The Utah couple packed their retirement home with amenities to visit for their kids. “So far, it’s working.”

By | January 6, 2021
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Stephanie and Brandon Hunt, 55, knew they wanted their forever home in Park City, Utah. But until November 2017, when the couple found and sealed the 5-acre plot that would eventually become the site of their dream home, they had yet to decide on their exact Park City address.

The Hunts’ long-standing relationship with Utah began when their youngest son, 23-year-old Chandler, a snowboarder, was put on the US Snowboard team in 2014. The pair, who were called California home, soon became infatuated. Beehive State. and, in the same year, purchased land for $2.95 million and built a ski estate in the Park City ski area then called The Colony. Construction cost $4.3 million – $3.1 for the main house and $1.2 for the guest house.

The exterior of the Hunts’ house.

“We didn’t expect to fall in love with Utah over California,” says Ms. Hunt, interior designer and owner of design firm Flairhunter. Mrs. Hunt and her husband are financial advisor at Morgan StanleyAnd the

He lived between Montecito and Newport Beach, California, and Park City, Utah, before settling full-time in Utah in November 2021.

Mr. and Mrs. Hunt in their kitchen.

Although they liked their new design, the site presented some practical issues. “It can easily take 30 minutes to get anywhere,” Ms Hunt says of the home’s location. Knowing they would like to stay in the area permanently, the couple decided to start over, directing their real estate agent to search inside apartments on Old Ranch Road in Park City, an area that hugs the 5-mile-long Old Ranch Road. It is home to farms, wide open spaces, and hiking and horse trails. Not yet retired, their vision was for a home that would eventually see them through retirement, and attract their future children and grandchildren. In July 2018, they sold their house in The Colony for $7.5 million.

The Hunts paid $2.8 million for the large stake and existing barn structure, and then, over the next four years, invested an additional $5.5 million in it. They worked with architect Solim Gasparik of 4C Design Group and builder Paul Berman of Big Canyon Homes to build their dream home: an 11,000-square-foot Scandinavian-style complex with six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, home gym, ski locker, salon, barn, ball court Bucci, jacuzzi, full size swimming pool, disc golf course, design studio.

The home design studio of Stephanie Hunt, with its colorful details, like the yellow Smeg refrigerator.

Mrs. Hunt in the living room.


Joshua Togg Ferguson for The Wall Street Journal

The ambitious project – seven small barn-like buildings linked by long glass walkways – was inspired by a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland. During construction, the couple lived in another house, rent, within walking distance.

Hunts says the home is designed with retirement in mind and also as a space that can bring their families together. “We wanted it to be a place where our children would feel comfortable bringing their friends back, and hopefully in the future, their families,” says Mr. Hunt.

“We really want them to come back here,” Ms Hunt says. “So far, it’s working.” Hunts’ eldest son Riley, 26, lives in New York City and works in the natural wine industry. Their youngest son lives in Los Angeles, where he studies at the University of Southern California. Ms Hunt says that since they finished building their house, they’ve come back a lot.

Mr Hunt says the barn, which was built to resemble the property’s original structure, using salvaged horse stalls, now includes a small half-pipe skateboard ramp and rock-climbing walls. Outside, features including a bocce court, a Scandinavian ski track, a golf course, and a hatchet-throwing area are the result of their two sons’ input.

Fishermen and their friends are doing all these sports and activities now, they say, but they haven’t ruled out future plans either. “The back area can easily be converted into a place to put greens and pickles,” says Ms Hunt. “The barn could be used in the future for horses, or alternatively, RV and boat parking and storage.”

The glass walkways that connect the premises of the house bring the outside in. “Natural light is delightful,” says Ms. Hunt. “They stream from everywhere.” This natural light has also provided ideal opportunities to display ancient finds, such as a set of bowling balls from the 19th century and the trunk of a Louis Vuitton and Goyard from Mrs Hunt’s grandfather, as well as other personal memorabilia. Reminders of a family’s Southern California beach life, such as fin clusters occupying a wall, benefit from the home’s art-friendly glass.

Ms Hunt says living in a house with many buildings has brought challenges. The sprawling design means more walking. “The property spread helps my husband and I joke about taking more steps,” she says. However, from the perspective of empty loungers who welcomed their children back into the barn, the design was also useful, providing additional privacy.

“Another benefit of this design clearly emerged just before Christmas, when our son had his girlfriend and 10 of his siblings here,” says Mr. Hunt. The youngest son of Hunts and his guests was in a room called the salon, which is separate from the main sections of the house.

Ms Hunt adds that this privacy-acquiring design is also retirement-friendly, keeping labor and maintenance when necessary. “We intentionally designed it so that the functionality and spaces of the home are prioritized and everyday living,” she says. “Some guest suites can be closed completely when spaces are vacant to save on heating, cleaning, etc.”

The result is a home that fuses form and function, and one that will serve its purpose as the Hunts’ style toward retirement. “We hope this is the greatest innovation,” says Ms Hunt. “I’m in no hurry to move and build again.”

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