Not all dream homes are built on secluded acreage. Some, like this stylish property in Jackson Hole, are located in more traditional neighborhoods on streets lined with other houses. The owner loves the neighborhood feel and wanted a space that was light-filled, magical, inviting, and peaceful. She enlisted the help of an architect from her home state of Michigan, Jeff Visser, Principal of J. Visser Design, to help make her dream a reality.
“Jeff has a lot of vision; he’s a great listener, and he made the project very seamless for me,” says the owner about embarking on her first built-from-scratch home project with Visser. “Starting with a blank canvas and creating what I wanted was a very special experience.”
The owner who has an art and design background is quite creative and handled most of the interior design herself, collaborating with WRJ Interior Design. Her artistic spirit craves a structured space–horizontal lines, lots of natural light, and consistency of elements—that helps her feel grounded.
“I like the bones of the home to have strength and structure, but then I add creative touches in other ways,” she explains. “Truth in materials, natural materials and a quiet and limited color palette create peace for me.”
The three-bedroom, three-and-half bathroom home has 5,000 square feet of space, but the design and sense of scale combined with the comfortable furnishings and interior design choices create a cozy, relaxed feel. “There’s a natural rhythm to the space and although the main level is very long, it doesn’t feel overwhelming,” says the owner.
To maximize the vistas while naturally integrating the home into its neighborhood setting, Visser designed the bulk of the house to tilt toward the view of the National Elk Refuge at the back of the property, which provides habitat elk and other big game, as well as birds and fish. The garage and entrance on the front of the home were designed parallel to the road, complementing the other structures on the street.
“We tried to get the best of both worlds that way,” explains Visser. The resulting layout creates interesting nooks—such as the front patio—that aren’t perfectly rectangular.
Visser adds that the owner wanted a house that felt like it “belonged” in Jackson Hole, but with a few modern twists. The use of simple, earthy materials like the stained barn wood siding and Montana stonework on the exterior are juxtaposed against the simple shape of the metal roof and the angled shroud on the chimney that create a more contemporary feel.
The generous and strategic use of windows was important to create the light and airy feel desired by the owner. A huge bank of clerestory windows creates a nice visual effect from the street making the house look lantern-like when it is lit up at night. The ribbon of windows also draws light inside to illuminate the open stairwell on the main level and sprinkle sunlight onto the flight of stairs leading to the basement level which houses a living room, exercise room, work room, murphy beds, steam room, and plunge pool.
The main living area—consisting of the living room, dining room, kitchen, and sitting area—is an open rectangular space anchored by fireplaces on either end. Each section is defined by rustic wooden beams and furniture groupings in a fresh, neutral palette. Romantic touches such as the vintage chandelier in the dining room and sumptuous draperies throughout the home soften the space.
Stone wing walls on the back of the home—inspired by the renowned Amangani resort in Jackson—are visible through the trio of French doors. The stone piers frame the view from inside while serving like shutters or blinds to offer a subtle bit of privacy, according to Visser.
The hardwood oak floors from the main level are carried upstairs. In the master bedroom, tongue-and-groove paneled walls and wooden beams are painted white to create a clean, light feel that contrasts the rusticity downstairs. Off the master, a balcony lined with a contemporary cable rail capitalizes on the picturesque view of the elk preserve.
J. Visser Design
Jeff Visser, Principal