THIS ECLECTIC SKI CHALET HARNESSES THE VIBRANT DANCE OF COLORS AND LIGHT.
Artists María Fernanda Camarena and Gabriel Rosas Alemán, known collectively as Celeste, created this giant fabric wall hanging for the living room. Made with natural dyes, the piece serves as a nod to the sun and moon.
THE PANDEMIC HAS CHANGED MOST PEOPLE’S LIVES. For Jan Silverman Kolteniuk, it offered her and her family an opportunity to quarantine in peaceful surroundings. “We live in Mexico City, the most populated city in North America,” she says. “So, once the travel restrictions were lifted, we decided to rent a home in Deer Valley.” Her family had often spent winters skiing here and had considered buying a home, but the timing had never been right—until a condo across the street from their rental went on the market.
Built in the 1980s, the 2,400-square-foot, four-bedroom condo had been vacant for some time. “It had grimy, dirty, deep purple, sea green, and yellow walls,” recalls Kolteniuk. The high cedar ceilings, however, were gorgeous. “They reminded me of a chalet,” she says. “So rather than tearing them out, we preserved them.”
Sustainability and working with local design pros were priorities. “It’s important to remodel existing structures rather than build new,” says Kolteniuk. “The contractor made this happen. He took a fixer-upper and transformed it into a gorgeous modern home. Everything was done when it needed to be.”
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A self-identified urbanite, Kolteniuk has lived in some of the biggest cities in the world: New York, Miami, and Mexico City, so she wanted a fun, invigorating vibe. Eschewing Austrian alps or Western décor, she opted for something entirely different. “I wanted bright colors and funky design,” she says. Hold the antlers and shades of gray.
To execute her bold inspiration, she hired Jennelle Butera, founder and lead designer at Hudson + Bloum Design. “It was so exciting,” says Butera. “I had never had a client that wanted this much color and texture—my comfort zone.” Pivoting sharply from neutrals, Butera opted for a sparkling color palette inspired by jewel tones: burgundies, burnt orange, cobalt, emerald, and a smidge of mustard.
The moody home is surrounded by tall, mature evergreen trees. “I didn’t want to take away from the natural environment,” says Butera. “So, we added hardwood floors to play off the texture in the cedar ceilings and then installed organic elements such as marble and handmade tiles to create an eclectic ski chalet.”
The stunning White Beauty marble countertop in the kitchen features electric green and chocolate veins. “It reminds me of Utah mountains with patches of earth and evergreen showing through,” says Kolteniuk.
Working within HOA limits, they started by removing a dumb waiter that took up valuable space on each of the three floors. The cavities were filled with a linen closet on the bottom floor and an appliance garage in the kitchen. Next, they removed a large closet and jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom and reorganized the space to make it more functional.
Then they started layering art. Kolteniuk commissioned artists María Fernanda Camarena and Gabriel Rosas Alemán, known collectively as Celeste, to create a wall hanging for the living room. The large piece, made with natural dyes, incorporates a rich color palette and serves as a nod to the sun and moon. “The big, round sun is such a strong presence in Utah almost year-round,” says Kolteniuk. “I married my husband on the full moon, and two of my daughters were born on the full moon. My husband is from Mexico City and I was adopted by Mexico—its culture focuses on the sun and the moon. I wanted this giant tapestry to feel like a mountainscape with my own brightness in it. The sky is so clear here, a little bit of moon lights up everything.”
She also commissioned three pieces from Maddie Michael, a local artist and designer. “Maddie teaches at Kimball Arts Center. During quarantine, I hired her to give my daughters private art lessons,” explains Kolteniuk. “They’d wear masks and paint outside. She’s so talented.”
Michael designed the geometric mural in a guest bedroom, a triptych for the master bathroom, and a storyline comprised of 49 wood pieces for a hallway. “Jan found a wallpaper with geometric design and fell in love with it—until she saw the $10,000 price tag,” says Michael. “So, I painted a mural with rusted red shapes and used several different paint brushes to add rough texture.”
Kolteniuk also incorporated several existing pieces from her travels abroad. They refinished the fireplaces with a limewash and wrapped the mantles in iron. The thin ledge now showcases whimsical ceramics from Mexico.
“It’s a second home. When I visit there, I want it to be fun and different,” says Kolteniuk. “Jennelle was great. She was so happy to make bold design choices.” The result is a decidedly artistic take on a mountain home. “Jan has wonderful taste,” says Butera. “It was a thrilling collaboration.”