September 28, 2022

Having already built one custom home, the couple found a new spacious lot in southern Salt Lake Valley and challenged Ryan Taylor of Upland Development to maintain the same level of precision construction and be even more creative in the design touches throughout their home. They enlisted Landform Design for the architectural design, Upland Development for construction, and the homeowner acted as her own interior designer. Her creativity meshed with Ryan Taylor’s, and as she recounts, “He always could make any of my ideas work.”

Photos by Scot Zimmerman

The front entry leads to an open-planned living, dining, and kitchen space. Looking across the living room furniture grouping is a view of outdoor living, the pool, and at the far end, an attached guest apartment that looks very much like a free-standing cottage. The wooden boards of the floor form a bold herringbone pattern. Looking up, a unique wooden coffered ceiling in a diamond pattern reiterates the angles in the floor. Light metal girders support directional spot lighting. 

Upland Development

Just to the side of the entry and adjacent to the kitchen is a cozy room where patterned marble defines the seating area instead of an area rug. The half-circle fireplace opening with the recessed edge reminds me of Louis Sullivan designs. The design echoes the fireplace curves in the arching neck of the lamp, the roundedness of the chairs’ backs and arms, the central table, and a console table that can be partially glimpsed in the lower right. If you look closely into the fireplace, there are skulls that emit fire for a witty personal touch. 

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The kitchen radiates a sophisticated calm supported by strong horizontal lines, a consistent palette, and clean surfaces. Ever cognizant of the ceiling, the circular lighting is a strong design element. The stone island to the left with its waterfall edge and Lucite stools is a casual gathering spot. Stools on the opposite side offer even more seating. The wooden work island is split in two for easier circulation. One island has a sink, and there is a second sink on the far wall near the refrigerator. The design approach for the pantry/work area is one of my favorites because of its practicality: without doors as a hindrance, it is a walk-in area behind the refrigerator and freezer.

Upland Development

Here is a glimpse of the pantry area with ovens, microwave, another refrigerator, loads of cabinet storage, counter workspace, frequently used appliances, and open shelves for pantry goods.  

Upland Development

The master suite is on the main level. The soaking tub in front of the colorful book-matched stone seemed like a photo waiting to be made. 

In addition to the master suite and the guest apartment, there are four bedrooms with unique personalities achieved through attention to the ceilings, textured carpeting, interesting brick walls, and, of course, the furnishings. 

Upland Development

Laser-cut acoustical foam makes for an interesting ceiling that functions for efficient sound in the home theater. 

Moving on to the backyard, the L-shaped home offers privacy and wind protection for the long rectangular pool. The wing to the left of the photo is the bedrooms, and to the right is the living room and the master suite. 

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Upland Development

I’ll end with a photo that is looking exactly the opposite direction as the opening photograph. The windows at the far end are the living room and beyond is the front of the house.

Custom to the homeowners’ interests and lifestyle, it is also a very personal home that shows humor and enthusiasm for life. 


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