This thoughtfully designed home seamlessly combines rustic with glamorous

Story by Colton Martini | Photography by Gibeon Photography

Modern, rustic, glamorous, simple: What do all these words have in common? At first glance, seemingly nothing. But take a close look and this home embodies them all.

Modern, as an architectural movement, has a tendency to read more functional, simple and on trend, whereas rustic has more of a classic look, more expected in Montana, gravitating toward heavy architecture and darker tones. Glamorous is timelessly over-the-top and can really be all about the sparkle and layers. Ultimately, the design team, builder, architect and homeowners worked tirelessly together to fuse and combine these principles to build a composition all its own. They  deemed it Montana Glam.

When homeowners Dave Brandt and Tory Brandt of Brandt Construction met with their architect, Rich Graves, principal of Altius Design Group, it was evident they wanted a house for entertaining.  Dave presented Graves with a unique endeavor of creating a space that centered completely around a courtyard-like outdoor space. This was even more of a complicated task because of the build site’s specificity. Moreover, it was to be built as a showpiece, model home and personal residence for the Brandts. As such, attention to every component and design decision was important.

Graves took their request to heart and created a central courtyard-style outdoor living space first, and then built a house around that. When you enter through the solid-glass and steel-pivot door, large-scale polished limestone tiles reach through the house. This unanticipated choice in the mountains of Montana is amalgamated into the design and draws you directly to the exterior. 

The outdoor room has bi-fold paneled glass walls. Essentially, the entire house opens to the exterior. The dining room, wet bar and living room can be accessed from the deck area, with a circular-knit structure that takes advantage of the impeccable view of Whitefish Lake.

The outdoor living area is complete with an outdoor kitchen and wood-burning fireplace. The living areas were designed and furnished with a dining area and chic lounge seating that takes advantage of the fireplace, the view and, on occasion, catching a movie on the outdoor television.

The Brandts worked conscientiously with their design team at Sage Interior Design to cultivate a layered look that would combine the home’s penchant for the outdoors. The fireplace was a stroke of genius initially drawn out by Dave Brandt on a napkin. The façade was paneled in the same material as the exterior fireplace, a custom plaster detail designed to bring to mind the look and feel of untreated cold rolled steel.

While steel alone could be perceived as a cold and more utilitarian look, it was elegantly matched with the dark wood-paneled walls, thought out in a contemporary geometric pattern, and stone from the home’s exterior to add a rustic vibe. Then there’s the glam. A steel I-beam was implemented as a mantle and adorned with a fabulous silver leaf finish.

Dark wenge cabinets and a floating wenge-wrapped lit ceiling carry the notion from the fireplace forward. A custom soffit was painstakingly designed by Brandt and the team at Sage to give the bar area a cozy corner of its own, and to differentiate the space from the great room. Glass tiles from Ann Sacks combine perfectly with the unique faux bois style marble surfaces.  In the adjacent dining area, individual pendants form a playful and unique chandelier over the dining table, which has a mirror finish cross base and is surrounded by custom-velvet dining chairs.

Tory works primarily from home and wanted an office in which she could be inspired. This was the opportunity for her and the designers at Sage Interior Design to have some fun. Glamour was the prominent direction in this room. A black lacquered desk with a gold-leaf base pops against malachite-inspired wallpaper. The deep purple lounge-style desk chair is the perfect place to comfortably get some work done, but also a refuge to kick off the power pumps and pop a bottle of bubbly.

The master bedroom is more of a treehouse than a room. Floor-to-ceiling glass with a view of Whitefish Lake makes for the quintessential nest. The homeowners specifically requested that the designers at Sage add no window treatments, nothing to take away from bringing in the light and the treetops.

In the master bathroom, the limestone found throughout the house runs along the floor and into the shower: a tasteful and homogenous look that brings the concept together. A place for everything and reminiscent of a stylish boutique, his and hers closets were designed to keep the battle of the sexes to a minimum. Finally, as a further homage to the art of fashion, a self-lit makeup mirror adorns the vanity area.

Whether at work or play, Montana Glam is something we can all embrace: inspired by the outdoors with a flair for the glamorous lifestyle that Montana offers.

Colton Martini studied architecture at Montana State University. He is a principal designer at Sage Interior Design and can be reached at (406) 480-2375, 105A Wisconsin Ave., Whitefish and