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Editor's Letter: Small is the New Big

Photo by David Duncan Livingston

As we planned the March/April 2016 issue of Mountain Living magazine, we decided to think small: exploring living spaces that pack a lot of function and style into tiny footprints; viewing streetscapes of tiny Western towns through a photographer's lens; and discovering small businesses, from Bozeman’s Feast Bistro, freshly redesigned by Abby Hetherington, to convention-defying fiber artist Rachel Denny, who lives and sews on a small farm in the foothills of the Cascades.

From Feast: A New Stylish Bistro in Montana; Photo by Audrey Hall

From A Guest Cabin Filled with Rustic Comforts; Photo by James Ray Spahn

We also recalled the way we lived not so long ago, when our own worlds were smaller, less technologically connected places. World-renowned trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort perfectly described our current predicament recently: “Our fingers are getting nervous,” she said. “They type and swipe along cold hard surfaces all day and long for something tactile and textural to touch.”

With that cautionary note in mind, we’ve filled the following pages with rich textures, from the weathered walls of a Crested Butte cabin and a stone cliff-dwelling-inspired cottage in Durango, to a cozy chalet at California’s Sugar Bowl ski resort piled high with nubby knits and plush furs.

From a Guesthouse Mistaken for an Anasazi Ruin; Photo by Christopher Marona​

From A Whimsical Mixed-Media Structure

For good measure, we added yaks wearing hand-skit sweaters, rustic little treehouses, and dramatic home accessories inspired by some of Mother Nature's most alluring raw materials.

From A Bedroom Among the Trees; Photo by Adam Crowley

From Finishing Touches: Home Accents with Texture; Photo by Martin Crabb, Produced by Loneta Showell

I’m always happily surprised by the big design ideas that come from thinking small. I hope you will be too.

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