The House Calls series, born from a single story, has blossomed into an expansive narrative that surpassed my initial imaginings. Exploring the vastness of home and unraveling its unique significance for each individual lies at the heart of this ever-evolving saga. Life’s experiences, shared with friends, deepen our comprehension of the simple yet abundant concept of home.
In the past year, I’ve come to know Emily and Jason quite well through the process of assisting them in buying their new home, where a truly beautiful friendship has unfolded. Emily, an incredible artist, and Jason, a savvy contract negotiator with a wicked eye for design, bring their distinct talents to the canvas of their home. In the rhythmic dance of time, immersed in life’s ever-changing tapestry, home emerges as more than bricks and mortar. It’s a haven, a sanctuary where we evolve and grow, finding solace in storms and warmth in sunlight. Emily and Jason’s journey, set against the backdrop of Emigration Canyon, beautifully illustrates the limitless possibilities that reside within the concept of home.
Let’s start it off right; I’d like to know what home means to you two.
Emily: For me, it’s a place that’s a combination of a cocoon and design lab. I love the idea of being cozy and happy, but I also love the idea of having a dynamic space. My son knows this; he’d come home from school and I had rearranged the furniture for the billionth time. It’s a hard thing to explain, but I think home should be dynamic, not static. Jason gets it because I’m constantly running around at night changing things.
Jason: Yeah, it’s true. I do wake up and wonder, what the heck is going on here.
Well, my variation in all that is just, you know, home for me is calm with beauty. A place that’s comfortable and calm inside and out. The art objects and arrangement make a big difference to that sense of things. And looking out the windows here, for example, seeing the big windows, the colors, and having the water nearby, that’s beautiful. The most important thing is that we and our family feel at home, comfortable, and everyone has their place. I have my spots, and I love discovering that others in the family have their spots too. It gives me confidence that everyone else has found a place in our home while… being dynamic.
I’m curious to know how home has affected your art as an artist over the years. Has it caused any changes or evolved your art in any way?
Emily: Every time I’ve made a change, whether it’s having another child or moving, it’s gotten into the art. I haven’t worked here yet, so I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can sense the change. I’m feeling a lot of dynamic energy and a lot of excitement about it. So, time will tell.
I’d love to know what the process has been like moving into this space together and designing it together.
Jason: We have very different sensibilities about our living spaces. One of the things we talked about was a concept I received from a YouTube video or Instagram. The idea was to create an environment reflecting both of our personalities and coming together in a way that felt good to both of us. It’s been an experiment to find ways for that to come together. Emily has an organic approach to things, and it’s been a learning experience for me. The result is amazing; it’s artistic influence, and both of our personalities are reflected.
Emily: I gave him carte blanche. I was like, just buy furniture because I didn’t want to get involved in figuring it out ahead of time. So, we started working separately, and then we merged the streams. Now it feels like a whole thing instead of us going at it in different ways. We are very different, so it’s been nice to expand in that way.
(speaking to Emily’s son Aiden) Have you noticed a change from the homes you’ve lived in the past?
Aiden: Yeah, I mean, I always wanted to be an architect, so it’s in my blood. It is weird taking a step away from your childhood home, even though I had already moved out when they moved here. I’ve never lived here, and I’m never going to, so it’s really exciting to experience it from a third-party perspective. I enjoy it because this is what I’m building my career around, buildings. I also approve of the way the house looks too, which is surprising considering I’m very opinionated.
Jason: WE’LL TAKE IT!
Have you noticed any new routines or rituals you follow in your house?
Emily: Definitely. Going down by the stream is something I have never been able to do so easily from my home. Also, just staring outside the window for as long as I can before getting out of bed in the morning. Because it faces the mountain, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is; there are so many beautiful colors I get to wake up to.
Jason: I love this little spot right here (referencing the back porch where we were conducting the interview). Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, after my runs, I’ll sit and just be at ease, taking in the sound of the stream. We have other rhythms of the house, like spending time with the kiddos while they play video games, or getting together for our music nights as a family. It really is a blessing.
Jason, I love that you have all of your favorite spots in the home. Does everyone else have a spot in the home?
Emily: We do! I love playing on the top deck. I also love that top step on the stairs down to the creek. If I don’t feel like going all the way down, I will just soak it all up right there. And then in the mornings, during the winter time, I’ll sit on these rocks soaking up the winter sun. Aiden, do you have any favorite spots?
Aiden: Yeah, I read a lot, but I hate reading outside because the elements bother me. But that couch in the living room is perfect because you can lie on it and see all of the elements through the big window. I find that I lay there a lot.
Emily: Theo (Emily’s other son) goes to the top step as well to play the guitar. It’s kind of like our sitting spot. I’ll find him lying around the property just playing his guitar.
What room is your favorite room in the house?
Emily: It’s got to be the living room, right?
Jason: Easy, yeah. It’s beautiful, well put together, colorful, and varied. It feels finished and mature. The windows complete the living room.
This ongoing series about home shines a light on the special love Emily and Jason have for their spaces and the folks they welcome in. You can sense it and then some as you step through their doors, where you're instantly met with a heartwarming welcome. These two beautiful souls creating a life in the canyons of Emigration have permanently etched a spot in my heart.