Cozy ski lodge retreat boasting rustic elegance in Big Sky

Ski Country-Peace Design-01-1 Kindesign

This large family vacation home is a rugged and rustic ski lodge designed with an authentic Western Montana feel by Pearson Design Group, located in Big Sky, Montana. The seven bedroom home is ski in, ski out and is perched at the crux of two different ski areas; however, the East Coast family enjoys the property year-round. There are all kinds of outdoor adventures to be had, including hiking the many trails and fly fishing on the nearby Gallatin River.

Peace Design joined the design team early on in the construction phase. They combined stone, reclaimed wood, accents like metalwork and tiles crafted by local artisans, a mix of appropriately textured fabrics, Western art, vintage Native American rugs and antiques for a balanced mix of rustic and refined. The final result is a comfortable vacation home completely set up for year-round wholesome family fun indoors and out.

Ski Country-Peace Design-02-1 Kindesign

The main entry is under the shed roof, while the ski-in, ski-out entrance is on the main floor.

Ski Country-Peace Design-03-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-04-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-05-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-06-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-07-1 Kindesign

Scouting far and wide for unique antiques was a priority. A camel saddle “ties in as a rustic piece and introduces a saddle without going too cowboy cliche,” Peace says. For the large cocktail table, blacksmith Andrew Crawford added metal legs to an 18th-century plinth reclaimed from a European cathedral, again adding an aged and weathered piece without veering into typical dude ranch territory.

Ski Country-Peace Design-08-1 Kindesign

Peace blended new upholstered pieces with the antiques. These plush sofas are covered in mohair, and the throw pillows are leather and suede. “We wanted to contrast all of the Western ruggedness with luxe materials, like leather, mohair, velvet and suede,” he says. “These textiles stand up to all of the architectural textures and create warmth and add richness.”


Ski Country-Peace Design-09-1 Kindesign

My clients rarely eat out when they are up here; it’s about coming in after being outside all day, sitting in front of the fire, relaxing and enjoying meals together, Peace says.

Ski Country-Peace Design-10-1 Kindesign

Sturdy and simple textiles stand up to spills and let the outside views be the focus. Antique copper and brass industrial pendants and a walnut island that serves as one large cutting board add warmth. “There are amazing artisans in the area, and we love working with them,” Peace says. Local artisans crafted the brass and copper vent hood, the metalwork, the cabinets and the tiles.

Ski Country-Peace Design-11-1 Kindesign

Just off the kitchen is this more intimate family room. The green leather chairs swivel so that everyone can enjoy the view out the window behind. The TV is concealed over the fireplace. An iron and rope light fixture and leather and chenille textiles work in harmony with the log walls.

Ski Country-Peace Design-12-1 Kindesign

Stairs from the entry lead to the main floor. Peace chose furniture and lighting that could stand up to the scale of the massive stone fireplace. The large rug in the first photo is a reproduction, as vintage Native American travel rugs were not made in large sizes like this one.

Throughout the house Chris Lohss of Lohss Construction used standing dead logs like the one used for the newel post, and reclaimed wood like you see on the stairwell walls. These wide planks used to be warehouse flooring.

In a house like this, we like to add refined pieces, like the antique European blanket chest, to add elegance and to balance out the more rustic pieces, Peace says. We wanted it to look like the pieces had been collected over time from around the world.

Ski Country-Peace Design-13-1 Kindesign

Almost all of the other rugs are vintage Native American rugs. These rugs are incredibly durable; originally they were made as travel rugs to cover the ground in tepees and tents and as horse blankets, Peace says.

The team left the main-floor windows undressed and simple to avoid detracting from the vast mountain views. They also toned down the art and color palette to highlight the spectacular views.

Ski Country-Peace Design-14-1 Kindesign

The room with the stone walls is the main floor’s ski-in, ski-out entry. Skiers can stow their skis in the adjacent closet, pull on some dry, fuzzy socks and hop right up to the live-edge wood bar for a hot toddy.

Ski Country-Peace Design-15-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-16-1 Kindesign

This smaller room off the main living room is where Peace gave a big nod to cowboy dude ranch style. Red reproduction Thomas Molesworth chairs surround an antique drum with a custom antler chandelier overhead. Molesworth was a prominent designer of Western furniture, which his company manufactured in Cody, Wyoming, from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Just beyond the windows is a deck with room for dining al fresco in the summer, a hot tub and great views of the ski hill.

Ski Country-Peace Design-17-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-18-1 Kindesign

This built-in custom sofa has a twin mattress and transforms into an extra bed.

Ski Country-Peace Design-24-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-25-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-26-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-19-1 Kindesign

Bunk rooms and sleeping nooks maximize the bedroom space; there are three beds in this room. Pendleton blankets keep things cozy.

Ski Country-Peace Design-20-1 Kindesign

Another bunk room has two sets of rustic log bunk beds. Peace sings the praises of talented local Montana and Wyoming artisans again. “The architect, Larry Pearson, and I basically just asked them to create the beds with their stash of logs and do what they do best,” he says.

Ski Country-Peace Design-21-1 Kindesign

Ski Country-Peace Design-22-1 Kindesign

Atlanta blacksmith Andrew T. Crawford fashioned this custom bronze sink for three.

Ski Country-Peace Design-23-1 Kindesign

A Turkish rug and unique custom headboard inspired by Austrian style continue the collected look. One patterned throw pillow accents simple cream bedding. Peace brought in Western touches via the tepee paintings and wide-planked reclaimed wood walls.

Ski Country-Peace Design-27-1 Kindesign

Photos: Ralph Kylloe

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Crazy 4 Rewards
9 years ago

Love it! Montana wasn’t in my bucket list, but these picutres make you want to go there.