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It’s not unusual to see a barn in Wyoming–or anywhere in the West for that matter–but this is no ordinary barn. It’s a new contemporary structure in Wilson, Wyo., near Jackson. Designed and constructed to look as if it has always been there, the barn features simple, yet opulent touches that ensure it has all the creature comforts to complement the luxurious main log house that sits nearby.
The owners–a Hollywood power couple who splits time between Los Angeles and Jackson–insisted on the classic barn shape. But they also wanted to take the home in a contemporary direction. The barn, made of reclaimed wood from Montana Reclaimed Lumber (MRL), pays homage to the first structure that was built at the entrance to the subdivision where the 18-acre property sits.
The traditional gambrel barn home, complete with a raised cupola affixed with two windows to bring natural light into the main room, was built to satisfy a trifecta wish list: house vintage vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles and offer the husband a workshop for his collection; provide an indoor exercise area to use when the Wyoming weather isn’t cooperative for outdoor activity; and offer house guests a private retreat. The resulting 2,400-square foot one-bedroom, one and one-half bath home hits all the marks in both form and function.
The shop and garage, with a bold black and white tile floor reminiscent of a checkered race flag, occupy the majority of the main level. Ultimately, a 12-foot gently sloping “sidecar” space was added to allow more room for the husband’s tinkering and toys. A powder room (hidden by a sliding barn door), entryway and modern staircase finish off the first floor.
A spray of delicate white butterflies transformed from recycled aluminum cans by artist Paul Villinski (Tayloe Piggott Gallery) beckons guests up the staircase. The open stair and guardrail design draws light down from the vaulted second level and inversely draws guests up to the drama above. The traditional barn wood finish was installed in a modern manner, coursing out with the stair risers. This, coupled with the lightweight cable railing, plays to the intentional juxtaposition of traditional and modern design throughout the barn.
Upstairs is a soaring wooden beamed ceiling showcasing trusses created from reclaimed hemlock timbers from a saw-mill structure in Montana and accented with substantial steel beams in black. The space includes a sleek kitchenette, a welcoming guest bedroom dressed in inviting neutrals, and a modern guest bathroom featuring concrete countertops and upscale Waterworks fixtures.
On the other side, the expansive exercise studio boasts a curtain of windows overlooking the Teton Mountains and a private pond where wildlife often flock. (The views are just as likely to take your breath away as a workout is!) The gridded glass windows upstairs act as art and take the structure into the 21st century.
The reclaimed barn wood from the exterior is carried into the interior, and the tone-on-tone pallet of the furnishings and accessories inside the home imbues a fresh, clean feel that doesn’t compete with the incredible views. The owner wanted to keep everything welcoming and cozy, creating a “dogs-on-the-couch” environment that invites guests to put their feet up and stay a while.
The project was completed by a dream team of designers, architects and builders – many of whom have been friends with the owners since the main house was constructed more than 20 years ago. John Carney and Matt Bowers were on the project for Carney Logan Burke.
Rush Jenkins of WRJ Interior Design managed the look and feel inside, while Benchmark Builder’s Paul Nash was the general contractor. Contractor/carpenter Jeff Thomas was brought in to construct all the beautiful barn wood finishes and details, including the doors, cabinets and frames.
All photos are courtesy of Audrey Hall.