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Montana Antiques Meet Modern Chic in This Family Ski Retreat

August 31, 2021

Cultivate a sophisticated chalet vibe with National Park and international style inspiration from a Montana designer’s reimagining of a Big Sky vacation home.

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Photo: Lucy Call

How to Nail Elevated-Retreat Chic Anywhere

Abby Hetherington and her Bozeman, Montana-based design team have developed a reputation for outfitting vacation homes. Commissioned at first to decorate the spaces where their clients gather to make the most of free time, they now find themselves summoned out of state to re-create their cozy-meets-quirky contemporary aesthetic in year-round residences. Abby’s fans can also seek out her style at the old Montana Motor Supply building in downtown Bozeman, where Architect’s Wife — a design destination that sells everything from curated Montana antiques to luxurious Italian furniture — is making Big Sky Country even more gorgeous, one well-chosen piece at a time.

That magic is on full display in this secondary ski home, where touchable velvet softens modern silhouettes and eclectic art both references the spectacular nature surrounding the property and puts a big-city twist on traditional cabin motifs. Absorb a few lessons from this crew of experts and you’ll be ready to tackle Alpine style in no time.

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Photo: Lucy Call

Contemporary Interpretations of Natural Subjects Define This Entryway

The coyote painting punctuating this entryway celebrates Montana wildlife in a style that suits the home’s on-trend terrazzo floor tile and sleek, flush-mount globe light. (Fancy something similar for your own home? Take a virtual stroll through a curated collection of environmental art at Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s Gallery Wild.) The pair of antler-leg stools, in turn, offer a contrasting, traditionally Nordic take on the mountain aesthetic.

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Photo: Lucy Call

Modernize With a Mix of Wood Finishes As In This Kitchen and Dining Area

The kitchen and dining area owe their contemporary look to the bold combination of comparatively "natural" wood (on the warm, exposed ceiling beams and pale island and floor) with updated iterations (like the blocky, ebony-stained cabinets and the sculptural array of carved candle holders on the marble dining table). Saba Italia’s sapphire and gray quilted-velvet New York dining chairs are comfy enough for marathon family dinners — and complement the angular barstools’ navy tweed upholstery.

"The island cabinets are made from a rift sawn white oak and helped to brighten up the black perimeter cabinets," Abby notes. "If you want to chose two different woods, make sure one will feel like an anchor in the space, and the other acts as an accent but mixing materials is easy and fun. Just don’t overthink it!"

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Photo: Lucy Call

Add an Unforgettable Piece by a Local Artisan to Your Home

The narrow stairs leading down and away from the kitchen could have been a forgettable, interstitial space. But with the addition of a rocket-casing pendant from Livingston, Montana designer Russ Fry, they’re a major style moment. "The missile-base pendant was found months before we began the project," Abby recalls. "When we first walked through the home with the client, we thought this was the perfect spot for [a] fun found object, and the client was all in. We like to mix new and old in most of our projects, bringing a fun story with each piece."

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