The design aesthetic of this new construction apartment in Bozeman was informed by two seemingly dissimilar elements: the client’s travels in Europe and the context of living in Montana. The space, designed by Abby Hetherington Interiors, is layered with old-world design elements, yet in a super modern way. “Everything in the apartment was handmade and had a story behind it; the result of our client’s personal travels across the continent,” she explains. “We started in the heart of the home, the kitchen, with the selection of the handmade honeycomb tile. This informed the color direction and materiality for the rest of the apartment.”

With really thoughtful details, a cohesive palette, and plenty of call-outs to the Big Sky landscape, the result is a memorable, high-style home we love. Abby tells us more:

Hi Abby! We’d love to know a little more about this home. Where exactly is it located and how did the location affect the design, if at all?
Located in a modern apartment building in downtown Bozeman, the client wanted to infuse the home with organic elements to warm the space and strike the perfect balance between comfort and contemporary. Inspired by the client’s own home in Big Sky and the prairie aesthetic, the renovation was started with a foundation of beautiful french oak floors. Initially planning for black cabinetry to accent the floors, the client instead wanted to tone down the contrast and in the end, we went with a similar oak toned wood to create a monochromatic and layered look throughout. Pulling again from the prairie aesthetic, we color-blocked organic shades throughout the home to emulate the calming and serene mood. Our client had also lived in Europe previously and has an appreciation for collecting and curating art and pieces throughout their travels. 

Your client sounds super interesting. What can you tell us about her, and her goals goals in hiring a designer?
Our client is a busy mom and artist with a strong design sense. She just needed help with the execution and wanted someone to see her vision through. She was ultimately a partner in the design. 

The aesthetic is really unique. Where did you pull inspiration for the design?
After a trip to Italy earlier that year, we were so inspired by all the color blocking we saw used so successfully all around. Because our client had lived abroad in Europe previously, we thought this would be a useful design tool that we could fuse with the prairie aethetic of Montana to merge both of her design sensibilities. 

Due to the nature of apartment living, when you have spatial constraints, it’s important to reuse materiality, colors, and textures throughout the space to help all of the interior rooms flow together and decrease visual clutter. We carried the minimal color palette and oak cabinetry throughout, even up into the loft. The result is a calming sanctuary. 

Was there one element that served as a jumping off point? 
Besides aesthetic, the biggest element we had to focus on was function. The whole space is only 1500sq ft, with 2 bedrooms for 4 people to share, so our client worked with an architect to help design wall systems with frosted glass that help divide the space but also let in natural light. We wanted to be mindful of every area and design each space to fully function to the best of its ability. 

Did the new construction property present any challenges you might not encounter in other projects?
With any remodel you need to figure out the functionality first. Creating a winning spaceplan is of the utmost importance, especially for small spaces. No corner can be overlooked. 

For this project, a particular challenge was presented upstairs in the bedrooms. Because the ductwork and HVAC system couldn’t be moved or altered, we ended up having to create floating nightstands and a feature headboard wall to camouflage the vents.

We were also tasked with fitting two bedrooms in the upstairs loft space. But with clever space planning, and utilizing sliding doors, we were able to fit them and add a cozy hangout area with a plush modular sofa. 

What do you love most about the finished home?
We love that the home really reflects the family. It feels like them and has met all their style needs. You can trace their story from living in Europe through to this move to Montana.

See more in the slideshow.