Sometimes the simplest designs and details create the most elegant space.
By Shawn King
Photography by Pete Grady
The Two Rivers subdivision in Eagle displays some of the Treasure Valley’s finest properties, many of which distinguish themselves as splendid examples of a specific architectural style. Other homes, however, sometimes seem to be trying too hard for that “cosmopolitan” je ne sais quoi. Seldom do we see a home that is tastefully unpretentious in its attempt to blend multiple architectural influences. This home is one of them.
The owners, who prefer to remain anonymous, are private people, unassuming, and self-described as “under the radar.” Their home is an extension of their philosophy, which could probably be summarized into one word—depth. At first glance, the stone and stucco exterior reminiscent of a typical Spanish Mediterranean or perhaps a Tuscan Villa belies the style, thought, and detail realized in virtually every room. Yet the interior ambience is much more eclectic with American and European influence, revealing an understanding of the minutia of elegance in its design.
The main entry opens into a hallway with an adjacent set of lift and slide doors that merge the outer and inner courtyards to accommodate the flow of large gatherings. These multiple courtyards are guarded by two Italian olive oil containers on either side, perhaps an homage to the Mediterranean influence that permeates the residence. The 30 exterior doors emphasize a balance between indoor and outdoor living representative of dwellings of antiquity rather than those of today: you can literally recline next to the fireplace adjacent to the patio and pool to achieve openness to nature while sitting inside. The owners borrowed ideas from homes in Southern California, Hawaii, and Europe to blend some of the best features without rigid architectural rules. Each of the home’s five bedrooms has its own story expressed with color and character, and every bedroom has its own bathroom. Frequently, larger homes lose the intimacy factor, but five fireplaces provide a feeling of warmth and togetherness.
The owners wanted something different, so limestone travertine, chosen for a distinctive quality and its unique association with old world structures, is used for not only the floors but also on the countertops. Two other countertop surfaces, onyx (lit from beneath) and slate, are used in the bar area to give it more character. Every window and door in the home is wood-clad, adding to the antique ambiance. Exposed solid wood beams reclaimed from a dismantled aircraft hangar accent the kitchen and other rooms.
Much of the materials and art in the home were hand-crafted by artisans here in Idaho. For example, the home has several styles of pillars with French, Italian, German, and Spanish influence mostly replicated by local craftsmen. Ornately patterned church doors from various countries are hung on closets and ends of hallways, all carefully wrought here from European designs. The home’s finish work does not use crown or base molding; a more ascetic style, it requires better quality where the planes of the ceiling or floors meet the walls to minimize gaps in the joints. The stonework is exquisite and suggests a tour through cathedrals or museums rather than a living room in Eagle.
Not everyone can appreciate the planning that goes into creating an exceptional home—often the success is in the details. Light switches and outlets are hidden from sight lines in all parts of the house, since you won’t typically find them in classic structures. The floors have radiant heat, a welcome surprise in wintertime with so much stone throughout. The planter in the entry courtyard was designed after a stained glass window from an old Belgian church and makes an easy conversation piece. The master suite contains its own sitting room and private veranda that overlook the pond outside, but quite possibly the most interesting feature is in the master walk-in shower, which sports a shuttered interior window that opens facing the bathroom vanities to facilitate functionality.
The owners realized their elegant dream home by noting what they liked while traveling in the U.S. and abroad, perhaps unaware of the timeless nature of some of their choices. Neither of them claim to have any formal training in architecture or design, but clearly an aptitude for refinement is evident. The home is a reflection of its owners’ tastes—and those tastes are simply elegant.
This home is available for purchase through Roch Clapp at Syringa Realty and more information can be found at www.syringarealty.com.