At Home With Amber Howe

Love everything in the photo- those light are amazing!Our next guest in our "At Home" series is Amber Howe. Amber is here to share her lovely home with us! Love the pops of orange!Green leather couches and a fireplace- dream room!"After breaking ground in May 2011, we were clinking glasses of bubbly on move-in day just 9 months later, right after Valentine’s Day. A month prior, John had proposed to me, so the new house held more significance for us. It was where we’d build our life together! We’d both lived in turn-of-the-century Victorian homes in Salt Lake City for years, so the idea of an open, modern feel and new everything was foreign to us. We knew we’d miss the instant charm of an older house, and starting from scratch felt intimidating. But the opportunity to create a space just perfect for us here in Park City has been exciting. 

While we live in a neighborhood, the view from the front porch includes three ski resorts. Our backyard is BLM open space, which we share with deer, porcupine, skunk, a feisty fox, and a huge herd of elk. We created a home to be base camp for our adventures that reflects our love of nature, with open, useful and comfortable spaces. We wanted our home to be as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible, and the house was recently awarded silver LEED certification. Park City’s weather is intense: it can be 95 degrees in summer and bring three feet of snow in winter. In a snowstorm, we love cozy toes thanks to radiant heat in the floors and in summer, we throw the big windows open wide for the breeze (no AC).  Double-framed exterior walls and solar power mean we use significantly less energy. It was fun to learn about unusual or reclaimed materials, like the recycled aluminum foil and resin bathroom countertops or cork flooring."
I love open staircases like these"The bones of our home include industrial aspects, like the concrete fireplace, I-beam staircase, and metal railings. We tried to balance that with a lot of warm, natural woods. At first, the new space was beautiful but felt a little hollow. Our challenge was to make this brand-new house to feel like a welcoming home, a place that’s easy to LIVE in. We looked for comfortable furnishings, some vintage accessories, and unexpected artwork to soften the too-new shine. We’re not afraid of vibrant color. Every room is its own little rainbow. We tried to pair classic mid-century modern design with our funky style (like the two green leather Mad Men couches). John and I come from opposite coasts, and have tried to bring pieces of both of our histories into the space. But what has made our home most comfortable is time lived in it. One has to get to know a new space, learn its flow, know the lighting at different times of day, find the cozy nooks. You can’t buy that lived-in feeling off the shelf." Globes get me every timeLove the corner record storage!"Some of our favorite memories together are connected to our albums. When we moved in, our separate album collections became one big one. Some are classic jazz records my musician father played while I was growing up. Some are classic rock that John has played toward the end of every party. Over the 13 years we’ve known each other, we’ve spent countless hours peeling through those records, song by song. The Van Morrison and Steve Wonder songs that we played during our wedding ceremony were selected by what we felt when flipping through the stacks. There is a lot of meaningful history for us in those shelves of vinyl." At home with Amber Howe Love this home tour in the mountains"We spend the most time in our Great Room. The wide-open floor plan between the kitchen, living room, and dining room makes it easy to cook and entertain without missing out on the action. The space somehow just works for whatever we’re using it for—an intimate four-person dinner party or 30 people for a summer BBQ. The extra high ceilings and tall windows display the incredible Park City mountain views, and double doors lead from the dining room to our back deck and garden, making the backyard feel like an extension of the house. 

Truth? This house is too big for just us. We built it with the intention of filling it with our friends and family. We love when our guest rooms are full, and there’s a big family-style meal being passed around the dining room table. We like when things are out of place from being used, when guests feel at home enough to pour themselves a drink and prop feet on the coffee table, when the doors are wide open to the great outdoors, when the dog is running in and out. 

I love our home most when it’s full of loved ones." Those windows are amazing!Such an incredible patio area!Thank you so much for sharing your lovely home with us, Amber! You can find more of Amber over at her blog The Usual Bliss. xo.

  • I love how airy and spacious their home is. And the view! Damn! I just adore it. 🙂

    www.makeupandstilettos.blogspot.com

  • Wow that view from the huge windows is stunning!

    Lulu xx

    http://luluslittlewonderland.blogspot.com

  • Beautiful, Amber! I love the style. Fantastic lines, colors and textures.

  • Elizabeth, I had (a ton of) help with finding furniture that felt unique and fit the space. Those couches are called “Luxe” and came from San Francisco Design in SLC (as did those orange chairs). I actually saw that couch in a gold velvet in their showroom and immediately fell in love. I had no idea we’d end up with a different version in our home. If you want more info about the furnishings, please message me at amber@theusualbliss.com.

  • I found both of those items through a shop in Salt Lake City and Park City called San Francisco Designs. They each have various fabric options, and the couches come in different lengths. – amber http://theusualbliss.com

  • What an honor to have our home featured here. Thank you, Elsie and Emma! You can find me over at www.theusualbliss.com. xx Amber

  • Wow, such a gorgeous home! I love the green couches, kitchen and the tall windows. So beautiful.
    This is my favorite ‘At Home’ profile yet.

    www.roseleablog.com

  • This is an unbelievable space! I love the architecture itself and how it’s been filled so effortlessly with bold color and design. This is gorgeous.

    The Rambling Fangirl

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, Elsie – I appreciate it immensely. I have been an avid reader for years now – reading the blog and crafting used to be my break during thesis-writing, then nannying, and now at my research job. I always learn so much DIY from the ABM team, and I am going through the creative business planning e-course right now – so I may as well take this chance to say a HUGE thank you.

    I understand what you mean now about selecting based on aesthetic rather than budget. I should apologize – lately, I’ve been super sensitive to anything that suggests ‘lavish’ or ‘expendable income’. I’m dealing with the whole student debt-no job stability-no benefits scenario… so yah. I see glimpses into people’s homes on blogs and in magazines and and I think – who the heck can afford that? And at the same time I love it!

    Anyways, it would be a dream of mine to share my space with your readership, especially because I feel like I’ve applied a lot I’ve learned from you. I’ve always had friends and family comment that I should have made a career of design and organization. So… I will enlist a photographer friend to document my place. In the meantime I will embrace the fact that, at this stage, it’s okay for it to be incomplete/unpolished in comparison 🙂

  • What a beautiful home. That view! Amazing! Love all the geometric shapes!

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

  • Great colors, nice post.. Thanks for sharing..
    Love xxx

    Regards,
    Katty

    http://pixiie.net
    http://fb.com/WorldsFashion

  • WOW, the windows, the views, the fireplace…so gorgeous!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}
    http://www.dreamsinhd.blogspot.com/

  • Great place and what an amazing kitchen! xx

    http://www.creativityandchocolate.com

  • love how open the space is! and the record nook is easily my favorite spot!

    http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2013/10/parenting-ups-downs-and-inbetweens-v.html

  • I love how this home really stands out from many in the other “At Home With…” series! The high ceilings, the huge windows, the industrial staircase, the artwork in the first photo – goodness! Thanks for constantly showcasing unique styles, ABM, and thanks for sharing your space, Amber.

  • Hi Lauren,

    Thank you so much for the sweet words about the “At Home” feature! We try to show a variety of budgets, from apartments like the one yesterday to rental houses to first-time-buyers houses to one built from scratch. We select homes based solely on aesthetic, not budget. We definitely appreciate a creative trip to target and a craft store. 😉 So please, don’t let something like budget stop you from submitting. If it’s beautifully decorated and photographed, we’d love to feature it!

    Thanks again! xo. Elsie

  • You home is simply amazing! There wasn’t a thing I didn’t love about it from the decorating to the structure. Beautiful beautify home!! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • ive always wanted to visit salt lake city utah!
    ill be a guest! <3

    what a beautiful home!
    the space looks amazing and inviting and it just looks like the ideal place to live in!

  • Stunning! I love the open floor plan!!

    Jamie @
    http://thegrowingupdiaries.blogspot.com/

  • What a lovely place! Love the high ceiling and the green sofas.

    http://sincerelylara.com

  • Love this!!! So many design posts (on many, many blogs) feature older homes that come with character. Its great to see someone CREATE character in a new home! Sometimes it seems like those ‘older home’ owners have it easy with all of the quirkiness that comes with those spaces. I love to see someone add their own quirk! The couches, the staircase, the album shelving, all speak to the homeowner’s personality! Thank you for sharing!

  • wow! so pretty. That great room is amazing and the view is beautiful!

    xo
    brerogers.blogspot.com

  • This is obviously a stunning and well-planned home. I love the “At Home With” series, but I’m noticing that a lot of it is aspirational rather than realistic. Many people in my cohort won’t ever be homeowners with lavish budgets. Instead, we are living in small rental apartments earning barely a liveable wage. Is there any way you can feature more folks who are making their lives and homes beautiful on a budget, in small spaces, with limited time? I would offer to show my apartment, since I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into making it beautiful… but I feel like it is too flawed and imperfect compared to what is featured here. Much love, Lauren

  • I love the orange swirly chair by the window, they’ve got a great open space, I bet it’d be lovely for parties
    http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

  • What an amazing home, with an absolutely gorgeous view. To have that wildlife in your own backyard would be a dream. And I adore the fact that it’s so environmentally friendly. Definitely my favorite home so far!

  • Until I watched this pictures I was very sure that my sofa is wonderful but now I have really change my opinion!

    http://dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de/

  • LIsa, I agree! This is seriously my dream house! I’m obsessed with the architecture and the overall feel of it. Gorgeous, LOVE!

  • These green sofas are SOO cool!

    tsiou, from http://www.inwhirlofinspiration.com

  • What a gorgeous view through your windows. The wood details are beautiful, and I enjoyed learning about how and why you chose each element. Thanks!

  • I agree with you! And what about the vintage style armchair? Love it!

    Claudia

  • This is seriously one of the most incredible and beautiful homes I’ve ever seen. The fact that you made it so environmentally friendly is amazing and genius.

  • Amber´s home is a dream !!

    XX Luba

    How to introduce fall trends in the sartorial routine
    www.well-living-blog.com

  • These great room is wonderful! the big Windows are great, is like living outside ! thank you for sharing ! xx

  • Oh my God this is my dream EVERYTHING! That outdoor space? Incredible.
    You did a wonderful job with that house!
    (Cute dog, too!)

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