An East-Meets-West Farmhouse in Jackson
Photos by Audrey Hall
“It’s not your typical Jackson stone house,” Rush Jenkins says of the home he helped design for a Washington, D.C., couple with a taste for classic design.
The couple came to Jenkins, interior designer and principal of WRJ Design, senior interior designer Nida Zgjani and architect Shawn Ankeny with clear ideas about their new Wyoming home. It was to have an H-shaped floor plan, clean lines and uncluttered spaces, and a neutral color palette. A chance glimpse of a white board-and-batten-sided home in downtown Jackson helped cement their vision, which the homeowner describes as an East-meets-West farmhouse. “We thought, ‘Why not think out of the box?’” she says. “It’s a style we’re familiar with, and what most reflects us.”
But could such a design feel at home in the heart of the Old West—or gain the approval of the Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club community’s strict design review board?
The pond straddles the property line dividing this lot from the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course at the Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club.
Ankeny and Jenkins knew that many of Jackson’s first settlers had come from the East, bringing their architectural traditions with them, so the architect and designer scoured Teton County in search of proof. They found white clapboard homes in downtown Jackson, rural farmhouses with broad porches and, most convincing of all, the white farmhouse at the historic Porter Estate, which was first homesteaded in the late 1800s. “We said, ‘Look, this style has a history in Jackson,’” Ankeny explains, “and that’s how we ended up getting it approved.”
A wide front door, painted robin's-egg blue, is framed by Montana Frontier stone. A hefty lintel built from 18-inch-deep, 10-inch-tall stone rests above the front door, creating the illusion of a thick portal.
A pale skin of shingles and board-and-batten siding emphasizes the home’s classic, farmhouse-inspired style. Windows with divided panes reference a time when large expanses of glass weren’t available. Low, dry-stack stone walls rise from the foundation, grounding the structure in the western landscape, while full-height, 18-inch-thick stone walls at the front entry suggest the entire home was built of stone, Ankeny says.
An intimate foyer offers a preview of the home’s elegant furnishings and neutral color palette, but doesn’t reveal the view. “There should be a little bit of mystery,” interior designer Rush Jenkins says. A hallway leads to vestibules for the master suite and a guest suite; an alcove accommodates an antique Biedermeier-style chest and painting by artist Donna Clair.
Just inside is an intimate greeting place. “In many Jackson homes, you come in and immediately see the Grand Teton right in front of you,” Jenkins says. “For me, a home should unfold; there should be a bit of discovery.” A long hallway that passes through the foyer facilitates that process, leading to the master suite and a guest suite in one direction, and to the study, great room and kitchen in the other.
In the living room, the designers selected classic sofas and armchairs by Hickory Chair that are comfortable enough to lounge on with the family dog.
The great room reveals views of the Tetons through tall windows with thin mullions tracing the faintest division between architecture and landscape. Two stone fireplaces flank the space, and a pair of timber ceiling trusses and trio of dormer windows visually divide it into living, dining and music rooms. Painted a gentle white and furnished with sofas and chairs upholstered in soft hues of cream, sage and sky blue, the bright spaces are an uplifting treat during Jackson’s long and overcast winters.
A 12-foot-long island topped with leathered quartzite is the heart of the kitchen.
Family gatherings spill easily to and from the adjacent kitchen, where the design team incorporated seating for 12 people at a long island and built-in banquette. Casual pendant lights and simple cabinetry contrast with the room’s traditional coffered ceiling and moldings. Pale quartzite countertops impart a subtle shimmer. A prep sink and farmhouse sink were both positioned to face views of Buck Mountain to the west. In fact, Ankeny says, the entire house was sited to capture this panorama in addition to the prized Grand Teton view.
Glass pocket doors and floor-to-ceiling windows “trick the eye” into thinking the small study is larger than it really is. A teak-slab table from Ralph Lauren provides just enough room for a cup of coffee and a book.
The dimensions of each space in the nearly 5,000-square-foot home are equally purpose-driven. A hallway niche accommodates an antique chest from the homeowners’ collection. Tall, built-in kitchen cabinets display heirloom serving ware. Just beyond them, a charming back staircase—inspired by the kitchen in the television series Bewitched—leads to a cozy guest bedroom just large enough for the upholstered headboard Jenkins and Zgjani tucked beneath the eaves.
To achieve the dining room’s balance of formality and comfort, Jenkins paired a rustic walnut dining table by Jonathan Charles with clean-lined, high-backed dining chairs from Hickory Chair. A niche frames Bernhardt’s spectacular Adagio buffet with shimmering capiz shell door panels. A painting of the California coast by artist Richard Rackus hangs above it.
“A home’s interior is the most intimate expression of how we live, how we rest and how we find tranquility,” Jenkins says of the design team’s tailored approach. “And when
clients live with graciousness and love and kindness, as these homeowners do, it always comes through.”
The upholstered Cooper Wing bed in the master bedroom by Bernhardt is topped with crisp linens and a hand-embroidered pillow made from fabric Jenkins found at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
In the master bath, pale, large-format stone floor tiles, white tongue-and-groove paneling and linen drapes create a quiet canvas for a freestanding tub by Victoria + Albert Baths.
A long back terrace leads to a patio and fire pit built with Montana Frontier stone pavers.
The homeowners and dog Chance can access their back terrace from the great room’s tall glass doors, and via charming Dutch doors in the kitchen nook and master bedroom.