Chalet chic

Nes­tled in the Rocky Moun­tains, this spec­tac­u­lar re­treat has brought a mod­ern yet time­less grace to a tra­di­tional ranch set­ting

Homes & Gardens - - NEWS INSPIRING SPACES - Words Juliet Ben­ning Pho­to­graphs Wil­liam Waldron/otto

Named after its end­less vis­tas and wide blue yon­der, Big Sky in Mon­tana is a heav­enly des­ti­na­tion, ideal for na­ture lovers and of­fer­ing all man­ner of ad­ven­ture. And it is where, not far from Yel­low­stone Na­tional

Park, one fam­ily re­alised their dream hol­i­day home. The aes­thetic of this ranch-style ski lodge was prompted by its sur­round­ings. Its use of lo­cal re­claimed wood and stone, along with the over­hang­ing eaves and low, lin­ear pro­file, an­chors it firmly in the ar­chi­tec­tural tra­di­tion of the re­gion. Charged with de­sign­ing the in­te­rior, Vic­to­ria Ha­gan cre­ated a scheme that brings a mod­ern and so­phis­ti­cated twist to tra­di­tional ranch liv­ing. We spoke to Vic­to­ria about her cre­ative jour­ney.

How did you ar­rive at the project? I’d worked with this young and ad­ven­tur­ous fam­ily on their pri­mary homes on both the east and west coasts, so we started with a strong foun­da­tion. We all de­cided to do some­thing to­tally dif­fer­ent, which gave the project an aura of free­dom and a sense of fun from the very be­gin­ning. I have a clear sense of how the fam­ily live and func­tion, which has con­tin­u­ally en­abled us all to stay on the same page.

What was your brief? These clients are all about fam­ily and friends. They wanted the house to be wel­com­ing and warm as it is used as a va­ca­tion re­treat in both win­ter and sum­mer. It’s an in­cred­i­bly spe­cial spot and needed to re­flect its en­vi­ron­ment. While the house it­self is won­der­ful, the life­style pri­mar­ily re­volves around the out­doors. Over­all, the project took a few years from con­cep­tion to in­stal­la­tion and I was in­te­grally in­volved from the be­gin­ning.

How did you con­sider the house’s func­tion­al­ity and

set­ting? There is a ten­dency to treat a ski house as a bit of a cliché, which I was keen to avoid. Con­structed of lo­cal re­claimed wood, it has strong bones and a bold sense of style. We jux­ta­posed un­ex­pected ma­te­ri­als and fur­ni­ture from dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods to make it unique – a so­phis­ti­cated adap­ta­tion of a tra­di­tional ski home for vi­brant, mod­ern liv­ing. We found an­tique pieces to fit into the Western theme in a sub­tle, low-key way. I love a scheme that isn’t too lit­eral, sug­gest­ing a his­tory but leav­ing room for in­ter­pre­ta­tion. Many of the ma­te­ri­als used – wood, stone and old tim­bers – were sourced lo­cally to re­late to the to­pog­ra­phy and in­cor­po­rate a lo­cal de­sign ver­nac­u­lar.

How did you bring your de­sign aes­thetic to the

project? There are de­sign prin­ci­ples that I feel are as im­por­tant in a Rocky Moun­tains home as in any other in­te­rior: gen­er­ous and strong pro­por­tions; a re­laxed, easy flow from space to space; dream­ily com­fort­able fur­ni­ture; and a spare, graphic look that helps the whole house come to­gether. Each room ba­si­cally had the same pro­gramme: it needed to be a mix of ca­sual, com­fort­able and so­phis­ti­cated, just like the own­ers them­selves.

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