An old proverb warns not to change horses midstream, but it says nothing about houses. Not that the homeowners would have taken heed if it had. After hiring interior designer Anne-Marie Barton and architect Warren Lloyd to design and plan a new family home for their hillside lot, the couple discovered a second property in Alpine that was so spectacular that they couldn’t resist it. So they switched ponies, ditched the original site and building plans and then instructed their team to begin anew. “The new lot is unprecedented when it comes to mountain views, so it was all worth it to start fresh for this very special spot,” says Barton, who teamed with Lloyd and builder Steve Dubell to create the Alpine dream home.
Photography by David Duncan Livingston
The prized property is located in Three Falls, a prestigious development tucked into the north end of Alpine at the base of Lone Peak. Lloyd responded to the lot’s sweeping views, wooded mountain slope and copses of native oak with a site-driven design. “We wanted to preserve the views and tree stands while limiting the length of uninterrupted walls, so we came up with a design scheme of linked pavilions,” he explains. The garage, main living area and primary suite are housed in three separate “simple vernacular gable forms.” These are linked by more compressed spaces leading from one pavilion to the next. “We call them bridges that are intended to feel transparent and floating,” Lloyd says, describing connectors that include a mudroom hall, entry and adjoining office area and a stairway hall leading to the primary suite and the home’s lower level. This unique design promotes a comfortable flow that locates public and private activities at opposite ends of the home. A lower level provides separation and privacy for the children’s rooms and play area.
The homeowners turned to Barton to infuse their house with her discerning use of textures, natural colors and sophisticated melding of contemporary and classical pairings that aligned with their own tastes. “This is my favorite style as it incorporates a sense of order and simplicity while also adding shapes and finishes,” says Barton, who conceived an informal décor defined by comfort and luxe livability. “Our clients wanted a relaxed style, but they also wanted to be wowed.” To this end, Barton kept the palette simple, creating a neutral envelope that allows the views, furnishings, curated art and unexpected details to rouse the décor.
Connecting the indoor spaces to the majestic mountain setting was key to the design and drove many of its most memorable moments. This is evidenced in the entry, accessed through a glass door and floor-to-ceiling wall of glass and steel. The eye moves through the space, past an interior wall of glass enclosing a swanky office/keeping room and out its farthest windows to the landscape beyond. The succession of transparent walls allows natural light and breathtaking views to flood the interior. To warm the entry space, Barton used vertical white-oak paneling to clad its walls and to cleverly disguise the doors opening to a coat closet and powder bathroom. Large paintings and a clean-lined pendant light accent the welcoming entry. “This space had to deliver, and it does,” the designer says.
At the home’s heart, the main living pavilion is equally distinctive with an open, communal design ideally suited to the busy family. Beneath a soaring ceiling, the light-filled overscaled space consists of a uniquely centralized kitchen framed by open living and dining areas on one side and an open family room and breakfast area on the other. Barton anchored the spacious kitchen with three islands—one large and two smaller. “This creates more of an experiential, self-service kitchen where no one gets trapped behind huge islands,” the designer explains. Contrasting cabinet finishes and island tops deliver a more “furnituresque” look for the kitchen, one than complements the nearby living and dining areas. Each of these boast its own special moments, from the dining’s linear chandelier and brass-and-leather chairs to the textured limestone-and-steel fireplace anchoring the living area’s posh sitting space. “The fireplace provides a contrast to the subtle tones and concepts of the home,” Barton says.
The third pavilion’s primary suite highlights Barton’s mastery of luxe materials and tone-on-tone elegance. Rather than relying on a bed and bedding to drive the room’s style, the designer focused on the headboard wall, covering it floor-to-ceiling with reeded wood panels detailed with brass channels. At the end of the feature wall, complementary panels of unlacquered brass create an opulent backdrop for paired pendants illuminating one side of the bed while a single antique lamp lights the other. “Asymmetry adds to the visual interest,” Barton explains.
Throughout the beautiful home, the high level of architectural moments and decorative artistry not only celebrates the mountain setting, but also elevates the family’s living experience. The site deserved nothing less. Lloyd explains, “The natural environment is so stunning that it attracts those who want to create and build something really special.”
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