Call it what you will — a sixth sense, women’s intuition or just plain good luck — Monica Miketa has a knack for knowing. When she and her husband, Mike, began searching Cody, Wyoming, for a property to build their retirement home, she knew instantly that the first property they visited was “The One.”
Still, wanting to do their due diligence, the couple continued on their weekend-long property tour led by a local real estate agent. “He showed us land all over the South and North Forks, but that first property, right above the Shoshone River, was 12-acres of stunning views,” says Mike, adding: “Even more than that though, Monica just had this feeling about it.”
Monica’s intuition continued to guide them on their quest. “Lance, our agent, had made a point of telling us one of the problems with the property is that there isn’t any water. We’d have to have a cistern, like most people in the area,” explains Mike. “But Monica said, ‘There is water here; I feel it.’”
Motivated by her hunch, the couple decided to try drilling a well. “We hit 25-plus gallons of water per minute,” he continues. “People couldn’t believe it.”
The Miketas’ good fortune continued when they enlisted Canadian Timberframes
to help them kickstart their home-building journey. “We had fallen in love with the look of timber frame homes and the mountain-modern style,” says Mike. The timber framer soon connected the couple with Bill Tabberson of Tabberson Architects
and local builder Tom Quick who would bring their dream of a Western home to fruition.
From the get-go, the home’s design fell into place. “Bill’s initial concept just blew us away,” says Mike. “We never changed a thing.” And it’s no wonder why: Against the stark landscape, the exterior’s angular lines create a striking silhouette. “The contemporary design with the mono-pitch roof and Western vibe from the exterior to the interior weaves the building into the topography,” explains Stephanie Bowes, vice president of Canadian Timberframes.
Each section of the home appears to have been placed on the property piece by piece, giving the structure the collected-over-time feeling of an old homestead. In addition to the varied shapes and rooflines, each segment is clad with one of three metals, which will become even more distinct with age.
While the exterior gives off an authentic rustic vibe, it’s far from primitive. An impressive and intricate timber framework supports the structure, inside and out. “The homeowners wanted the timber language mixed with architectural steel work, so there are a lot of parallel chord trusses mixed with the tension rods and metal webbing,” explains Canadian Timberframes’ president Jeff Bowes. “Most people just go with a flat black steel, but they chose a more industrial look with a pitted silver and patinated steel on all of the bracketing.”
That mix of aged and modern elements was exactly what the couple envisioned when they began planning the home. “We wanted to mix a little rustic with a little modern industrial,” explains Monica. They achieved the perfect balance with a carefully curated combination of finishes, furnishings and accessories.
White oak floors and walls painted “Indian White” create a warm but neutral backdrop throughout the home. In the great room, leather and wood furnishings create a rustic undertone, while forged-metal chandeliers and oxidized flat carbon steel cladding the fireplace infuse the place with that industrial flair. A mantel, fashioned from leftover timbers, “breaks up the massive steel face to give it some warmth,” shares Monica.
In the kitchen, a scene-stealing slab of quartz on the central island lends a sleek edge next to distressed cabinetry. Industrial-style pulls and a metal range hood and pendant lights round out the space.
Special pieces fill every room, from Southwestern-themed antique furnishings to oversized painted portraits of Wild West legends. A mounted deer bust peers down over the living area adjacent to the buffalo and cow skulls that hang prominently in the kitchen.
“When visitors come in, they say it’s like walking into a museum, but not because it feels precious — simply because there is always something new to see,” Mike says with a note of satisfaction. Though the house is only 2,770-square-feet, there is plenty of room for all of the couple’s treasures. The space lives large thanks to an open floor plan that nods to the Wyoming landscape that stretches out infinitely to the horizon and is showcased in every room of the house. “There’s a view out every window,” affirms Mike.
Ultimately, the couple say it’s those sweeping vistas — serene yet untamed — that make their retirement home the very best place to be. “It’s so peaceful here,” says Monica. “There is beauty everywhere you look.”
2 full, 1 halfArchitect:
Bill Tabberson, Tabberson ArchitectsBuilder:
Tom Quick, TL QuickTimber Provider: Canadian Timberframes Ltd.