I’m not sure anything can prepare you for this stunningly symmetrical and sophisticated Park Cities transitional. Outside, it’s like the elegant woman in the little black dress. Walk inside, and that dress has been enhanced with several layers of glamorous accessories.
It makes sense when you realize this gorgeous place is home to two visionaries, and accessories play a role in this story!
Bill and Jessica Jesse spotted this Park Cities transitional about 11 years ago. They were not looking for a 1983 home, but this one stood out. They could see the potential.
It was large at 5,680 square feet with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, two powder baths, and large guest accommodations over the garage. It also had a naturally lit atrium, skylights in the bathrooms, excellent ceiling heights, and a lovely breakfast room that overlooked the pool and garden.
An Ode to Ozzie and Harriet
“It was also dark, had navy blue carpet, and an Ozzie and Harriet staircase,” Jessica said. “We thought all you have to do is plaster over this staircase, and it could be very interesting.”
And indeed it is now the jaw-dropping sculptural feature that greets you when the front door swings open.
As dedicated parents, avid travelers, devoted art collectors, and avowed foodies, the Jesses designed every aspect of this Park Cities transitional home. They had definite ideas, starting with the rooms that flank the entry.
“Before we remodeled, you were sort of slammed with not only the Ozzie and Harriet staircase, but also a living room that was light, and a study that was dark,” Bill said. ” the fireplace in the study had a wooden surround with a big fat mantle. It was a lopsided look, and we wanted to tie the two rooms together to create symmetry.”
They succeeded, of course.
When I first walked in, I was struck by how beautifully symmetrical this entire area is, and I thought it was all original and completely intentional. But, no, a great deal of hard work was involved.
The Jesses stripped off the old mantle and matched the fireplace marble in the study to that in the formal living room. The old traditional oak flooring was beyond redemption, so it was replaced. The two rooms are almost mirror images of one another now. Simple and, Oh, so effective.
I told you accessories were involved. When you walk into this home, it’s decorated with a maximalist sensibility, and that’s OK.
The beauty of this Park Cities transitional is that these two visionaries created a symmetrical structure that allows you to do what you want. The home was designed as a beautiful canvas to embellish as you see fit.
“Because we have so many collections, it looks maximalist,” Jessica said. “But, if you remove everything, it’s a minimalist house. You’d walk into a white house with two neutral fireplaces and could make this home what you want it to be.”
The Jesses as I mentioned, are serious foodies. They cook every night.
“One of the things that does not jump out at people is how functional the kitchen is for a serious cook,” Bill said. “You cannot see that from photos, but it is an extraordinarily good kitchen to work in.”
The list of renovation essentials included functionality and efficiency. There are a whole host of things you won’t see, but you’ll appreciate, like French drains, an attic fan, and a new HVAC system. Virtually every room in the house is on an individual zone.
So, you see, it’s not just a pretty house, it’s also smart, but without any of those features that can easily go haywire. In other words, they made excellent decisions and did not cut any corners.
“People sometimes have a hard time appreciating how important it is to have a house function well, be comfortable, and look good,” Bill said. “Not all houses check all those boxes the same way. This has been a remarkable home for us. We’ve created others, but this has been an extraordinarily comfortable one to live in.”
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, there is the oasis of a backyard that Jessica designed.
Remember, this is the Park Cities. Almost every backyard has a view of ugly wires. Not here. Although they were visible when the Jesses moved in, a plan was immediately implemented to conceal them. Now the area looks like a luxury resort in Mexico with a verdant impenetrable canopy.
Jessica added large potted plants that can be moved around offering an opportunity to redecorate outside. Their arborist, Sam Hill Tree Care, keeps that big Oak healthy and the hollies in the front yard. A true gardener takes care of everything else.
The Jesses are obviously collectors of beautiful things. When I tell you what Jessica does, you’ll understand.
She has a storied background in fashion and her business, BuDhaGirl, the first company to merge science and contemplative practices with fashion, began in this Park Cities transitional home. It’s not going to be easy to leave the place you raised children and started a successful business, but those kids are grown and flown. It’s time for their next chapter.
“This house has been such a great place to raise kids,” Jessica said. “It’s perfect for a young family. Every home has a story. This house has so many stories, especially through a dialog with art, whether it’s your children’s art or your collection.”
Now it’s time for your story to begin.