In Holladay, a team of pros transforms a dark ’90s interior into a showcase of light-filled spaces, vibrant jewel tones and chic, classic style.
By Brad Mee, Photos by Scot Zimmerman

Holladay has always been known as a hotbed of beautiful homes and stylish living, and the tony area’s swell of smartly remodeled residences only reinforces its reputation. Count the recent project by designers Susan Nicole Thompson and Bennett Lee and contractor Ryan Taylor among them. Once dark and outdated, the home they remodeled is now a showcase of light, luxe and high-style livability.

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Today, when guests step into this family home, they are greeted not by a hohum entry with open views into the home, but by an enclosed, formal foyer enriched by a stunning inlaid marble floor, mirrored ceiling cove and white, paneled walls. The look is bright and unmistakably glamorous-a look that defines the new design as a whole. It also taps the woman -of-the home’s chic, polished style. “Good design should always honor the homeowner,” says Thompson who, along with Lee and Taylor, collaborated to create an interior that achieved this at every tum.

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To transform the home’s main level, the team not only enclosed the entry, but also reformatted the floor plan. They revised a tunnel-like hallway leading to the living and dining areas on its way to a great room occupying the back of the home. One of the project’s most stylistic and structural transformations, this new passageway boasts a solid wall enclosing pantries and a powder room discreetly hidden behind what appear to be decorative wall panels.

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The pros also removed a wall separating the kitchen from the adjoining dining area and replaced it with a double-sided bar featuring glass upper cabinets. “The kitchen was so dim and dark and by removing the wall, we really opened it up,” explains Taylor, owner of Upland Development.These dramatic changes allow interior views and natural light to flood the main level, front to back. “We wanted to create rooms on top of rooms, each defined with its own feel and purpose but that flow effortlessly into each other,” Lee explains.

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A myriad of key treatments and materials foster the desired sense of continuity. Circle-sawn, wire brushed hickory floors replaced outdated slate tile and run uninterrupted room-to-room as do light gray walls trimmed in white, formal wall panels and dark-painted window mullions.

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“We love the style of old iron windows, so we painted the home’s white window frames dark charcoal to mimic the look,” Thompson says. This seamless palette of sophisticated design elements creates a chic and subtle backdrop for the interior’s most striking feature—color. It unites and at the same time differentiates separate living and entertaining spaces.

The designers strategically selected ebullient jewel tones of sapphire, amethyst, emerald andblack onyx for furnishings and custom finishes that help define the style of each room. “With suchan open layout, the pops of color throughout the house had to be carefully worked in,” Thompson explains. In the office located off the entry, for example, brilliant blue pairs with watercolorlike wallpaper and white refinished cabinetry to conceive a statement of pure glam.

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Conversely, the chic sitting room—structurally framed like a room within a room—is accented with shots of pale amethyst and champagne tones to create a tranquil, ultra-luxe vibe furthered by a custom ombre wool rug, large Tibetan lamb–covered bench and tiered nickel chandelier. “The homeowner didn’t want anything too formal or stuffy,” Lee says. The look is serene and definitely sexy.

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Further into the house, neutral charcoal and silver tones define the adult lounge while vibrant emerald kicks it up a notch in the great room beyond. There, boldly tufted green custom chairs perform like art as seen from perhaps the most transformed of spaces, the kitchen.

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Once weighed down by golden alder and rustic ’90s style, the kitchen is now bright, open and elegant. Dark beams span the ceiling, and white cabinetry stretches floor to ceiling. An eye-catching back wall of dimensional tile and a shapely hood establishes a classic statement of symmetry.

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“The client wanted a beautiful range hood, so we moved the sink and placed the hood between two new windows that flank it,” Thompson says. A large island replaces an outdated multi-level version while integrated Thermador appliances and hidden storage elevate the room’s style and performance. Touches of polished nickel sparkle like jewelry in the fashion-forward space. The renovation not only improved the home’s flow and function, but also personalized it with a chic, classic style that resonates throughout.

“I can go in any room, dressed up or dressed down, depending on the occasion,” one of the homeowners says. Thanks to a team of talented pros, the remodel provides spaces the family enjoys in a home it truly loves.

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