Talk about a pleasant surprise.
Nestled in the shadow of the Teton mountains, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a fairy tale of a town. But when designer Emily Janak and her husband, architect Adam Janak of Northworks, moved into their newly purchased residence, it felt more like a nightmare. The 2,361-square-foot ranch-style house had grimy tiled ceilings and the distinct odor of years gone by. “Our parents were horrified,” Janak recalls. “They were like, ‘This is not livable.’” Halloween Party Sign
As soon as the couple took possession, they dove into a hands-on renovation with their friend Paul Kinnard that would take 16 months in total. Tearing into the walls that fall, they discovered an architecture lover's version of buried treasure: an original 1936 log cabin that had been covered up with drywall in the ’60s. “It was like finding gold,” says Janak. Because the pine timber had been sealed up for decades, it was in pristine condition.
The couple painstakingly labeled and removed the logs to pour a new foundation, then restacked them in their original places. Clues to the cabin’s former lives were celebrated rather than repaired: “On some of the logs, you can see where maybe a medicine cabinet cut into them, or darker spots where there had been a fire,” says the designer. “We leaned into that and embraced it versus trying to mask it because we thought it helped tell the story.”
But, while an historic cabin is fun design-wise, with two toddlers and twins on the way, the family needed room to roam. Vaulting the ceilings of the original cabin to 15 feet, they built a modern addition with similar gables. In contrast to the warm wood logs inside, the exteriors of both the old cabin and the new addition were sealed in a black protective coating. “It was important that we tie the addition onto the front and make it look as cohesive as possible,” says Janak.
The decor and artwork inside are soulful, a treasure trove of family heirlooms: Local flora that was foraged, pressed, and presented to the couple by Blackwell Botanicals when they had their first child now hangs in the dining room. A pen-and-ink drawing by Emily’s great-grandfather, an engraver who came up with the Hallmark logo, hangs above the desk. In the kitchen, they even included a mixed-media art piece, commissioned from local artist Craig Spankie, that uses pieces from the home’s demo, including 1960s seafoam green fascia board. “That’s precious to us,” Janak says, “because it’s a reminder of the evolution of the project."
“This is the coziest spot in the house, and we spend lots of nights lounging around the fire,” Janak says. Serigraph: Billy Schenck. Lamps: Circa Lighting with custom Claremont shades. Rug: Rush House. Sofa: Cisco Brothers. Coffee table: Amanda Lindroth. Bobbin chairs: antique, with custom Tutu Textiles cushions. Slipper chair: a garage sale find.
A small desk gifted by one of Janak’s first clients “serves as a great place to write thank-you notes.” Lamp: Mountain Dandy. Chair: vintage Herman Mille from Flower Hardware. Throw: Sferra. Mirror: Parvum Opus. Pen-and-ink drawing: by Janak’s great-grandfather.
The young parents installed a Dutch door for practical reasons: to keep an eye on the kids as they set the table for alfresco dinners. Chandelier: Roll & Hill. Art: Katy Ann Fox. Floors: European white oak by Exquisite Surfaces. Dining chairs: Serena & Lily with custom Anna Spiro cushions. Table and high chair: clients’ own.
“Soapstone is a living finish,” Janak says, “so you have to be okay with it chipping and staining— totally appropriate for a cabin.” Stools: O&G Studio. Faucet: Kallista. Pulls: Rocky Mountain Hardware. Sconce: Mark D. Sikes for Hudson Valley Lighting. Art: Craig Spankie.
“Even when this relatively small house is packed out, everybody congregates in this tiny, teeny room,” Janak says. “We decided on Racing Green because I’m from Kentucky and it reminded me of home.” Paint: Fine Paints of Europe. Hardware: Armac Martin. Shade: Peter Dunham Textiles.
“I wanted it to feel luxurious,” Janak says. Bed: West Elm, reupholstered in chocolate mohair. Bed curtains: Loro Piana. Duvet: Les Indiennes. Lamps: Circa Lighting. Paint: Pink Ground by Farrow & Ball. Art: Alley Modern & More. Sconces: Phoebe Cummings from Anima Mundi Gallery.
Anchored by a cool paint, Iceberg by Benjamin Moore, the classic design of their daughter’s room has verve. Shade and curtain fabric: Lulie Wallace. Crib: Jenny Lind for DaVinci, with a Biscuit Home skirt. Chair: Highland House.
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