A set of indigo faux-fur chairs featuring exposed cerused oak sets the tone for the chic ski house that was a recent collaboration between interior designer Kate Binger and realtor Jill Sassi.
“It has the vibe of a sophisticated mountain tree house,” Kate says. “It’s reminiscent of a classic mountain chalet,” Jill adds, noting that the home is the perfect place to entertain after a day of making turns in Teton Village.
A modern ski chalet with a welcoming environment that is sensible for day-to-day life was a top request from the duo’s client, and the John Dodge neighborhood was the preferred and perfect location for the collaborative project. The result was nothing short of spectacular.
“I knew it was meant to be for this client from the moment I walked in,” Jill says. “And now it is one of the most unique homes in the valley.”
When Jill, who has been a local real estate agent for over two decades, brought her long-time client to see the home nestled among the trees, she knew Kate, who she had previously partnered with on a project for the client, would be the perfect fit. A quick call later and Kate arrived in her ski clothes, coming straight from the resort on a Saturday afternoon.
“I told him the home was a complete gem, an opportunity of a lifetime. The potential was glaring and I instantly got excited about transforming the whole space,” Kate says.
The John Dodge home became Jill and Kate’s second project with this client, who purchased his first home in the valley 11 years ago. Jill stresses that each of her clients has a different set of goals and that being keenly aware of that is crucial in her ability to perform her job with expertise.
“Listening to my client, their stories, and their dreams is how I know what properties will suit them best. This is a skill that I have developed over the years. I am not the same realtor I was 20 years ago. I’ve worked hard to adapt to each individual buyer,” she says.
Jill is part of Huff/Vaughn/Sassi at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty. She and her team ranked No. 14 in the nation and are top producing agents year after year. With decades of experience, Jill credits their success to commitment and hard work. “My team has been an integral part of my success as a realtor. We have a deep understanding of the market and how to match our clients’ needs, buyers and sellers alike.”
In addition, Jill was named realtor of the year, was rated amongst the best of Jackson Hole, and served as president of the Teton Board of Realtors. She looks forward to continuing her career in Jackson Hole, knowing that “our team will continue to evolve with this unique, dynamic market.”
That attention to a client’s individuality is something Kate also focuses on in her design work. “The parallel of real estate and interior design is that Jill and I are both in the business of creating joy for life at home. By learning about your client’s intentions and passions we can achieve a level of success which is a true value add. Now, more than ever, we all want inspiration and happiness in our dwelling.”
Kate moved to the valley 15 years ago after starting her career in Los Angeles. She came to Jackson to bid on a job and instantly fell in love with the people and the landscape. It took her just six months to relocate and shortly after she launched her design firm. The natural world of Jackson is an enormous inspiration for her work, but she also travels on a regular basis to research new materials and find other artistry.
And while the two women certainly don’t work together exclusively, they love collaborating when their combined energy is on-target for the client. Both share a strong work ethic and creative approach, two things that have driven their success and bonded their friendship.
“It’s so lovely to share the professional experience with Jill, who works as hard as I do … and to lean on each other as professional women is so important to me,” Kate says. Jill notes that, “What I love about working with Kate is that on that Saturday when I called her, I knew she’d come by. Timing is critical, especially for a dream home, and I’d been guiding this client to find their ‘forever Jackson home’ for several years. The result of this project is truly something that Kate and I are beyond proud of and felt was important to showcase our professional abilities.”