Architecture in Progress, on Instagram

We love it when our clients document the construction process of the homes we’ve designed, especially when they are outside of Washington, DC, where our offices are located. It’s even better when they post their photos on social media, as our clients Angela and Dan Shaeffer in Salt Lake City have done: They’ve set up an Instagram account dedicated to the evolution of their new home in the shadow of Mount Olympus:

wallsup

The account is called At Home on Haven, and the profile picture is the model we built for the house:

shaeffer-model

The house will be home to a family of six in addition to many extended family members (Angela is one of six siblings, Dan is one of four) who visit frequently. “Utah’s a gathering place for them to come back home. We are the hosts,” Angela says. Plus, with four kids who constantly have friends over, “We have guests here every single weekend.”

Here is our latest rendering of what the home will look like when it’s complete:

elevation

A bird’s-eye elevation shows how the house nestles into this wooded property, which has a stream and a river running through it.

site

A gallery leading past the garage bridges the stream to a guesthouse overlooking the river. Here’s the stream today:

creek

And the river, which is full during the spring melt-off:

river

The outdoor spaces include a pool, poolhouse and tennis court linked by expansive terraces. The Tennessee-based landscape architecture firm Kaiser Trabue is orchestrating the landscaping, while The Biltmore Company of Salt Lake City is building the house and renovating the guesthouse (which was the main structure on the property when the Shaeffers purchased it).

We asked Angela for her perspective on this project:

How did you find this property?
We were remodeling our current home about two years ago, but as we finished the remodel, a lot came for sale in a beautiful neighborhood with lots of tall trees. It was our dream lot, and we couldn’t pass it up.

You don’t find too many traditional designs like this Colonial Revival out West. What drew you to this style?
We’ve lived in Dallas, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Dan is from New Mexico and I grew up in Utah. We’ve had a chance to live in so many beautiful places and enjoy a variety of home styles, but it was during our time back east that we fell in love with traditional. Now that we’re here to stay (and ski!) in Utah, this wooded lot felt a bit like back east and was perfect for our traditional, forever home.

Because you’ll be here forever, what were your space requirements?
We designed it with the future in mind. We wanted bedrooms with their own bathrooms, so when the kids come home to visit once they’re grown, they can come back with their families. We also have a family room, a recreation area over the garage, and more in the basement. Barnes Vanze was laughing—“we need another family room here, and another family room here…”—In our area, on Friday nights the kids bring home groups of friends, and everyone needs a place to hang out. We also needed a dining room big enough for the holidays, so everyone can gather in one room.

floorplan

What’s it been like to work with architects long distance?
The architectural portion of it hasn’t been difficult at all. They came for a site visit in the beginning and then again last spring, and Wayne [Adams] came out for a day trip to talk to the contractors and answer questions. We’ve gone to DC several times as well to talk in person so between those visits, conference calls and lots and lots of e-mails, it’s gone so smoothly. We also really trust our contractor. This has turned from that model to the actual, real thing!

facade

 

Clamps keep a handrail in place that's being bent to match the curve of the staircase.
Clamps keep a handrail in place that’s being bent to match the curve of the staircase.

 

One of the Shaeffer children stand at the landing, which crosses the large window over the home’s entry.
One of the Shaeffer children stand at the landing, which crosses the large window over the home’s entry.

 

This breezeway forms a bridge over the creek running through the property. It connects the main house with the guesthouse, where Angela was standing when she took this picture.
This breezeway forms a bridge over the creek running through the property. It connects the main house with the guesthouse, where Angela was standing when she took this picture.

 

The breezeway over the creek is at the far right. The expanse of windows on the left is the study, just inside the garage, which makes the transition from the kitchen and mudroom to the bridge and guesthouse beyond.
The breezeway over the creek is at the right. The expanse of windows on the left is the study, just inside the garage, which makes the transition from the kitchen and mudroom to the bridge and guesthouse beyond.

 

The inside of the study, looking toward the rear terraces.
The inside of the study, looking toward the rear terraces.

 

The mountain view from Dan’s office window at the side of the house.
The mountain view from Dan’s office window at the side of the house.

 

The breakfast room is already airy and bright.
The breakfast room is already airy and bright.

 

The double-height guest room is sure to have competition for its soaring space.
The double-height guest room is sure to have competition for its soaring space.

 

And finally, the view from above: The wood framing is clearly visible at center through the trees from Mount Olympus.
And finally, the view from above: The wood framing is clearly visible at center through the trees from Mount Olympus.