Spare Time

A CHANGE OF SCENERY

With any project, I think it’s so important to respond to context,” says Ray Booth of a new home he’s decorated in Park City, Utah. “I don’t necessarily mean location and landscape,” he says. “It’s also about who you’re working for, and about getting to know your clients and how they would define a successful interior.” Booth, a noted interior designer and principal partner in the firm McAlpine, described the process by which he developed the interiors of a new home designed by his architect colleague Greg Tankersley—another McAlpine partner whose award-winning designs have garnered national and international recognition for decades.

When queried about how Booth achieved such tailored, elegant, thoroughly modern rooms, he says, “We got there through exercising our typical process: shopping with the client, seeing what they respond to, introducing them to new upholstery, and those kinds of things. It’s not like we went in with a big thesis statement on this. As with all our projects, it really gets worked out in the doing.”

Nestled in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, which mark the westernmost range of the Rockies and is a popular destination for outdoor adventure and mountain-town charm, the home was developed as a primary residence for a professional couple, Catherine and John Helm, and their two teenage children. They had originally planned to build their dream house where they lived— in San Francisco—but the roadblocks they encountered, including the approvals required involving the city, became so complicated that they gave up. A few years later, attracted by the quality of the local school system and the numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation, the couple relocated their dream to Park City and engaged McAlpine to help them realize it. “John, the husband, grew up on a farm in Wisconsin,” explains Tankersley, an Alabama native. “And because Catherine, the wife, is a fellow Southerner from Georgia, we hit it off immediately—like two cows who recognized each other over the fence. That part was very easy, and together, we began the adventure of creating the house.”

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INTERIOR DESIGN BY RAY BOOTH

ARCHITECTURE BY BOBBY MCALPINE AND GREG TANKERSLEY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SIMON UPTON

WRITTEN BY EDWARD MCCANN

This story appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of MILIEU.