The great room is a palette of subtle colors intended to complement the surrounding landscape. An antique Italianate chandelier crowns a wingback seating arrangement and accents the cozy viewing area near the span of windows.

Seabring Davis

Other Contributions

Good Country Authentically Western A Home for the Ages Where the Living is Easy Music in the Mountains The Flight of the Hummingbird Living the Dream Integrating Nature Mountain Exposure Eclectic Parkitecture Uniting Color Historic Symmetry The Year Of The Horse A Yellowstone Club Retreat Hearth and Soul Building a Timeless Legacy An Uncommon Cabin in the Woods Timeless Fusion Mountain Tradition A Modern Vision Summer Camp Perfect Harmony Winter Getaway: Red Lodge, Montana Beyond the Cabin A Fine Balance 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 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: First Snow Dining Out: The Old Hotel Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer 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: 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 Dining Out: Conserving Montana One Table at a Time Dining Out: Cosmopolitan Cuisine at TEN Dining Out: Ranch to Restaurant 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? Letter from the Editor: Up Close and Personal Letter from the Editor: A Tradition of Talent Letter from the Editor: Winter Reflection 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 Western Design: Home Base From the Editor Dining Out: Tradition, with a Twist 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 Letter from the Editor: The Language of Fishing Letter from the Editor: Cast Again Editor’s Letter: The Passing Season Dining Out: Saffron Table 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 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 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: 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 Letter from the Editor: Staying Power

BUILDING A HOUSE IN THE HEART of Wyoming’s most dramatic landscape isn’t an easy feat. There’s a balance to it that requires a team of people to walk an invisible tightrope that spans the yaw of honoring the dynamic environs without marring its beauty. One family home, in northwestern Wyoming, represents that balance.

“With such spectacular views in such a unique setting, our challenge was to make the house the focal point for people, while also positioning it toward the most outstanding vista,” explained Jerry Locati, principal of Locati Architects, in Bozeman, Montana.

Before ground was even broken for the home, the owner requested a private trout pond be installed with the vision that it would ultimately reflect the image of the finished home.

“Every detail was centered around that view, around that water and the mountains and how the home would relate to it,” said Locati.

To achieve that, project architect Darin Hoekema planned the design to function with internal focus, piecing together different quadrants of living space by incorporating varied roof heights and materials over the course of 10,000-square-feet with the intention of creating the sense that a series of buildings had been collected to form a compound rather than a single rambling residence.

An elegant sweep of heather-grey stone frames the threshold, where distressed reclaimed timbers stand in contrast to an ornately carved English 1800s antique table.

Interior designer Janet Baker and Locati Architects worked together to create a seamless transition between inside and outside livings spaces. On beautiful evenings the doors off the dining room and kitchen area fold open to the patio. Above the dining table, antique lanterns were retrofitted to create a custom light fixture. Vintage tin ceiling tiles delineate the dining room from the open kitchen floor plan.

The gabled timberframe entry becomes the focal point for visitors as they enter the home, but once through the front door, the mountain vistas unfold.

That effect was accomplished through the experienced craftsmanship of Schlauch Bottcher Construction, also of Bozeman. As a team, they let the grandeur of the home unfold. From the moment a car turns onto the road toward the house, the mountains and sweeping open space are all-encompassing. But pull into the driveway, and the home almost blocks that view.

With the front door, surrounded by prominent timbers and stone as the new focus, said Locati, a visitor has an experience of rediscovery upon walking over the threshold of the home. There, with distressed timbers to frame the entry, the great room and windows that look onto the pond and mountain range naturally draw the eyes outside again. Yet, once a viewer adjusts, gradually it becomes clear that inside there is so much to discover as well.

“We wanted to be sensitive to the landscape and chose to paint a story by designing a complex that needs to be discovered, the architecture invites you to explore it as it unfolds,” Locati said.

Another aspect of the balancing act when building in a spectacular setting is the interior design. Careful not to upstage the drama outside, Janet Baker, of North Carolina, and the lady of the house were intent on creating spaces that offer a sense of shelter and security while embracing the vastness that is outside.

Rustic materials applied with a streamlined contemporary touch display a rare collection of African baskets and antique boxes from England. Russ Frye Designs and Ben Baker of Reworks in Bozeman, Montana, provided all of the reclaimed and acid wash metals for the custom-built furniture in the library.

Project architect Darin Hoekema utilized a breezeway to the private bedrooms as a gallery to display the owners extensive collection of Native American artifacts and arrowheads.

The owner prized the setting of the house and had a trout pond designed to reflect the expanse of the home, the mountains and sky.

“We didn’t want to fight that view,” explained Baker.

Essential to their approach was a color palette inside that would compliment the home’s natural setting. Baker selected natural tones that were represented in the outdoor surroundings, incorporating grays, off-white, warm browns and pale blues for color and endemic stone, rough woods, as well as metal to accent the classic Western architecture.

“This is a Western home with Southern flair,” noted Baker enthusiastically. Her longstanding relationship with the homeowners started when Baker had an interior design firm in Atlanta that specialized primarily in commercial design and some select residential projects. The clients and Baker clicked over a corporate project and have since worked together on many other interior ventures, though Baker doesn’t take many commissions these days.

“My client has exquisite taste,” said Baker, “She doesn’t like a house to look just-built, she loves things that are old and have character; like most Southern women, she loves to collect.”

Celebrating the organic materials, stone and reclaimed lumber, the outdoor living areas are designed to be as comfortable as the interior furnishings. Slipcovers at the dining area and oversized chairs around the fireplace give the sense of indoor comfort.

The guest bedroom opens to an ethereally sky-blue color on the wax-rubbed plaster walls. A curved Habersham hutch adds a lavish visual focal point to the room.

In the kitchen, the interior designer put a twist on the traditional form of the cabinetry, applying a distressed finish, but also by suspending two glass cabinets from the soffited ceiling with iron rods as a nod toward the rustic architectural elements of the home. A stainless steel hood over the stove is also strapped with iron to echo the rustic ties. The countertops are boutique quartzite and the flooring throughout the house is oak.

That proclivity for collecting shows in the many antique furnishings and lighting throughout the home. Carved English furniture accents simply upholstered wingback chairs in the great room and vintage tin ceiling tiles punctuate the dining area off the kitchen. Accentuating the owners Southern hospitality, the home is welcoming and comfortable at every turn.

A breezeway off the main entertaining area was utilized to showcase the couple’s art collection. Utilizing artisans at Fry Steel and Wood Works and Reworks Design in  Bozeman, Baker commissioned custom shelving that incorporated acid washed iron and reclaimed lumber to display the owners’ collection of African baskets and antique English boxes alongside notable Western art pieces. 

After the great room, the kitchen is command central, according to Locati. From that open space the house flows in three directions — to the adjoining family room, to the expansive outdoor living area and to the dining room. Guest bedrooms can also be accessed on this end of the house, while the master suite is on the opposite end. 

By design, every room in the house centers on a view outside. With gracious spaces for entertaining or cozy nooks for relaxing, the house easily absorbs the company of just two people or the swell of 50 guests. On the warm summer evenings the barriers between inside and outside are barely noticeable when the accordion glass doors in the kitchen are open wide to the fresh air, the pond and the mountains. It’s then that everything seems to be in balance.

Incorporating antiques and rustic details for this home was half the fun for interior designer Janet Baker and her long-time client. This powder room encompasses all the playful elements of design for the kids’ bunkroom.

In the bunkroom Schlauch Bottcher Construction built a customized kid zone, replete with beds fit for slumber parties of eight kiddos, a craft table and what the interior designer calls a “palette like a crayon-box.”