The Kull B&B, 2022 Edition
Tucked away along the wild-lands of the White Mountain Apache Reservation border is a beautiful and historic stone cottage, a newly renovated homestead that welcomes the wayward traveler for rest and relaxation and breakfast. The Kull is Pinetop-Lakeside’s newest and only – bed and breakfast and innkeepers Janet and Greg Kull are welcoming guests from all over the country.
From Arizona Route 260 in Pinetop, I followed Woodland Road, turning south by the Chevron Station, drove past both entrances into Woodland Park, continued past the intersection where Woodland Road turns right to Mountain Meadows Park, and drove until the pavement dropped onto a dirt road. A few yards further the road ended and I spotted the drive into The Kull. Surrounded by a white picket fence, rocking chairs on the porch and friendly furry greeters, knew I was in the right place.
Innkeeper, Janet Kull met me at the door and ushered me into her home and into a world of beauty and hospitality. The Kulls have taken a historic cottage and have turned it into a peaceful and magical retreat among the towering Ponderosa oak and aspen forest. They have scoured the local area and have pulled in pieces that reflect their natural surroundings, furniture and paintings from local artists, local historical pieces and have put their incredible and tasteful stamp in every room,
They are originally from Chicago but Greg graduated from the University of Arizona and they both have lived in Arizona for over 20 years. Janet made regular trips to the White Mountains in the past with their four boys (who are men now) but Greg’s first visit was the weekend they discovered the “For Sale” sign for the “old Hansel and Grettel-ish or “Cape Cod-dy cottage” during a scenic drive. It had just gone on the market the day before. “We weren’t looking for anything,” Janet tells me. “You could call it divine intervention.”
The house has an interesting history. It was an original homestead. They obtained a copy of the paperwork showing when it was released, however the original house burnt down. The main house was rebuilt. About 50 years ago, they divided the property and a portion of the homestead acreage is now owned by their neighbor. Petie and Ray Bartram opened the Bartram White Mountain Bed and Breakfast in 1988 in the same location and ran it for 12 years. There were other owners within the 18 years before the Kulls purchased the cottage and the house has been added on to several times. However, for the last 16 months The Kull has been going through some serious renovations.
The previous owner had great woodworking skills and they kept most of the wood trims. He also scored a deal for the hard wood flooring in the living area. It came from a dance hall in South Dakota. “When you come into the room you can almost feel the dancing.” Janet jokes. Right then the lights flickered and I asked her if there were any ghosts and she told me, “If there are, they are good ghosts. We haven’t had any problems.”
They saved the old petrified wood stones from the face of the fireplace, collected over 60 years ago from the surrounding forest. They replaced it with different stones, but are planning on using the original ones on the fire pit in the new outdoor entertainment center. Just about everything that was taken down was sanded, stained or repainted and used again. They wanted to reclaim and repurpose. Many of the items that decorate the interior came from a local picker’s paradise, Lamells located on Lone Pine Dam Road in Show Low.
Both Greg and Janet retextured and repainted every wall, meticulously hunted and pecked for treasures to the point that the cottage is filled with stories and history. For example, the antique green doors used as a backdrop for the coffee nook in the Big Horn Suite came from a Mexican restaurant in Snowflake and Lamell made the hammered tin mirror in the Hummingbird Suite. The one-of-a-kind tall clock standing in “Who Hall” — later named “Hall of Knowledge” — made out of peeled aspen with shelf fungus and an owl painted on the clock face, was created by a local artist – it makes bird sounds! “I love that everything has a story.” Janet states. “Every time we add something it brings more personality.” Although she repurposed just about everything in the house, the mattresses are new and are hotel quality for a great night’s sleep.
The rooms are named after the first animals they saw when they bought the place. There are tons of hummingbirds, so the smallest room is called the Hummingbird Suite. The day they did the inspection, just before closing, wild horses ran through the property so they have the Wild Horses Suite. The Big Horn Suite was named after Big Horn Sheep. Every room has its own bathroom, coffee nook, refrigerator, and an entrance to the hallway and the patio. There are customized soaps Janet tells me and she loves it when their guests use them. “They smell really good when they come to breakfast!”
In the backyard there is a greenhouse and they plan on growing organic vegetables. Nicole Peters of Meadowlark Farms in Pinedale has already done a consultation for the gardens. The building behind the greenhouse is currently under construction and will be a 600-square-foot independent unit with a kitchenette, bed, bath and living area for guests that want to stay awhile. Other plans include a “Glamping’ unit with a tricked-out streamline and an entertainment center including horseshoes, corn hole, barbecue, and fire pit. They’ve already staked out the huge deck connected to the dining room outside the main house for outdoor dining.
When people ask her if it was always her dream to own a bed & breakfast, she tells them no. “In our present business, we are just a small cog in the larger scheme of things. We have worked very hard to be able to own this Inn, but we never see the fruits of our labor. Our work is not insignificant but as we get older we start to wonder what will we leave behind. What will be our footprint? Having people come up, relax and enjoy the area and make memories will have a great impact. Every guest has become part of our story and we have become part of theirs.”
There are things to discover around every corner and Janet loves that they live in such a beautiful area and she can bring the feel of that into the house. They have kept in contact with almost every guest that has stayed there and they have kept in contact with them. It’s not a hotel and it’s not a restaurant. “We give them privacy, but people are truly guests in our home.” Email: Janet@thekull.com
Phone: (928)358-4652 1916 West Woodland Lake Rd.