Utah Style and Design

Photo Friday: Fitting In

June 20, 2019

There’s an art to having buildings fit into an area.  Many unique architectural homes work well on a large lot where they can be appreciated as a solitary design within the contours of the property, and they don’t compete with other forms of architecture. Not so when an area is built up, or as in the case of this home, will soon be built out.

Valley Hills is a foothill neighborhood in the northeast corner of Heber City. There are pockets of undeveloped land now being built out with the building boom. Faced with a corner lot surrounded by vacant land that will soon become a conventional neighborhood, Shaw Design Group (Darin Shaw) took an interesting approach. He studied Heber City’s early homes for design influences, and this inspired the angles of the gables, the clapboard siding, and the spacious wrap-around covered front porch. His intent wasn’t to create something historical or recreate a farmhouse, but rather to give a nod to the local historical homes that help define the community and to create a transitional design that brings the best of current thought to efficient living that will also blend in with whatever is built around the home in the future.

Views to Mount Timanogos and the Wasatch are important to today’s design, which is different from 130 years ago. For the early homes in Heber City, the social orientation to the street front predominated and determined window placement.

An open floor plan also works well with how people live now versus the segmented parlors, dining rooms and kitchens of the past. Many in Park City prefer open floor plans especially for adapting well to entertaining. In this case, only the younger children in the large family for whom the home was designed live at home, and the open floor plan adjusts for times when the full family gathers (in addition to when they have guests).

Looking the other direction in the open plan, the kitchen cabinets have traditional touches including the style and rail design, crown moldings, and glass fronts in the upper row. (Construction by BR Shaw Construction)

The built-in footed quarter-sawn oak cabinet serves as the pantry.

The same detailed woodworking can be seen in the newel post and stairway.

Many of the historical homes in Heber City are considered a story and a half, which means the upstairs bedrooms have sloped ceilings, as does the upstairs guest room of the home designed by the Shaw Design Group.

 

In making the photographs, I sought to show the beautiful detailing that sets this home apart. Additionally, the flow of the home really works, and I show this by emphasizing the connections between spaces. Daytime works best for both these purposes, and the white walls reflect the light beautifully.

 

See more of Scot’s work here! 

 

Scot Zimmerman
Architectural photographer Scot Zimmerman has been photographing exteriors and interiors of homes, and commercial and public buildings across the United States for over 37 years. He is the principal photographer of eight books; over 40 periodicals have featured his work; and 11 museums have exhibited his photos. He’s fond of adventuring in the Southern Utah desert.

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