A Montana Home in Winter White
A vacation home rewrites the mountain design rules with bright white interiors and unexpected bursts of color
High in the American spirit neighborhood of the Yellowstone Club, surrounded by pristine ski slopes and the big Montana sky, there’s a mountain home that feels as fresh as the alpine air. With bold, bright interiors and a clean and breezy vibe, it’s seriously sophisticated—without taking itself too seriously.
And that’s just what the Chicago family who stays and plays here had in mind. They fell in love with the location’s spectacular beauty and brought in a team of designers to create a retreat where they could enjoy the area’s abundant recreational activities, but also relax and enjoy the solitude.
“This home is designed for skiers,” says project architect Corey Kelly, of Bozeman-based Locati Architects, who collaborated with principal partner Jerry Locati on the design. “Everything, from the home’s location to its orientation, was carefully considered and designed to reflect the ski lifestyle.”
In an area so scenic, it’s no surprise that the design is rooted in nature. “The setting is so spectacular, perhaps even severe, that the home had to respect and embrace it,” Kelly says. To achieve that harmony, the design team selected a palette of natural building materials, including the cedar shakes that clad the home’s exterior, the stonework on the fireplaces, and the reclaimed fir beams and trusses that accent the interiors. “Most are locally sourced materials or native to the area in terms of tone and texture,” Kelly notes. Emphasizing the home’s connection to nature are the large windows, in nearly every room, that frame views of the surrounding forest and Lone Peak.
The homeowners’ preference for a mix of modern and classic styles prompted the interior design team—Rebecca Buchan, Matt Dickamore and Michele Wheeler of Salt Lake City’s Denton House Design Studio—to develop a fresh strategy of their own, inspired in part by the liveliness of their clients’ hometown. “We like to think of it as ‘Chicago meets the mountains,’” says Buchan, the firm’s owner and principal.
The color palette evokes the brisk energy of a day on the ski slopes. Its crisp white tones provide a vibrant background against which other colors pop, while also emphasizing the striking forms of furnishings that range from hourglass-shaped lounge chairs to a wood-and-Lucite dining table. Dickamore describes the look as “a little bit of glam, a little bit of sophistication, but also a little rustic,” with accents such as polished chrome fixtures, mirrors and mosaic glass tiles lending “jewelry-like” finishing touches. The inviting textures of natural wood, mohair, fur and velvet offer cozy comfort during the winter months, but still feel fresh come summer. “The cool thing about this home is that we were able to incorporate wintry colors and warm them up with wood tones,” Dickamore says. “It doesn’t feel like a mountain lodge, per se.”
When the vast Montana wilderness beckons, this home is perfectly prepared. Its slope-adjacent ski room is warmed by a fireplace and equipped with stylish lockers, while its spacious outdoor patio is as warm and cozy as a living room. “Strategically placed heaters, screens and fireplaces—even a towel warmer near the outdoor hot tub—ensure that the outdoor amenities can be enjoyed throughout the year, even on the hottest and coldest of days,” Kelly explains.
It’s an ideal place for family and friends to recharge, in rooms that vibrate with vitality. “We wanted to be sure that when you walked in, you could take this great big, deep breath,” Dickamore explains. “Something lighter and brighter just gives you that energy you need.”
In the entry hall, a table with a Lucite base and wood slab top supports a pair of concrete lamps, with Undertow by John O’Connell hanging above.
The designers allowed the view of the forest to reign over the dining room, where a custom 12-foot-long live-edge walnut slab table is surrounded by curvy indigo-blue mohair chairs. A trapezoidal console adds midcentury flair.
The kitchen’s white counters and cabinetry strike an elegant contrast with reclaimed oak floors and metallic fixtures. “We love adding the polished chrome in a mountain environment; it lifts the light with that reflective material,” interior designer Rebecca Buchan says.
Visitors who enter through the front door find their gaze sweeping across the airy great room and out the towering window to the snow-covered slopes. The designers chose subtly sumptuous furnishings—including Berman Rosetti Hourglass lounge chairs upholstered in icy-blue leather, a gray velvet sectional and a mirrored console with faux-bois painted detail—to provide comfort without distracting from the view. Reclaimed fir timbers were re-sawn to achieve a clean texture while retaining their historical character, and glints of silver and glass echo the sparkle of snow.
The bright master bedroom features honey-hued finishes, plush textures and Venetian plaster walls. The four-poster bed and chenille-upholstered chair and ottoman transform the space into a private oasis, while a small private balcony opens the room to the outdoors.
The crisp, white children’s bathroom includes handy storage lockers.
The girl’s bedroom is abloom with color, including a lavender tufted-leather headboard and pink floral drapes.
The outdoor living area functions as an extension of the great room, made comfortable year round with drop-down screens, ceiling-mounted heaters, a cozy fireplace and cushioned teak furniture.
The bunk room’s white-on-white bedding is easy to wash.
The rustic-contemporary ski room is both practical and beautiful, with tumbled stone floors, a Chief Cliff stone fireplace and chevron-patterned hair-on-hide ottomans.
In the game room, the sleek lines of a James Perse pool table harmonize with the contemporary fireplace. Lime green leather bar stools were a daring designer touch that the homeowners love.
ARCHITECTURE Locati Architects, Bozeman, MT 406-587-1139 INTERIOR DESIGN Rebecca Buchan, Michele Wheeler, and Matt Dickamore, Denton House Studio, Salt Lake City, UT 801-333-8156 BUILDER Boz Boswell, Yellowstone Club Development, Big Sky, MT 406-539-9450 | Damon Rao, The PRG Group, Big Sky, MT 406-995-3400 CUSTOM CONSOLE PAINTING Tessa Lindsey, Colour + Surface, Salt Lake City, UT 801-635-6546 ARTWORK Name: Golden Feathers, Artist: Natural Curiosities Original, Gallery: Natural Curiosities, Los Angeles, CA 323-906-1083 | Names: Zagreus Swallowtail, Cerulean Butterflies, Green Cairns Birdwing, Fiery Birdwing Butterfly, Azure Damselfly Diamond, African Nymphs, Dayflying Moths, Artist: Christopher Marley, Gallery: Pheromone Design, Salem, OR 503-990-8132 | Name: Pink Bunny, Artist: Emily Robison, Gallery: A Gallery, Salt Lake City, 801-583-4800 | Name: On The Farm, Artist: Brent Godfrey, Gallery: A Gallery, Salt Lake City, 801-583-4800 | Name: Airport 004, Artist: Donald Yatomi, Gallery: A Gallery | Name: Rodeo, Artist: Brent Godfrey, Gallery: A Gallery | Name: Undertow, Artist: John O’Connell, Gallery: A Gallery | Name: Custom Framed Blanket, Artist: Hermes, Gallery: A Gallery FURNISHINGS/ACCESSORIES CATALINA CONSOLE Manufacturer: Berman Rosetti, Vendor: Mimi London, Los Angeles, 310-855-2567 HOURGLASS LOUNGE CHAIR Manufacturer: Berman Rosetti, Vendor: Mimi London CUSTOM DINING TABLE Manufacturer and vendor: Old World Antique Reproductions, Salt Lake City, 801-268-0901 DINING ARM CHAIR Z Chair from Coryne Lovick Collection, Fabric: Myung Jim Mohair in Indigo blue COUNTERSTOOL Manufacturer and vendor: A. Rudin, Los Angeles, 310-659-2388 EAMES SOFT PAD MANAGEMENT CHAIR Manufacturer: Herman Miller MILTON BUFFET WITH BASE Manufacturer: Thayer Coggin, Vendor: Town Studio, Denver, CO, 303-282-8696 CHEVRON BAR STOOL Manufacturer: Altura, Vendor: Town Studio LIMITED EDITION POOL TABLE WITH PING PONG TOP Manufacturer and vendor: James Perse, Los Angeles, 323-606-7660 X COLLECTION EXTERIOR FURNITURE Manufacturer: Summit Furniture, Vendor: Hoff Miller, Denver, CO, 801-698-0800 LEIGH CUSTOM AREA RUG Manufacturer and vendor: Kyle Bunting, Spicewood, TX, 512-264-1148