Historic Buildings Inspire A New Home On An Idaho Horse Property


The back porch of an...

A patio off the primary suite offers unobstructed views of the Pioneer Mountains. Above the Gloster lounge chairs is a pendant by Barn Light Electric. The siding is from Resawn Timber Co.

a steel door at the...

A steel door crafted by Sawtooth Construction Inc. marks the entry to this Idaho home’s primary bedroom wing. Throughout are reclaimed European white oak floors from Burchette & Burchette and windows and doors by Sierra Pacific Windows.

the exterior of a home...

This home was inspired by historic structures in the area.

great room with a wall...

Above the great room fireplace, a photograph by Kene Sperry overlooks Verellen armchairs, a vintage shearling settee from Eneby Home and a custom coffee table by J. Inlow Art. The lamp is by BDDW, and the rug is Stark.

great room with a view...

A Brightbound fixture illuminates a walnut dining table by Rovan Hand Crafted Furniture and Gubi chairs upholstered in Dedar bouclé. Behind the Verellen sofa is a custom record rack by Geology Studio.

rustic kitchen with weathered beams

American Clay plaster defines the Wolf range’s custom hood. Brown Dog Woodworks crafted the white oak kitchen cabinetry, which is adorned with Rocky Mountain Hardware pulls.

Large dome pendants hang over...

Leather-and-steel stools by Croft House pull up to the kitchen island’s quartzite countertop from European Marble & Granite, over which hang Allied Maker pendants. The faucet is by Dornbracht.

This house is a breath of fresh air,” says architect Scott Payne. Set on a swath of grassy flatland shared with foxes, owls and elk, the property offered the opportunity to do things a little differently. Working in collaboration with interior designer Jennifer Hoey Smith, Payne realized a home that takes its inspiration from a mix of historic buildings, ranging from 19th-century mining and farm structures in nearby Triumph, Idaho, to European estates. The result is idiosyncratic and a bit unexpected for the area.

At first glance, the residence looks as though it has existed for a long time. “The massing is broken into four parts, like we found an old building and added to it,” Payne notes. “Yet it feels minimal and modern thanks to clean lines and sun-bleached tones in the wood and stone.” Enhancing the constructed-over-time illusion is a series of gabled and flat roofs that top rooms focused on views of the Pioneer Mountains. Rather than going for two stories—with 5 acres to work with, there was plenty of room to spread the building out—Payne, alongside project architect Aaron Belzer and general contractors Preston Ziegler and Jared Larna, played with ceiling heights to give each room added character. 

H-shaped, one wing of the dwelling contains the foyer and guest suite while the other holds the primary bedroom and kids’ suites, which are designed to close off from the rest of the house. Connecting the wings is the great room. “The emphasis of this home is that main social area,” Smith notes. “It feels grand but also modest.” Again, the team played with common precepts: Rather than lining up the great room’s kitchen-dining-living areas like birds on a wire, they rounded the concept, pulling the kitchen to the side of the other two spaces. “Everyone gathers around the island no matter what, so putting it at the center makes it extremely efficient,” Belzer explains. 

An alfresco cocktail area and fire pit off the kitchen along with a barbecue patio adjacent to the living and dining areas extends the great room outside. “It’s a great flow for parties,” Payne says. Another playful element is the cedar hot tub made to look like a water trough at the end of a boardwalk off the family’s sleeping wing. “It’s a fun detail—you can walk out barefoot,” Belzer notes. 

Because this is a house for entertaining, “It needed to be cozy but also elegant,” Smith says. She achieved this look by selecting materials like antique floorboards from France and rustic hewn timbers to live alongside clean-lined elements. She also added a host of equestrian touches, from the saddle detail stitching on the kitchen barstools to the rein-like leather accents on the space’s pendant lights. More nods to country life can be found in the dining room’s rope chandelier and the living room’s sheepskin sofa. 

Natural textures continue in the primary bedroom, a vaulted space with a plush wall-to-wall headboard. “It’s really very private,” the designer says. Above the bed is an abstraction of Pablo Picasso’s quote, “If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse … but surely you will see the wildness!” The adjoining bathroom provides views of the barn and said horses, portraits of whom hang on the walls. 

“The house feels livable for every day, but it also has some spectacular spots for social occasions,” Smith continues. Many of those are found outdoors, designed by landscape architect Ben Young and former project manager Ashley Boand. “The challenge of the Western landscape is often reckoning the grandness of a site with the desire to create intimate spaces,” Young explains. Their goal was to blend the grounds with the architecture while keeping a sense of openness and connectivity to the adjacent views. “We let the meadow unfold out from the patios, allowing the eye to wander,” he says. “Yet this isn’t a house in the wilderness, so more domestic and traditional plants, like hydrangeas, made sense too—they’re showy but simple, especially in white.” 

“There’s an incredible sense of place here,” Payne says of the result. “As soon as your tires hit the driveway, you hear crushed stone and feel like you’re on a property somewhere in Europe. It’s an absolute disconnect from everyday life.”