Inside a Contemporary Bozeman Home That Mixes Antiques and Modern Style
It feels very European.
When a couple was downsizing from a large working ranch in Colorado to a 4,500-square-foot new build in Bozeman, Montana, they tapped Susie Hoffmann, owner and principal designer of Envi Interior Design Studio to oversee the design of the interiors.
The four-bedroom, three-and-half bathroom house was designed by ThinkTank Design Group, who specialize in Mass Timber/Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) projects. It was built with layered split-levels, with a mudroom and family room in the lower level; the kitchen, dining room, and living room on the main floor; guest rooms and bathrooms over the garage; and the primary bedroom and bathroom on another partial level (and separated from the guest areas with an indoor-outdoor glass-bridge sunroom.
“They were ready to live in a town where they could walk to coffee, attend cultural events, still be close to nature but be part of a community,” explains Susie. “The wife is of Swiss descent and they like to travel. They were interested in a low-maintenance house that would be easy to leave and give them a more ‘up and go’ lifestyle.”
Along with the “low-maintenance” feel, Susie and her team, which includes lead designer Megan Riff, were tasked with incorporating the owners’ antiques, heirlooms, and art with the contemporary architectural aesthetic. Think a Venetian Murano glass chandelier with a contemporary bathtub and a large oil painting against a concrete wall. “They wanted their house to feel comfortable, warm, and even whimsical,” says Susie. We combined relics, antiques with new furnishings. The contemporary shell provided a clean slate for us to work in, which made it easier to combine these diverse elements. We used a very rich palette of color and soft textures to help achieve what’s truly an eclectic aesthetic.”
Not only did they have to contend with balancing “old” with “new,” but Susie and team also had to work with the architecture—the building lot was long and skinny, so the home was narrow with the aforementioned split levels. And since the exterior features harder materials like stone and concrete, they balanced the interiors with walnut, wallpaper, fabric, and leather to soften the look.
The living room is a prime example of the antique-modern balance with a custom rug, a bronze and antique family chair that was recovered in a contemporary fabric, and an ornate heirloom cuckoo clock. “It’s that eclectic look that required puzzling all the pieces together and ultimately creating a story that all of those pieces are in the same story, threading the palette throughout. Bookshelves were another unifying element. The living room, study, and bedroom all have lots of built-in shelves to showcase their wide and varied collection of books,” Susie adds.
The dining room was a smaller space; that was a bit of a challenge for the designers. They went with a round table so they could seat more people around it. But the most striking, eye-catching moment is the large oil painting of a nude woman on the concrete wall with modern table and chairs.
The kitchen is a big chef’s kitchen, which is perfect since the wife loves to cook and have people around her in the kitchen. “We worked really hard to create a kitchen that would function really well—not just a show kitchen—with a big utilitarian pantry,” Susie says.
Throughout the home, there are features that make the space functional. “This is also a house that comes with a great sense of utility,” Susie explains. “Where you come in, there’s a dedicated mudroom, there’s a dedicated dog wash, and the laundry room design was important to them. Also, the narrow layout and the different levels of the architecture dictated use. It’s an interesting layered space where the different levels articulate the function.”
In addition to the mixing of antiques and modern pieces, plus the functional design choices, Susie and team used big and bold patterns, like the Pierre Frey wallpaper in the primary bedroom.
“The unusual combination of the family artifacts, rich colors and textures, with the modern pieces makes it feel timeless,” she says. And the homeowners are thrilled with their home—Susie adds that it checks all the boxes for them.