When it comes to designing the interior of a home, the ideas tend to be dually rooted in the homeowner’s personal tastes and the surrounding landscape. In Big Sky, Montana, we’re treated to views of high mountain peaks, wildlife, wildflowers, and trees as far as they eye can see. We also happen to be in close proximity to the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park and tied into the Montana ski culture. These are the very elements that draw many people here, so it’s not surprising that many interior designers in the Big Sky area tend to incorporate natural elements into home designs.
But where antlers, cowboy hats, and skis used to be commonplace in décor, over the last couple of years, a couple of new design trends have hit Big Sky mountain homes, explains Erika Jennings, Principle Designer and Owner of Big Sky’s Carol Sisson Designs.
Trend #1: The use of natural elements with a twist.
“We are still doing a lot of mountain design, but we’re not seeing as much cowboy-Western,” Jennings explains. “I’m using a lot of natural materials—reclaimed wood, stone, and traditional mountain building materials—but not in a cowboy sense, in a modern-natural sense.”
One example Jennings gives is painted antlers for a more modern and funky twist. She might take an old cowboy hat and shellac it, use an animal hide or fur on chairs or as a wall treatment, hang a funky piece of reclaimed wood on a wall, or take natural, organic materials and add a little sparkle, such as a thin shiny thread throughout.
“What we’re really doing is taking materials we’ve used in a more Western and traditional sense and tweaking them a little bit to be more funky and fun,” Jennings says.
Trend #2: The re-use of relics with a twist.
When you’re cleaning out the attic or the garage, keep your eye out for classic relics that can be turned into decorative treasures. For a client with a cabin in the Spanish Peaks community, Jennings recently painted an old pair of skis and snowshoes a shimmery bronze color and hung them on the wall to spice up a chocolate brown-colored bedroom.
“Always be open minded when looking at old things,” Jennings says. “There are so many ways to re-use things by painting them or finding a totally new use for them.”
For inspiration, Jennings likes to keep up on trends, but she also looks at her client’s particular tastes and what they already have on hand. These design trends, with natural elements and the use of relics, still seem to accomplish a Western feel that brings nature indoors along with some of the characteristics of a Montana, ski town lifestyle.
“These trends are less traditional,” Jennings says, “but you get to be a little bit more creative and still add character and warmth to a home.”