East Meets West

With sub­tle Ja­panese in­flu­ences, mod­ern lines and strate­gic use of wood and stone, a new breed of tim­ber home spirit emerges in this Mon­tana home.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - BY KAREN MAR­LEY PHO­TOS BY HEIDI LONG

With sub­tle Ja­panese in­flu­ences, mod­ern lines and strate­gic use of wood and stone, a new breed of tim­ber home spirit emerges in this Mon­tana home.

Orig­i­nally built to the spec­i­fi­ca­tions of some­one else’s dream home along the shores of Mon­tana’s White­fish Lake, this three-bed­room, three-bath tim­ber home, with a first-floor mas­ter suite, was about 80 per­cent com­plete when it was put on the mar­ket. The cur­rent own­ers, Andy and Heidi, were thrilled to find it.

“It’s lo­cated nine min­utes to the slopes, and it’s on the lake. That tells you the rea­son we were drawn to it,” Heidi says with sat­is­fac­tion.

With 5,900 square feet; an out­door ter­raced-rock pa­tio with a built-in rock spa ad­ja­cent to the lake; a lower level, com­plete with a mas­sive mud­room and play­room that’s tailor-made for the cou­ple’s three kids; and a guest suite, the home was a per­fect fit for an ac­tive fam­ily.

When Andy and Heidi bought the house, the ex­te­rior was al­ready com­plete. Heidi could tell that the tim­ber-and-stone struc­ture was ex­cep­tion­ally well-built, but stylis­ti­cally, it wasn’t an ideal match. She em­barked on some mi­nor al­ter­ations. Rec­og­niz­ing the sig­na­ture of tal­ent and qual­ity, Heidi wanted the orig­i­nal de­sign/build team (ar­chi­tect Ross An­der­son and con­trac­tor “Bear” Bari­nowski of Malmquist Con­struc­tion) to help her re­con­fig­ure the in­te­rior. Col­lec­tively, they re-en­vi­sioned the moun­tain lodge into a space that strikes an el­e­gant bal­ance be­tween Mon­tana’s sig­na­ture rus­tic mood and a lighter, more tra­di­tional fam­ily home.

The in­te­rior was re­designed around its fun­da­men­tals — stone, wood and heavy tim­bers. Box-beams and columns com­ple­ment the arched trusses. King posts ex­tend­ing in each truss add a dec­o­ra­tive de­tail and repli­cate the tim­ber fram­ing found on the ex­te­rior. The ma­sonry fire­place is a struc­tural com­po­nent. Aes­thet­i­cally, it an­chors the liv­ing room, ex­tend­ing down­ward through home the the­ater.

The big­gest chal­lenge to the re­design was how to bring in more nat­u­ral light to brighten the rooms. In­te­rior de­signer Barb Cooke, of Vel­vet Leaf

The mag­nif­i­cent en­try­way is ac­cessed by walk­ing down nearly 30 heated ex­te­rior steps that are con­toured to the hill­side.

Play­ful and funky, the pow­der room is a place of sur­prise and in­ter­est. Bead trim de­tail adds def­i­ni­tion to the cab­i­net, which is topped with honed Car­rara mar­ble.

Stu­dio, worked closely Ross and Bear to de­velop an in­ter­est­ing so­lu­tion — they re­moved the win­dow cas­ings and an­gled the walls away from the win­dows. These beveled edges elim­i­nate the dark trim and al­low more light to en­ter for a brighter feel. Ad­di­tion­ally, the open, cen­tral stair­case con­trib­utes to its airy in­te­rior.

“The heavy tim­bers and stone fire­place and walls are a coun­ter­point to the light­ness,” Ross ex­plains. “They pro­vide the sense of strength, mak­ing the house feel com­fort­able — like you’re be­ing cared for. The barn­wood tex­ture con­trasts with smooth sur­faces and nat­u­ral light.”

This con­trast be­tween rus­tic and tra­di­tional ex­tends through­out the home, with tran­si­tional de­tails smooth­ing the space be­tween them. Coved ceil­ing de­tails above the din­ing room and kitchen is­land an­chor

spa­ces with heavy beams and barn­wood, while the light fix­tures and fur­ni­ture were dis­tinctly se­lected to di­vert the in­te­rior de­sign away from a “lodge” look. Quartz kitchen coun­ters re­sem­bling white Car­rera mar­ble pro­vide a clas­si­cal, re­fined ap­pear­ance in ad­di­tion to a tough-as-nails workspace. A neu­tral color pal­ette com­ple­ments the na­tive Mon­tana rock, while es­tab­lish­ing the kind of clean, fresh vibe as­so­ci­ated with con­tem­po­rary homes.

“I didn’t want a lodge. We are liv­ing amongst bears and moose and antlers on the out­side. I don’t need them on the in­side, too!” ex­claims Heidi with a laugh.

One of the more unique tes­ta­ments to the over­all qual­ity and de­sign of the home are the nu­anced de­tails you would only no­tice if they were ab­sent. “The home has sub­tle el­e­ments that you don’t pick up on at first glance,” says Bear.

Assertive, ex­te­rior trusses are sup­ported by ta­pered pil­lars that plunge into rock bases. The grace­ful arc mir­rors a del­i­cate flair found in the roofline’s eves — a touch rem­i­nis­cent of a Ja­panese tem­ple. In­te­rior posts are soft­ened with 45-de­gree, routered edges that ex­tend 6 inches from each end. Each cross­beam is set into the sup­port post to show off its mor­tise-and-tenon joint. “These el­e­ments feel very sculp­tural,” Bear points out. The stun­ning re­sult is crisp and stylish, rep­re­sent­ing a new breed of tim­ber home spirit.

But don’t let the el­e­gant de­tails and top­notch crafts­man­ship fool you into think­ing the home is a mu­seum. As a full-time fam­ily home, the struc­ture func­tions flaw­lessly. A lower-level space orig­i­nally in­tended to be a lux­u­ri­ous wine room was re­pur­posed as a play­room. The kitchen is­land seats all the kids plus their friends. The out­door liv­ing area is the ac­tiv­ity hub dur­ing long lake­side sum­mer days. It’s a home for fam­ily, friends and life.

“It’s fun to share what we have,” says Heidi. “It al­lows us to en­joy it even more.”

It’s easy to miss the sub­tlety of the ta­pered columns and gen­tle flair of the eves, but both give the house a hint of East­ern ar­chi­tec­tural grace — a rather un­ex­pected fea­ture in a Mon­tana tim­ber home.

As a struc­tural com­po­nent of the home, the fire­place is a dom­i­nant but el­e­gant show­piece.

ABOVE: Wood look tile, laid ver­ti­cally, con­tin­ues the homes's mod­ern­rus­tic vibe, even in the shower.

ABOVE: Built on a steep lot, the home cas­cades down one side to­ward the lake. The stair­case is the cen­tral con­nec­tor to the home’s mul­ti­ple lev­els and fea­tures oak floor­ing with a cus­tom-fab­ri­cated, wrought-iron handrail, along with ad­justable light­ing be­neath each tread.

ABOVE: In ad­di­tion to the kitchen cab­i­netry and bath­room van­i­ties, Padgham Wood­work­ing built a free­stand­ing fur­ni­ture piece in rus­tic white oak to house the home the­ater’s pro­jec­tor screen.

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