Amidst the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains of Montana in a private ski community, interior designer Lauren Weiss‘s clients had purchased a lot upon which they were building their dream vacation home. As Bay Area residents, they wanted their new place in Big Sky, Montana to be an escape from stress, where they could continue their active lifestyle and enjoy their surroundings.
The family of four brought Lauren on early on in the planning process, giving the designer free-rein to decide finishes and interior details. They had just returned from staying at one of the Aman Hotels in Japan and fell in love with the calm that comes with the brand’s earthy minimalist aesthetic. They wanted to bring that concept into this space. “The homeowners did not want the home to feel like cliché mountain house,” Lauren said, “no antler chandeliers, log details but they did want it to feel warm. Like the Aman Hotels, we went for a clean-lined design with modern/sculptural furniture. But because this was Montana, not Tokyo, I wanted the home to exude warmth and coziness through various textures and natural materials – wools, linen, mohair, natural stone, wood, and leather.”
The size of the home itself wasn’t grand, but the paneled vaulted ceilings were. With the sprawling mountain views, connecting the home’s design to nature wasn’t too difficult. To start, Lauren chose a plaster treatment for the walls in the main areas and master bedroom that “make them beautifully reflective and give them depth”. She also decided on wide plank oak flooring that emphasizes the square-footage of the home while adding warmth. To draw the eye upward she had floor-to-ceiling drapery made that stacks into a drapery pocket without the need for visible hardware.
The natural and textural foundation had been established, it was then time to bring in sculptural furniture to round out the concept. “The main room in the home is a multipurpose room, – it’s a kitchen, dining room, and living room all in one,” Lauren explained. “While it is multipurpose, it is not a huge space, but it has very high ceilings which make the space feel much larger. I wanted to do an impactful lighting fixture without crowding the area. I selected the Last Night Branche Chandelier from Holly Hunt. It is both linear and organic in its form, with branching arms and globe lights perched at the end of each branch.” This particular piece served as the jumping-off point upon which she then created the look of the living area. She chose dining chairs and barstools from Ochre, as well as more simple light fixtures over the kitchen island by Allied Maker.
Many of the pieces – such as the wall-to-wall upholstered headboard and bed frame in the guest bedroom – were custom made for the project. Even the artwork was commissioned: “We worked with a local Bay Area artist on one of the art pieces using a topographical map of the Yellowstone Club mountain range as inspiration,” she said. Lauren also used De La Espada and Cassina as a resource for several pieces in the living room, including the Elysia Lounge Chair upholstered in a mustard-toned velvet. “I wanted my clients to feel the stresses of their Bay Area lives melt away when they walk into this home in the same way that one might feel when they walk into a luxurious hotel room,” Lauren shared. “That said, we wanted to strike a balance between making the home feel calm and soothing, like a hotel, but still feel like it has the warmth and personality of a home.”