Southern comfort. For many, that’s the key ingredient for making splashy, whiskey-based cocktails served over ice. But for the New Orleans-based owners of a new vacation home in Kamas, it describes the look and feel they wanted for their family’s retreat. “The wife grew up in a Louisiana home filled with antiques and furniture passed down over time, so she wanted the same homey, lived-in feel for her family’s new mountain getaway,” says designer Ashley Amman, who was hired to help create exactly that for her clients. Satisfying the owners’ style with an aesthetic that also fits with the natural beauty of Utah’s mountains required skill, instinct and, for Amman, a bit of restraint. “The wife’s style is more conservative than mine, so I had to pull back a little,” admits the young designer, who also lives in colorful New Orleans.

Photos by Lindsay Salazar.

southern comfort
An antique console welcomes guests into the living room. Views framed by large windows inspired the home’s subdued color palette.

The homeowners chose Kamas’ Victory Ranch community, craving a mountain escape where outdoor activities, open land and a sense of offline, remote living prevail. Surrounded by pristine wilderness and positioned along a stretch of the upper Provo River not far from Deer Valley and Park City, the private community was the choice spot for the active family of four—including two young teens—to land. “It’s a place where their kids can be kids, head out, hike and explore,” Amman says.

southern comfort
A series of clear glass pendants draw the eye up to the main hallway’s beamed, vaulted ceiling. The bench is an antique church pew and the art is by Robert Moore.
Paintings by artist Anne Wolfer hang above a chair in the primary suite’s living area.

At first glance, the home’s exterior is not unlike that of many of the community’s ranch- and cabin-style residences. Rustic elements—stone walls, weathered siding, brawny beams and shake and metal roofing—define the design. But at closer inspection, there are hints of southern sway. A deep front porch invites convivial gatherings out front, smaller patios and decks stand in for more expansive versions, and hanging bed swings inspire lazy lounging much like porch swings of the South.

southern comfort
The back of the house features multiple decks and patios where views can by enjoyed from every angle. A stand of tall grasses hides a hot tub on the lower level. Architecture by Line 8 Design; building by J.A. Prieb Construction.
southern comfort
Magnolia Porch Swings the size of twin beds hang from a deep upper deck on the back of the house.

These exterior details set the tone for what’s to come: at-ease interiors appointed with endearing traditional touches that include moldings as well as door and window casings. “The walls felt naked with out them,” Amman says. The designer peppered the décor with informal antiques and mismatched pieces, including the mudroom’s simple teak benches and the living room’s antique distressed console topped with honey onyx. “There’s comfort in mismatched pieces, and antiques are an important part of creating a storied look and feel,” says Amman, who also used a fair share of new furnishings. “Mixing old and new is the key to creating a home with soul.”

southern comfort
Inspired by British boot rooms with “unfitted furniture and a stylish practicality,” Amman chose large format, chiseled-edge black stone for the mudroom’s floor. Teak benches and an old pie chest furnish the space while built-in cabinets provide hidden storage. The pendant lights are by Visual Comfort.
Vintage skis and gallery walls showcasing family photos adorn the hallway at the base of the stairs. “Not everything has to be a forever piece or precious,” Amman explains.

To help shape the inviting, carefree ambiance the clients desired, organic materials and natural hues were used to marry the décor to the home’s bucolic setting. Randomly stacked stone forms the living room’s fireplace, cathedral-cut white oak floors flow underfoot, and wool rugs, linen upholstery and leather pillows replay throughout. “It’s a very informal and calming palette,” Amman says. The same describes interior colors inspired by the home’s views. “Pulling colors from the landscape helps blur the line between inside and out,” the designer explains. Because the wife likes blue while her husband favors green, the designer included both and balanced the cooler colors with warm camel, grays and varied wood tones, all recurring in the design. “Repetition creates continuity and less tension in a décor,” Amman explains.

southern comfort
A light-filled entry opens to the living room where stained beams, a stacked stone fireplace and white-oak floors help warm the white-walled room. Performance fabrics lend practicality to the white sofas and, below, a large softly patterned rug defines the open conversation space. The fireplace screen is by Lightning Forge.
Because one of the homeowners is a trained chef, function was as important as form in the kitchen. Calacatta Caldia marble teams with cabinets crafted by Premier Woodwork and Design. Above, a green-shaded brass light from The Urban Electric Company adds a traditional touch. “It’s amazing how much impact that small amount of green makes,” Amman says.
“Something about pottery just makes a room feel lived in,” says designer Ashley Amman. A commissioned painting by local artist Anne Wolfer hangs above a living room sofa.

With that in mind, Amman repeated soothing white walls from room to room, with the notable exception of the casual dining nook painted in Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain. “The dark color makes it feel cozy and private, even though it’s smack-dab in the middle of the living and kitchen areas,” says Amman, who echoed the moody hue on the living room’s firewood box and the family room’s cabinets to weave another decorative thread of repetition. The designer also used color to personalize the kids’ bunk rooms: the daughter’s is dusty rose and white while her brother’s room boasts beds painted in a deep navy blue. The primary suite caters to the wife’s southern sensibilities with a hero chandelier suspended above a simple canopy bed and a bathroom decked out with shaded sconces, warm colors and wallpaper. An adjoining sitting room’s relaxed style, peppered with mid-century elements, suits the man of the house. Room to room, the home checks all of the style and comfort boxes for the family.

southern comfort
A wood ceiling and walls painted Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain create a cozy dining space near the kitchen and living room areas. Faux leather cushions add easy care to the much-used space.
Amman painted window mullions dark gray to replicate the cames of leaded glass windows. Window casings add traditional details to the decor.
The teenage son’s bedroom features four queen-size bunks, providing plenty of sleeping space for guest overflow.

“In the end, homes should look like the people who live in them,” Amman contends. “These are kind, fun, salt-of-the-earth people, and this house reflects that perfectly.”

southern comfort
Large doors open from a spacious deck into the primary bedroom where a canopy bed sits upon a rug selected by the owners during travels in India. “You can’t beat furnishings that are also a memory,” Amman says.
southern comfort
Flooded with light, a casual living area is part of the owners’ suite. It provides a private place to relax and take in mountain views away from the rest of the house.
southern comfort
The primary suite’s freestanding tub overlooks a private garden in the mountain landscape.
Simple accessories charm the primary bathroom area.

See another beautiful ranch house design here.

Previous articleFour Quick Bread Recipes to Warm Up Your Home
Next articleThe Resurgence of Backyard Birding
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.