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Grand Gestures

With its soaring spaces and rustic-modern style, a Montana getaway offers a bold new take on the traditional ski condominium



Roger Wade

Referring to William and Jennifer Frist’s Montana home as a condo is a bit like calling the Hope Diamond a pretty gem.

The 8,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home sits among the Slopeside Condominiums at the Yellowstone Club, a private ski resort outside of Big Sky. Technically a duplex, the retreat is perfect for extended vacations—especially since family members conveniently own the other half of the building.

Though homes at the Yellowstone Club must meet strict exterior design guidelines, owners have plenty of latitude for creative diversity within the walls. So the Frists chose Bozeman architect Jerry Locati—founder of Locati Architects & Interiors—to design a home both for relaxing and for welcoming guests. 

“The Frists have contemporary tastes, so we developed a rustic-modern style for the architecture, interiors and furnishings,” Locati explains. The traditional Western materials palette showcases locally quarried rock, hand-plastered walls and trusses of vintage timber reclaimed from an old warehouse. The main floor features an open-concept kitchen, dining and living area, with a game room, recreation room and bedroom on the lower level and additional bedrooms tucked upstairs. 

Locati Architects & Interiors’ Amanda Heys led the project’s interior design. “We used lighter colors on the walls, cozy fabrics and textures for the furnishings, and clean-lined light fixtures that are modern but still very warm,” she says. 

Matching sofas covered in soft chenille invite lounging near a massive rock hearth in the great room. “Here in the mountains you really want to stretch out on the couch in front of the fire when you return home from a day of skiing,” Heys says. A large-scale overhead light fixture with rectangular linen-silk shades was created by Locati’s lighting designer, Nina Phillips. “The light fills the volume of space overhead, but it’s still soft and contemporary,” Heys notes. 

The adjacent dining area and gourmet kitchen enable easy entertaining. “The kitchen is the heart of the home, but we also wanted it to have a modern feel,” Heys explains. “For example, we used rustic alder for the cabinets but specified a flat-panel style, and we chose a warmer palette of creams, grays and browns for the granite countertops.” 

Large windows frame views of the Madison Mountains, and the home is filled with art and mementos from the couple’s travels. Cozy, welcoming and personal, the Frists’ ski villa is anything but a typical condominium. 

SCALE, ORDER AND PROPORTION
How do the pros create warmth and intimacy in a large-volume space? Locati Architects & Interiors’ designers share a few trade secrets.

ARCHITECTURE  “The home’s interior horizontal trusses visually lower the scale while still allowing you to feel the volume of the space,” explains architect Jerry Locati. “The use of horizontal elements—from the wall trim to the windows to the door jambs—also draws the eye down.”

FURNISHINGS  “We chose traditionally styled furniture because of its larger scale, but selected pieces with cleaner lines for a more modern aesthetic,” Heys notes. “To create a cozy atmosphere in a generously proportioned guest suite, we placed a bed in front of a framed alcove and hung floor-to-ceiling drapes behind it.”

LIGHTING  “Large-scale light fixtures in lighter colors fill overhead spaces without competing with the architecture,” says interior designer Amanda Heys. “The lights in the main living areas are also set on dimmers to bring the scale down as the day ends.”

ARCHITECTURE Locati Architects, Bozeman, MT, 406-585-1139, locatiarchitects.com INTERIOR DESIGN Amanda Heys, Locati Architects & Interiors, Bozeman, MT, 406-585-1139, locatiarchitects.com CONSTRUCTION SBC Construction, Bozeman, MT, 406-585-0735, sbconstruction.com 

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