A Retreat With Dual Views in Jackson Hole
A Jackson Hole home is situated to maximize vistas of the Grand Tetons and the Snake River
Above all else, this home pays homage to its location. After spending years in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the homeowners sprang into action when they found this property, which offers grand views of both the Snake River and the Grand Tetons. “We knew where we wanted to be,” the wife says. “We wanted those views, and we wanted to be on the river—we were drawn to this specific site.”
Architect John Lauman of JLF Architects planned the house around those views. Lauman and his team studied the property and designed the home to maximize views of its sublime landscape. “Planning and drawing are more affordable than realizing you put the house in the wrong place,” he says. The homeowners also collaborated with interior designer Kate Binger, who understands the importance of surrounding location. “When I am working in my hometown of Jackson, there is the constant of our landscape being a massive source of inspiration—and an element to succumb to,” she says.
Like other designs by JLF Architects, this home features rustic finishes. “When we’re done, the idea is that the house has always been there,” Lauman says. In this case, Lauman believes the design depends on the home’s idyllic location. “It doesn’t make a statement on its own,” he says. “It needs its surroundings. It’s kind of symbiotic in that the site informs the house.”
Inside, the homeowners took a more modern approach, adding steel and other contemporary materials. “I wouldn’t classify it as rustic in the interior,” the wife says. The home’s modern finishes complement the reclaimed wood. “The beauty of this rustic wood is its inherently dynamic nature,” Binger says. “It’s earthy, visually warm and plays well with a plethora of other materials.”
The primary bedroom is a compilation of rustic and modern elements. The room pairs barnwood with honed limestone on the fireplace and in the bathroom. The juxtaposition creates balance in a peaceful space, and the art brings everything together. “In the bedroom, we specifically picked artwork with more serene tones,” the wife says. “This space is elevated and calming,” Binger adds.
The heart of the house is the kitchen, which is open to the living and dining area. “Cooking is a family activity that we love to do,” the wife says. “I love to cook, and we have three teenagers who like to cook as well. The island is large enough that we can all work at the same time.”
When the cooking is finished, the family enjoys gathering with friends in the dining room, which is separated from the living room by a double-sided fireplace. “There’s a delineation, but it has an open feel,” the wife says. “It’s nice to play with the fireplace. When you can see through it, that’s pretty cool,” Lauman adds.
The fireplace is not the only dramatic piece in the room. Binger added amazing lighting—composed of 42 individual hand-blown glass pendants hung at different heights. “My goal was to balance the intensity of the stone walls, fireplace and high ceilings,” she says.
That interior blend of rustic and modern works beautifully. But the house is really about what’s outside—magnificent vistas. “The great room is really amazing; it has the sliding doors that we open in summer with pretty great views of the river and the mountains,” the husband says. The wife prefers the view from their bedroom. “When I wake up in the morning, I have a direct view of the Tetons,” she says. “To be honest, it’s hard to get out of bed because of the view from that room.”
STAIRCASE TO HEAVEN
To take advantage of near-360-degree views of the mountains, river and forest, the architects created an observation platform made of steel and glass. A sculptural spiral staircase leads up from the patio, so that family and visitors have easy access to the observation deck. “We wanted a place we could go and relax and enjoy that view,” the husband says.
The addition of the observation platform was somewhat fortuitous. “Over the husband’s office, we were going to have a flat roof,” architect John Lauman says. “There was quite an opportunity to highlight the amazing views, so we took advantage of the flat roof and converted it into an observation platform.”
JLF and Big D Signature work as one design-build entity. Their association makes it possible to change details during construction. “Our collaboration gives us the opportunity to improve the original design,” Lauman says. In the case of this home, the observation deck responded to the clients’ desire to revel in the awe-inspiring landscape. “When we realized how special a place it was, we really wanted a house with an indoor-outdoor component,” the wife says.
See more at Old Becomes New in a Book by JLF Architects.