A Curated Cabin in Bozeman
This Montana guesthouse provides unexpected moments through one-of-a-kind furnishings
Photography by Audrey Hall
Brad and Stacey Beckworth are Texans, but they knew Montana would play a part in their lives. “Brad has always loved the outdoors,” Stacey says. “After reading the description of Montana in Lonesome Dove, Brad dreamed of one day visiting the Yellowstone River. On his first trip to Bozeman 14 years ago to fly-fish with his father, he called and asked if I wanted to buy a house there. I told him I had never been to the state and might like to visit myself before I answered!”
Following her visit, it was a done deal. “Once you see Montana, it’s really love at first sight,” Stacey says. “It’s the perfect place to teach your children about the important things in life, like family and nature.”
In Bozeman, the Beckworths searched for the perfect piece of property—for 14 years. The one they found reaches from the valley floor, with live water, aspens and meadows, to forested foothills with big views. “This ranch feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but you’re just a few miles from town,” Stacey says.
A rugged but refined fireplace with open shelving of reclaimed wood is contrasted against contemporary furniture, including a blue chair from Kelly Wearstler.
The Beckworths chose Joe Roodell of Miller-Roodell Architects to design the ranch’s main house, barn and guest cabin. Both Brad and Stacey had extensive experience in home building, and they’d learned much from Brad’s mother, an interior designer. Their concept was to build a cabin the family could live in while a barn and the main house underwent construction up the ridge. They envisioned a modern-leaning home for the primary residence, but something very different for the guest cabin. Not only would it be of the region, modestly scaled and historically appropriate, it would be textured, layered and personal.
The structure was designed to tuck against the foothills among existing aspens.
Roodell created a symmetrical cross-axis design for the cabin featuring a low structure snugged up near the treed slope behind it and open to the view. A timbered, gabled extension off the back forms a carport, while the front extension encompasses a covered patio overlooking a pond. The materials for the guesthouse are simple: wood siding, metal roof, stone base veneer and fireplace. “It’s more refined than a traditional rustic home; each stone was worked to develop a tighter joint pattern and a masonry layup overall,” says Roodell. “The matte finish and classic roofline allow it to blend into the landscape.”
The 1,200-square-foot interior is serene, with reclaimed wood on the walls, ceilings and cabinets, metal countertops and a concrete floor. Designer Abby Hetherington says, “The builder, Cass Bolton, handpicked all the gray for the interior; the exterior is multicolored and warmer, then the inside is all one tone. It’s very pretty.”
Carefully curated furnishings elevate this two-bedroom cabin from guesthouse to home. Details include Urban Electric pendants, Robert Ogden sconces, Rocky Mountain Cabinet hardware, Ann Sacks tile backsplash and a custom hood by Bolton Construction.
Graphic tile from Sabine Hill and an arrowhead lighting fixture enliven a bathroom.
The furnishings represent a curated collection, with unexpected moments in fabrics, art, furniture, lighting and tile. One bathroom has Aztec-leaning floor tiles; the other has a concrete trough sink. Throughout the cabin, one-of-a-kind items abound.
The homeowner wanted the cabin to feel collected. Collectible art includes Andy Warhol’s buffalo nickel.
An orange Saba Italia chair pops against subdued tones. Antler pendants from Fish’s Antler Art provide an organic touch in a bathroom dominated by a custom-designed concrete trough sink with movable wood shelf.
“What we do is, we collect,” says Hetherington. “As soon as we hear what a new client wants we start on the hunt for things to make it feel special.”
In her clients Hetherington got lucky. Stacey is an avid treasure sleuth. She tracked down Yellowstone Park memorabilia, selected the rugs at the Round Top Antiques Fair and, with Hetherington, repurposed found objects. “It’s my favorite thing to do,” Stacey admits. “I collect at fairs and antiques shops in Bozeman and Texas. I spent days with Abby just working on lighting and concepts.”
In the living room, a shearling chair and oversized lighting pendant refuse to compete with the view. Sofa by Verellen; table lamp, Ralph Lauren; floor lamp, Robert Ogden. Outside, a timbered, gabled extension creates a covered patio.
The collaboration resulted in a structure that’s small in scale but able to accommodate a crowd. Despite some modern touches, it feels rooted in place—and of its place. “I wanted the cabin to feel collected,” says Stacey, “and I wanted people to feel kind of nostalgic when they were there. I wanted them to feel at home.”
Each bedroom has a cozy window seat, Warhol art and a luxurious bed with a view.
GUEST CABINS WITH SOUL
Guest cabins present a challenge and an opportunity. A cabin can be a “mini me” of the main house—an encapsulation of its material palette and tenets—or can offer a chance to celebrate the romance of place in a way that might be too much for everyday living. The challenge remains how to infuse it with character, personality and sense of place.
Designer Abby Hetherington suggests treating the guest cabin as an entity of its own, rather than a reductive interpretation of the main house or a repository for leftover art and furniture. Giving it soul does not have to be budget breaking, she adds.
CONCEIVE OF A THEME or a back story for the cabin, then assemble its elements accordingly. Hetherington takes her cues from the clients’ lives, then she and her clients source
items that illustrate that story. INCORPORATE LOCALIZED HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS, They give a sense of history and legacy, even to new buildings. IT'S ALL ABOUT DURABILITY when choosing furnishings. A guesthouse needs to be elegant and comfortable, but also highly practical. GUESTHOUSES SHOULD BE FUN, “We’re not hiding skis or board games. There are candy dishes and games half played. There’s a nod to playfulness in all these spaces,” Hetherington says.