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A Rustic and Refined Timber Home in Montana

This luxury timber home pays tribute to Big Sky Country with its bold, rich design that mixes the materials and textures native to the Montana landscape.

Photography by Karl Neumann
In the world of custom-home building, it’s all about scale. And in southwestern Montana, with its towering mountains, endless views and spectacular “big sky,” it’s not surprising that many homes are built to reflect the oversized surroundings. And this home is no exception. At 7,242 square feet, this 7-bedroom, 8.5-bath house is undoubtedly large. But in a space that could easily come off as more intimidating than intimate, cozy design details, special spaces and a warm mix of rustic materials make the house feel warm and welcoming despite its size.
“The owners initially contacted us because our style really resonated with them — a range from rustic to contemporary, and oftentimes a blend of both,” says Daryl Nourse, principal architect at Reid Smith Architects in Bozeman, Montana. “That’s how I’d describe the residence: a refined rustic. The owners enjoyed the aesthetic of a heavy massive stone, rich reclaimed timbers and a good use of them both in the design. After all, they wanted a mountain ski home that fit within the landscape.”
Other than a preference for style, the owners didn’t have a definitive idea of what type of house they wanted when they first got started with Nourse and his team. Fortunately, their beautiful piece of property helped lead the way. “We gleaned the most information from walking the site,” says Nourse. “The site has a subtle ridge that runs north/south that we wanted the house to straddle. We stretched the house out along that ridge, pushing the main living spaces out as a peninsula for 180-degree views while grabbing sunlight from the east and west.” 
Although the home isn’t constructed from a traditional timber frame, the majority of the reclaimed timbers are structural in some manner. “They’re used as timber frames at the entry and the great room, structural lintels in the stone and more decorative items in the bedrooms,” explains Nourse. From the outside, the first attention-grabbing element of the house is the entry roof, featuring a heavy timber design that’s “a bit over-scaled to really pop the entry and grab your eye on approach,” says Nourse.

Adjacent to the entry, you’ll find the après ski deck with a welcoming fire pit, perfect for all-season enjoyment. Step inside, and the great room reveals spectacular views of the Spanish Peaks to the north, while still feeling cozy thanks to a massive stone fireplace and sized-down conversation area. The dining room and kitchen share an open space but are subtly separated by low stone walls, a colonnade and built-in cabinetry.

Lower ceilings in these rooms also bring these spaces down to scale. In the main-level hallway, a two-story wall conceals the powder, entry closet and office that is accessible via an upper-level bridge that exposes the stone form extending through the floor to the lower level. The floor plan hinges off a common connection of circulation in the form of a three-story switchback staircase that is further accentuated by a massive light fixture stretching down the center. 
The main level features the master bedrooms, a guest suite and the mud room/garage. Upstairs, you’ll find a lounge area with two guest suites and a bunk room. Heading down will take you to the ski room, steam room, rec room and the remaining three guest suites. Sound spectacular? It is.

“We used the reclaimed timbers to add a lot of mass and structure to the steep roof forms but kept the roof lines relatively simple to not overcomplicate and confuse the onlookers eye,” says Nourse. The result: A bold, rich design that mixes the materials and textures native to the Montana landscape. A big, beautiful home that pays tribute to Big Sky Country.

Home Details

Square footage: 7,242
Architect: Reid Smith Architects, 406-587-2597; reidsmitharchitects.com
Builder: Big Sky Build, 406-995-3670; bigskybuild.com
Interior Designer: Carol Sisson Designs, 406-993-2666; sissondesigns.com


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