Wide Open Spaces
This light and airy Jackson Hole retreat is all about spreading out
Not that long ago, homes were designed with very little “free” space—every room was small and optimized for energy efficiency and its specific use, with narrow hallways and low ceilings. But then we started to think, wouldn’t it be nice to have large enough spaces in our homes that we could lay down in a room and not be in anyone’s way?
Over the last decade, there has been a trend towards bigger, lighter, brighter, airier home design. We are no longer afraid of wide open spaces—perhaps because we have better insulation or that energy is still relatively affordable, or perhaps it’s simply a reflection of our changing culture and expectations of our homes.
Now we want bigger windows, higher ceilings and bright white walls to make our homes feel light, airy and fresh—there is just something about this design that is more peaceful and comfortable.
For this mountain modern Jackson Hole retreat, the homeowner took this concept to the next level. Unlike most projects, this owner was very involved in the architectural design process—coming into the office, pulling up a stool and working hand-in-hand with the architects to model the house and fine tune every detail.
She was very specific about the size of rooms she wanted—all open and spacious with large windows and high ceilings—and for everything to flow smoothly from room to room. And although these requests are commonplace these days, the scale was not. What made this project unique is that she wanted rooms that were larger than anything being built in Jackson in this size home.
This presented a design challenge. With expansive rooms and 10-foot ceilings throughout the entire house, the proportions of the architecture had to change. It was important to avoid creating uncomfortably tall or awkward spaces where you feel like a tiny person in a great, big room. The architecture must be rebalanced when changing the sizes and shapes of spaces, to make sure they still feel comfortable and proportional.
For example, an impressive two-story vaulted ceiling and large windows make the great room feel infinite. To balance this, the dark trusses and prominent chandelier help define the ceiling without feeling too compressed. The space is tranquil, yet as the only room in the house with a vaulted ceiling, retains an air of importance.
At only 5,000 square feet, the home is significantly under the maximum construction allowed in Teton County. The design was more about creating wide open spaces in a mid-size home, rather than just creating a very large house. The result is a comfortable and relaxing retreat, with enough space that you could indeed lay down in a room and not be in anyone’s way.
Christopher Lee is the lead architect of Design Associates Architects, which specializes in creating remarkable custom residential architecture throughout the Jackson Hole and Rocky Mountain region. View their profile or contact Christopher at 307.733.3600.
Content for this article provided by Design Associates Architects.