From Dark and Dated to Light, Bright and Modern in Montana

The designer and homeowner closely collaborate to redesign a remote Montana Ski Chalet
Wkp Nighthawk Hr 14

An indoor-outdoor rug in Dash & Albert Tattersall Black by Annie Selke and a concrete table hold up, rain or shine. | Photography by Whitney Kanman

It takes a special relationship between a designer and homeowner to pull off a home renovation 1,000 miles away. This rings especially true when a pandemic prevents the designer from stepping foot in the house before and during the entire design process.

“We shared a mood board as we chose colors and materials for the house, and Jolene regularly dropped off samples at my primary home in San Francisco,” says the homeowner about the renovation process of her family’s second home in Big Sky, Montana. She and her family live just three blocks from her good friend and interior designer Jolene Lindner of JL Interior Design. The homeowner closed on the purchase of the home in the Spanish Peaks Mountain Club after only seeing it one time. The sale was finalized the same day the 2020 lockdown began, so Lindner was forced to work solely from house plans and through FaceTime meet-ups with the neighborhood’s property manager, who took on-site measurements for her.

Wkp Nighthawk Hr 1

The fuzzy, cuddly 1940s Danish modern lounge chair facing the living room’s large windows was the homeowner’s first purchase for the house, found on “It elevates the look while still being kid-friendly,” Lindner says.

The homeowner wanted to lean into the home’s original design as an understated mountain chalet, while modernizing and lightening all the rooms. “We wanted the house to feel like it was in the mountains and not something you’d see anywhere else,” she says. “We wanted it to look very different from our primary residence that is a modern city house with steel beams and a wall of steel windows.”

Wkp Nighthawk Hr 6

The den is the only room retaining most of its original design, with chinked log walls and lived-in leather chairs and matching ottomans. The new homeowners enjoy it as a warm place to relax in front of the fireplace. The addition of sheepskin stools adds playfulness.

Lindner chose the homeowner’s favorite colors—earthy hues outside the windows overlooking the golf course and the Spanish Peaks mountain range—and created a working color palette. She painted the dark wood ceiling, including the main living room’s lofted ceiling, and walls with classic Benjamin Moore “White Dove,” a tried-and-true soft, warm white. She brought in shades of olive green, warm mustard brown and yellow-tan accented with black and white in rugs, furniture and accessories, leaning on local artisans to complete the work and recommend some readily available decorative accessories.

Wkp Nighthawk Hr 7

The rust colors chosen for the bedding blend with the muted contemporary plaid of Idele carpet by Stark Carpet to impart the modern ski cabin vibe the homeowners craved. Each bedroom on the main floor has its own private outdoor seating area.

In a light remodel of the kitchen, she worked with Millworks ’58 to remove wooden cabinets with heavy moldings and replace them with clean-lined cabinets painted dark olive, contrasted with a custom metal hood over the range. Glass fronts on the upper cabinets, modernized lighting and a new Neolith countertop and backsplash complete the facelift. “I didn’t want the family to worry about stains or hot pots on the countertop,” Lindner explains,” so I chose Neolith, an engineered product that is extremely durable.”

Wkp Nighthawk Hr 13

The bunk room’s transformation was the most dramatic during the renovation. It used to only sleep two but can now house up to seven or eight guests. Local company Rusty Nail Design built the custom bunk beds, which are popular with guests.

With an eye to making the interior comfortable and easily maintainable for a family with young children, Lindner selected washable linen-cotton blend fabrics throughout the home. She treated an eye-catching houndstooth plaid fabric from Holland & Sherry with Teflon before up-holstering the wall behind a grouping of beds in the bunk room, both the designer’s and homeowner’s favorite room. She also chose gray outdoor fabric and lightweight, movable furniture on the upper deck for ease of everyday living. Despite only seeing the finished results on the first day of installation, Lindner kept in touch with the homeowner every step of the way to ensure the project’s success.

“It doesn’t matter the distance if the designer-client connection is strong,” Lindner says.

Categories: Rustic Homes