As principal designer, owner, and founder of Sanctuary Interior Design, Bozeman, Montana native Sophia Cok employs her love for fashion, textiles, and design to inspire creative interior solutions for a range of residential and commercial projects in Montana, Arizona, and beyond.

Design Elements: Ethos: Sanctuary Interior Design

Founded in 2014 by principal designer Sophia Cok, Bozeman, Montana-based Sanctuary Interior Design is a full-service firm focused on turnkey interior design for commercial and residential projects. Employing over 20 years of experience, Cok and her team deliver a unique design experience curated to each client, architectural approach, location, aesthetic ethos, and budget. Sanctuary added a second office in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2024 to offer its customized design experience to clientele throughout the country.

Here, Cok describes her world of interior design, Sanctuary’s unique approach, and industry considerations for the months and years ahead.

BIG SKY JOURNAL: How would you define Sanctuary’s design ethos? What new interior trends are informing that aesthetic now and in the months to come?

SOPHIA COK: Sanctuary’s design ethos is based on classic elements: We believe that good design is classic design. Current design trends highlight sustainability and integrated technologies, even in the most luxury-oriented environs. Often, these smart spaces are the “greenest” by nature in that they create simple, unhindered access to the resources and tools needed most often in a home, thereby improving efficiency.

BSJ: Of those trends, which are your favorites?

COK: At our visit to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in February, we were introduced to many new designs in the technology sector, from sinks without faucets to home assistants. The design industry is bursting with new technology, and we are ready for it.

BSJ: What is your methodology when approaching a new project, and what excites you about the design process? Why focus on new construction and turnkey design partnerships?

COK: Our main focus is learning from and listening to our clients. Getting to know the end user’s intentions for their new spaces — how they plan to use it and engage with it — is illuminating from perspectives both functional and aesthetic. Likewise, learning each new client’s unique design preferences and profile — what excites them about design — in turn fuels our own passion for the industry and the wealth of ever-evolving possibilities.

We love new-construction turnkey projects, in particular, because they allow us to see and be a part of a project from conception to conclusion. Even 20 years in, it never gets old. We journey with each of our clients through the diamonds and the rough alike, and there is nearly always a predictable mix of both; it makes for very special, lasting relationships, for which we couldn’t be more grateful.

BSJ: What piece of advice might you offer the overwhelmed new homeowner contemplating their design personality?

COK: Stay true to what you love, regardless of design trends. Finding a style that is distinctly yours and incorporating it into your living spaces, whether with a bold or delicate hand, is what really defines a house as a home.

Part of what we love about our portfolio is how diverse it is. It’s a mirror of all those many relationships, those profoundly unique people. Instead of creating the same look over and over again, we listen to our clients to find out what their lifestyle entails, and what their vision is for the home, realizing those nuances in every selection, from the colors and textures throughout to the inspired finishing touches.

BSJ: What sorts of projects do you focus on, and what regions do you serve? You added a second office in Scottsdale, Arizona at the beginning of the year — how has that changed your perspective, focus, and approach, and how does the design vernacular vary between the locales?

COK: In addition to new construction, Sanctuary also specializes in renovations. We recently added a satellite oce in Scottsdale because we discovered a regional need for new design talent. Tired of the dark, heavy Tuscan look that has defined the area for the last few decades, Arizona homeowners are seeking fresh design solutions and perspectives. We’re pleased to be able to offer that much-needed insight. We’re also more than happy to enjoy the added benefit of a little energizing mid-winter warmth.

BSJ: How are your interiors informed by architectural structure and place, and what considerations factor most heavily in your design choices for each unique project and client?

COK: We love a space with good bones. When a home’s foundational architectural structure is well developed, interior design changes are typically cosmetic in nature. In this, a home can be adapted to match the owners’ evolution in design vernacular, ethos, and need with ease. And, though we design for our clients’ tastes, we also strive to steer them toward classical influences and away from trends that won’t offer the same longevity.

BSJ: What sets Sanctuary apart, and what’s in store for the future?

COK: Sanctuary’s diverse portfolio demonstrates our ability to customize design solutions that are uniquely curated to each client’s aesthetic preferences, inspired by their location, and mindful of their needs. Sanctuary is a growing company with unlimited opportunities. We can’t wait to see what other states our work takes us to, and how expansive our vision might become.

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