Seven east Jackson homes’ doors were left unlocked and open to the public Sunday.
Agreeing to take part in the Modern in the Mountains home tour, the homeowners allowed about 150 people to explore the interior of their houses from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
“I love looking at all the modern homes that are being built in the valley,” said Janet Monahan, a Jackson resident who went on the tour. “Seeing them on the outside is great, but I am fascinated to see them on the inside.”
With geometric shapes and eco-friendly schemes, each one of the house’s designs incorporates modern architecture. While they are all defined as contemporary dwellings, the homes featured on Sunday’s tour couldn’t be more different.
One of the more popular homes on display was the three-story building owned by Richard and Kathy Jolley. Situated on the northern slope of Snow King, the house has sky-lit staircases that make it feel expansive and open.
And while the Snow King household has a voguish quality that fits with present-day fads, its architecture and interior design represent the environment that surrounds it.
“The objective of the interior design was to maintain the integrity of the architecture,” the building’s interior designer Jacque Stireman said. “And the objective of the architecture was to maintain the space it was built in and the elements outside. I think we accomplished it in spades. We used reclaimed materials, organic lines, and artwork and finishes that spoke to the outside and were executed in a modern, contemporary fashion.”
Stireman and architect Steven Dynia welcomed tour participants to the Jolleys’ home. Dina Mishev, founder of Modern in the Mountains home tours, said their presence added to the experience.
Not only does the Snow King home exude the high-end look of modern architecture, it also houses a contemporary art collection that was partly curated by Stireman.
Bonnie Guren enjoyed looking at all the homes’ art. She thought their styles were what gave the dwellings their creative ebb and flow. An art collector, Guren has walked the hallways of several interesting houses, but always paid attention to the paintings and sculptures they sheltered, never their design.
While on the tour, she visited the house called “Lucky Number Eight.” Owned by Eileen and Greg Prugh, the home has glass stairways and high ceilings.
“We live here half the year, and we live in Miami the other half,” Guren said. “I just wanted to pick up Greg’s home and move it to Miami and not change a thing.”
Another home Guren walked through was one in the Daisy Bush development, an eco-friendly house designed and owned by Doug Halsey.
“The most interesting design component is the big window,” Halsey said. “I was able to model it in the computer so in the wintertime the sun will come all the way over to the kitchen counter. With the hydronic floor, it heats up the slab and the whole house. As long as the sun is shining, my house is about 70 to 72 degrees in the wintertime.”
Another appealing aspect of the building is its rooftop deck.
From newly built, multi-level homes to a renovated pole cabin, some of the tour’s structures have been standing longer than a couple years. Built in the 1960s, Margi and Aaron Japel’s home “The Compound” represents a different definition of modernity.
Maintaining the cabin’s rustic feel, the couple spent a year updating the structure to make it eco-friendly. They installed hydronic heat and a high-efficiency modulating heater. They also made sure to keep some of the home’s original work, such as its wood-burning stove and original pole structure.
Brian Flint, the person in charge of watching over the house for the tour, said part of its charm is its history. A single-person home in the 1970s, the living space changed in the ’80s when the owner’s niece moved in.
“I guess she was Miss Social and had a bunch of river rafting and ski bum friends who would crash here,” Flint said. “That’s why they coined it ‘The Compound.’ It was a place to hang out. There would be people camping out in the yard during the summer.”
Sunday’s event was the second Modern in the Mountains Home Tour. The first one took place July 13. Mishev plans to hold them again in 2015.
Sunday’s tour also featured a log cabin on Kelly Avenue, a townhome designed by Carney Logan Burke and a garage and studio apartment designed and built by business partners Adam Janak and Paul Kinnard.
“They have a different take on it as architects because they built it with their own hands,” Monahan said about Janak and Kinnard’s project. “The place is beautiful. It looks so much bigger than the square footage.”