interior designInteriors

A Jewelry Designer’s Serene Home in Salt Lake City

by Tawnee Madlen Walker

Plans change when you fall in love, especially when it’s with a new city. A vacation turns into a temporary living arrangement, which then turns into something a little more permanent. For Chris and Annabelle Rey, their love for skiing and the outdoors took them from California’s Bay Area to Salt Lake City, UT.

Chris is a project coordinator for a design firm and Annabelle is a jewelry designer and owner of Magpie and Rye – a curated online and brick-and-mortar boutique. They decided to temporarily stick around in Utah for a while, but in just a few months of enjoying their new city, the couple fell completely in love. “Life here is slower and easier, and we were ready for the change of pace,” Annabelle says. They quickly began looking for a home to settle down in permanently.

After seeing a home listing online, Annabelle drove 10 hours straight from California to Utah to see it in person that same evening. “It had everything we wanted – the yard, the location, the layout, the charm – but it needed a lot of love,” Annabelle shares. “This place was a project!”

Over the next few months, the couple spent every free minute working on their place, meeting with plumbers, electricians, etc. ”It was a great bonding experience with the house. As we peeled away layers of paint and wallpaper, the story of our home revealed itself.” Annabelle and Chris were able to keep the charm of their home from 1910 with a soft color palette and a mixture of minimalism with a curated and elegant sensibility. –Tawnee

Photography by Annabelle Rey


Living Room
Rock print by Reilly Miller.
Ceramic crystal on the mantel by MQuan
Branch lights are by design duo Anzfer Farms in San Francisco
Brass chest is an antique
Pillow by Blockshop.
Vase by Clam Lab with grasses
Wood sculptures by Julian Watts
Wing drawing by Afton Love found at our favorite neighborhood shop back when we lived in Oakland, Esqueleto
Chair available through magpieandrye.com
Magazine holder from Anthropologie
Antique brass lamp found scavenging Alameda Flea

Dining Room
Botanical drawing by Strange Dirt
Painting by Ron Linns
Wooden chain by Lou Zeldis
Watercolor by Malissa Ryder

A few odds and ends: The Yankee bobblehead has been Chris’ since he was a kid. The woven vessel is by Tracy Wilkinson. The ceramic totem is by Heidi B Anderson (similar styles at magpieandrye.com).

The woven utensil pots are by Tracy Wilkinson
Small paintings are from my art school days, and a constant reminder that I should be painting. The trivet is an antique iron thing I found somewhere.
Stoneware bowls by my mom, Stephanie Suzanne
Wood bowl and boards by Love Lynsey
Ceramic wine vessels and espresso cups by Claire Ginn
Stacking mugs by Hasami
Ceramic pitcher by Stephanie Suzanne
Floral ceramic tile by Makoto Kagoshima
Copper kettle, pour-over and black mugs available at magpieandrye.com

Antique heart prints found at Tail of the Yak in Berkeley
Rock print from Reilly Miller
Ceramic wall hanging by Heather Levine found at Esqueleto

Light fixtures from Schoolhouse Electric
Tea Towel available at magpieandrye.com
The Apollo Necklace is part of my jewelry line, Annabelle Rey

Moon dish by MQuan and jewelry from Annabelle Rey

Annabelle and Chris made the things they treasure most as the focal point of each room. "The Rock print is by my super talented sister, Reilly Miller, and it was taken together on a hike in the mountains near our hometown. It makes me happy every time I look at it, " Annabelle shares.
The couple added organic elements with branch lights by design duo Anzfer Farms in San Francisco.
The couple was conservative when making changes to the original features of their old home. "At first we hated the fireplace tile, but they were original to the home so we kept them anyway. Now we are kind of into their weird, uncool-ness," Annabelle says.
They carved out a corner in their living room for settling in with a magazine and a cup of coffee.
The couple aimed to keep their home "comfortable and serene" as they blended the minimal and clean style of Chris with Annabelle's love of collecting meaningful treasures from other artists and travels. As Annabelle puts it, "...it's all in finding the balance."
"We were given the dining table by the previous owners of this home who were here for 30 years and they were probably given it by the owners before them. This table has seen some things! I like to think of all of the family dinners that have happened right here," Annabelle shares.
Annabelle and Chris display their statement pieces in a very unassuming, yet gallery-esque way. Whether it's art or a furniture piece, they always give pieces room to breathe — creating a serene, calm, but still eye-catching home.
Dark, cozy, and full of items special to the couple, the library is one giant treasure chest. "The light fixture is an antique Murano glass piece I found a while ago. That chair and I go way back – I've been dragging it around the country with me since I was born. We have a connection."
"Finally, a place for all of our books and strange little things," Annabelle says about her library's shelves, proudly displaying her personal treasures among her book collection.
"The kitchen was a full demo. The narrow galley kitchen was a maze of awkward peninsulas, useless counters and cabinets in the wrong places. They had one mounted 12" above the gas burners of the stove (with a hole burned through the bottom)! It was kind of a relief to be able to just scrap the whole thing and start fresh," Annabelle admits.
Annabelle and Chris broke up floor-to-ceiling cabinets with counter space and open shelving.
"I have met the most talented, driven and supportive artists here in Salt Lake City. We have a lot of wood pieces by Love Lynsey and ceramics by Claire Ginn in our house. My mother is a talented ceramic artist as well, and we use her beautiful bowls every day. It makes me so happy having artwork by friends and family in our home."
"Our bedroom is tiny but serene. There is a great view of the Wasatch Mountains from the funky porch off our bedroom."
As a designer and maker, Annabelle's simple elegance is reflected throughout her home's aesthetic and mirrored at Magpie and Rye – her store in Salt Lake City.
Annabelle makes modern and traditional styles work seamlessly with her bathroom remodel.
"We have a fully dedicated guest room for the first time in our lives. It sort of took on a summer-camp-in-the-mountains theme, which works for us."
"What I love most about our home is the adventures waiting for us all around it," Annabelle shares. She adds, "It's a great home base for doing the things we love, and it feels good to come home to."

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  • This home is so cozy and warm and tastefully done. I love the story of their stumbling onto a new life in a new city and making that jump. It’s very inspiring! I can imagine what a change of pace it must have been moving from the Bay Area. Best wishes to you guys!

  • I love the simplicity of your home! I don’t see a source for the rolling bookshelves in slide 5. Could you please share?

  • Beautiful home! Could I get sources for the lighting in the master bedroom and the blinds throughout the house?

  • Snap! I have a couple of the exact same pillow cases on the black chair in the lounge from Block Shop! Beautiful home by the way.

  • I love every single thing about this home. It’s so perfect! Would you mind sharing the source for the sconces in the master bedroom?

    • Oh thank you for such kind words! So, the sconces in the master bedroom are the Flynn Wall Sconces from Serena and Lily and we love them!

  • Great home! Nice interior decorating. Solid backyard space. Comfortable guest room as well.

  • Kitchen cabinets are a gorgeous shade. Green-grey? What’s the paint and the colour used?

    • What lovely photos of your home Belle and Chris. It has all the love that you have for design and for one another showcased so beautifully. I see that you still have the Christmas “Festivas” tree in the front room!

  • STUNNING home. The bathroom and kitchen remodels turned out so well. My husband dreams of having a darkly painted library one day. Yours is lovely!

  • Love the wooden shelving piece in the first photo, is it
    available somewhere for purchase or handcrafted? Love this home!

  • Gorgeous home!! Do you know what the paint color is in the dining room? Also, where is the copper light/sconce from in the guest room? Thanks!

  • Hi All! The paint in the dining room is Benjamin Moore Grey Owl. The wooden shelving unit in the dining room is new and available by special order through Magpie and Rye. The sconces in the guest room are actually brass and are from One Kings Lane.