Home on Twin Bridges Road merges rustic and modern in the great outdoors

Story by Colton Martini | Photography by Gibeon Photography
In an area that boasts some of the most gracious amenities for outdoor enthusiasts, and where winter is dominant and warm weather is succinct, builders, designers and homeowners collaborate to provide their clients every opportunity to be outside. Marty Beale of Mindful Designs in Whitefish offers a fresh perspective to this design-build paradigm by crafting homes that blur, bend and combine the often hard line between the inside and the out

A company that prides itself on “building a better future,” Mindful Designs strives to do just that. This Twin Bridges Road home takes advantage of all that nature has to offer, while still meeting LEED standards. The home was one of the first in the valley to sell power back to the local electrical grid. Heated and cooled primarily by geothermal energy, the home boasts an expanse of solar panels, and the credits for the summer offset and pay for the electricity used during the long gray winter months.

Juxtaposed against the natural landscape, the modern white façade is a whimsical reminder of the owner’s visions, dreams and feelings of a comfortable place to call home. With the Whitefish Range towering in the distance, the contrast between the two can appear severe. However, the space guides you in a seamless confluence of nature and interior solace.

Consistency is integral for a successful merger of rustic and modern. When combining the two it can be difficult to decide where to congregate. The primary areas of the home feature rustic elements, like stone floors and beam work ceilings, where modern features serve as focal points. Bright colors, sculptural lighting, and sleek wood cabinetry are highlighted against the rustic backdrop. It features rustic elements infused into modern design and creates a seamless transition bringing all the comforts of home to the great outdoors.

An outdoor living area

An outdoor living area

The main living space is oriented to face true south, and design elements are integrated to take advantage of passive heating and cooling. A 21-foot wall of glass looks out to what Beale describes as an “eyebrow” roof. The eyebrow blocks the high angle of the summer sun from reaching the floor of the great room, and conversely in the winter months the lower angle of the winter sun reaches under the overhang to provide a comfortable solar heat.

The eyebrow also doubles as support for the roof of the exterior living space. Native flora and fauna surround the home’s exterior. The semi-open ceiling provides a sense of space while allowing the natural elements to penetrate the outdoor dining area. This section plays on the age-old concept of a courtyard, where man-made elements yield way for sections of nature and elemental consideration.

The exterior living space is defined by a well-groomed lush green carpet of lawn that is meticulously designed to be on the same level as the interior flooring. Stepping stones made from similar material as the home’s interior guide your eye in either direction. The interior floors being in congruence with the lawn make it almost impossible to distinguish what is what. By keeping the front and back gardens at the same elevation as the living area, Mindful successfully created a continuous living space.

Designed for alfresco meals, the exterior dining room opens directly into the kitchen through a 9-by-10-foot bi-fold glass wall. The combination of the woodwork and exposed beams with modern lines, hardware and accessories makes this kitchen a great example of rustic modern done right.

Along with rooms that offer visual and spatial continuity with nature, the owner also wanted the home to be efficient. Perhaps the best example of efficiency is the kitchen, where the homeowner and designer found a place for everything and nothing is far from reach. However, when the sliding doors are open, the cozy kitchen doubles in size.

The master bedroom

The master bedroom

“The interior windows key in on individual views,” explains Beale. The den boasts vistas of the overhanging cliffs of a nearby lake, a cluster of aspens is seen from the master bathroom tub, and to the south a field of canola splashes a vibrant yellow color into the living area.

“The rooftop deck tells the story of all these individual snapshots,” says Beale.

Watching the day pass by from this incredible perch, all while enjoying the comforts of home, blends the line between nature and structure. Boasting furnishings indicative of the coziest living room and a fireplace to keep you warm, it is hard to know when to go inside. Growing up in a rural setting, exploring barns and scaling walls, Beale recalls finding solitude on a rooftop: “It’s an area that makes you feel removed and calm.”

Focused on fostering a healthy environment for their clients and Mother Nature alike, Beale and his partners Dave Radiatti and Jason Pohlman take pleasure in knowing they are building a better future. They aspire for homes that last multiple lifetimes and create joy for generations to come.

A native Montanan, Colton Martini studied architecture at Montana State University and has worked in the design-build industry for 20 years. A practicing interior designer, he is currently aligned with Hunter Dominick and Hunter and Company Interior Design. He can be reached at 406-862-1402.