Words & photos by: Scot Zimmerman
I hear from so many people that autumn is their favorite time of year. This year, once again, the Wasatch Front and Back have enjoyed spectacular color, mild weather, and beautiful skies.
A recent assignment took me to the top of The Preserve northeast of Park City to an elevation I would estimate at 9,000 feet. The 10-acre lot lived up to the development’s name, as elk herds pass by, moose have been found sleeping adjacent to the home, and hawks soared above. The last of autumn’s faded color lingered on the day I made photos, but I expect it was gone within the week.
Jaffa Group Design Build is the architect, builder, and interior designer for the project with the homeowner participating in the interior design. The oxidized steel already has a rusty patina that blends perfectly with the autumn colors, and architect Scott Jaffa, used the steel to create a horizontal line across the exterior to give the home a modern appearance while allowing for pitched roofs to assist shedding the snow load. It also unites what appears like an assemblage of smaller buildings to give the home an unostentatious presence to blend in with the amazing plot of land.
Scott Jaffa was pleased with the entry design and requested a photo. The front door is framed glass to provide a connection to the outside space and transmits shaded natural light. A perforated screen (to the left in the photo) separates the entry from the great room. Its size matches a band of wood ceiling that extends from the art nook, over the dining table, to the other wall.

A dropped ceiling over the dining table makes it feel separate from the living room and kitchen. I love the light clerestories bring to a room, and in the living area they run along two walls. Below the clerestory on one side are lift-slide glass doors to the patio, and along the other are book cabinets in the same light warm wood as the coffee table. The fireplace is a natural focal point with the strength of an art piece on the far wall.
To the opposite end of the open space, the kitchen demonstrates a shift to warmer tones than we have been seeing in the past in the stone and the natural wood cabinets. Beyond the fireplace is a small convenient family nook with a television and cushioned seating.
The home is designed for one-floor living for a couple with space for children, grandchildren, and guests downstairs. The front entry can be seen at the far end of the hallway in this photo. The bridge leads to the garage and mudroom, and the master bedroom suite is behind the camera. The mountain lifestyle can lead to orthopedic injuries (my knee still reminds me of this), and the even floor plan is practical for a recovery involving a wheelchair or crutches. It’s just part of what we deal with here, and it’s nice to see it considered in a home design.

The master bedroom features another fireplace that could be an art piece and distant views that could inspire Maynard Dixon and the other great Western artists. The master bath uses frosted glass for privacy for both the shower and water closet.
Natural light drove the photos. I planned my sequence by the movement of the sun in the architectural photographer’s style of maximizing light and avoiding glare.

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