The concept of downsizing to a smaller home is gaining momentum.
photography by David Agnello
(page 1 of 2)
Just five blocks from downtown Jackson, and one block from the National Elk Refuge, sits a discreet 1970s ranch-style home. Its red and gray exterior belies the elegance of the small home’s interior—proof that size doesn’t matter when it comes to style.
Agnes Bourne, a Jackson designer of international acclaim, bought the fifteen-hundred-square-foot home in 2005, anxious for the opportunity to let her creative juices run wild on a project of her own.
“Usually I have to compromise with a client,” she says. “This gave me an opportunity to do the design work I wanted to do. I just love rescuing houses.”
A rescue it was, as the home suffered from extensive water damage. Mold had taken hold behind the sheetrock walls, and in places like the crawl space it was so thick Bourne says it looked like a bucket of paint had spilled. The electrical system was outdated and the circuit- breaker box was located in one of the bedrooms, which presented a serious safety issue. The home’s location, with views of Snow King, Cache Creek, the Tetons, and the Elk Refuge, was first-rate. However, small windows and a dark interior did little to accentuate the stunning surroundings or bring in natural light.
But Bourne was undeterred despite the work that lay ahead.
“I was attracted to this home because forever it will have an incredible view,” she says. Bourne enlisted a team of local workers headed by Brian Woodruff of BW Builders and got down to business.
As Bourne began drafting a vision for what shape the remodel would take, she found herself drawn to the idea of downsizing. She realized she wanted to create a useful and complete home while keeping it at the same size, which would definitely align it in the “smaller home” category for Jackson.
“I considered adding a second story with a master suite, but that wouldn’t satisfy the desire to create an efficient and elegant small space,” she says.
While Bourne planned on someday settling there with her husband, in the interim the house was to be a residence for artists with Jackson’s Art Association. Artists could stay anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.