive look, known in the business as a Level 5 finish, Drywall Solutions craftsmen worked meticulously with genuine concern and care throughout the process.

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The home’s low profile and H shape make it inherently stable against gale-force winds. This geometry, combined with its exterior rain-wall system and triple-pane windows, creates an industrial-strength and deadpan-quiet home even under the most extreme weather conditions.

The home’s roof is a blend of Corten standing-seam metal and cedar shakes. Mark Franklin of Roof Rescue seamlessly transitioned between roof areas and from one roofing material to another to provide watertight peace of mind.

The south wing of the house was designed for the Burns’ two kids and grandchildren, with a separate living room, bunk room and guest bedrooms. A walnut guest bed headboard mirrors the shape of the Big Hole Mountains visible through a window above it. The bed frame was cut from the same slab that local woodworkers used for the dining table and a bench in the mudroom. Because of the home’s geometric design, when the guest quarters aren’t in use, the Burns can isolate that portion of the home, turn off its heat and hot water and realize energy savings.

Throughout the entire home, a glycol-water mix runs through pipes underneath the floors, providing hydronic heat, even in the garage. A nod to Burns’ mechanical background, the crawlspace floor is concrete, so he can comfortably access the home’s mechanical workings. And, there is a live roof above the entryway where wild grass grows. Every detail has been considered, from making sure the wood grain aligns in the built-in cabinetry to using zinc terrazzo strips in place of the control joints and at the concrete transitions to the maple floor.

“When you have homeowners like the Burns participating in the process, the outcome is almost guaranteed,” Mitchell says.

In The Round

Designing In 3D

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Three-dimensional modeling encompasses visualizations of every aspect of the home, from the architecture and interior design to the landscape architecture.
Story By
Katy Niner

Photos By
Latham Jenkins +
Veronica Schreibeis Smith

Imagine stepping inside your home long before the walls are built. Imagine gazing through the bay windows of the breakfast nook, months before the Pella order is placed. Imagine shifting the roofline several inches to better frame the front door, well ahead of any change-order headache.

Three-dimensional modeling makes such visualizations possible. “If you fly through a 3-D model, what would normally take you a week to synthesize in your brain becomes instant cognition,” says Veronica Schreibeis Smith, CEO and founding principal of Vera Iconica Architecture.

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Everyone involved with the project, including the architect, interior designer and contractor, works within the same model, thereby making it a detailed representation of the final product—accent pillows and all!

Gone are the days of flipping through unwieldy stacks of drawings to get a sense of the structure; now, walking through ideas is as easy as pressing a keypad. “Instead of lugging around huge sets of drawings, you can click on a button, instantly see the structural detail, and then move on,” Schreibeis Smith says.

They love the idea of looking at things with such freedom.
— ElisA Chambers

By using building information modeling (BIM) software like ArchiCAD or Revit, everyone involved—from the architect to the client to the structural engineer—can picture the project down to the details. No more lost in translation. No more disconnects between disciplines. Everyone is speaking the same language and seeing the same elements.

“The communication is better, the collaboration is better, and the coordination between sets reduces the room for errors and omissions,” Schreibeis Smith says.

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Elisa Chambers of Snake River Interiors refines a design using 3-D software called ArchiCAD.

It’s like playing with a dollhouse, says Elisa Chambers, owner and principal designer of Snake River Interiors. Clients can explore the house and experience every room in all three dimensions. “They love the idea of looking at things with such freedom,” she says.

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Within a 3-D computer model, subtle changes or discordant elements can be flagged and fixed with ease.

Designers revel in the freedom as well; the software gives creatives the space to realize their ideas in full in far less time, thus easing the stress of the ticking time clock. The time saved designing frees up focus on the front end, empowering designers to fully understand the clients and their needs. Chambers considers this comprehension to be the most important part of the process; she often draws on her master’s degree in psychology to extract clients’ ideas and then act on those articulations.

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No more lugging around blueprints;
3-D models are accessible on any
portable device.

Once designed, the model can become a virtual job site through cloud-based programs like BIMcloud by ArchiCAD, of which Schreibeis Smith was an early adopter (she says she got goosebumps during a conference presentation of the platform). “Putting our designs on a cloud-based server gives access to all of our consultants,” she says. As such, the workflow is seamless. “The drywaller can be working in one room while the plumber is in the neighboring bathroom.”

Discordant elements can be flagged and fixed with ease; changes made with one click and a quick instant message, rather than a re-drafting of documents. For example, after doing a virtual home tour, one of Schreibeis Smith’s clients decided a room felt too small and so moved the wall 4½ inches into the garage. “The only other time they would have caught that would have been when their project was framed,” she says. “At that point, moving the wall 4½ inches would have been silly to do for the expense. Now, you can catch things like that in the modeling phase.”

Even with BIM, changes are still made on-site. Ultimately, 3-D modeling cannot erase all issues, but it does empower everyone to focus on what matters: communicating well with each other.