When this couple approached us they knew two things – that they loved to fly fish on their 160 acres of Wyoming river and that they wanted to do even more of it. To accomplish that goal, we set about creating a house that centered their fishing experience, oriented them to the land, and got them outdoors as often as possible.
By settling low into the site, the house is not visible from most locations outside the property. A single large roof gathers a series of spaces under it that range from the very intimate spaces of winter and nighttime gathering to the open screen porch that takes advantage of the low evening light.
This project provided a challenge that is specific to its site and unusual for our office. Most of our work is on a site that puts its back to one thing in order to look out at another. But in this case the views were above the house in mountains that surround it and there is no front or back. In searching the property for a suitable building site there was little to differentiate much of it. But a large round haybale provided just the tool needed to find the spot. The height of the hay was equivalent to the height above the current grade the house would need to be to avoid spring floods. So centering on the bale we excavated enough earth to both lift the house and create a small lake that has become part of the river ecosystem.
Our clients wanted us to lean in on the location of the home when it came to the aesthetics of the interiors. While we did not want to make the space look cliché, we also wanted the great room to remind its inhabitants that they were in a beautiful, wild, Wyoming valley. A graphic, native influence wool rug spans the floor, paired with deep, comfortable upholstery wrapped in durable yet soft textiles.
Open to the great room, the kitchen is the heart of this home. After a few rounds of sample boards, we landed on the perfect deep blue tone for the cabinetry. The soapstone countertops, blackened steel hood and dark bronze hardware anchor this moody space, which becomes surprisingly bright during the day as light floods in from both sides of the kitchen. The back pantry is compact and efficient, storing overflow tabletop, specialty bakeware and cleaning supplies.
While there are endless activities in the valley during the summertime, the wintertime is a bit quieter. With that in mind, we designed a game nook at the back of the great room that has three walls of shelving for books and games aplenty. Custom striped cushions wrap the nook, and throw blankets are not far from reach, creating a restful escape from the great outdoors. There are also pocket doors that allow the space to close, in case games get a bit rowdy and competitive.
Comfort and views were king for this client in all bedrooms. There are deep, french-mattress style cushions set in the window seats in both of these spaces, providing a private spot for reading or a nap, with the opportunity to take in the mountains. The beds have upholstered headboards and plush linens, encouraging those who come to stay awhile.
A generous, white oak double vanity spans the wall in the primary bath, paired with horizontally paneled walls and a simple free-standing bathtub. The brightness of the bathroom falls in contrast to the shower, which has deep blue tile and speaks to the kitchen palette.