Feb 22, 2024 - News

A look at Tan France's Tudor-style manor in Salt Lake City

A Youtube thumbnail showing a tudor mansion on a slope with the letters "AD" in the corner for Architectural Digest.

The thumbnail for an episode of "Home at Last with Tan France" by Architectural Digest. Image via YouTube

"Queer Eye" star and Salt Lake City resident Tan France is unveiling his "most personal project yet" with his husband Rob: a 6,500-square-foot Tudor-style "dream home" the couple built above Capitol Hill.

The intrigue: The Frances put a lot of thought into recreating the "old world" feel of an ancient country home in England, Tan's childhood home.

  • The fusion of dignified heritage and storybook whimsy make for a novel effect in our cowboy-movie landscape of sage and rabbitbrush.

Driving the news: "Architectural Digest" opened the arched red door for a peek inside, with "Home At Last," a five-part streaming series that concluded Wednesday, showing the Frances' design and building process, which started in 2022.

  • Move-in day was in November.

The big picture: The house showcases Salt Lake City — with views à la Ensign Peak — alongside the Frances' backgrounds and dreams.

  • "One of the things that I love the most about England is the Tudor architecture," Rob says. "It's just so old, and it's been handed down. It's got so much character."

The audience: Brandi Carlile, FINNEAS, Kelsea Ballerini, Mindy Kaling, Gigi Hadid and Tan's "Queer Eye" costars Jonathan and Antoni all were planning to stay in the couple's guest cottage.

  • "Being in Salt Lake City, it's not like L.A. or New York, but we do have Sundance Film Festival. We have … major artists that come on tour," Tan says. "And so for those people, I wanna have a safe space, a really private space where they feel right at home."

Between the lines: Throughout the show, Tan's observations about class, nationality and race in England subtly fill in his vision for the oh-so-English home.

  • Growing up in a working-class family of seven, Tan says he coveted the grandly-weathered aesthetic of the stately homes inherited by white families with old names and older money.
  • "I can't believe that we get to infuse some of the England that I dreamt of so, so much as a kid, in our home," he said.

Zoom in: As a British American immigrant born to Pakistani-British immigrant parents, Tan incorporates Asian design elements into the kitchen. "South Asians center their whole world around the kitchen; that's where families are really made," he says.

  • But he also recalls being teased as a child for smelling like his mother's cooking and says he doesn't want his kids to be singled out.
  • That inspires a separate "spice kitchen," where he can cook with a closed door. "That's gold for me," he says. "Any brown person will understand that completely."

What they're saying: "There was so much that we were stressed about: Is it going to just look like a silly modern home that we've tried to make look old?" Tan says upon seeing the finished exterior.

  • "This looks like we ripped this out of England [and] plunked it here. It really does look like it's always been here. … We have managed to create what feels like an old English estate in the heart of Salt Lake City."

Erin's thought bubble: The whole immersive side of the project — replicating an older English style, specifically — is something I relate to.

  • I live in a (much smaller) Tudor revival and, like the Frances, have loved finding ways to recreate a cottage garden with drought-tolerant landscaping.
  • I loved it so much that I built my own Tudor-y witch house! So Tan and Rob, if you're ever up for some potions, I'd love to pick your brains.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Salt Lake City.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Salt Lake City stories

No stories could be found

Salt Lake Citypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Salt Lake City.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more