The Butterfield Residence was built on June 9, 2000, the fourth house constructed in Wildernest Lane, the gated community of Wood Duck Island. The mandate of this neighborhood has never been to dominate nature, rather to blend in and enhance it. The area that Wildernest Lane now occupies was traditionally a Heron mating ground, extending back countless decades through Boise history. Typifying the cooperation found between man and nature in this neighborhood, construction on the Butterfield home actually halted for the duration of March, April, and May, to allow the Herons a quiet, peaceful mating season. The man-made pond, which has become the centerpiece of Wildernest Lane in the 20 years after its creation, is also managed by Idaho Fish & Game. Stocked with sturgeon, bass, grass carp, and bluegill, this pond provides a private, complete fishing experience, present nowhere else in any Boise backyard. Only two houses share this aspect; the Butterfield residence is one of them. Also, in a neighborhood that values a connection with nature, this house treasures it. Featuring windows that stretch from ceiling to floor, seamed windows that wrap around corners, the inhabitants’ eyes are constantly drawn outwards, to the beautiful majesty of the backyard.
An open patio design also encourages one to step outside. Three skylights provide a view of the heavens, yet the considerable overhang, combined with the fireplace, heaters, fans, and tiki lamps, prevent cold, heat, and mosquitoes from intruding. While one can view the deer, mallards, foxes, or the infamous herons from the Butterfield patio, one can also watch Sports Center from the same chair. Objectively looking at the house, it’s difficult at first to determine its overarching style. A Mediterranean influence is immediately apparent, due partially to design and helped considerably by the Butterfields’ personal tastes for decoration. When one has thoroughly examined the house, and viewed its low, broad proportions, overhanging eaves, and front porch, it clearly has elements of the Craftsman style. However, a main tenet of the Craftsman style is a lack of decoration, an austerity which allows the building to blend into the environment; the Butterfield home, on the other hand, clearly has decoration, decoration which removes the house from being strictly Craftsman, and moving it close to the Spanish Eclectic style. White stucco walls, tiled roofs, and rounded doorways are all present, and all clearly part of the Spanish Eclectic style.
Also lending to the overall Mediterranean vibe of the house, is an authentic, low-ceilinged, stone wine cellar. A low, sun-bleached wall, encircling the Butterfield flower garden, also stirs strong images of the Mediterranean.