2011 Home of the Year

Photographer: 
Gibeon Photography
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ARCHITECTURE BY KMA, INC.

CONSTRUCTION BY HIGHLINE PARTNERS

INTERIOR DESIGN BY WORTH INTERIORS

 

If you passed by this home in Big Sky, Montana’s Yellowstone Club, you’d admire its low-slung, ranch-inspired exterior. The dwelling is earthy, textured and thoroughly Western—fitting for its location on a 160-acre site that looks out to the Spanish Peaks.

If you were lucky enough to go inside, you’d be in for a surprise. Instead of adopting the style of a typical mountain lodge, the home’s interiors are a smart, airy mix of rustic and contemporary elements, carefully orchestrated to achieve one goal: spaces that feel intimate for the owners’ family but welcoming when 50 friends show up for a party. “The owners wanted something a little different than what everybody else has,” says Todd Thesing of Montana-based Highline Partners, the project’s contractor. “So we all got to enjoy a lot more creative liberty than we usually have.”

Architect Kirk Michels of Montana-based KMA, Inc., created the design for the home’s exterior. Then interior designer Lisa Kanning of Colorado-based Worth Interiors, Thesing and partner Rob McRae dreamed up the interior spaces—with help from homeowners Richard and Barbara Barnhart.

Working simultaneously, Kanning and the team from Highline Partners were able to shape each other’s ideas—a collaboration that yielded brilliant results. “The furnishings and finishes definitely influenced the built structure,” Thesing says. Instead of building first and designing second, “we thought about the whole project at once.”

Part of the team’s synergy was necessary: Kanning designed many of the home’s furnishings, light fixtures and even architectural details, then turned her drawings over to her favorite fabricators and to Highline’s team, who either built them in-house or found local craftspeople to create them. The orbs of the kitchen’s pendant lights were blown by a local glassmaker; a Bozeman-based custom fabricator built the glass-and-steel doors outside the den and the master bath. “There’s incredible value in custom pieces,” Kanning says. “You don’t have to settle for something that’s not quite right.”

 

 

That goes for space planning, too. Kanning and the Barnharts decided against a formal dining room—too stuffy for laid-back living—in favor of a lounge area. Instead of a conventional dining table, the room holds hollow concrete tables and a built-in banquette under large windows for cocktail hour. Square iron tables welcome groups of four for a casual dinner; when it’s time for a more formal sit-down affair, the tables can be rearranged to seat 14. To create bar storage, Kanning cut into the log walls and slid in glass shelves on stainless-steel pegs. The cut-out space is lined with leather in a playful chartreuse hue. “I threw it in for fun,” she says.

The home is a textural marvel. In every room, layers of materials give the spaces nuance: Rough-hewn timbers stand beside smooth plaster walls. Iron benches in the entry are covered in leather and sit against walls covered in cowhide panels. In one of the bedrooms, the bed rests atop a custom-made platform of reclaimed wood with a wood-and-iron headboard. Topped with pillows in a range of fabrics, the bed is perhaps the ultimate combination of textural opposites.

This materials palette could have felt disjointed, but instead it gives the design depth. “When you walk through the house, there are vignettes that tie together because of materials and themes,” Thesing says. “There’s enough surprise to keep you interested, but nothing feels random.” Kanning struck the perfect balance between hints of Western style—leather trim on lampshades or a faux-fur throw on a bed—and clean-lined furnishings that give the home its modern kick.

And then there’s the color factor. “When we first started talking about a color palette, we were on-site and it was summer,” Kanning says. “I looked around and knew we’d pull the colors from nature but funk ’em up a little, let them play.” She began with a relatively neutral palette. The reclaimed wood beams on the ceiling and walls were refined with a wire wheel, a process that cleans the old wood, bringing out its color and character. For the floors, the team chose wide-plank oak that arrived whitewashed; the builders sanded the planks and then applied a black wash to achieve the soft, weathered look they wanted.

Then Kanning introduced a few bold colors. She designed an eye-catching red leather-wrapped console that floats on a wall in the den and is visible from the kitchen and living room. In the breakfast area off the kitchen, she chose Harley armchairs from John Saladino Furniture in New York and covered them in mustard-yellow suede from Moore & Giles. The accompanying dining sofa from K&F European Upholstery nods to the home’s site with a leaf-inspired fabric from Donghia, paired with leather also from Moore & Giles. “My designs are much more about texture than color, but there’s a reason for that: You want a lot of texture in a home; with color, you can throw in a few accents and they’ll go a long way,” Kanning says.

The home’s not-so-hidden secret is the balance—between surprise and tranquility, rustic and modern, texture and color. “If I had to use one word, I’d say it’s accessible,” Kanning says. “There’s so much detail, but nothing is in your face. It takes time to notice the materials and the layers. The home really reveals itself over time.”

 

 

Create the Custom Pieces of Your Dreams
With a little imagination and the right design team, you can have the furnishings and fixtures you want.

Start a design file. Every time you see a picture that appeals to you in a magazine or catalogue, tuck it away in your file. When it comes time to build, remodel or redecorate, pull out your file and decide which pictures you still love. Toss the rest.

Pay attention to function, not form. “If you like how a piece functions, but it’s not the right material or look, remember that anything can be reinterpreted for your lifestyle or your needs,” Kanning says.

Don’t assume that “custom” means “pricey.” You can often save money by hiring someone to create a furnishing or light fixture for you. (Kanning says that was often the case for this project.)

Ask your designer about her cadre of craftspeople. What types of custom pieces has she designed, and who has she worked with to execute them? Show her your ideas, and ask for hers, too.

 

 

 

 

INTERIOR DESIGN Lisa Kanning, Worth Interiors, Denver, CO, 303-974-7182, worthinteriors.com ARCHITECTURE Kirk Michels, K.M.A., Inc., Livingston, MT, 406-222-8611 BUILDER/CONTRACTOR Todd Thesing and Rob McRae, Highline Partners, Big Sky, MT, 406-600-6361, highline-partners.com ARTWORK “I look to you and see nothing” by Francis Gregory Di Fronzo, Somerville-Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE, somervillemanning.com PLASTER JM Drywall, Bozeman, MT, 970-376-2395 ENTRY STAIRWELL CHANDELIER, IRON STAIR RAIL & ENTRY CHANDELIER Custom II Manufacturing, Bozeman, MT, 406-586-6809 FAUX LEATHER CEILING TREATMENT Wholeart LLC, Bozeman, MT, 406-539-6122, whole-art.com COWHIDE FOR UPHOLSTERED PANELS USA Rags, Los Angeles, CA, 323-346-0690, usarags.com UPHOLSTERY FOR PANELS Salzburg Designs, Bozeman, MT, 406-586-6809 IRON BENCHES Highline Partners, Big Sky, MT, 406-600-6361, highline-partners.com; upholstered in leather from Moore & Giles, available at Erica Marshall, Denver, CO, 678-984-8541, mooreandgiles.com CHEST Hickory Chair, available at Hoff Miller, Denver, CO, 303-698-0800, hoffmiller.com MIRROR Mecox Gardens, Palm Beach, FL, 561-805-9362, mecoxgardens.com WOOD FLOORING Mafi USA, Avon, CO, 970-748-0438, mafiwideplankfloors.com DINING AREA ARM CHAIRS Harley Upholstered Arm Chairs by John Saladino Furniture, available through Saladino Group, New York, NY, 212-684-3753, saladinostyle.com; upholstered in suede from Moore & Giles, available at Erica Marshall, Denver, CO, 678-984-8541, mooreandgiles.com DINING SOFA K&F European Upholstery, Vero Beach, FL, 772-778-5257, getupholstery.com; leather from Moore & Giles, available at Erica Marshall, Denver, CO, 678-984-8541, mooreandgiles.com; fabric by Donghia, available at John Brooks Inc., Denver, CO 303-698-9977, johnbrooksinc.com LIVE EDGE DINING TABLE RL Dorn, Denver, CO, 303-322-2784, rldorn.com AREA RUG Calvin Klein, New York, NY, 212-292-9000, calvinkleininc.com/home BOND IRON & LEATHER SHELVING New Room, available at Profiles NY, New York, NY, 212-689-6903, profilesny.com; leather by Cortina, available at Phoebe Marsh, Denver, CO, 303-282-8600, phoebemarsh.com ETERNITY CHANDELIERS (In living room) Paul Ferrante, available at John Brooks Inc., Denver, CO 303-698-9977, johnbrooksinc.com CUSTOM IRON & GLASS DOORS Kodiak Custom Fabrication, Bozeman, MT, 406-580-0011, kodiakcustomfab.com CUSTOM LEATHER TV UNIT USA Rags, Los Angeles, CA, 323-346-0690, usarags.com; leather from Moore & Giles, available at Erica Marshall, Denver, CO, 678-984-8541, mooreandgiles.com BIRCH BARK WALLCOVERING Montana Reclaimed Lumber, Gallatin Gateway, MT, 406-763-9102, mtreclaimed.com DEN CUSTOM SOFA FranDon Upholstery, Clementon, NJ, 856-784-9760; fabric on body by Henry Calvin, available at John Brooks Inc., Denver, CO 303-698-9977, johnbrooksinc.com; fabric on seat by Maharam, New York, NY, 212-319-4789, maharam.com; leather cording by Global Trims, available at Windows of the World, Dania Beach, FL, 954-921-8557, windowsoftheworld.com LEATHER FRINGE ON PILLOW Global Trims, available at Windows of the World, Dania Beach, FL, 954-921-8557, windowsoftheworld.com CUSTOM COCKTAIL TABLE RL Dorn, Denver, CO, 303-322-2784, rldorn.com CUSTOM SWIVEL CLUB CHAIRS USA Rags, Los Angeles, CA, 323-346-0690, usarags.com; sheepskin from Garrett Leather, available at Chuck Wells, Denver, CO, 303-744-8584, chuckwells.com FLOOR LAMPS Visual Comfort, Dallas, TX, 713-686-5999, visualcomfort.com AREA RUG Calvin Klein, New York, NY, 212-292-9000, calvinkleininc.com/home RECLAIMED TIMBER Montana Reclaimed Lumber, Gallatin Gateway, MT, 406-763-9102, mtreclaimed.com MASTER BEDROOM CHANDELIER Lumiere by Jean de Merry, available at John Brooks, Inc., Denver, CO, 303-698-9977, johnbrooksinc.com CUSTOM RECLAIMED TIMBER PLATFORM BED Highline Partners, Big Sky, MT, 406-600-6361, highline-partners.com LAMPS ON BED PLATFORM Ralph Lauren Lighting, available at Visual Comfort, Dallas, TX, 713-686-5999, visualcomfort.com FAUX FUR BED UPHOLSTERY Kast Fabrics, Pasadena, TX, 800-733-5278, kastfabrics.com COVERLET ON BED, SMALL & LARGE/WHITE ALPACA PILLOWS, & ALPACA THROW  Rosemary Hallgarten, available at TOWN STUDIO, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com LONG FUR PILLOW Kravet, Denver, CO, 303-733-1891, kravet.com CUSTOM TWIG NIGHTSTANDS Highline Partners, Big Sky, MT, 406-600-6361, highline-partners.com TRAYS ON NIGHTSTANDS Desiron, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com SMALL PILLOW FABRIC Andrew Martin, New York, NY, 212-688-4498, andrewmartin.co.uk FAUX FUR PILLOW Stark Fabrics, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com FAUX SNAKESKIN PILLOW FABRIC Kravet, Denver, CO, 303-733-1891, kravet.com CUSTOM CHAISE K&F European Upholstery, Vero Beach, FL, 772-778-5257, getupholstery.com; fabric by Osborne & Little, available at Shanahan Collection, Denver, CO, 303-778-7088, shanahancollection.com FAUX FUR ON PILLOW & CHAISE Kravet, Denver, CO, 303-733-1891, kravet.com WALLCOVERING Cole & Son, available at Lee Jofa, Denver, CO, 303-733-1891, leejofa.com FIREPLACE North Star Masonry, Bozeman, MT, 406-932-6566 FIREPLACE DOORS Raven Forge, Bozeman, MT, 406-586-0310 TABLE LAMPS Lesley Anton, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com; feather trim by Nobilis, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver, CO, 303-744-7475, nobilis.fr BUILT-IN BOOKCASE & WINDOW SEAT Highline Partners, Big Sky, MT, 406-600-6361, highline-partners.com; window seat cushion by Salzburg Designs, Bozeman, MT, 406-587-4497; seat and throw pillow fabric by Calvin Fabrics, available at John Brooks, Inc., Denver, CO, 303-698-9977, calvinfabrics.com LEATHER TOP OF BUILT-IN BOOKCASE Salzburg Designs, Bozeman, MT, 406-587-4497 LEATHER STOOL K&F European Upholstery, Vero Beach, FL, 772-778-5257, getupholstery.com; leather from Cortina Leather, available at Phoebe Marsh, Denver, CO, 303-282-8600, phoebemarsh.com ANTLER CHAIR The Antler Man Frank Long, Bozeman, MT, 406-587-5255 HIDE RUG USA Rags, Los Angeles, CA, 323-346-0698, usarags.com CARPET Floor Coverings by CPA, Denver, CO, 303-722-4700, cpacarpets.com RECLAIMED JOISTS Montana Reclaimed Lumber, Gallatin Gateway, MT, 406-763-9102, mtreclaimed.com MASTER BATHROOM STONE TILE ON FLOOR Paris Ceramics, Palm Beach, FL, 561-835-8875, parisceramics.com INSET MOSAICS ON FLOOR Waterworks, Denver, CO, 303-394-2940, waterworks.com STONE TILE ON WALL Stone Source, New York, NY, 866-271-8722, stonesource.com CUSTOM SOAK TUB Stone Forest, Santa Fe, NM, 505-986-8883, stoneforest.com TUB FILL Water Décor, Chino, CA, 626-568-0900, waterdecor.com CUSTOM IRON & GLASS DOORS Kodiak Custom Fabrication, Bozeman, MT, 406-580-0011, kodiakcustomfab.com LOUNGE/EATING NOOK CUSTOM IRON TABLES Custom II Manufacturing, Bozeman, MT, 406-586-6809 WOVEN LEATHER ARM CHAIRS PT Evata Eastern, Sidoarjo, Indonesia, 62-31-788-1316, evatafurniture.com; fabric on seat cushions by Jim Thompson, available at Egg & Dart, Denver, CO, 303-744-1676, egg-and-dart.com; leather piping by Samuel & Sons, available at Kneedler-Fauchere, Denver, CO, 303-744-7474, samuelandsons.com BUILT-IN BANQUETTE Fabric on back by Maharam, New York, NY, 212-319-4789, maharam.com; leather on seat from Moore & Giles, available at Erica Marshall, Denver, CO 678-984-8541, mooreandgiles.com CUSTOM TWIG END TABLES Bark Canoe Store, Spokane, WA, 509-327-7902, barkcanoe.com CERAMIC TABLE LAMP Lesley Anton, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com LEATHER ON BAR INSET Holly Hunt, available at Kneelder-Fauchere, Denver, CO, 303-744-7474, hollyhunt.com DRAPERIES Zimmer + Rohde, available at Shanahan Collection, Denver, CO, 303-778-7088, zimmer-rohde.com; fabric for border by Joseph Noble, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com CHANDELIER Custom newGROWTH Chandelier, CP Lighting, Milwaukee, WI, 414-332-2069, cplighting.com RECLAIMED TIMBER Montana Reclaimed Lumber, Gallatin Gateway, MT, 406-763-9102, mtreclaimed.com SEATING AREA OPPOSITE FIREPLACE CUSTOM COCKTAIL TABLES Taracea, available at RL Dorn, Denver, CO, 303-322-2784, rldorn.com HURRICANES ON TALBES Ralph Lauren Home, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com CUSTOM OTTOMANS K&F European Upholstery, Vero Beach, FL, 772-778-5257, getupholstery.com; leather from Cortina Leather, available at Phoebe Marsh, Denver, CO, 303-282-8600, phoebemarsh.com HALLWAY Reclaimed Aspen trees, Montana Reclaimed Lumber, Gallatin Gateway, MT, 406-763-9102, mtreclaimed.com WOOD FLOORING Mafi USA, Avon, CO, 970-748-0438, mafiwideplankfloors.com LOG WALL IN MEDIA ROOM Highline Partners, Big Sky, MT, 406-600-6361, highline-partners.com CUSTOM SOFA K&F European Upholstery, Vero Beach, FL, 772-778-5257, getupholstery.com; fabric by Joseph Noble, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com CUSTOM OTTOMANS K&F European Upholstery, Vero Beach, FL, 772-778-5257, getupholstery.com; fabric by Zimmer + Rohde, Shanahan Collection, Denver, CO, 303-778-7088, zimmer-rohde.com FABRIC FOR THROW PILLOWS Designtex, New York, NY, 212-838-5668, designtex.com KITCHEN STOOLS Desiron, available at TOWN Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696, townstudio.com; leather from Moore & Giles, available at Erica Marshall, Denver, CO 678-984-8541, mooreandgiles.com COUNTERTOP CaesarStone, available at Montana Tile & Stone, Bozeman, MT, 406-326-2389, montanatile.com CUSTOM GLASSBLOWN PENDANTS Glasshorse Studio, Columbus, MT, 406-326-2389, glasshorsestudio.com ROOT BOWL CAI Designs, Denver, CO, 303-282-8100, caidesigns.net CUSTOM STEEL HOOD Bensley Sheet Metal, Bozeman, MT, 406-539-0511 LEATHER CABINET PULLS Turnstyle Designs, Hutter + Eurobath, Denver, CO, 303-298-8453, huttereurobath.com CABINETRY Wilson Cabinetry, Billings, MT, 406-652-4671, wilsoncabinetry.com STEEL PANELED WALL Bensley Sheet Metal, Bozeman, MT, 406-539-0511

 

 

 

 

 

 

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