Gorgeous Flathead Lake home was built to maximize every inch of shoreline

Story by Colton Martini | Photos by Gibeon Photography
With the leaves about to turn, fog rising off of Flathead Lake in the morning, and the cool evening air settling in, it reminds us that fall is fast approaching. But the days are still long and the water is warm. You don’t have to live on the lake to understand its draw to anyone who knows this area and comes to love it.

When a busy restauranteur in Asia wanted to escape a busy life abroad, he looked no further than his roots. The native Montanan felt Flathead Lake was the perfect backdrop to build a stunning house that would feature a combination of modern minimalist sentiments and Montana living.

Once design plans were underway, clean lines and warm materials ultimately set the tone for the house. Surrounded by water on three sides, the home captures the essence of lakefront living. Jason Gerbozy of J Martin Builders worked closely with the owner and CTA Architects Engineers to create a space that maximized every inch of lakeshore and every square foot of interior.

The two-story house features horizontal wood grain stained in a subtle rusty red, which melds the house into the landscape and brings it forward visually. An all-glass entry welcomes you as you come up the walk. A handmade, undyed wool rug, chosen by the team at Hunter and Company Interior Design in Whitefish, makes the entry cozy. The foyer was designed with a strategically placed art wall to keep you in suspense of the view that waits just around the corner.

The floors, interior doors and cabinets all have the same warm, neutral tone, creating a clean palette for furnishings, as well as keeping the focus on the stunning lake view. Bright flourishes of red were added to the exterior to draw the eye out and tie the color of the house into the landscape even further. Red Adirondack chairs, one of the only real requests for furniture by the homeowner, surround the outdoor fire pit, and a playful rug in the outdoor living area ties it all together. The lines between the interior and exterior are blurred by gorgeous glass walls. Sliding doors in place of windows help extend interior living and dining areas outside, with the floors and ceiling both on the same plane.

Back inside, the house is clearly designed to host guests, but it also maintains an intimate feel for cozy, quieter nights. The furniture was carefully chosen by Hunter and Company to reflect the home’s clean lines, but also to create a reference to its surroundings. Natural elements like driftwood and antlers make tasteful appearances, while midcentury-inspired dining chairs are covered in vintage canvas boat tarping, thoughtfully complemented by a reclaimed wood and concrete coffee table in the great room.

The second-level media room offers access to a rooftop terrace, which provides a completely different vantage point of the property and the lake. It’s a perfect place to watch movies on a chilly fall evening.

All three bedrooms have their own private baths, and each floor features a separate powder room. There is an alternate laundry room on the upper floor to help with day-to-day living and sheets and towels.

The master bedroom is the ideal sanctuary. A unique Moroccan rug grounds the space, and a cozy linen chair beckons you to curl up with a favorite book. Like the rest of the home, the color palette is neutral and organic, so as to not take away from the view.

The kitchen is made for entertaining. A long island designed for conversations and informal dining overlooks the dining and living rooms. A large walk-in pantry on one end and a wall of glass doors on the other keeps the prep space fluid and functional. An outdoor dining area adds even more options for entertaining, while a table custom-made from reclaimed dock material and steel café chairs call to mind dining in the hippest restaurants.

The dock stretching out to the west at the front of the house is perfect for boating, and is a great place to slip into the water for a refreshing swim. A protected waterway wraps around to the back of the house, where there’s another dock, an ideal place to store the boat and protect it from the sometimes ocean-like shore waves. As the fall season digs its heels in and the lake level lowers, a gorgeous sandy beach is revealed, stretching out for miles in either direction. Piles of driftwood for bonfires and long walks on the beach make it easier to let go of the heat and activities of summer.

J Martin Builders can be reached at (406) 257-1792 or at jmartinbuilders.com.

Colton Martini, who studied architecture at Montana State University, is a practicing interior designer. He can can be reached at 406-480-2375, or 105A Wisconsin Ave., Whitefish.