Mountain Living magazine has revealed the winner of its annual Home of the Year competition, a contemporary house in the exclusive Snake River Sporting Club just outside Jackson, Wyoming, created by a Jackson Hole-based team of experts featuring interior architecture and design by WRJ Design; architecture by Carney Logan Burke; construction by Teton Heritage Builders; and landscaping by Verdone Landscape Architects.
The sleek, modern home with meticulously crafted interiors and a unique 11-year story leading up to its completion appears in a 14-page feature titled “Fairy-Tale Finish” in the new November/December 2018 issue of the magazine. The win is the second for WRJ Design, whose interiors also received Home of the Year honors in 2016.
Eventually selected from among “dolly-loads” of submissions to the prestigious annual contest, the WRJ-designed winning home “stood out through its remarkable tranquility,” writes Mountain Living Editor in Chief Darla Worden. “It was subtly magnificent, a home that whispered rather than shouted.” She continues, “Our judges fell in love with this bespoke gem partly due to the attention paid to every design detail, and partly to the home’s compelling story: tarped during the recession, the home was revived as a creative masterpiece.”
Work on the winning house by Jackson architecture firm Carney Logan Burke began in 2005, intended for a UK couple interested in building a modern home with European sensibilities in the then new Snake River Sporting Club. However, the recession halted the plans, leaving the unfinished house without homeowners. Then in 2013 an active California couple was researching Jackson Hole for a new home and after meeting with WRJ Design principals Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer, took the team’s advice to buy the house, beginning the transformation of “a duckling that became a beautiful swan,” according to Mountain Living, leading to the home’s “fairy tale” ending.
WRJ Design worked closely with Teton Heritage Builders, Verdone Landscaping and the clients to create a masterpiece of seamless design, including state-of-the-art technology from lighting to disappearing solar window shades, automated drapes and insect screens to virtually invisible speakers, which, combined with the architects’ clever “lift and slide” glass doors, keep the home’s transitions and workings out of sight, so serenity can reign.
“We selected WRJ Design specifically for their expertise in cultivating this experience,” the homeowner told Mountain Living about the home’s harmonious quality. Upon entering, “you are drawn to the calming palette, luxurious textures and soft natural light.”
“This house is very close to our hearts and truly captures the WRJ design philosophy and process so well of how a home reflects the homeowners, who in this case are kind, gracious, philanthropic people,” says WRJ Design CEO Rush Jenkins. “We spent a lot of time on details in design choices for this beautiful house, addressing both function and aesthetics. We carefully sourced and selected meaningful pieces for each space. For this project to be chosen for this honor is especially exciting for us.”
The house captured the new homeowners’ hearts for its sleek modern style and connection to its spectacular location in the Sporting Club for their active lifestyle. The team at WRJ Design, including Rush Jenkins, Klaus Baer and senior designer Sabrina Schreibeis, designed and commissioned every piece of furniture, art, drapes and finishes for the home. They also extended their typical efforts to address the interior floor plan – revising the original seven bedrooms to five plus media room and offices to better support the homeowners’ needs – as well as electrical and plumbing elements to provide everything, as Jenkins says, “from soup to nuts.”
Architectural details of barn wood siding, cold-rolled steel, copper, stone and timbers are juxtaposed with the interior sophistication of wool, linen, silk and cashmere for an altogether modern approach that still embraces the area’s rustic roots. And the home is filled with locally commissioned pieces, says WRJ COO Baer. “The homeowners were intentional about wanting to support local artisans. We also helped them select the home’s gorgeous art from artists around the region” – including a striking wall painting of two cranes by renowned local artist Kathryn Mapes Turner that references the bird’s association with good fortune and longevity.
Now in its 24th year, the annual contest by Mountain Living evaluates projects based on design execution of the architecture and interiors, and how the components complement each other.
About WRJ Design: Headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming, WRJ Design imparts the special serenity of its local Teton landscape to interior designs in Jackson Hole and across the country. Begun out of a passion for great design by Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer, WRJ creates experiences and environments through its designs that provide timeless reflections of homeowners and their collections, combining the work of regional artisans with finely crafted European furnishings and accessories, and historically rich one-of-a-kind pieces curated from around the world. WRJ Design has been honored as top U.S. mountain designer by Rhapsody magazine and awarded the Home of the Year by Mountain Living in 2016 and 2018. Two WRJ projects are featured in the recent book Rustic Modern. For more information visit wrjdesign.com.