12 Apr Design Elements: An Expressive Montana Legacy — Remembering Ralph McHenry
The interior design community experienced a professional loss last summer with the passing of Ralph McHenry (75), late owner of the retail furniture store and interior design firm Montana Expressions in Bozeman, Montana.
With an acute sense of mountain living, McHenry combined heirloom pieces with modern furniture, curating a showroom known for its distinct mountain style. For nearly three decades, McHenry sought to offer home furnishings that appealed to any budget, from hand-picked antiques to handcrafted furniture from all over the world. He also brought together an interior design team dedicated to creating a liveable expression of their clients.
For lead interior designer Kathy Koelzer, joining the team at Montana Expressions 21 years ago “was an opportunity I will always be grateful for. Ralph had a keen eye and a penchant for beautiful things. He also was a fan of red sofas — which always sold — and interesting old pieces, of which he always knew the backstory. His legacy is Montana Expressions, as his life was deeply infused in it.”
McHenry was born and raised in Bozeman and, after serving in Vietnam with the Navy Seabees, he traveled the world before returning to his hometown. He spent 28 years as an antique dealer before purchasing Montana Expressions in the late 1990s and heralding the company into a new era.
McHenry’s daughter, Addi Sires, has taken over ownership of the showroom and design firm and says her father and his distinct style will be sorely missed. “We called him the family historian,” she says. “He was always interested in antiques. It was baked into him. His style really spoke to the Bozeman, Montana lifestyle and modern-rustic home.”
“I look forward to continuing my dad’s legacy,” she adds, “and honoring the impact he had on the interior design community in Bozeman, as well as bringing Montana Expressions into the next generation of home decor.”