In Utah Valley, designer Don Brady infuses a new home with stunning antiques, timeless treatments and Old World flair.
By Jessica Adams, Photos by Scot Zimmerman
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A chateau-style home may not seem au courant at a time when the fever for all things modern runs high, but a home of any style inspired by its owners’ passions and an appetite for authenticity has an appeal that prevails. Such is the case of a new Utah Valley residence created by a husband and wife with a love for travel and European design. They turned to designer Don Brady whose eye for and knowledge of antiques helped them mold their home into what could easily be mistaken for a centuries-old relic transplanted from the south of France.
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The home’s exterior is the first indication of its Old World authenticity. “In France, all the homes have different roof textures because they’ve been added to over the centuries,” Brady explains. An assortment of antique terra cotta tiles featuring seven different textures cover different sections of the roof, giving the structure the appearance of being hundreds of years old.
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Inside, a grand entrance presents an impressive gallery of the homeowner’s own artwork, as well as a stunning view directly into the back courtyard where a large antique fountain imported from France sets a calming mood for the lush, outdoor space.
The entry flows seamlessly into an open, symmetrically designed living area, which hosts two custom carved and antiqued 17-foot stone fireplaces. They flank each end of the room and are majestically scaled to hold their own against the room’s high 32-foot ceilings. An elegant sofa and chairs balance the grandeur of the fireplaces, while adding warmth, texture and subtle color against the limestone flooring and plastered walls.
The kitchen is an entertainer’s dream and was designed by the homeowners to satisfy their penchant for hosting large crowds. Two separate islands maximize counter space making food prep and serving a breeze, and one even includes a marble section designed specifically for chocolate making.
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A custom limestone pizza oven adds an element of fun while the superbly equipped butlers pantry connects the kitchen and dining room. Five sets of French doors open wide from the formal dining room onto an outdoor courtyard designed to be large enough to host weddings and create the perfect indoor/outdoor space for year-round entertaining.
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The kitchen’s adjoining dining area acts as a rustically styled buffer between the kitchen and the family room and features custom wood planked ceilings and timeless plastered walls. The family room was designed entirely around the 600-year-old French fireplace, which stands as one of the room’s most memorable focal points. The other is a striking modern light fixture.
“The homeowner and I wanted a fresher, more contemporary feel in this room, so I designed the chandelier and had it manufactured specifically for this space,” Brady says. The 8-foot round modern piece is a stark juxtaposition against a hand-painted 18th century armoire that also furnishes the family room.
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An intricately carved set of 19th century German doors adorn the entrance into the master bedroom and also act as a visual portrayal of the homeowners’ skills. One door features an artist’s palette and brushes to reflect the wife’s artistic talents, and construction tools on the opposite door reflect the husband’s trade as a contractor.
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“The craftsmanship and the original color of the wood doors is so beautiful, we didn’t even feel they needed to be stained,” Brady explains. In the end, the home reflects its owners’ passions as well as Brady’s enormous talent. With flourishes of aged surfaces, one-of-a-kind antiques and generous spaces, the home is indeed a piece of Old World France fervently fashioned in the heart of Utah County.
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