Slope-Side Living in Montana
A family home in Yellowstone Club captures the essence of mountain living
Photography by Whitney Kamman
When the Nortons, a family of avid skiers, envisioned a high-up-on-the-mountain, ski-in, ski-out second home, stop-in-your-tracks views were paramount. So after discovering a four-acre site at Montana’s Yellowstone Club that captured both close and distant vistas—Spanish Peaks, Pioneer Mountain and, especially, the iconic Lone Peak—they agreed it was the place for them.
Stone counters in the kitchen were weathered for a softer look.
“Standing at my kitchen counter, drinking my first cup of coffee and marveling at the mountains…it is the most amazing feeling,” says homeowner Pamela Norton of the home her family has playfully dubbed “Mountain Peek.”
“We lifted the monoslope roofline and created open, cascading window walls to take advantage of view corridors and connections to the exterior,” says Jamie Daugaard, principal of Big Sky-based Centre Sky Architecture.
The great room is all about the views. Interior designer Ashley Sanford of Clean Line Consulting calls the home’s décor “organic modern.” Co-owner (and sister) Kelley Lovell says it was important to use harmonious natural materials. Joseph Jeup sofas; Restoration Hardware chandelier.
—Homeowner Pamela Norton
The John Pomp chandelier in the dining room casts a beautiful light.
In addition to maximizing mountain views, the Nortons envisioned single-level living. “Everything on one floor…so, as we age, we can still enjoy our home,” says Pamela. Centre Sky Architecture designed the 7,850-square-foot home with a barrier-free, open-concept main floor. Guest rooms, a game room and ski locker are on the other levels, connected by a centrally located architectural steel-and-steel-mesh elevator core.
Big Sky Build, a contractor in Montana for 22 years, was tasked to make the architects’ drawings a reality. “A lot of sophisticated engineering goes into building a home up here,” says Big Sky Build’s owner, John Seelye. “Snow loads, winds and the area’s seismic activity…all need to be considered.”
Building materials—stone, glass, structural steel, new and reclaimed wood—were locally sourced whenever possible. The stone is a mix of blue/gray-hued Chief Cliff stone and brown-hued fieldstone. “The exterior wood was given a multi-stain application to give it depth with color highlights,” says Daugaard. Exposed steel beams were burnished to create a subtle patina.
The lower level is a hangout where everyone can relax after a day of skiing.
Interiors are equal parts relaxed and sleek, contemporary but without sharp edges. “We call it organic modern,” says Ashley Stanford, co-owner of Clean Line Consulting, a Bozeman-based interior design firm. Working with the homeowners, the design firm chose natural materials: Organic patterns and earth tones happily mingle, and each element makes a statement without competing with exterior views. “In any room, one or two things should catch your eye…the rest must take a supporting role,” says co-owner Kelly Lovell, who’s also Stanford’s sister.
When it is snowing, the master bedroom Is cozy and serene; a mohair rug feels soft and warm underfoot.
“The master bathroom is calm, beautiful and does not require a ton of care,” says Clean Line Consulting’s Ashley Sanford.
The homeowners enjoy casual entertaining—family, friends, children, pets—so the interiors had to be forgiving. “They love to have people over and to make them feel comfortable,” says Stanford. “It was our job to make sure that everything is really beautiful but nothing is too precious…and nothing needs to be tiptoed around.”
“Mountain Peek” was Pamela and Bob Norton’s first experience in building a home from the ground up. The result captures the essence of mountain living in which every room is used and loved—for its comfort and its views. “We had a terrific team who asked the right questions and really listened to our answers,” they say. And, according to Pamela, there’s an added bonus to living so high on the mountain. “Frequently elk will tromp right past our windows … almost close enough to touch,” she says.
The welcoming entrance of the slope-side home.
Cascading glass walls open the stone-and-wood home to views of the Spanish Peaks, Pioneer Mountain and the iconic Lone Peak. The monoslope roofline is inspired by the topography.
Ashley Sanford and Kelly Lovell of Clean Line Consulting offer these tips to make your mountain home cozy in winter.
CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS to get the best views of that pure and gorgeous winter light. ADD DIMMERS to over-head lighting and lamps to make your spaces cozy on early winter evenings. PUT AWAY SUMMER OUTDOOR GEAR to make room for winter activities and all the accompanying accoutrements. Time to say goodbye to fishing rods and hiking boots … hello to warm parkas and snow boots. CHANGE OUT YOUR floral candles and diffusers for more earthy, woodsy scents. ADD IN SOME COZY CHENILLE BLANKETS, for their lovely softness and weight; bonus cozy points if they’re plaid. DISPLAY A FEW CLASSIC BOARD GAMES to encourage bonding time around a fire. The beautiful wooden ones can be an eye-catching addition to your décor.