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Spacious, Rustic Kitchen

A Minnesota couple build an Idaho vacation home that indulges their loves of cooking and the great outdoors

Written by Amy Elbert
  • John Granen

    Second-home kitchens often are little more than a place to heat up carryout food. Who wants to give up a minute of relaxation or outdoor play to go inside and cook a meal? Mary and Alan Hogg, however, love to do it all. Skiing, hiking, and other outdoor and cultural activities enticed the Minnesotans to build a second home in Sun Valley, Idaho. But they also enjoy cooking—even when vacationing. Working long-distance with a “dream team” that included architect Candace Tillotson-Miller, interior designer Jennifer Hoey Smith, and builder Chad Brown, the Hoggs created a house with a 15x24-foot kitchen where Mary and Alan work side by side after a day of hiking or skiing.

    The log-cabin style house is nestled in a secluded wooded area, creating a sense of privacy. Large windows, upstairs dormers, and an outdoor sitting area offer views of the surrounding mountains.

    Photography: John Granen  
    Produced by Linda Humphrey

    Architect: Candace Tillotsen-Miller, Miller Architects, PC, 1203 N. Rouse, Suite 3B, P.O. Box 10790, Bozeman, MT 59719; 406/551-6950,
    Interior designer: Jennifer Hoey Smith, Jennifer Hoey Interior Design, 300 N. Main St., Suite 202, P.O. Box 6409, Ketchum, ID 83340; 208/726-1561,
    Builder: Chad Brown, Dembergh Brown Builders, 111 W. Sixth St., Ketchum, ID 83340; 208/726-2440,  

  • John Granen

    Rustic Kitchen

    Two 8x3-foot parallel islands anchor the kitchen, which flows into the living room and two separate dining areas—a breakfast room next to the kitchen and a formal dining area off of the living room. “The two islands allow Mary and Alan each to have their own workstation,” explains Smith.

    The Hoggs, who have two daughters in their early 20s, frequently entertain guests, and placing the islands perpendicular to the living room encourages conversation and sociability between the spaces. “Often we’ll set out appetizers at the ends of the islands closest to the living room. Then guests are part of the conversation, but they’re not on top of our work space,” Alan says.

    Pietra Cardosa slab slate countertops accent a white Shaws “Fireclay” farmhouse sink from Rohl. 

  • John Granen

    Great for Entertaining

    While the islands are similar in size, their styles and functions differ. The slate-topped one houses the cooktop and is part of the primary work triangle, near the large farmhouse sink and refrigerator. The more rustically styled baking and prep island is slightly wider to accommodate counter-height seating.

    “That island was inspired by an antique,” says Smith. “We wanted to use a big antique chopping block, but the need for precision sizing in order to incorporate the undercounter refrigerator ruled out an actual antique.” To replicate the look, the island was made with reclaimed barn boards and topped with a thick hand-planed top. Blocky feet and metal strapping at the corners add to the furniture look.

    Elsewhere in the kitchen, cabinets are white oak accented with delicate beaded insets. “Mary wanted a little more European feel, so I was trying to blend the rustic architecture of the house with a slightly more finished feel,” the designer says. The oak, sporting random knots, was stained and glazed a buckskin tone that complements the house’s hewed-timber ceiling beams and log siding in adjoining rooms.

    To maximize light and open sight lines, the Wolf cooktop in one island has a downdraft vent system rather than an overhead hood. The oak-topped island, which is closest to the Wolf wall ovens, is used for baking, prep, and as a casual eating and serving area. 

    Cabinetry (stained white oak): custom.
    Cabinet pulls (cast silicon bronze with medium patina): Rocky Mountain Hardware,
    Sinks (Shaw Fireclay kitchen sinks); faucets (Country Kitchen Collection in Tuscan Brass): Rohl,
    Range, cooktop, and double ovens: Wolf,
    Refrigerators, including undercounter refrigerators: Sub-Zero,
    Countertops on cook island and main sink island: Pietra Cardosa slab slate, honed.
    Backsplash (“Grove Brickworks”): Waterworks,
    Pendant lighting (“Astrid” #8001): Ironware International,
    Glassware; gold pitcher: owner’s collection.
    Rug runner: Dash & Albert,
    Bar stools: owner’s collection.
    Seat-cushion fabric (“Hops” #5629, by Rose Cumming): Dessin Fournir,

  • John Granen

    Glass-Front Cabinet

    A lighted glass-front cabinet with stained beadboard backing tucks between the wall ovens and a fully integrated side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. “I wanted to lighten up the space between those appliances because it can get a little blocky when you have deep cabinets,” Smith says. The antique-style glass and lighted interior “draws you into the space when you look from the living room,” she says.

    Mary and Alan insisted on a walk-in pantry, which is off the breakfast room, where they keep small appliances. “You need to have those things easily accessible or you won’t use them,” says Mary.

    Thanks to such planning, the couple can serve meals like lamb Marrakech after a day outdoors. “We do a lot of prep work, so there’s not a huge delay getting dinner on the table,” Mary says. “We enjoy the cooking process,” Alan adds, “and we enjoy doing it together.” 

  • John Granen

    Decorative lighting

    Pierced-metal pendants from Ironware International provide additional lighting but don’t block outdoor views of the mountains. 

  • John Granen

    Glazed Backsplash

    Charcoal-colored “Grove Brickworks” tiles from Waterworks have a slightly pockmarked surface finished in a heavy, glossy glaze. 

  • John Granen

    Vintage-Style Faucet

    Rohl’s cross-handle “Country Kitchen” faucet in Tuscan Brass complements the rugged styling of the log home.

  • John Granen

    Rustic Details

    Thick oak boards were joined, hand-planed, and topped with a water-based sealer for the island top. Metal straps accent the corners.

  • John Granen

    Bronze Hardware

    Rocky Mountain Hardware in a mix of styles—bin pulls, long bar handles, and round knobs—are bronze with a medium patina.

  • John Granen

    Breakfast Room

    A custom pedestal table with a scalloped apron and antique chairs set a refined note in the intimate breakfast room.

    Table; side table: custom.
    Dining chairs: antique.
    Seat-cushion fabric (“Napa Stripe” #1164, by Classic Cloth): Dessin Fournir,
    Chandelier: owner’s collection.
    Area rug: Dash & Albert,  

  • John Granen


    Homeowners Alan and Mary Hogg

  • Werner Straube