A Park City Home With a Vision
A very particular homeowner joins forces with her designer to make every last detail of her dream home a reality
Anne-Marie Barton doesn’t often experience premonitions when it comes to her clients. Instead, the Park City, Utah-based interior designer and owner of AMB Design makes it her business to learn their likes and dislikes using very practical methods. “During initial meetings, I’ll have a table stocked with different kinds of materials—stones, metals and woods—and I’ll watch what people avoid and take note of the things they keep picking up,” she says. But that step was completely un- necessary when she met Brandie Grant. “It was like Heidi Klum walking into the office. She was all high fashion and high contrast,” Barton says. “I knew exactly what her house would look like the minute I met her.”
Luckily, her intuition was right on target because Grant arrived with some very black-and-white ideas of her own—literally. “I knew I wanted a masculine vibe—black cabinets, lots of black plaster and steel—but not industrial,” the homeowner explains. “I had a vision of a warm, timeless, masculine space.”
While this was the fourth house Grant and her husband, Trent, had taken on from the ground up, the couple had never collaborated with a designer before, and they were understandably nervous. “This was a bigger project than anything I had done on my own before—6,800 square feet—but I still wanted to be hands-on. I didn’t want anyone to do it for me,” she says. “Anne-Marie is wonderful—I love her energy, and it was great having one more person on the team who could check me and help me figure things out.”
Together, client and designer set about furnishing the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom home, which also includes an office, theater and a finished basement outfitted with a workout room, golf simulator and a sports room. Finding items that didn’t take away from the beauty of the stunning mix of materials such as Indiana limestone (which carries over from the home’s exterior), Venetian plaster walls, various marbles, walnut cabinetry and oak flooring was paramount.
“Every single thing in the house is brand new,” Grant says. Armed with her trusty iPad, she made numerous trips to Los Angeles to see lighting and furniture she had pinned to her vision board live and in-person. When something failed to impress, she and Barton worked together to design a custom alternative. Grant allowed the designer to take the lead on the art curation throughout the home, including the massive pieces in the dramatic entryway. Barton works with a team of artists who create customized works for all of her projects. “She nailed it,” Grant says. “I was very impressed.”
In the end, Grant acknowledges that teamwork really does indeed make the dream work. She credits her husband with stepping in when she was overwhelmed and coming up with great ideas of his own, including using Indiana limestone, the just-right dark stains and backyard accoutrements including a hot tub and fire pit. “We’ve been married for 33 years, so we have a big level of trust,” she says. “We worked really well with Anne-Marie. No matter what I asked of her, she always answered with, ‘Yes, we can make that happen.’”While every space in the residence makes Grant proud, she and her designer agree that the kitchen is the best spot in the house. “I literally drew that room on a piece of paper, and now, it’s exactly what I drew,” says Grant proudly. Every detail—from the black Venetian plaster-and-steel “cloud” that hangs above the “Panda” marble island to the matte lacquer cabinets and black- and-white bar stools—went according to plan, and for Grant that’s especially gratifying. “Knowing how much work you go through to pick everything out, and then seeing it all come together exactly as you dreamed, is the ultimate gift.”
Homeowner Brandie Grant and designer Anne-Marie Barton list elements that make for a true showstopper:
HAIL THE HALLWAY Because its grand hallways set the vibe for the rest of the house, Grant says plain white was never going to work for the walls. “They needed to be black Venetian plaster,” she says. “There’s a lot of up-and-down movement that you experience even as you walk up to the house and see them through those huge windows.” PLAY UP THE CONTRAST “My family thought my last house was cold, so it was important that this one felt modern but also warm,” Grant explains. Layering in tons of texture via various woods, luxurious upholsteries and stone patterns made the black-and-white palette feel less stark. READY, SET, REPEAT Barton says you can make a variety of materials feel more cohesive if there is repetition within a space. “You can go crazy with things if you have some constants, like the Indiana limestone, which starts on the exterior and comes inside,” she advises. LET THERE BE NATURAL LIGHT Never underestimate how much an abundance of sunlight and unfettered views of the great outdoors can add to any design scheme. “My husband and I grew up in eastern Utah, and we always loved Park City,” says Grant. When they finally made the move to the promised land, they failed to find the golf course views they were looking for. Three years later, when they came upon the perfect plot overlooking the Glenwild Golf Club course, they made sure to construct a home with plenty of windows so they could see the greens and beyond.