Woodland Hills — Driving down to Woodland Hills, through the tech corridor and past the hustle-and-bustle of cities, is like entering another country. Undeveloped land stretches out as far as the eye can see, the greenery unbroken up the sides of the mountain. Cattle graze on either side of the highway, and horses flick their tails in their pens.
Up these mountains, overlooking the cities and as far out as Antelope Island on a clear day, are some of the most beautiful homes in Utah. As part of the Parade of Homes for Utah Valley, Summit Creek, a luxury community on the North Slope bench of Loafer Mountain, opened up two of their model homes for viewing.
The main home showcased by Summit Creek was called Inspiration, a 4 bedroom, 5.5 bath, 7759 square foot mid-century modern complete with a pool, deck, sauna, climbing wall and indoor soccer area. The home’s mid-century modern minimalism was not what most people expect when they imagine a mountain home.
“So many people come up to the mountains and they think of Jackson Hole, log cabins,” said Summit Creek builder Don Mecham. “They come up and they see this elegance nestled in the mountains and they know, ‘wait a second, I can live here, too.’”
Inspiration’s designer, Linn LeMone, took great care to make the home feel warm while staying true to its contemporary design. LeMone worked with the architect to design Inspiration from its inception, and had control of everything from hardware to finishes to chandeliers to art. Classic mid-century modern pieces, like Eames chairs, can be spotted throughout. All of the home’s materials are natural, from its classic walnut baseboards to the unfinished ash-color of the wide-plank oak floors.
“You want to use as few materials as possible, but the materials are very nice. You don’t want to stand and see a dozen materials. There’s a continuity throughout the house,” said LeMone. “When you get into a minimal design, it takes more work because you have to be so exact.”
As such, the baseboards are flush with the wall, and the standalone tub in the master suite has no faucet—a rain spout in the ceiling fills the tub discreetly from above. The kitchen has two ovens—or rather, the pantry has two ovens, as LeMone removed them to that space to keep the kitchen as symmetrical as possible.
Downstairs is a children’s play area, with catchers-mitt chairs facing an enormous flat screen television and glass accordion doors opening up to a pool. Further in is an indoor soccer court, a education and play room where the walls are coloring book patterns, and a climbing wall with a knotted rope. For adults, there is an exercise space with views out to the mountain, a sauna, a shower—and even a water fountain mounted on the wall. The whole house was available for purchase, furniture included, for $2.9 million.
For Mecham, Summit Creek is more than a cluster of luxury houses. It’s an eco-friendly community that coexists peacefully with the mountain and the wildlife that also have their homes there. The homes have geothermal heating and cooling, which is both green technology and completely silent. All homes are solar-ready. Summit Creek also has strict regulations regarding home building: roofs must not exceed a certain height, cannot obstruct the view—or any animal migration path. Mecham spent over two years scouting home locations to make sure that no animal path would be barricaded in any way.
“I’ve been here for 20 years. I’ve followed the elk and I’ve followed the deer,” said Mecham. “I know where they calve and where they fawn, and I don’t want to disturb that. We build homes for families while leaving room for wildlife. The wildlife dictated where we built these homes.”