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Introducing: Project House Utah

Introducing: Project House Utah

exterior of traditional home in Utah the Fox Group

Welcome to Project House Utah, the new build in Salt Lake City that you can follow along with.

We’re launching a new Project House! Our partners are Cara and Tom Fox of The Fox Group, a full-service residential design and construction firm. They have invited us to follow along as they build a modern colonial house in Salt Lake City, Utah, from detailed renderings to complete incarnation. Here’s more about Project House Utah.

colonial Utah home The Fox Group Project House entryway
“Welcoming” and “unique” are the keywords for this entry in a previous home by The Fox Group. “We wanted it to feel like it was very thoughtful and intentional with the design and the architecture,” Cara says. “It wasn’t just an afterthought but something the entire home was designed around.”

“The purpose of a spec home is to build a place for a family needing something move-in ready,” Cara says. “I enjoy it because we use out-of-the-box ideas that most people need to see in person to understand. The Project House Utah home is the embodiment of classicism with fresh twists and modern convenience.” It will have five bedrooms and almost 6,000 square feet, and its spirit will be classic farmhouse with pops of whimsy and charm. 

living room with two storey windows with traditional panes
A stunning wall of windows in this family room is inspired by two-story English manor rooms the couple had seen in their travels. The symmetry and windowpane sizes bring in a traditional element to the design.

The Fox Group

Tom and Cara own The Fox Group. Cara is the lead designer, and Tom is the manager. The couple met in college and discovered they have a shared passion: homes. A typical pastime of theirs would be driving around their favorite neighborhoods, soaking up the local architecture and pointing out features they loved. “We started out by building our own home and the homes of family and friends,” Cara says.

architectural rendering of Project House Utah
A lot of sketching and thinking about the ideal way to live in the final space takes place during the blueprint phase. “Typically, it takes about four to six months for plans to be finalized,” Cara says. 

“Once we did spec houses—which would sell before we even listed them—we realized we were in the right industry and opened The Fox Group,” Cara says. That was 17 years ago. Now, the business employs 30 architects, designers and a full construction crew. It designs for clients all around the world, with a specialization in classic architecture and New England traditional design. 

large island in spacious kitchen with gold hood
Lots of space and storage with equal amounts of charm can be expected in the kitchen of the new home, along with a large island for family seating and a banquet table to the side for more cozy seating. “This kitchen will also have a large butler’s kitchen or pantry space that it leads into,” Cara says. “It’ll complement the main kitchen but have unique colors and an out-of-the-box design.”

Another branch of the company blossomed after Cara wanted to expand on her love for curating one-of-a-kind design pieces and collaborating with artists near and far. “I thought it would be a dream to have them in a shop of our own,” she says. So, the brick-and-mortar and digital doors of The Fox Shop opened, featuring clients’ décor pieces and custom furnishings. 

Cara and Tom of the Fox Group with family
Cara and Tom are a dynamic team. Cara is an intuitive creative, while Tom has a keen eye for detail and composition. “Together, we strive to make homes that are havens for the soul,” Cara says. They have a beautiful family of five children ages 6 to 16, as well as dogs and horses.

The Fox Family

Just as the company has grown, so has the Fox family. Cara and Tom have five children and a menagerie of dogs, cats and horses. They have full plates and equally full hearts. 

fireplace wood and marble surround
The fireplace in the new house, which will be made from a mixture of marble and wood, will be the focal point and create a warm, cozy feeling. “It’s what makes you want to sit down and relax with a good book,” Cara says. “If I had it my way, fireplaces would be the focal point of every room.” 

Currently, Project House Utah is in its initial construction phase. It has finished framing and rough electrical/plumbing and HVAC. Its outline is the shape of things to come. “Some of my favorite details are the front porch, which is a nod to the past; the side front door, which makes the exterior balanced and pleasing; and the inviting foyer and entertaining spaces like the dining room and back-porch fireplace,” Cara says. The house will also feature a pool, indoor brick pizza oven and a black-and-white tile foyer. 

dark blue cabinetry kitchen with checkered floor
Blue is Cara’s color obsession. “The color is soothing and relaxing and, in my opinion, almost acts as a neutral,” she says. Blue can be warm or cool, depending on how you use it and what accents you add. Strong blues induce clear thoughts, while pale blues are soothing.

Parts of the Process

Cara and Tom are experts at walking through the custom build process. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the steps that lead from an empty lot to a home sweet home, like it will for Project House Utah.

kitchen with blue range and blue fabric pendant cover
The Fox Group will include creative features throughout the new home, including compelling combinations of wallpaper and fabrics. “You’ll see a lot of farmhouse touches that will bring in a sense of character and timelessness and a nod to the past,” Cara says. 

Discoverable. The first phase, Discovery, is fun and inspiring. It’s when you can lay out all your expectations and dreams for the new home, and the design and architectural teams envision how it will look and function. 

Art Project. Next come the conceptual drawings. These are the initial drawings of the project. They are exciting to see because it’s the first tangible look at the home. 

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Wallpapered wall with archway entrance and retro fridge through archway

Fit the Mold. Architectural plans and fitting the home to the lot is next. During this phase, the team will scale and draw the build, down to the last doorstep.

Creative Construction. The construction crew gets to work on building the house in layers, from first framing to final finish. 

Design Details. Now the design and interior details fill the home. Throughout the entire process, Cara says follow-through and learning to embrace changes for the build, if necessary, are vital. 

bathroom all white with two vanities and herringbone floor
The Fox Group enjoys making spec homes because it allows the team to add elements that are outside the box. “We’re able to do things that could be hard for a client to envision,” Cara says. “I love being able to dream about the ideas and actually see them come to life.”

Join us for the journey as this project moves through every phase of the building cycle and turns into a house waiting to be filled with life, love and laughter. 


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