A Mountain Retreat in Montana Allows One Couple to Live in the View

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By Jenny Xie
High in the Rocky Mountains in Big Sky, Montana, this modern home embraces a rugged landscape and captures vistas of three majestic peaks.

For outdoor enthusiasts Bob and Pam Norton, the town of Big Sky, Montana, was a natural choice for the location of their second home. Having purchased a remote lot with views of Lone Peak, Pioneer Mountain, and Cedar Mountain, they envisioned a private, year-round retreat that integrated with the terrain. "We wanted to live in the view," says Pam. "We wanted the outdoors to come in."

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Kolbe's Expansive VistaLuxe® Collection windows provide an unobstructed view of the outdoors.

Kolbe's Expansive VistaLuxe® Collection windows provide an unobstructed view of the outdoors.

To help carry out their vision, the Nortons assembled a talented team: architect Jamie Daugaard of Centre Sky Architecture, builder John Seelye of Big Sky Build, and interior designers Kelly Lovell and Ashley Sanford of Clean Line Consulting. The collaborative group worked together to create a home that felt intimate and inviting while showcasing grand, awe-inspiring views. "From the very beginning, everybody was involved in the project, which led to a really seamless execution," says Pam. "Everybody had input from the get-go."

"We wanted it to be a restful environment," says interior designer Ashley Sanford. "Everything has a matte finish so that your eye slides across everything. There aren’t harsh elements that distract."

"We wanted it to be a restful environment," says interior designer Ashley Sanford. "Everything has a matte finish so that your eye slides across everything. There aren’t harsh elements that distract."

The natural landscape and 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks played a significant role in shaping the home, as well as naming it Mountain Peek. Jamie explains, "When you purchase a site like this with those view corridors, it’s a great effect of knowing already: Where does the great room want to go? Where does the dining room want to be, and how do we interact with the lot?"

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The master bedroom is a texturally rich space and offers views of Lone Peak.

The master bedroom is a texturally rich space and offers views of Lone Peak.

In the master bath, a zero corner window allows the homeowners to soak in views of the wilderness.

In the master bath, a zero corner window allows the homeowners to soak in views of the wilderness.

 The residence elegantly represents the emerging mountain modern architectural style which has evolved in the region. The combination of materials selected helps to create a warm environment within a contemporary structure. Stone, glass, wood and steel are prominent inside and out, with a non-glare, natural material palette to soften the interior. Details such as a Montana-shaped stone above the entrance, a handcrafted custom hood over the stove, a textured marble countertop, and reclaimed wood add richness and texture to the design. "For a home in the mountains, it has to have a certain presence because all that’s around it is so incredible and majestic," says Ashley.

"Stone, timber, heaviness, masculinity were definitely very big a few years ago, but now it’s becoming more feminine, intricate, and delicate as far as architecture," explains architect Jamie Daugaard.

"Stone, timber, heaviness, masculinity were definitely very big a few years ago, but now it’s becoming more feminine, intricate, and delicate as far as architecture," explains architect Jamie Daugaard.

A Montana-shaped stone is just one of the textural details that ground the home in the rugged environment.

A Montana-shaped stone is just one of the textural details that ground the home in the rugged environment.

Ski-in, ski-out access—and a dedicated ski room—give the homeowners direct access to the slopes.

Ski-in, ski-out access—and a dedicated ski room—give the homeowners direct access to the slopes.

A magnificent corner sliding door unit opens up to expand the home to an outdoor deck.<br> "When you walk in and look at the mountains, the beauty is overwhelming," adds Pam.&nbsp;

A magnificent corner sliding door unit opens up to expand the home to an outdoor deck.
"When you walk in and look at the mountains, the beauty is overwhelming," adds Pam. 

Framing a scenic expanse is a Kolbe Windows & Doors TerraSpan® lift & slide 90˚ inverted corner unit. This window wall opens up two sides of the room to expand the interior to a spacious deck outside. "We can just open up the doors, and it’s another room," says Bob. "I love the fact that we have doors that fold up and bring the entire outside space in."

A steel elevator, wrapped by a staircase, anchors the home and descends downstairs to the bunk room.&nbsp;

A steel elevator, wrapped by a staircase, anchors the home and descends downstairs to the bunk room. 

The bunk room welcomes family and friends.&nbsp;

The bunk room welcomes family and friends. 

Wishing to share their home with family and friends all throughout the year, the Nortons created a bunk room to accommodate visitors. A convenient steel elevator eases the ascent to the third floor, and for the ultimate connection to the outdoors, a ski room with boot dryers and lockers enables ski-in and ski-out access to the slopes in winter. "We definitely designed the home with family in mind, hoping that our grandkids . . . and grown children would come and enjoy all different seasons," says Pam.

At every turn, the dwelling stays connected to the environment.

At every turn, the dwelling stays connected to the environment.


The cohesive vision shared by the team led to a unified space that creatively blends natural elements both inside and out. "To have a good start and a really strong ending, you need the four components of an owner, architect, general contractor, and interior designer," says Jamie. "If those components can be integrated, especially in the early parts of the design, it makes for a very strong design at the end."