A Fresh and Contemporary Montana Chalet

“My motto is ‘Go big or go home,’” says interior designer Tracey Byrne, whose bold style has plenty of room to shine in her family’s ski-in/ski-out home at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana.

The 7,300-square-foot, six-bedroom home is large by anyone’s standards, but Byrne’s goal was to make the expansive space feel cozy and inviting. “Because we spend a lot of time here in the winter, I chose furnishings that are soft, comfortable and textural,” the designer and founder of Beverly, Massachusetts-based design firm the Waldyn Group explains. “My style tends toward neutral colors like grays, whites, creams and browns, and the natural, organic palette helps the interiors blend with the landscape outside.”

Byrne’s husband Sam is the co-founder and managing partner of CrossHarbor Capital Partners, the principal owner of the Yellowstone Club. So when the development’s new Hillside enclave debuted, the Byrnes were in the fortunate position to be able to choose one of the first building sites right on the ski slope. Next, they turned to principal architect Jerry Locati and project manager Andy Daigle of Bozeman-based Locati Architects to create their new family retreat.

“Sam and I had worked together on other projects, so the design process was very collaborative,” recalls Locati, who has designed many homes at the Yellowstone Club. “We all agreed that we wanted this home to have the warmth and feel of Montana but with a very modern and sophisticated design.”

The three-level structure has high ceilings, a central stairway and abundant windows that flood the home with natural light. An open kitchen, living and dining space, an adjacent outdoor living area that can be enjoyed year-round, and a bunkroom and separate family room provide plenty of private and public spaces for the family of five.

Tracey specified a mix of rustic and modern materials for the interiors, including reclaimed snow fencing, weathered to a light shade of gray, which covers many of the home’s walls and ceilings. “The old wood gives the feeling of authentic Montana, but it’s also clean and contemporary,” she explains. A crackling fire warms a hearth clad in a handsome stone veneer in shades of gray and black, and subtly patterned white oak floors run throughout the main living area, in a design similar to a vintage French floor panel Byrne found at a Paris flea market.

Oversized sofas covered with sumptuous pillows invite relaxation after a long day on the slopes, and the dramatic large-scale chandeliers hanging overhead are Byrne trademarks. “I love generously proportioned fixtures, and I think my favorite one is the Wish Designs branch chandelier in the living room,” she says. “Its form is very traditional—like a classic French chandelier—but it’s handmade from messy-looking twigs.”

Bold matte-black cabinetry dominates the hardworking kitchen. “I like to have a big working space to cook, and since we had the room we put in two islands topped with honed gray marble,” says Byrne, a former professional baker. “I know people warn against marble counters because the stone shows stains, but I like the stains. They’re authentic—and the fact is that when we cook, sometimes we spill things.”

The kitchen nook, which faces the ski slope, is one of the designer’s favorite spaces. “It has a raised banquette that’s extra deep so we can squeeze in dogs, kids and lots of pillows,” she explains. “I love to curl up there with a cup of coffee and watch my three sons ski.” This designer, it seems, has figured out how to go big and go home—all in the same beautiful place.

A large painting by Swiss artist Marta Oppikofer hangs between two Zentique wingback chairs, with a gnarled burl wood table adding a rustic touch.


Overlooking the ski slopes, the kitchen nook—featuring a custom leather-upholstered banquette by Green Seam Designs—is one of Byrne’s favorite spaces. The landscape artwork is an interactive sand picture by Klaus Bösch.


For the kitchen, Byrne specified custom black matte cabinetry and two islands, which she illuminated with a quartet of Zurich Lanterns by Vaughan Designs.


White antler wall mounts and a geometric mirror elevate a simple sideboard


In the dining/living area, a twig chandelier by Wish Designs USA is flanked by two airy Crystal Galaxy chandeliers from Edge Lighting.


Byrne employed plenty of soft, textural furnishings, like the pair of fleecy poufs in a sitting area that opens to the patio.


A fireplace makes for cozy gatherings around the outdoor living area’s weatherproof Raw Concrete dining table by Teak Warehouse.


In the master suite, Byrne paired the gleaming Landon Metal Poster Bed from Bernhardt Interiors with a soft fluffy rug from the Sheepskin Factory. The walls and ceiling are covered in weathered reclaimed snow fencing; the horizontal fireplace stonework and mantel create visual balance in the tall space.


A vintage painting creates a focal point above the master bathroom’s soaking tub, and soft gray honed marble counters provide contrast with black custom cabinetry.


“When the interplay between furnishings, lighting and finishes is just right, people feel more relaxed and comfortable,” says interior designer Tracey Byrne, who shares these tips for achieving design alchemy in large rooms.

LOFTY LIGHTS:    “Too-small fixtures are a common mistake. Tall ceilings call for large-volume lighting that complements the scale of the room.”

SUPER-SIZED SOFAS:    Byrne likes deep couches to accommodate people of all sizes, and lots of soft pillows and throws to invite lingering and conversation.

ARTFUL ANGLES:    “Horizontal elements in tall, vertical spaces add visual balance.” Byrne specified horizontal styling in details like her home’s reclaimed wood walls, windows, narrow rock masonry and the living room fireplace’s screen.

SUBSTANTIAL ARTWORK:   “Larger pieces help ground large wall expanses and make a bold statement.”

DESIGN DOUBLES:   “I like pairs of things,” says Byrne, who flanked the master bedroom’s fireplace with two large handled baskets and arranged a duo of lambskin-topped stools in the sitting area. 


ARCHITECTURE Jerry Locati, Locati Architects Bozeman, MT 406-587-1139  INTERIOR DESIGN Tracey E. Byrne, The Waldyn Group LLC, Beverly, MA  978-704-9797  CONSTRUCTION Schlauch Bottcher Construction Bozeman, MT 406-585-0735  CUSTOM UPHOLSTERED KITCHEN BANQUET Thomas Limanek, Green Seam Design LLC, Bozeman, MT 802-363-4488  ARTWORK  REC ROOM: Horse Painting, "Coming Through the Slaughter," Artist: Melora Walters, United States, Gallery: Saatchi Art, Santa Monica, CA 424-256-9102  |  Painting of Sheep, "Freedom," Artist: Adam Sakovy, Slovakia, Gallery: Saatchi Art  KITCHEN Landscape Painting, "Moving Sand Landscape," Arist: KB Sandman, Gallery: The Waldyn Group, Beverly, MA  617-818-0366  FURNISHINGS/ACCESSORIES LIVING ROOM Chandelier, WISH Designs USA, New Castle, PA 724-598-7793  Esquire Bellevue’s 12’ Sofas: Manufacturer: Van Thiel & Co., Vendor: Four Hands, Austin, TX 512-371-7575  REC ROOM Pool Table Pendant: CP Lighting, Philadelphia, PA 414-332-2069  MASTER SUITE Landon Metal Poster Bed: Manufactuer: Bernhardt Interiors, Vendor: Good's Home Furnishings, Charlotte, NC 828-855-3220  KITCHEN Distressed Leather "Monte Cassino:" Spinneybeck/FitzFelt, Getzville, NY 800-482-7777  Zurich Lanterns, Kitchen Island Pendants: Manufacturer: Vaughan Designs, Vendor: Webster & Company, Boston, MA 617-261-9660  Crystal Galaxy Chandelier, Dining Table Chandeliers: Manufacturer: Edge Lighting, Vendor:  Lightology, Chicago, IL 866-954-4489  Monaco Raw Concrete Table, Exterior Dining Table on Deck: Vendor: Teak Warehouse, Redondo Beach, CA 800-343-7707   Traditional Design Series Cabinet Cup/Bin Pulls, Kitchen Cabinet Hardware: Manufacturer: Schaub and Company, Vendor: Spokane Hardware, Spokane, WA 800-888-1663


Categories: Contemporary Homes