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Blending into the Landscape

The owners originally requested a home inspired by a villa, but after a site visit, the landscape instead inspired architect Mitch Blake to propose a horizontal home that would stretch across the property and blend with the horizon.


Story By
KELSEY DAYTON
Photos By
ROGER WADE

ARCHITECTURE
WARD | BLAKE ARCHITECTS
WARDBLAKE.COM

Among a sweeping expanse of grains and grasses, a modern home stretches unobtrusively, surrounded by views that extend for miles across an open landscape and include the silhouette of the Teton Range in the distance.

This Idaho home is not so much on the landscape, but of the landscape. The owners originally approached Ward Blake Architects about designing a house inspired by a Tuscan villa. But when architect Mitch Blake visited the site, the strong horizontal plane of the landscape inspired a different idea. With the owners’ blessing, he designed a building with an elongated floor plan to capture the surrounding views, while blending into the landscape. The resulting structure, situated on 160 acres, has sod roofs, and the grain fields of the neighboring farmland come right to its edge, rooting the home to the earth.

Blake designed the building on one level to stretch across the landscape and blend into the natural environment. Massive windows throughout—many floor-to-ceiling—allow light to pour in and provide a sense of openness.

“You don’t feel constrained in the house,” Blake says. “It just kind of expands. The views are so great we opened up whole walls to the Tetons.”

The windows are also designed to maximize solar benefits. The roof overhang is perfectly calculated to allow winter sun into the house. Concrete floors absorb the heat and keep the home temperate no matter the weather. The design works so well that on a bitter cold day when the house was still under construction, Blake visited the site and found workers inside without jackets.

The owners wanted a modern home with a connection to the natural environment. Large windows throughout the house give it a sense of openness and blur the indoors and outdoors, bringing the outside in.
The front door of the home is a tribute to Western culture and designed as a reinterpretation of a Western fence. Steel beams supporting the roof in the exterior entryway are wrapped in split logs, blending rustic and industrial elements.

The building had been warmed merely by the passive solar heat. The home features a master suite, as well as a living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, sauna and garage. There are also guest quarters with bedrooms and a small sitting area in a separate wing connected to the main house by a covered pathway.

The ceilings are made of wood from an old barn, and the fireplace is made with stone from an old one-room schoolhouse. The aesthetic fits the owners’ personalities and makes it feel like a sanctuary, Blake says.

“It’s a composition of raw materials assembled in a modern way,” he explains. “It’s a fun, comfortable house—a place where you feel like you can totally relax.”

20 Years Of Reflection + Inspiration


Story By
ZACHARY DYMOND BARNETT
+ ELIZABETH CLAIR FLOOD

Since Homestead’s inception in 2001, homebuilding design in Jackson Hole has evolved significantly. And yet, some goals and challenges have remained the same. For this special anniversary issue, we interviewed a wide range of our valley’s top design experts to get a sense of where we were then as a community and how far we’ve come in the ensuing two decades.

WESTERN STYLE | THE EARLY 2000s

When this magazine launched in 2001, the large log home still dominated the Jackson Hole landscape, while a new wave of architects was looking for opportunities to employ a more progressive take on Western design. The ’90s had already experienced a few memorable splashes of “modern,” such as Will Bruder’s Riddell Building, Mad River Boat Trips’ wedge structure and Ward + Blake’s integrated designs. And though some of these had set off skirmishes in the press, they’d also bumped the needle toward a more expansive narrative about the future of Jackson Hole design. Recalls architect John Carney, “Steve Dynia and I were always talking about what Jackson would be. Would it be a Disney version of a frontier town? You couldn’t be a complete modernist because you wouldn’t get any jobs. I’d say, ‘Steve, you can’t do that kind of work here, you need gable roofs.’”

Fighting Bear Antiques

Meanwhile, a multitude of second-home buyers, gentleman ranchers and Wall Street moguls were now arriving with hopes of realizing their frontier dreams. As their modern sensibilities combined with a traditional, rustic homage to early Jackson Hole days, a new, more complex Western style emerged.

Architects willing to fulfill the more traditional ranch dreams at that time, such as Danny Williams, Roger Strout and Ellis Nunn, along with talented “log dogs” like Callum Mackay and Steve Leonard (now of Wilson Timber and Log), were experiencing a boom. Our Homestead issues then celebrated log lodges appointed with early 20th-century furniture, Navajo rugs and elk mounts displayed over large, stone fireplaces. Paintings by landscape and wildlife masters, like Carl Rungius and Conrad Schwiering, as well as work by local maverick and pop artist Bill Schenck, hung on cabin walls. Keeping up with the demand, Jackson interior designers like Elisa Chambers, of Snake River Interiors, Terry Trauner, now with Trauner Fay Designs, Pamela Stockton, of Stockton & Shirk Interior Designs, and others created nostalgic, iconic interiors with bold browns and reds and cowboy imagery.

Ellis Nunn + Associates and Teton Heritage Builders

A WALK THROUGH TIME …

LEFT The Red Chair
MIDDLE Gallinger Trauner Designs
RIGHT Ellis Nunn + Associates

Residents often come to an architect with predetermined ideas—a rugged log home, a rustic, elegant timber- frame lodge, or lately, a contemporary blending of new technology and traditional materials.
—HOMESTEAD 2001

Dan Schou Construction
Berlin Architects
Harker Design

“In 2000, we were replicating what happened here in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s,” says antique dealer, stylist and leading vendor of the area’s primitive furniture Terry Winchell, of Fighting Bear Antiques. “The way that I saw it was that I should be selling the stuff that was in a Wyoming lodge in the 1920s, whether it was a Charlie Russell painting, a Navajo rug or a Thomas Molesworth club chair.” Jackson was originally a poor town of one-room cabins, sheds and metal Quonset huts. In the early years, it didn’t boast a significant architectural or interior style, except for the sophisticated Western look at local dude ranches like the Rockefellers’ JY Ranch and Struthers Burt’s Bar BC, and lodges like the Old Faithful Inn. These homegrown interiors blended local art with Indian blankets and baskets, simple cowboy pole chairs and tables, and Arts and Crafts furniture by nationally renowned artists Gustav Stickley and Charles Limbert.

LEFT Roger Strout Architects
MIDDLE Bontecou Construction
RIGHT Dembergh Construction

One of the most influential architects of the early 2000s, Jonathan Foote created fashionable, rustic retreats in keeping with this historic culture to accommodate the gentleman rancher’s desire for a larger, yet more efficient space. Captivated by the local ranch and dude ranch vernacular, Foote used authentic cabins and barns and essentially linked them together to create larger homes that were in keeping with the wide-open, rugged landscape.

Danny Williams Architect

“When invading this scenery with a house, one of the first concerns I had was how it was going to live in that scenery without spoiling it,” Foote says. By using rustic materials, he invented a successful model for romantics seeking a classic Western hideaway.
“The romance with the West at that time really drove our sensibility around place,” says Foote’s then partner, Paul Bertelli. “We felt these buildings needed to look and feel like they belonged in the West.”

Laurie Waterhouse Interiors
LEFT Wild West Designs
MIDDLE Kismet Fine Rugs
RIGHT Strout Achitects

It was the contrast of building modern buildings in a rural area. It was almost like a dare.
—STEPHEN DYNIA, DYNIA ARCHITECTS

MOUNTAIN MODERN | 2008 – 2020

In the following decade, contemporary homes gained traction as newcomers craved picture windows framing extraordinary landscapes, lighter rooms and more energy- efficient buildings. This was in contrast to the perception of log homes as inherently dark, heavy, cumbersome and out of proportion—exaggerated versions of the old homestead, hence the popular jab, “log cabins on steroids.” Commenting on these cowboy interiors at the time, The New York Times style writer Patricia Beard admonished, “The style makes a bow-legged cowgirl shake in her knees.” People were ready for something new.

“The log home ended with the crash of 2008,” says Peter Lee, of Teton Heritage Builders. “Log homes haven’t completely gone away, but pre-2008 was the era when people were weaned on John Wayne, and they liked that rustic feel and the idea of the Jackson Hole cabin. There was a transition after the 2008 crash to mountain modern, mountain contemporary. There was timber frame, then timber, then steel eventually. Seventy percent of our business today is steel structures.”

E/Ye Design and Henderson Construction

“Once styles started to open up and become more contemporary, we felt the lid come off,” says Toby Grohne, of TKG Construction. “The style was partly driven by aesthetics, and I think a lot of it was driven by zoning changes.” In certain neighborhoods, restrictions on roof heights called for lower buildings. Flatter, less gabled roofs helped clients achieve comfortable, two-story homes within the rules.

“We started to see the use of reclaimed wood as accents in interiors; spaces were a little bit brighter rather than heavy timbers with exposed fasteners and large trusses,” says Jed Mixter, of Two Ocean Builders.

Hoyt + Harger/CTA Architects
LEFT Dwelling
MIDDLE Grace Home Design
RIGHT Snake River Interiors and Hoyt + Harger/CTA Architects

During this time, Dynia continued to challenge the norm with rusted steel, flatter roofs and modern shapes. Ward + Blake was integrating structures into the landscape with flat or butterfly roofs, while Carney and others expanded on this conversation, meeting a demand for even more modern- style buildings. “We were all working toward abstract interpretations of the classical West,” Carney says, “all of us moving in our own way to push this thing forward.”

Dan Schou Construction and Mountainscapes

As we moved through the 2000s, this transition continued to be peppered with resistance. When Dynia and Carney finished the theater for the Center for the Arts in 2007, an old-timer questioned Carney: “Where are the logs?” Others received similar pushback.

“When we started with sod roofs, people thought we’d lost our minds,” recalls Tom Ward, of Ward + Blake Architects. “It was Mitch and Tom naked and barking in the woods. Now people are more open to the concept. They’ve gone from ultra-conservative to conservative to much more open-minded.”

E/Ye Design and Henderson Construction

As contemporary visionaries stepped forward, the question persisted: Were these buildings in keeping with place? Did they fit into the natural landscape and connect in a cultural context? This has to be asked about how “boxy” things have become in east Jackson, for example, where older homes are being torn down and hauled away at what some locals consider an alarming rate.

“I think modern architecture gets a bad rap in that it is agnostic to place,” says Danny Wicke, Carney’s partner at their new enterprise, Prospect Studio. “I don’t necessarily think that is true. You can do a lot of contemporary design that still harkens back to place and the context and can have a relationship with past and present.”

LEFT Carney Logan Burke Architects
MIDDLE Berlin Architects and Bontecou Construction
RIGHT Dynia Architects and CLB Architects

Now, as before, this valley provides evolving opportunities for designers. “Jackson is a very young town, and there really isn’t much of an architectural style here,” says Adam Janak, of Northworks Architects, who enjoys exploring many different styles. Recently, with a nod to the past, but also a distinctly modern aesthetic, Janak updated the classic farmhouse style with large windows and simple cedar siding painted black, creating a classic, yet original modern home.

WRJ Design

Meanwhile, interiors have also evolved. Bertelli, of JLF Architects, continues to create highly sought-after homes that “look like they were built 100 years ago.” He updates these rugged classics with large, European windows, steel, stone and reclaimed timbers, and a more efficient and contemporary sensibility. When paired with the subtle, muted tones and luxury styles of interior designers Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer, of WRJ Design, authors of Natural Elegance, and Jane Schwab, author of The Welcoming House, these homes exude a serene, timeless quality.

ARE WE SUSTAINABLE?

Looking to the future, on everyone’s minds is how we can create sustainable buildings and live more lightly on the land. Our new structures are more energy-efficient than log homes, but are we doing enough? Veronica Dembergh Construction and Dynia Architects Schreibeis, of Vera Iconica Architecture, notices a change in her clients’ mindsets. “There’s a paradigm shift in our society on a massive scale. And as we move into this new era, we’ve all been trained for this. Every single architect has some green knowledge. Our clients are asking, ‘How will the environment serve and sustain us?’ They are more than ever in the self- realization stage.”

Dembergh Construction and Dynia Architects

Others notice little change at all. “After the crash, we thought that maybe we’d see behavior toward a little smaller, a little greener,” Lee says. “I even started a side business 10 years ago, called THB Energy Solutions, to retrofit homes with geothermal heat and solar panels. And it was a lackluster business. I’d show clients how they’d get a 14 percent return on their business, and they’d say, ‘Meh!’ I don’t know if I’m going to be here in seven years.”

That said, green building materials, renewable woods like bamboo, and recycled materials are being used now more than ever. “The county also holds us to a high standard of constructing energy-efficient buildings,” says Mixter, of Two Ocean Builders. “And, because we’ve now got all these great European windows with their triple glazing, we’re meeting county codes for energy efficiency with bigger glass.”

“Building science has evolved toward green across the board,” says Andrew Miller, of JH Builders. “We are using better materials and processes, so everything is greener. We went to D.C. and got our PHIUS (Passive House Institute U.S.) certification, but there is really only one architect in the valley who is pushing it. But, generally speaking, insulation and materials perform so much better.”

LEFT Dwelling and Mill Iron Timberworks
MIDDLE Kinsey Architects
MID-RIGHT Jacque Jenkins-Stireman Interior Design
RIGHT Will Bruder Architects

Clients are asking about green, “but they don’t always want to make a sacrifice to do it,” says Chris Lee, of Design Associates Architects. “That said, we can build a house that is going to be here a long time, a happier and healthier house, without giving anything up, and they like that.”

Grohne notes that, in an effort to minimize waste, more people are remodeling. Others—architects and contractors—report that clients are downsizing. But, while smaller homes under 10,000 square feet are popping up, Bertelli and Peter Lee confirm that they are still building grand family compounds. Just recently, Lee’s company finished an 18,000-square-foot home on the iconic Puzzleface Ranch property. An anomaly, yes, this project stirred controversy and challenged county codes, then surprised our community when the family put their multimillion-dollar home up for sale.

Today, our highly talented pool of valley architects and designers feels responsible for building environmentally friendly, enduring homes. “One of the best green things you can do is keep what you are building out of the landfill,” says Mitch Blake, of Ward + Blake Architects.

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Today, with all of us turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is challenging to imagine where current design trends may lead. Clearly, we are seeing a change in the demographics of homeowners as a wave of wealthy 30- and 40-year-olds moves into Jackson Hole.

“It’s a younger demographic, and more female,” notes Grohne. “They want to see the Tetons, but they don’t necessarily want to be cowboys or live out in the wild.” These newcomers are more interested in living downtown, where they can find a growing offering of amenities and cultural attractions.

This new generation, for the most part, doesn’t necessarily connect to the cowboy myth that dominated the style here 20 years ago. Cowboy accoutrements, fur pillows, skulls and Indian artifacts now seem politically incorrect, says Mary Schmitt, owner of Cayuse Western Americana. “My clients are more interested in historical photographs of this place now than they are in cowboy spurs or wooly chaps,” she says.

Carney Logan Burke Associates, Two Ocean Builders, Dwelling and Mountainscapes

The trend away from the traditional log cabin continues as well, says Jenkins. “I grew up in the West, but when we moved back, we had a desire to move beyond the heavy log look. What we saw was an opportunity in our designs to embrace the rugged landscape around us, what we call ‘interroir.’ It is our signature approach. And yes, we see the clientele changing. We’re having to travel a lot more because you need a rich, deep well to draw from when meeting the needs of an evermore sophisticated taste.”

LEFT WRJ Design
MIDDLE Dynia Architects and Mill Iron Timberworks
RIGHT Ellis Nunn Architects, Two Ocean Builders, Willow Creek Interior Design and Mountainscapes

Giving life to the hopes and dreams that people have for their homes requires a designer to have empathy, a true love of helping others, and a solid understanding of people’s values and how they want to live and express their most authentic selves through their home.
—ELISA CHAMBERS, SNAKE RIVER INTERIORS

Other designers, like Kate Binger, of Dwelling, Jacque Jenkins-Stireman, of Jacque Jenkins-Stireman Design, and Colleen Walls of Colleen McFadden- Walls Interior Design, find clients seeking more original designs with color and contemporary furniture. “We are seeing a trend to incorporate traditional elements, but with a current update,” says Jenkins-Stireman. “Now you can find wools, cashmeres and linens with colorways that are lighter and have more open patterns, so the plaids feel lighter and fresher.”

Design Associates and Snake River Interiors

Says Binger, “Current trends are always the driving force of design in any community, but I like to lean heavily on our environment for inspiration for form and function.”

JH Builders and Trauner Fay Designs

For the most part, today’s homeowners want more than what is readily available in town. “We are cursed by Pinterest and all the beautiful visions of the world’s showrooms, but with very little in stock,” Grohne says, laughing but obviously thrilled with the challenge. At the time of this issue’s publication, he was trying to help Californian clients choose a white from six different whites over Zoom calls.

LEFT Teton Heritage Builders and GYDE Architects
MIDDLE Dynia Architects, Jacque Jenkins-Stireman Interior Design and Mill Iron Timberworks
RIGHT Vera Iconica Architecture

Emily Janak, of Emily Janak Interiors, says she enjoys collaborating with Jackson Hole clients because they are well-traveled, enthusiastic about living here and open to more eclectic interiors, rather than following trends. Janak references past traditions and established designers in their heyday. “It’s always my goal to create interiors that are relevant for years to come. I really think as a designer you have to push yourself to create things that are not in a catalog, to push it to the next level, to create something more original,” she says. “It’s about striking that balance. You are never going to create a legacy if you create something that is expected.”

Willow Creek Woodworks

The enthusiasm and joy that come with building a new home in Jackson Hole exist in balance with the community’s commitment to the valley’s heritage. Recently, young people were moved to save the Cafe? Genevieve block in downtown Jackson, which involved protecting historic buildings and creating space for the community to gather.

Ward + Blake Architects

“We have a lot of talent in this valley, and a lot of high-caliber work is being done here,” Mixter says. What started with the old guard continues. Young designers want to create beautiful, relevant homes, but also an enduring community.

LEFT Dubbe Moulder Architects
MIDDLE Stockton & Shirk Interior Design
RIGHT Howells Architecture + Design, Dembergh Construction, Dwelling and Willow Creek Woodworks

THE FUTURE

With all of this, the elephant in the room remains: Will we eventually run out of buildable space? Answers Peter Lee, “Totally. From the day I started in ’96, I’d hear that refrain. Except that every job I’d do I’d drive up to a green field and dig a hole. That isn’t true anymore. Now, our jobs are typically starting with teardowns of houses from the ’90s and before. Houses are getting stripped down and built again for the 21st century. Now we’re seeing build sites with a 25 percent grade, on the cusp of unbuildable. It’s officially happened.”
“I think we’ll see more vertical construction and transportation hubs,” says Jamie Farmer, of Farmer Payne Architects. “We’ll see a transfer of density from the outskirts of the county into town to keep us from overflowing.”

“As the number of high-end lots with spectacular views decreases, homeowners are focusing more on landscaping,” says Mixter. “It really complements the architecture of a house and reflects the success of the comprehensive project.”

Farmer Payne Architects and New West Building Co.

Miller says that, “going forward, our vision is possibly 50 percent renovation. We’re seeing a lot of it already, because of the limited availability of land. Homeowners are liking the locations of existing homes, so we expect this to increase in the next 10 years.”

“Yes,” agrees Ward, “there’s a pervasive sense we’re running out of land. Smart landowners aren’t developing right now. It’s going to get harder and harder to live here, which is a privilege, not a right. Everyone wants it all: no density but plenty of living space.”

Gilday Architects

Such dilemmas are beyond the solutions that these design experts have to offer, he adds. “History has proven that architects are bad social engineers. We respond to the times; we don’t decide them. A lot of architects think it’s part of their mission to decide their times. That’s not our mission. Our job is to make incredible houses that people love. That’s all we do—make their underwear ride up when they walk in the door.”

LEFT WRJ Design
MIDDLE Dembergh Construction and Dubbe Moulder Architects
RIGHT Jacque Jenkins-Stireman Interior Design

Dembergh is grateful. We have been allowed to become the craftsmen that most craftsmen dream of becoming because our clients have allowed us to grow, to learn and become masters of refined vision and design. We thank them.
—DON FRANK, DEMBERGH CONSTRUCTION

Some of Jackson Hole’s experts are looking outside the valley for new inspiration. “I was in Bozeman last fall,” recounts Larry Berlin, of Berlin Architects. “I
was so impressed with what I saw there on those back streets: lots of renovations and buildings done in such a way that they respected traditional architecture while adding some wonderful twists, with interesting colors and forms that all blended together really nicely. They had real soul.”

WRJ Design and JLF Architects

As home design here has continued to evolve, the ever-expanding collection of visions and voices has gelled into a vibrant, thoughtful, caring community. “Every project that we get, I am over the moon for the opportunity to work with people here,” says Nona Yehia, of GYDE Architects. “With the quality of this community, you consistently feel gratitude to have that conversation with people who care about design.”

Berlin Architects
LEFT Iris Designs
MIDDLE Forsyth + Brown Interior Design
MID-RIGHT Couloir Construction and A43 Architecture
RIGHT Colleen McFadden-Walls Interior Design

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

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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

timeless-east-jackson-mountain-retreat-01

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.

timeless-east-jackson-mountain-retreat-02
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.