Reese and Barbie Harper had to make a big decision. Do they build a new home for their young family or do they completely overhaul their tired ‘80s house in Holladay? After much debate—and the creation of a full set of building plans—they chose to remodel. “We decided to make lemonade out of a lemon,” Barbie says with a laugh.
When pondering the style of her new home, Barbie searched for inspiration online and discovered a modern ranch home in California’s wine country that checked all of her boxes. “It had lots of texture, natural elements and a very organic feel,” she recounts enthusiastically. These elements became key building blocks for the house’s design, inside and out.
The exterior is clad in wood-shake shingles and warmed with an earthy, tone-on-tone palette. “It’s all about texture, inside and out,” Barbie says. Custom double doors open to an expanded foyer that presents the home’s warm and welcoming décor from the get-go. “The design is a dance between the rough and refined, classic and modern, casual and formal, feminine and masculine,” explains Goodsell, principal of Lecate Design. While juggling this mix, Goodsell took great pains to a establish a timeless foundation for a style that “straddles the worlds of traditional and modern.”
The designer dressed the majority of the walls in warm white, many of them clad in V-groove paneling. She flowed richly stained white-oak floors to anchor the interior and incorporated custom doors to elevate it throughout. To this, Goodsell introduced a mix of “authentic” materials including wood beams and paneling, wool carpets and natural stone elements. “They add depth and richness, and they never go out of style,” she explains.
Once the foundation was in order, Goodsell tackled the décor. Her objective was to create an enduring style with a number of unexpected touches that satisfy Barbie’s love for of-the-moment decorating. “I’ve always been a design junkie,” the homeowner confesses. In the main-level music room, for example, Goodsell juxtaposed an unexpected coral chandelier and bold art by Holly Addi with a traditional hand-knotted rug and custom Dedar linen draperies. In the open kitchen, domed pendants accented with gold-leaf hang above a clean-lined central island crowned with marble-veined Neolith countertops. Goodsell balanced these with beloved hand-cast bronze hardware. “It’s a rich, classic material that won’t date the home,” she explains. Other surprising elements of note include the family room’s mod, triple-armed chandelier, the music room’s color-mixed pillows and the primary bedroom’s shapely ceramic lamps. “You can have fun with design knowing everything doesn’t have to be a forever piece,” the designer explains.
Goodsell has a knack for layering a décor, and this home was no exception. Textured Phillip Jeffries grasscloth enriches the music room and master bedroom walls, subtly patterned rugs anchor cozy living areas and finely trimmed custom draperies dress windows throughout. “I love draperies and the way they soften spaces,” she says. The designer also has a command for color, pairing pink with goldenrod, navy with robin’s egg blue. “We were inspired by a lovely vintage rug,” Barbie says. Equal attention was paid to custom doors crafted by Lecate Artisan Doors. Rustic wire-brushed double doors open to Reese’s handsome office, expansive front double doors fill the foyer with abundant light and large windowed sliders close off the music room’s performances without eliminating foyer views. “This is a great house that deserves great doors,” Goodsell says.
While designing the home, Goodsell also focused on avoiding VOCs (volatile organic compounds) as much as possible. “Barbie is highly sensitive to VOCs, so everything from paints to processes, adhesives to furnishings had to be considered,” she explains. Barbie also consulted with Eco Nest’s Paula Baker-Laporte for advice. “I wanted our home to be healthy and relatively green,” Barbie says. With a lot of research and deliberate choices, that’s exactly what Goodsell and the team delivered.
Thanks to strong collaboration between the homeowners and their talented pros, the choice to overhaul the old house resulted in a beloved ranch-style retreat that caters to the Harpers’ active lifestyle and captures their desire for relaxed, natural spaces. “This is a young family with great energy, and their new home reflects this,” Goodsell says. For Reese and Barbie, remodeling was a decision well made.