In Holladay, traditional and modern find common ground in a beautiful family home.

When guests arrive at this home in Holladay, they’re greeted by stone-pillared gates, manicured gardens and stately architecture that exemplifies symmetry with a capital S. The impression of time-honored formality and upper-crust propriety prevails. But as visitors step inside the front door and move deeper into the home, the exalted effect of the facade’s grandness all but disappears. Ties loosen and postures ease as the design moves from graciously formal up front to comfortably familiar farther back.

elegance and ease
The spacious entry welcomes guests with an open, two-story staircase backed on one side by handsomely paneled walls and large windows that frame views of Mt. Olympus. The custom rug and stair runner are from Regency Royale. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

That’s exactly as the owners and the talented team that designed, built and decorated the home intended. 

elegance and ease
Calming symmetry and timeless details honor the home’s traditional architecture in the main living room. Shots of blue tones link the space to others in the home, as does a curated mix of classic and contemporary forms and finishes. Draperies feature C & C Milano fabric; custom sofas covered in linen by Lee Jofa. Photo by Derek Israelsen

Sunlight streams through the painted banisters of the entry’s open, two-story staircase, filling the traditional space with glorious light. The paneled walls are white, the oak floors are dark and the look is fresh and welcoming. Elegant, yes. But fussy? Not here. Not for this family.

elegance and ease
Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wallpaper dresses the dining room walls with an oversized abstract floral pattern. A custom selenite chandelier by Ron Dier Design and drapery fabric by Donghia add to the space’s luxe, layered décor. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

“This is not a showpiece; it’s a house that is used and enjoyed,” says interior designer Catherine Goodsell, who worked closely with the homeowners to create a timeless family home that caters to their active lives and easygoing style. 

elegance and ease
“We wanted to create interiors that complement the scale and beauty of the home, yet still feel comfortable and approachable,” says Catherine Goodsell, principal of Catherine Goodsell Interiors. To that end, she treated the ceiling of the breakfast room with beams and shiplap to create the look of an enclosed porch, hung a bronze lantern-style light by Visual Comfort and covered the hostess chairs with easy-care Perennials fabric. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

Naturally, oversized blue flowers bloom profusely on the walls in the nearby dining room. “Anyone who knows my client gets this bold and playful choice,” says Goodsell of the Phillip Jeffries wallpaper. “This is so her.” Not only did the surprising choice reflect the homeowner’s fun-loving style, but it also drove the palette for the rest of the home, where a thread of blue moves throughout. 

elegance and ease
The family room is a comfortable extension of the kitchen and a favorite hangout for the family. Goodsell designed the painted fireplace and included furnishings and fixtures that foster a relaxed, kick-your-shoes-off vibe including wood-framed mirrors, a rustically finished armoire, a bronze Urban Electric chandelier and leather swivel chairs by Lee. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

 For proof, one only needs to look across the entry into the formal living room. There, inky-blue pillows and boldly patterned armchairs animate the room’s neutral palette and strict symmetry. Even the white draperies are edged in navy.

elegance and ease
Goodsell used a custom upholstered bed, a Marc Phillips rug and color-blocked draperies made from C & C Milano fabrics to inject tranquil shades of blue into the master bedroom space. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

“It prevents the panels from disappearing into the walls,” says Goodsell, who painted the walls of the more formal spaces white and tinted the others slightly darker for a more casual vibe.

elegance and ease
Catherine Goodsell, principal of Catherine Goodsell Interiors / Photo by Derek Israelsen

The living room is dressy, but it’s also inviting—a must for the homeowners. They also desired beautiful crown moldings, coffered ceilings and lots of light.

elegance and ease
The owners’ affinity for intriguing patterns, rich textures and tones of blue comes through in a charming sitting area overlooking tailored gardens. Goodsell paired a Janus et Cie sofa with custom chairs dressed with heavy fringe and Lee Jofa fabric. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

This space checks all three from the wish list. It also showcases the interior’s compelling pairings of contemporary and antique furnishings, assorted metals and woods, straight and elegantly curved lines and smooth and richly textured fabrics. “It’s an eclectic, personalized mix that delivers interest and depth throughout the home,” Goodsell explains.  

elegance and ease
A charming reading nook offers a cozy spot to relax in the upstairs hallway. “Large houses need intimate moments like this,” says Goodsell. The pillow collection features fabrics by Kelly Wearstler, Rose Tarlow and Ebanista. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

The symmetry and elegance that defines the more formal entry and front rooms give way to more relaxed design and details farther back. In the kitchen, for instance, Walker Zanger terra cotta tile and Circa metal-shaded pendants inject pattern and warmth. Across the room, walls of windows and a ceiling dressed with beams and shiplap give the breakfast space the look and feel of a charming, enclosed porch. “It makes it more cozy,” she says.

elegance and ease
Located just steps from a tree-shaded stream, the guest suite features a more contemporary, mountainy décor than the rest of the home, Goodsell explains. She designed the wood-framed modern fireplace and furnished the sitting area with handsome Noir cabinets and plaid wing chairs from Lee Industries. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

In the adjoining family room, the designer displayed a gallery’s worth of framed mirrors above a nubby-upholstered sofa and furthered the “earthiness” with a rustic carved armoire and bronze-and-opaque glass chandelier. Slightly darker walls, reduced trim and at-ease furnishings help give all three spaces a more casual, come-as-you-are look and feel. “This is one of our family’s favorite gathering spaces,” the client says. 

elegance and ease
A canopy bed by RH fills the volume of the guest suite, but its open frame allows views of the wooded property to flow through unobstructed. Artist Jean Schmidt’s Continental Divide hangs above the bed. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

Not that there is a shortage of comfortable spots for family and friends to hang out. “Our architects good-naturedly laughed at the number of family room spaces we wanted,” says the homeowner, referencing the basement TV room, a sunroom, an above-the-garage playroom and handsomely furnished patios, to name a few. “We’ve often had the kids and their friends in all of these spaces at once,” she adds. 

elegance and ease
Garden views flood the spacious sunroom, where Perennials fabrics cover an outdoor sofa and two chairs by McGuire. Side table by Noir. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

The more private spaces live upstairs. The owners wanted the master bedroom—a tranquil, pale blue retreat that opens to a view-laden upper patio—to be on the same level as the children’s ensuite bedrooms. The exception to second-story bedrooms is a guest suite that sits a stone’s toss from the stream at the back of the wooded property.

elegance and ease
Unlike the front of the home’s grand facade, the entry to the mudroom welcomes guests with a single door and possesses a comforting, small-scale charm. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

“We wanted the guest room to be on the main level for privacy, and also wanted the option for my husband and me to move down to the main floor some day if we decided to,” the homeowner says. The guest suite’s wooded site inspired a modern-mountain décor defined by warm woods, dark beams, contemporary forms, luxe leather as well as plaid and textured textiles. A handsome canopy bed completes the chic retreat.

elegance and ease
“With the tall trees on the lot and the neighborhood reminiscent of the East Coast, we wanted a traditional Colonial home,” the homeowner says. She and her husband admired the work of Washington DC architects Barnes Vanze, and hired the firm to design exactly that for them and their active family. / Photo by Derek Israelsen

“We joke that we’re going to take a vacation to our guest room because we love it, especially with its back porch located right next to the stream,” she adds. Thanks to the talented creative team that the owners refer to as amazing, the sense of comfort and ease seems to resonate through this and every other space in the house.

Want a look at other homes in Utah? See more House Tours here.


Interior Design and furnishings: Catherine Goodsell, Catherine Goodsell Interiors, Holladay

Architect: Steve Vanze and Wayne Adams, Barnes Vanze Architects, Washington DC

Contractor: Lance Howell, The Biltmore Co, Holladay

Landscape design: Mike Kaiser, Kaiser Trabue Landscape Architecture, Nashville, Tenn.

Garden Design: Heidi Brewer, Empress Garden Design, Holladay

Landscape installation: Eschenfelder Landscaping, SLC

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.