Classic Mountain Charm

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Located high in the scenic mountains of Park City, this spacious ski home by the Studio McGee design team was a redesign that drew inspiration from its alpine surroundings. The location was ideal, says Salt Lake City-based designer Shea McGee, but the clients were dreaming of a slightly different approach for the interiors. Their main request? A mountain home that felt more cozy than modern, with a traditional “cabin” feel that did not seem dark or dated. The overall aesthetic needed to be warm and welcoming to provide the clients with a a luxurious winter escape, without straying towards feeling overly heavy or kitschy. The resulting redesign feels airy yet intimate (a Studio McGee specialty), and makes the most of the home’s ample natural light.

“The major challenge was working with such a tight turnaround time–only a few months to complete this huge project!”

Designing a home in a location with a very specific style, such a coastal or mountain setting, Shea felt it was crucial not to fall into the use of clichéd symbols and color palettes. “You can speak to a location’s aesthetic,” says the designer, “by incorporating bits and pieces, like we did with the plaids and stone accents, without going overboard on a theme.”

Project Challenges

The cabin’s defining architectural theme was a set of angular ceiling beams, described by the designer as “a show-stopping focal point in the home.” Initially, the design team felt these were beautiful, but a bit heavy in the space. To create balance, they refinished the floors and painted the walls and trim a warm gray so that the wood wouldn’t be overpowering. “By lightening the baseboards and casing,” says the designer, “your eyes are drawn to the beautiful natural details of the home without being overwhelmed.”

Designing the Details

Faced with an entryway that wasn’t very welcoming, the design team incorporated horizontally-installed pine boards, stained a warm gray. “We love the worn, but sophisticated look it brings to the space,” says Shea. The natural light that pours in through the entry’s many windows really illuminates the area, creating the ideal welcome to a family vacation home full of love, light and warmth.

Shea’s Favorites

“We completely changed the look of the kitchen while keeping most of the existing cabinetry and I loved the way it turned out,” says Shea. “It’s warm and classic with subtle details that make a big difference—in particular, the statement lighting, the wood detail on the hood, and the open shelving.” The kitchen and nearby dining area are now bright and open, with plenty of seating for family meals or to entertain extra guests.

We focused on giving each room a facelift by changing finishes but keeping a lot of the flow and function.