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HOME 2013: Design Elements

Great finds from around the Northern Rockies

Letter from the Editor: Design Trends

Blending traditional style mountain homes with a new sleek contemporary style

Written by Seabring Davis  

Seabring Davis

Other Contributions

Mountain Tradition A Modern Vision Timeless Fusion Perfect Harmony Winter Getaway: Red Lodge, Montana Summer Camp A Fine Balance Beyond the Cabin A Home for the Ages Good Country Authentically Western Living the Dream Where the Living is Easy Music in the Mountains The Flight of the Hummingbird Mountain Exposure Integrating Nature The Year Of The Horse A Yellowstone Club Retreat Eclectic Parkitecture Uniting Color Historic Symmetry Building a Timeless Legacy An Uncommon Cabin in the Woods Hearth and Soul Letter from the Editor: The Language of Fishing Letter from the Editor: Cast Again Editor’s Letter: The Passing Season Dining Out: Saffron Table Letter from the Editor: I Know Where the Fish Are Letter from the Editor: Big Sky Country Letter from the Editor: Forging Ahead Dining Out: Barn Dance Letter from the Editor: Like an Open Road Dining Out: A Montana Tradition, Chico Hot Springs Letter from the Editor: Design Trends Dining Out: The Ranch at Rock Creek Redefines Montana Cuisine Dining Out: Seasonal Bliss Dining Out: Lone Mountain Ranch Serves Up a Sense of Place Western Design: Uniquely Rustic Western Design: JLF & Associates Letter from the Editor: Season of Possibility Western Design: In the Studio with the Viers Western Focus: Classic Connection: Miller Architects Western Design: Reviving the Barn From the Editor: Seasons of Simplicity Dining Out: Innovation Meets Tradition at Bisl Western Design: Refined Rustic Letter from the Editor: Winter Wave Letter from the Editor: Blending Seasons Western Design: A New Mountain Lodge Western Design: Historic Haven Western Design: Mountain Zen Western Design: Creekside Contemporary Living Big Sky on HGTV The Spirit of the West in Jackson, Wyoming Letter from the Editor: What is art? Dining Out: Holland Lake Lodge, Rustic Wonderful Letter from the Editor: The Secret Weapon Letter from the Editor: Fly Fishing for the Greater Good Letter from the Editor: The Angler’s Sojourn Dining Out: Simply Good Food From the Editor: Hit the Road Making a Statement: Miller Architects Letter from the Editor: First Snow Dining Out: The Old Hotel Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer Dining Out: Conserving Montana One Table at a Time Dining Out: Cosmopolitan Cuisine at TEN Dining Out: Ranch to Restaurant Letter from the Editor: Winter’s Toll Letter from the Editor: Evolving Home Dining Out: Comfort Food Western Design: Cowboy Modern Western Design: The Idaho Club Letter from the Editor: Talking Art Letter from the Editor: Up Close and Personal Letter from the Editor: A Tradition of Talent Letter from the Editor: Winter Reflection Letter from the Editor: Waiting for Summer Letter from the Editor: Arts Economy Letter from the Editor: First Frost Letter from the Editor: Why Art? Western Design: Home Base From the Editor Dining Out: Tradition, with a Twist Dining Out: The Taste of Whitefish Letter from the Editor: How Big is Your Bucket Letter from the Editor: Falling Short Western Design: Rustic Allure Dining Out: Fish Food Western Design: In the Studio with Painter Hugh Wilson Letter from the Editor: Staying Power
September 2013


There was a time when just the mention of living in the Rocky Mountains conjured up one image of home: the log cabin.

Today that image has been upgraded. A trend toward blending contemporary tastes with earthy materials has emerged. A cabin is as likely to feature Lucite chairs instead of vintage Molesworth; a western landscape is as likely to be framed by commercial-quality steel-framed windows, as it is with classic mullioned panes. Artwork can range from Abstract color fields to time-honored landscapes. The change has evolved partially for practical purposes (in the old log cabin there wasn’t room for entertaining-style kitchens or home theaters) and partially because of a shift in aesthetic taste (stripped down interiors that accentuate the outdoor scenery as much as the interior spaces) toward a modern style.

Interior designer Kathy Koelzer, of Montana Expressions (“Western Focus”), noted that the last five years have brought a style shift to the mountain region. “Interior design tastes have changed so much in the last few years,” she notes, “where it was once about layering texture and patterns, the trend now is toward a much cleaner, streamlined look.”

You’ll notice that throughout this issue, along with the traditional style of mountain homes, there is another type of dwelling emerging. The new mountain home is a blend of sleek contemporary style with the warmth of aged wood. Simplified forms in furnishings, fixtures and art can punctuate the natural materials often used in mountain architecture.

In the JLF Architects-designed residence “Yellowstone Club, Post Moderne”, principal Paul Bertelli says of this home that brings mid-century modern design into a classic rustic, reclaimed wood and stone palette, “It’s a 21st Century solution, blending the art of nature, the art of distinctive materials, and an era of art that speaks to youth and vitality.”

Broadly, this design shift speaks to a new generation of homeowners and revives the look of mountain style. It doesn’t mean the traditional love of logs and the customary Western motif is outdated, just that there is room for different interpretations of living in the West. Whether it’s modern mountain style or timeless Western design, we all call it HOME.