I continue my fascination with Salt Lake City’s secret locations and amazing homes. This week I photographed the Skaggs Mansion, the former home of businessman and philanthropist Sam Skaggs, which has changed hands several times before receiving a fresh remodel from the assiduous talent of its current owner with the assistance of Salt Lake interior designer Cody Beal (Cody Beal Interior Design, Salt Lake City). Located on nearly seven acres in the high Avenues neighborhood, it’s a half-hour walk to downtown and a short stroll to the University of Utah Medical Center complex, with the feel of a sanctuary set in the trees away from the city bustle.

The opening shot shows how the outdoor space and broad windows of the living areas look out at the views of the Salt Lake Valley. This second photo was taken on the opposite side and looks to the entry on the north (adjacent to the hillside). The home was designed for entertaining and fundraising events; hence the circular drive and extra parking.

Skaggs Mansion, High ceiling living space framing the view outside.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

The front door opens to an entry reception room highlighting a view to the windows on the opposite side. The design introduces the richly saturated colors found throughout the home in the art, area carpet, and classic furnishings. The reception room is the hub to connect the dining and living spaces for easy flow entertaining.

Skaggs Mansion, Eggplant dining room with blue accent chairs.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

As you enter the home, you’ll notice the formal dining room to the left with its eggplant walls and teal chairs. The chandelier softly illuminates the faces of those gathered around the table, and by centering the light, the dining room has a cocooning effect of added intimacy for conversing.

Skaggs Mansion, Outdoor dining space, view of the Wasatch Mountain Range
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

A glass pivot door connects the dining room to a covered outdoor dining space with views of the snowy Wasatch Range, Mount Olympus and the valley below.

Skaggs Mansion, Cobalt Blue Cabinetry framing a kitchen.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

The dining room side door opens to a long galley kitchen with cobalt blue cabinetry and a coordinated La Cornue range. The kitchen functions well for catered events and parties, as well as for family use. The long row of steel windows looks out to the foothills and mountains. At the far end is a hall connection to the informal dining room/breakfast room.

Skaggs Mansion, Colorful nook, red walls, cobalt chandelier.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Sized for a smaller group, the warm wall color draws you in. The cobalt blue chandelier echoes the color in the nearby kitchen.

Skaggs Mansion, Glass covered atrium with botanical patterned carpet.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

To the right of the reception room is the living room, connected to a glass-covered atrium. The botanical-patterned carpet is from the Netherlands. Seating is in two sunken areas, unusual but very functional. The opposite center wall is white with a projected underseas image. The entertainment system can be adapted to presentations, as well. By sinking the conversation areas, guests either standing or seated at banquet tables can see the presentations.  One of the options for the screen is spaced-themed views into galaxies, and if the homeowner hadn’t changed it, I would still be there staring at it with my chin dropped.

Skaggs Mansion, Long hallway leading to a curved staircase.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Another connection from the reception room leads to the private wing of the home.

Rich wood home library/office.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

The library/home office has most enviable backdrop for Zoom meetings I have seen.

Master Suite with a fire place centered as a focal point.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Moving further down the hallway is the master suite. The suite connects to a sitting area and to outdoor living.

 Master bath with glass and marble shower.
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

The master bath has a beautiful glass and marble shower, and the vanity is an antique with a marble surface. Beyond is the closet and dressing area.

 Pool overlooking Salt Lake Valley
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Off the master wing is the patio and pool with the strongest views from the property: they seem to encompass the entire Salt Lake Valley. Additionally, the home features two more bedroom-suites, hobby and workshop spaces, as well as more room for entertaining with wide hallways and transition spaces for mingling.

As far as making the photos, I emphasized lighting to capture both the saturated colors and the views, and then I layered them. Also, I took a number of keyhole shots because I felt it was important to show the room connections in order to appreciate the unusual architecture and movement through the home.

I am unable to credit the architect. I would enjoy hearing back from anyone who knows who designed this beautiful concrete home and more of its history.

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  1. Wow! What an amazing transformation! Our friends used to live in the small gatehouse at the bottom of this property and cared for the mansion when it was owned by the Catholic Diocese. It was gifted to the church by the Skaggs family for the use of the bishop and for church events. Boy was it dated, even back in 2000 – I wish there were “before” pictures. It really needed a renovation and Beal did an incredible job! Thank you for sharing this transformation!