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A family relocates to Jackson Hole from the West Coast, and remodels a house to create a home they’re comfortable in.
By Elizabeth Clair Flood ∙ Photography by David Agnello
Years ago, this California family—from young kids to grandparents—spent a week at the Triangle X, a historic dude ranch in Grand Teton National Park. One afternoon, a wrangler commanded them to line up their horses in the river. Then he hollered, “Gallop!” In a spray of hooves and water, the group blasted upriver, like outlaws in a Hollywood western.
From that day, part of the family—parents and two young kids—knew Jackson Hole would eventually be home. They loved their house in Newport Beach but were drawn to this valley, too. “We loved the skiing, the hiking, and the fly fishing,” one of the owners says. “We were drawn to the open spaces and the adventure.”
The couple decided to keep their California house but make Jackson Hole the family’s main residence. “We wanted a smaller place to raise children and an environment that was not so consumer-driven,” one of the owners says. The couple loved their Wyoming neighborhood, their home’s proximity to the kids’ school, their neighbors and friends, and the easily accessible outdoor adventure.
One thing they didn’t love? Their sixteen-year-old traditional post and beam home here. They instead imagined a home with an interior that had the lighter palette of their Newport home. They wanted two rooms for their children, a more spacious master bedroom, and to move the dining room out of the living space and into its own room. After talking with architects, they decided to remodel. Over fourteen months they renovated their 5,000-square-foot home, adding 1,000 square feet, which included a downstairs master bedroom and bath. They chose to revamp this home rather than buy something else because they loved that the lot had privacy, and was also in close proximity to neighbors and the vibrant town of Wilson.
To create the look and program they wanted, the couple hired Veronica Schreibeis of Jackson’s Vera Iconica Architecture and also Erin Curci and Erin Flinn of E2 Interior Design, based in Newport Beach and known for its clean coastal aesthetic and organic-luxe vibe. “We loved the innovative work of Vera Iconica. When we interviewed the firm they seemed to understand the materials we wanted to use, and we just had a connection,” one of the owners says. Because E2 had designed the family’s Newport home, the couple knew they would work well on the design team.
As was their Newport home, this Wilson remodel was an exciting collaboration. Schreibeis was instrumental in gathering the rustic materials for the home and modernizing the lines inside and outside. She eliminated balconies and shed roofs for a cleaner, modern look and also to maximize windows. “She was really good at being aware of views and where the light fell in the home,” one of the owners says. Windows weren’t just about views, though. Every time a window came up, the design team met to discuss it. Sometimes windows were adjusted for drapes, or sometimes to accommodate furnishings.
The team also worked together on the cabinets. The couple wanted custom Shaker cabinets, made of white oak and painted with a grayish wash. Schreibeis designed the cabinets according to the owners’ instructions. Artisan Jaxon Ching of Willow Creek Woodworks executed the designs perfectly.
To help get the palette closer to that of their Newport home, wood walls here were painted white. Other walls were subtly plastered. Also, the original orange-brown beams were wrapped in rustic barnwood. Floors were redone in reclaimed oak. “I wanted people to come into this house and feel comfortable,” one of the owners says. “I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable about dragging snow in or scratching the floors. This is a family home, not so much a showcase home.”
In keeping with the informal style, the couple told their contractor, Russ Kane of Dembergh Construction of Jackson Hole, not to stress about getting all of the barnwood accents perfect. The tiles selected for the kitchen, from Concept Studio in Costa Mesa, California, are handmade and irregular. The owners selected all of the home’s art, including pieces by family members, several oil paintings by local artist Kathryn Mapes Turner, and a few works by Newport-based artists: “We like having a connection to our things. We don’t like to buy things that are just going to match the decor.”
The decor is simple and the colors neutral. E2 and the couple together chose gray, mohair-covered couches for the living room. Logs stacked decoratively on either side of the fireplace create a hip, outdoorsy feel. Details include a large bowl of air plants and a collection of sand-colored stones linked together with rope on a coffee table. E2 and the owners were particularly pleased with the dining room, a place where a neutral palette complements large picture windows framing mountain views, carefully selected furnishings, and family treasures. The chairs at the table are covered in white linen. “We had the table and chandelier custom-made for that space,” E2’s Curci says. “The washed linen drapery added a nice, soft layer to the steel doors and reclaimed wood.”
While the couple weren’t a huge fan of the original house, there is little fault to find with the surrounding landscape. Depending on where you are in the home, views are of a pond, pine trees, or mountains. “With a busy interior you miss the beauty of the outside,” one of the owners says.