A One-of-a-Kind Retreat at the Yellowstone Club
This Montana penthouse is full of playful charm
A mountain penthouse in Big Sky, Montana, reflects organic forms and finishes found in nature, resulting in a cozy and inviting modern family home. Accents of color showcased in a collection of eclectic art and accessories are the driving elements for the charming casual and modern design.
Carla Thorning of Icon Interiors in Bozeman, Montana, first met her clients for cocktails after a day of skiing. They had recently purchased a penthouse at the Yellowstone Club, setting up camp in the space until it was furnished. “They had folding lawn chairs in the living room; I was immediately enamored with them,” Thorning recalls.
Her clients wanted a modern, family-friendly space that was elegant yet casual and livable. The great room packs a lot of utility, and the use of organic shapes and layers of textures, patterns and prints keeps the neutral palette from feeling stale or boring. She relied on a custom furniture piece to connect the room. Thorning remarks, “I started with the idea of a three-sided sofa; it’s my new favorite!” The unique piece had to be airlifted to the deck via helicopter. “It was exciting and efficient, but watching the pieces I had ordered up in the sky was also a nail-biting experience!” Thorning remembers. The sofa brings the two spaces together and offers an additional place to cozy up for reading or conversation.
To inject playful color, Thorning relied on accent pieces and incredible art, including side tables she designed in steel, walnut and orange leather. The homeowner’s collection of “Little Golden Book” art pieces by Juventino Aranda add a bit of “cheeky Western vibe.” We are in Montana, after all. The triple-charred tree-trunk cocktail table, accents of metal and a Hermes-inspired, orange leather bench offer depth and contrast.
In the dining area, an over-scale white oak table is paired with simple black leather chairs. “They are light, modern and so comfortable,” remarks Thorning. A textured horse head sculpture sits atop an antique console offering the design a sense of history and longevity. To counterbalance the simplicity of the table, an asymmetrical Apparatus fixture from Italy, crafted with woven bronze mesh and hand-blown glass, hangs above the table. The modern shuffle- board table reminds that this family home is a place for having fun and building memories.
The project included two bunk rooms for the homeowners’ four daughters. The clients wanted the spaces to be playful and charming while also being able to grow with their daughters. “As a blended family with all girls, making both rooms equally fabulous was really important to them,” Thorning recalls. In one room, Walter Robinson’s “Animal Cookies” from Visions West Gallery inspired the design, including round sprinkles for turned posts on cus- tom bunk beds. “They are both modern and nostalgic, and I just love them!” the designer says. For the second bunk room, two pieces by Miles Glynn, a Montana artist, were the starting point and create an eclectic and functional homework nook opposite a curtained fort bed. The use of mixed prints and textures elevates the design.
In the master bedroom, Thorning created a cozy retreat with woven wall coverings and a plush rug. A local crafts- man built a live-edge walnut bench to rest at the foot of the custom platform bed. The chic and sophisticated space feels warm thanks to a reading area by the fireplace and layers of delicious fabric, including silk and velvet. “I obsess over details,” laughs Thorning, whose client-focused approach to design is evident in family-oriented spaces and individualized touches. “The importance of family was always at the forefront of the design decisions,” she says. It’s her hope that the space will be a backdrop for wonderful memories and connections at the end of epic outdoor Montana adventures.