Utah Style and Design

House Tour: Decorating Surprises in Utah Ski Home

February 20, 2018

Written by Charlotte Safavi | Photos by Michael J. Lee

When it comes to palette and pattern, this vibrant mountain residence will never suffer a case of the winter doldrums. The 6,000-square-foot second home was built not only as a seasonal ski lodge, but also as a year-round perch for a pair of East Coast empty nesters increasingly drawn to the mountainous region’s charms.

“Knowing they wanted to spend more time in Utah, the homeowners wanted a home that truly reflected their personality,” says Boston-based interior designer Ana Donohue, who collaborated on the ambitious project with architect T. Scott Kyle from Ohio and Utah-based Loomis Construction, Peppertree Kitchen & Bath and The Iron & Alloy Co., who did most of the steelwork.

A chandelier from Artefact Home|Garden hangs above the dining table. Designer Ana Donohue upholstered the chairs in a colorful mix of fabrics from Designers Guild.

“The homeowners hired me because I’m known for using lots of pattern, color and fabric, but it was very important to them that the unique setting was also incorporated into the overall design,” Donohue explains. “They didn’t want a typical ski lodge that’s all beige and brown.”

A mix of metals comes together in an industrial-chic staircase with riveted stair treads. Riverton’s Iron & Alloy Co. executed the design and installation. Wallpaper is by Elitis.

The foyer of the house, completed in 2016, sets the dramatic, yet rustic, design tone with its antique-mirrored and floral-wallpapered concealed doors trimmed in reclaimed oak with a “barn wood” finish. Ebony-stained floors and warm-white walls beyond the entry serve as a neutral envelope to highlight the architecture’s linear wood beams and columns, which run throughout and help define the main level’s open floor plan.

In the home’s large and light-filled entry, Osborne & Little floral wallpaper and aged-mirror insets cover concealed doors, including one opening into the powder room.

From the foyer, a long hall, furnished with a sculptural turquoise banquette, leads to the master suite and a media room, where the homeowners spend time when not entertaining family and friends. Additional guest bedrooms and quarters occupy the lower level.

The kitchen’s reclaimed oak lower cabinets are custom-designed, as is the stovetop’s backsplash mirror. Wax-finished, hot-rolled steel makes for a one-of-a-kind island base. Bernhardt bar chairs boast backs upholstered in fabrics from Osborne & Little. Kitchen design by Steve Knorr, Peppertree Kitchen & Bath.

“We did a lot of larger-scaled floral patterns, with a European sensibility, in fabrics, rugs and wallpapers,” says Donohue. “The furniture is largely tailored, but we made sure to add enough weighty materials, like wood, stone and iron, to make the design fit the environment,” she adds.

In the living room, Designers Guild fabrics upholster a pair of club chairs by Hickory Chair. The chaises are by Usona and the floral carpet is from Anthropologie. Wood beams and a stone fireplace surround offer visual relief from the space’s vivid palette.

While consulting on the kitchen design, which combines lavender-painted upper cabinets with reclaimed oak lower ones, Donohue chose an embroidered fabric to upholster the backs of curved bar chairs. The unique textile became the starting point for the home’s palette.

Stunning faux leather wall covering by Elitis adds texture and coziness to the color-saturated media room. For seating, Donohue paired a blue sectional by Dellarobbia Furniture with leather armchairs from Restoration Hardware.

“The design is really driven by color. Color helps define, sets the tone and creates rhythm throughout the spaces,” says Donohue. “We went with saturated fuchsias, emerald greens, lavenders and purples and assorted turquoise blues. Once we had the palette in place, we went room-by-room, finding pieces that were a little quirky, interesting and unexpected.”

Rustic wood walls, natural cowhides and a unique mix of seating that includes a daybed swing combine to give the lower level sunroom undeniable lodge-lux charm.

In spaces where the furniture is more “ski lodge” traditional, like the dining room where the table and chairs were brought from the homeowners’ prior Utah home, Donohue created whimsy by upholstering each dining chair in a different color, texture and pattern; they are unified by their existing form and nail-head trim. “I love tactile fabrics like leather, velvet, cowhide, faux fur. There’s an instant richness to them,” says Donohue of the hand-feel.

Reclaimed wood and industrial metal framing creates the rustic-meets-modern character of a built-in bar.

For patterns, Donohue often plays with floral forms on carpets or in upholstery. Sometimes she integrates stripes, geometrics or even plaids, which read typical “ski lodge” until the designer transforms them using saturated colors, like apple-green and turquoise.

The powder room features walls enlivened with Sherwin-Williams’ vibrant “Freshwater.” A custom-designed cylindrical stone sink anchors the space.

“But for every vibrant color, we balanced it with an earthier element, whether stone, metal or wood,” she adds. For example, in the living room, there is a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, or in the media room, a feature wall with a reclaimed oak finish. The neutral elements allow the wildly colorful furnishings to stand out.

Swivel bar stools from Moe’s Home pull up to a custom U-shaped bar in reclaimed oak in the home’s lower level. Sherwin-Williams’ “Iron Ore” enriches the room as does custom graffiti performing as expansive art on a brick wall.

Downstairs, the locker room and après-ski areas have a decidedly more rustic industrial vibe, with poured concrete floors, wood trim and some mid-century modern pieces mixed in. For materials, there is a lot of steel, leather, stone and hide.

In snowfall, the two-story home, which is built into a mountainside, appears tranquil and quiet, providing no clue of the riot of color that animates its interior.

“The lower level is intended for their guests, especially during the busy ski season,” says Donohue, adding, “but the intent of the overall design was to create a fun and colorful house for use in the spring and summer, too.”

Click here to see more House Tours.

Utah Style & Design
February 22, 2018

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