Climbing the steep Bountiful street toward Elaine Drive, an air of quiet drowns out the city sounds below. The still Salt Lake glints a reflection of the sun in the rearview, and a slew of tidy mid-century homes stretch up the road. A U-shaped driveway—one that mimics the delicate curve of this home’s face—alerts visitors of their arrival, and the rich wood and raw stone wall act as a (very effective) welcome wagon. Dotted picture windows allude to the clean interiors and refined furnishings that wait inside.
This is the home of two of our dearest friends of the COLLECTIVE, Alysha and Peter. Fondly self-identified as “Smith and Stevenson Co.,” the two are partners in life, parenting, love, and business. With a blended family of two teens, one tween, a toddler, and two Cavapoos, finding a home that could fit this crew comfortably was a tall order, especially when one tosses in the pair’s ever-discerning eye for design—these two are the brains (see: Director of Brand & Creative and Director of Business & Strategy) behind modern8, a brand design agency.
One of our very own CHC property consultants put these two into this charming place one year ago, and we were thrilled when they invited us back to take a peek at all the progress that’s been made since. Walls were torn out, floors replaced, tiling added, and a heap of other changes were implemented in order to execute this duo’s grand vision for “home,” and along the way, they turned this humble spot into a bonafide Place of Worship.
Who better than the lovely pair themselves to give our readers a deep dive into the process of bringing this one of a kind space to life? Without further ado: our newest mid-mod crush…
What initially drew your family to this particular spot?
We have always wanted a flat-roofed MCM home. We thought that this was a long-term dream, but when a friend pointed us to this listing, we were more than delighted to find that the price, neighborhood, and details were right for us. We didn't expect to move to Bountiful, but we have grown to love it more with every season. I also couldn't pass up the Neutra-esque windows with unbelievable sunset views in the living room.
The finishes here are fabulous--what are a few of your favorite materials used?
I love all of the tile we used throughout the house. We added a thin white brick tile to both sides of the fireplace. This was definitely a splurge, but we love how it pulls the rooms together—both the living room and the kitchen. We also added a vertically stacked subway tile to our shower and went floor to ceiling with a white penny tile set against a black grout. The kitchen really came together using a combination of IKEA cabinetry, black matte appliances, and Silestone Marble Quartz for the counters and backsplash—again mixing high and low elements to create a perfect space for entertaining and cooking. We tried to salvage the maple floors, but in the end, replaced them and the carpet with light oak throughout the entire main floor. We do love the suggestion made by our architect to use Flor Tiles in the sunken living room for a separation of texture and color.
How did the work you create at modern8 affect your design choices in your home?
Well, we can't help that we are aesthetically-driven people—it's in our blood and is infused in everything we create at modern8. Because we are designers, form and function are both important in the way we think about how we want our home to look, feel, and work for our family. This is similar to how we create design solutions for our clients. We seek first to understand their needs, and then create the design to match those needs. We both have very modern preferences, in architecture, furniture, and graphic design, and love classic mid-century pieces that feel timeless yet modern. We like to mix higher pieces with some low—we aren't above IKEA. We also gravitate towards art pieces that are more graphic, like typographic prints, collage, woodblock prints, and rock posters.
Which of the changes made to the original space feel like they've made the biggest impact in how this home lives?
With the help of our architects, Parallel Lines Studio, we re-designed the master bedroom. We wanted something that made it feel special, so they designed us a space that feels as luxurious as a hotel. We added two floor-to-ceiling frosted windows, one that separates the bedroom from the bathroom, and the other in the shower. We finally got the shower of our dreams: it’s huge, beautiful, has a lot of natural light, and two showerheads. Alysha is happy to finally have upgraded from a pedestal sink to a vanity, and have closets big enough to fit more than just her seasonal clothes and shoes.
Have any new rituals cropped up to fit your new space? Where do you find yourselves spending the most time here?
We have been drinking early morning coffee together every day for about six years now, probably only missing a handful of mornings. We brought this ritual to our new home but now have amazing views of the sunrise coming through the windows and skylights. We can't wait to get our fireplace running this winter for cozy mornings and nights together. Did I mention we have incredible sunsets too? There are many nights now we sit out on our patio with a glass of wine and watch the sun go down.
Remodeling is assuredly a journey—care to share any bits of wisdom you’ve learned about yourselves, each other, or the process of creating home?
We don't regret going all in and renovating the entire home. It is true that once you start, it's hard to stop. We didn't consider that we would be here full time—giving up our office space after a few months into the pandemic—but we are really happy with the choices we made. There are so many nights when I walk from the kitchen to the bedroom and I can see the night sky and lights from the city that I have to pinch myself that we really do live here. I don't want to ever leave.