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This Home has the Big Sky Essentials

This Montana home is all about balance, offering a fresh take on classic mountain style while staying true to its Western roots.

Written by Suzanna Logan

Photos by Gibeon Photography


When the owners of this mountain beauty first approached architect Jamie Daugaard, they had three “musts” on their list. 

The first was that the getaway spot feel like a true Montana cabin. Because the couple owned homes all over the world — from France to Florida and various spots in between — they wanted this house to reflect the area’s vernacular architecture. That meant three things: logs, timbers and stone. 

Thankfully, these hard-working materials fit the house’s planned purpose perfectly: “They wanted this to be a place where they could enjoy the full Montana experience, particularly fly-fishing and skiing,” explains Jamie, who’s a member of the American Institute of Architects and the principal architect of Centre Sky Architecture.

The project’s interior designer, Erika Jennings of Erika & Company, echoes the commitment to the home’s not-too-precious design. “In Montana, we live hard; we play hard; we eat big; we drink big; we do it all big,” she says with a boisterous laugh, “so there was definitely a durability factor that came into play.”

That focus on “big” was the second essential on the homeowners’ wish list: They wanted spacious, open, breathable spaces where they could host family and friends comfortably. “The house was built as a honey trap for children and grandchildren — a family gathering place,” explains Peter Lee, co-founder of the home’s builder, Teton Heritage Builders. To this end, the interiors offer an easy flow with room for both gatherings and privacy. A combined kitchen, dining and living area plus a primary suite, guest suite and study comprise the main floor, while a children’s bunk and game room round out the lower level.

The owners’ third “must” was to take full advantage of the Rocky Mountain beauty that surrounds the home. Located in the elite Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, the lot is hemmed in by towering trees on three sides but offers open views to the rear. A wall of windows in the great room and a pair of French doors in the lower level deliver spectacular sight lines to the distant Gallatin Range, with its combination of sharp ridges and mounded crests.

That same juxtaposition of lines and curves found in nature is a running theme inside and outside the home — a natural result of the blending of logs, timbers, glass and stone. On the exterior, a trifecta of textures encases the conventional framing: rounded, half-log Douglas fir siding with chinking and rough-hewn ends, undulating wavy-edge siding and straight-edged reverse board-and-batten siding applied vertically. A local, deep-creek stone with what Peter calls “an organic layup with natural shapes and no cut edges” adds appeal, along with the massive character logs and arched timber trusses with steel accents. “We kept the materials close in tonal value and color, so it flows really well rather than looking like a mishmash of different things,” explains Jamie.

Flow was also the name of the game when Jamie designed an entrance vestibule flanked by stacked logs, now outfitted with a cowhide-covered chair and bench. “It’s an experience entering the house,” he says. “You’re immediately immersed in it.”

Once inside, the theme of wood and stone continues, reinforcing the symphony of shapes. Dark-stained square timbers in the roofline are softened by the curvilinear log purlins and chinked log siding. A truss with an arched bottom chord mimics the window header directly across the great room, where a towering stone fireplace anchors the space and a collection of pillow-topped chairs and couches invites lounging. 

Interspersed with it all are stretches of drywall washed in white that give the eye a rest from the wood and lend a decidedly fresh feel to the interiors. “He was very much wanting to bring a masculine feel in, with the wood and stone, but her influence really shows up where things feel a little more bright, fresh and feminine, such as in the kitchen and primary bathroom,” says Erika, referring to the homeowners’ requests.

The yin and yang of masculine and feminine appears in the furnishings, as well. Animal mounts and Southwestern-themed art and textiles share the home with more romantic touches, including armchairs upholstered in tufted ivory fabric, luxurious fur throws and pillows in shades of white and silver. “I think the combination of materials creates a timeless feel,” says Erika. “It really is a classic, mountain home.” 


Home Details

Square Footage: 4,721

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 4 full, 1 half

Architect: Centre Sky Architecture

Builder: Teton Heritage Builders


See Also: A Hilltop Home in the Great Smoky Mountains

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