When empty nesters Chandra and Eric Bergeson purchased a property they had always admired in Salt Lake City’s St. Mary’s neighborhood, there was no question about the type of home they’d build on it. “I’ve always been drawn to older homes,” says Chandra, who has an affinity for classic American architecture and design. And while she knew the age-old look she wanted, Chandra had no idea how to create the traditional charm she desired. “That’s where Hillary came in; she knew how to get us there,” says Chandra, nodding to designer Hillary Taylor.
Taylor instantly understood the Bergesons’ attraction to the expansive property, ideal for the yard-loving couple. The designer also envisioned the historic style Chandra craved. “We thought about what might have been built here at the base of Emigration Canyon if the early pioneers had the funds to build a home when they arrived in Salt Lake,” Taylor says. Sheenlisted architect Jon Jang and Evergreene Construction’s Chris Nielson to help design and build a traditional home based on Greek Revival design. “It was the dominant style of residential architecture from 1820-1850, and we thought it would provide a traditional framework that would give the property structure,” Taylor explains.
Keeping in mind the clients’ desire for a light-filled, time-honored home, the team conjured a residence that is primarily one-room deep. This think-thin concept floods each room with air and light, while providing front-and-back views and access. “Because I am constantly looking outside and am so affected by natural light and air, this design was perfect for me,” Chandra says. The one-room-deep approach also affects the way an interior lives. “Because you walk through rooms rather than down hallways connecting them, you are constantly experiencing the spaces rather than simply gazing into them,” Taylor explains.
The proof is on view from the moment guests open the front door. They immediately see through the entrance hall to French doors that open to the back patio and a magnificent landscape created by Kappus Landscape’s Simriti Schwobe. “That view is my favorite ahhh moment,” Chandra exclaims. The welcoming entrance hall also introduces the timeless style and Greek Revival details that elevate the entire décor. Thick weighty walls, generous moldings, raised paneling and a custom newel post designed by Jang “deftly speak to solidity and age,” Taylor says. So too do the scraped, wide planked Richard Marshall floors.
The main level is U-shaped and frames a courtyard behind the home. There are the living and dining rooms that boast front-and-back views of the property and flank the entry on opposite sides. The elegant dining room leads to an expansive kitchen, charming breakfast room, combined laundry/sewing room and a relaxed family room on one side of the home. On the other, the refined living room connects to Eric’s paneled office linking to a luxurious primary suite. “The main level is perfect for the couple’s day-to-day living,” Hillary Taylor says. A second story includes a large sitting area surrounded by four bedroom suites, one for each of the Bergesons’ grown children and their families during visits.
The compelling décor is marked by Taylor’s signature combination of new and old furnishings, exquisite textiles, masterful tailoring and luxurious layering. In the tony dining room, for example, a crystal chandelier and luscious Lee Jofa curtains shimmer against a stunning Susan Harter Mural wallpaper. “It’s so beautiful to walk through and spend time there,” Chandra says. In contrast, the family room is laid-back, featuring reclaimed beams, layered rugs team and rich textures that infuse comfort and a put-your-feet-up style. “This is a gathering space that opens onto all of the outdoor spaces,” Taylor explains. The designer personalized the interior at every turn, even pulling colors from a family portrait to create the décor’s palette. “It’s very gentle and warm, and it ties the rooms together,” she says.
Stately symmetry and Ionic columns may make guests stand a little straighter when they approach the front door, but postures ease the moment they step inside. Chandra would have it no other way. “I’m an informal person, and it’s important that people feel comfortable inside my home,” she explains. Thanks to Taylor and the talented team who created the impressive residence, comfort is just one of many delights Eric and Chandra—as well as their family and friends—enjoy in the couple’s new forever home.
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