Let the House Tell You Where It’s Going

The design team at R. Higgins Interiors executes a subtle modern mountain design at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana
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To imbue greater warmth throughout, walls were finished in a Venetian plaster, which provides an ambient glow and a pretty backdrop for everything else in the design. | Photography by Haris Kenjar

When long-time clients called to say, “We found a place we love––in Montana,” they offered Nashville-based designer Roger Higgins free rein to turn their townhouse into a cozy and stylish space for entertaining. The trusted designer was determined to create a comfortable, functional design that would instantly feel like home for the busy family.

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Throughout the home, varied textures and patterns create depth and warmth with colors chosen from the landscape and in natural materials. | Photography by Haris Kenjar

On-site in Big Sky, the design team took inspiration from the breathtaking landscape, as well as colors found in natural materials such as wood, linen and leather. The resulting neutral palette is especially effective in well-chosen fabrics that soften and frame rugged views. Higgins tasked his in-house workroom with custom drapes and shades, enlisting a Zoffany drapery fabric the clients love for a personal touch.

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In the kitchen, the team painted cabinetry a warm white and applied patterned walnut tiles as a backsplash for interest and depth. “There wasn’t enough wood,” comments Higgins, “so I thought let’s try it here.” | Photography by Haris Kenjar

The subdued Western look includes modern lighting that offers a youthful take on lodge design. A custom cowhide-wrapped brass Arteriors fixture balances over the EJ Victor dining table and is paired with suede dining chairs for a contemporary look. Says senior designer Jillian Downham, “We had planned on a saddle-colored leather, but when the slipcovers came wrinkled, we flipped them inside out, finding we preferred the more rugged suede backside of the leather with its raw seams showing. Some even had branding marks.”

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The team sound-proofed the walls of the bunk room in a Kravet fabric. “Boys will be boys,” Higgins laughs, “but that doesn’t mean you always want to hear them.” A ski print from the Trowbridge Gallery, a Bernhardt leather tufted chair and a Noir dresser add personality.| Photography by Haris Kenjar

Throughout the home, varied textures and patterns create depth and warmth. An oversized emerald-green banquette, crowned with custom sconces, is a bold statement and the perfect spot for taking calls in the office. A botanical Hermès wallpaper in the boys’ bathroom is a playful touch, and a puzzle-like kitchen backsplash constructed out of Jamie Beckwith Collection wooden tiles offers interest in a white-on-white kitchen. By mixing custom furniture with handmade and flea-market finds, Higgins achieved an accumulated look that adds value to his clients’ home. Higgins mentions the antique rug he found at a flea market in Atlanta and then layered beautifully over the thick-planked wood floors in the Yellowstone Club townhouse.

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In the master bathroom, an antique rug, a large statement mirror and a Global Views drink table come together for an authentic, collected look. | Photography by Haris Kenjar

When asked about his design process for a storied feel, Higgins says, “I love the hunt. First I find all the things I like. Consider what the client wants and likes. And, put it all together in a pile. Then I ask, is this appropriate for a house in Montana? If it caught my eye, it goes in the pile along with items that express the client’s personality and things they like.” To make his case, Higgins points to a midcentury goatskin table found in Round Top, Texas, that functions perfectly as a game table in the den.

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The breathtaking mountain views inspired a warm environment rich in textures and neutral colors, including layered Jenny Johnson Allen custom linens atop a Century Furniture bed with an upholstered headboard in the primary bedroom. Bedside tables are from Hickory Chair and the chandelier is from Hudson Valley Lighting. | Photography by Haris Kenjar

“Let [the house] tell you where it’s going. If you let it tell you what it wants, it always seems to work. When it all comes together, our clients couldn’t have been happier. They walked in the door (just an hour after we finished), and it was all done. Everything. Every plate. Even the dog dish. It was home.”


GREAT ROOM LAMP by Visual Comfort SOFA by EJ Victor with fabric from Lee Industries COFFEE TABLE by Restoration Hardware PILLOWS by Zak & Fox from Holland & Sherry and by Pierre Frey SMALL CHAIR by Lee Industries END TABLE by Antique RUG by Antique Moroccan KITCHEN COUNTER STOOLS by Lee Industries CHAIRS by Interlude TABLE by Design Within Reach custom top from Walnut Woodworks BACKSPLASH by Jamie Beck with Windsor Smith Collection PENDANTS by Visual Comfort BUNK ROOM BED by Yellowstone Development WALL UPHOLSTERY by Kravet Fabrics DRAPERY by Pindler & Pindler BEDDING by JJA Jenny Johnson Allen Custom Linens BED PILLOW by Pierre Frey BUNK SCONCES by Adam Otlewski from R Hughes CEILING LIGHT by Currey & Company SKI PRINT by Trowbridge Gallery LAMP by Visual Comfort Kelly Wearstler DRESSER by Noir Furniture RUG by Antique LEATHER CHAIR by Bernhard MASTER BATH WALLPAPER by Zoffany MIRROR by 1st Dibs DRINK TABLE by Global Views RUG by Antique STONE BOWL by Phillips Collection SCONCES by Arteriors MASTER BEDROOM BED by Century Furniture HEADBOARD by Fabricut EUROS & LUMBAR by F. Schumacher BEDDING by JJA Jenny Johnson Allen Custom Linens CHAIR by EJ Victor LAMPS by Arteriors CHANDELIER by Hudson Valley Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection BEDSIDE CHESTS by Hickory Chair RUG by Antique

Categories: Contemporary Homes