It’s a reality that winter in the West’s most spectacular mountain playgrounds can sometimes feel uniformly white. And while JLF Architects tackles a host of challenges to ensure a house lives as comfortably and beautifully in winter’s extremes as in summer’s more forgiving conditions, even a masterfully designed house can feel a bit monochromatic as February does its worst. Reclaimed wood and rustic stone provide lovely textural contrast to ice and snow, and glowing interior tableaus revealed through expanses of contemporary glass feel warm and welcoming. Still, when a client wanted to go beyond interior fixtures and finishes to incorporate vivid jewel tones into architectural elements of his JLF-designed Park City house, the team embraced the challenge.
The daring color palette caught the eye of luxe San Francisco lifestyle magazine Capture, which featured the Park City Modern house as one of its Winter 2021/22 cover stories, beginning with the dramatic front door that sets expectations that something different lies within. “The owner gave us the freedom to explore creative, unexpected and unusual design opportunities,” JLF principal Paul Bertelli tells Capture about the monumental entry statement in marbled red steel. “Working closely with Scott Espelin of Wild West Ironworks, sketching on the actual door and using a number of techniques, we achieved the final ‘living’ finish.”
Indoors, the kitchen’s stunning surround of windows gives the house’s wooded site an immediacy that welcomes trees as part of the décor. Playing further with that idea, JLF designed bespoke cabinetry, slicing walnut into translucent panels and using a proprietary process to meld it with cabinet doors. The finished effect is of “a forest of walnut trees,” Bertelli says, the rich wood highlighted on cobalt blue as if against a summer sky.
The kitchen’s walnut “trunks” take on height and definition in this sitting room, revealing knots and branches that, with opposing walls of glass, create the sense of sitting amid the forest. And just as the reclaimed wood ceiling’s natural rustic character is highlighted against sleek mottled steel beams and the fireplace steel panels, the accent wall’s organic tree shapes contrast with the room’s modern perpendiculars to emphasize the house’s connection to the outdoors.
Serious pops of color from the homeowner’s notable collection of Western Art helped define the interior palette, and interior designer Natasha Wallis reinforced the paintings’ strong hues through bright rugs and fabrics. Meanwhile, JLF’s trademark use of salvaged and locally sourced materials, including stacked stone walls treated as historical “remnants” against contemporary glass and steel, provides a regional sense of place that fits the artists’ Western themes and, as Bertelli tells Capture, “creates a neutral canvas on which to showcase bold, colorful art.”