Utah Style and Design

Elegance and Ease

July 26, 2016

In Park City, a recently remodeled home renders a fresh and refined take on mountain living.

By Brad Mee | Photos by Scot Zimmerman

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Bold ceiling detail in bleached quarter sawn oak adds architectural significance to the main level’s open living areas while helping define the individual spaces. Walker Zanger floor tile and textured walls painted Benjamin Moore’s Elephant Tusk enrich and warm the light-filled space. Hand-knotted rugs deliver subtle pattern and light tones to the serene décor.

When Las Vegas resident Susan Graves moved into her second home—set along Park Meadows Country Club’s golf course with postcard views of the fairway and mountains beyond—she was sure she could endure its choppy floor plan and dated décor. She was wrong. “I bought the house thinking that I would leave it the way it was, but I kept feeling this is just not pretty enough,” she recalls.

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The beautifully curved staircase replaced an ordinary L-shaped version original to the home. Substantial stone steps and elegant iron railing contribute to the feature’s sculptural design.

After only a year, Graves turned to architect Rick Brighton and contractor Glenn Holley to combine a couple of rooms and rid the main floor of multiple levels. These changes led to others and then still more. In the end, she and her team overhauled the exterior and gutted the interior. Faced with a blank canvas indoors, Graves hired designer Doran Taylor to help her create the casual elegance and livability she desired from her home.

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The door’s grid of glass panes offers a glimpse of the foyer and curved stairway.

“It was basically a shell when I entered the picture, no walls, just steel structures,” Taylor says. Collaborating closely with Graves, he conceptualized and created the new interior. “Susan wanted it to be very light and airy, with spaces opening into each other,” he explains. On the main level of the two-story home, he began by adding architectural elements that delivered much-needed substance and character. He framed vertical steel supports with box columns that appear to shoulder ceilings with their notable mass.

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A backdrop of dark wallpaper helps to visually define the open dining area, while bold ceiling detail and a tiered chandelier elevate the room’s luxe style.

He created large-scale coffers of bleached, quarter sawn white oak giving the ceiling weight, compelling style and visual warmth. “The home is in a cold climate, and we needed the décor to feel warm as well as light,” Taylor explains. And for the entry, he designed a sculptural staircase that greets guests with graceful curves, stone steps and impressive scale. “With the interior so open and everything visible, this staircase had to be exciting.”

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Positioned out of view of the great room, this well- appointed pantry and prep area allows Graves to place appliances and cooking equipment out of sight from the main kitchen area.

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“A kitchen should be as beautiful as it is practical,” says Taylor, who enlisted Phillips Marble Shop to fabricate the kitchen’s custom stone hood, backsplash and countertops from richly veined quartzite.

Smaller living areas comprise much of the main level’s large, open floor plan—an ideal arrangement for Graves. With these spaces flowing freely into one another, Graves can entertain friends and family with ease, yet because the areas are defined and scaled thoughtfully, they are cozy enough for her to enjoy in solitude. “I didn’t want a big cavernous house that is uncomfortable to be in  alone,” she explains.

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A series of barrel vaults creates eye-catching architectural detail in Graves’s “hearth room”—a lounge located near the main level’s bar.

Varied ceiling treatments, large columns and distinct furniture groupings differentiate and visually define the open interior’s multiple sitting and gathering areas. At the same time, continuous flooring and light-toned, textured walls unify them. The design perfectly balances a sense of comfort and intimacy on the one hand, and openness and spaciousness on the other. 

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The Quartzite Cielo countertop and floor-to-ceiling shower walls enrich the master bathroom.

With a discerning eye for furnishings, Taylor worked with Graves to compose a personalized mix of casual yet elegant pieces. He rejected skirted seating—too formal—and integrated rich textiles with metal, wood and stone in comfortable, classic forms and compelling combinations. “We definitely have an eclectic feel here,” he says. Soothing textures and subtle patterns harmoniously coexist, and a serene palette of wheat, gray and white—colors directed by Graves—fosters the interior’s calm and soothing character.

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A elegant bar area connects the covered outdoor dining area with the hearth room, allowing guests to mingle indoors and out.

Graves also came up with the idea of dividing the kitchen into an out-of-sight pantry and prep area and a front-and-center entertaining area after seeing something similar in a friend’s Las Vegas home. “It’s the perfect arrangement for how I live,” she says. Taylor agrees. “The front kitchen looks good because it is designed and decorated to be an integral part of the home. It is serene rather than chaotic-looking and yet it is still practical,” he says.

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A new barrel ceiling makes a unique architectural statement in the master bedroom.

The home’s second floor is given over to four bedrooms, bathrooms and a lovely open library that Graves adores. “Before it was just wasted space at the top of the stairs,” she says. The upstairs boasts a similar color palette to that of the main level, as well as the same exacting eye for detail and design.

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A light-filled sitting area located near the kitchen provides Graves a quiet place to enjoy coffee and overlook golf course views.

“There is no place in the house that you don’t feel soothed,” Taylor says. That feel of serenity extends outdoors as well. On the golf course side of the home, spacious patios provide generously sized gathering spots and glorious mountain views. For more intimate get-togethers and al fresco dining, a south-side covered patio adjoins the cozy indoor bar and lounge areas.

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An inviting covered patio is located off the interior bar and lounge areas, expanding the home’s living and entertaining spaces. Dining table by McGuire.

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A pergola-shaded patio enjoys mountain and golf course views from the backside of the home.

“Susan’s home feels peaceful and nothing is really distracting in it,” Taylor says, “That makes it different from many Park City homes.” For Graves, the home’s appeal is even simpler. “It’s so pleasing to the eye,” she explains. “I feel like I live in a jewel box.”

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Ashley Miller

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