Compact mountain home in Montana boasts sustainable features

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This compact mountain home features clean lines with added warmth, designed by Cushing Terrell, along with Hunter and Company Interior Design. Located in Whitefish, Montana, it was important for the dwelling to meld into its sloped site. The forested property offers enviable views of Whitefish Lake and a ski mountain. The design of the architecture, therefore, needed to be maximized to take advantage of these views.

It was also important that the home be energy-efficient and environmentally responsible. To fulfill this goal, the design team applied highly durable, lasting materials throughout the design. “The plan is oriented to take full advantage of the views and design features allow natural light to fill the spaces,” states the architects. Spread out over two levels, the mountain-dwelling encompasses 2,500 square feet (232 square meters) of living space with two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms.

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The facade is designed with a steeply pitched roof, mimicking the angles of the mountains in the distance. It also helps with keeping the snow and rain at bay from the entry points. The exterior is clad in Western red cedar. On the second level bedroom suite, a private balcony partially serves as a green roof. The small window on the upper right facade is for the master bedroom, offering privacy from the street while still emitting natural light.

The main entryway is positioned far from the heart of the home. It brings visitors through an art gallery hallway before inviting them into the main living area. This space encompasses the living room, dining room, and a spacious kitchen. The living area offers expansive windows that provide sweeping views over the lake. The designer selected a mix of furnishings. Some of the homeowner’s existing traditional pieces from a previous residence were incorporated into the design scheme.

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What We Love: This compact mountain home is an array of simple design features, openness, views, and warmth. While many hard materials elements were integrated into the design, it still retains a warm, homey feel. Also love the way the angle of the roof mimics the mountains; the green roof, and how the spaces were designed to enhance natural light.

Readers, what elements of this home are stand out features to you? Anything you would have designed differently? Please share with us your thoughts in the comments below!

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Above: Polished concrete flooring features radiant heating, helping to reduce some of the dwelling’s energy costs. The painting above the fireplace is by artist Marshall Noice.

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RELATED: Luminous three-story, shingle-style cottage on Whitefish Lake

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Above: Upper cabinets were not integrated into this kitchen, keeping it open and connected with the dining room. This also helps to not obstruct the views of the exterior environment. A mint green subway tile backsplash helps to connect the kitchen with nature. The countertops are comprised of recycled materials. Off to the right is a doorway leading to wine storage.

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Above: A close-up detail of the cabinetry, which is a Zebrano laminate.

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Above: On the second level of this compact mountain home, is the master bedroom suite, featuring a sitting area, bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet. The designer selected cork flooring for its natural aesthetic and thermal and acoustical qualities.

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Above: A narrow window in the master bedroom captures the views of a nearby ski mountain, while still enabling privacy from the street.

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Above: The master bathroom features a concrete vanity top with an integral sink. The vanity wall is clad in an earthy quartzite mosaic tile.

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Above: On the second level, a private balcony off the master suite leads to a green roof. Mosses and native plantings cover the space. The flooring is slate tile. The balcony cantilevers over one end of the house where the stone fireplace is, providing shelter to a patio below.

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Above: The dramatic staircase reveals wood treads comprised of fir with a steel and cable handrail system.

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RELATED: Dreamy rustic-contemporary retreat on Whitefish Lake

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Above: A guest bedroom suite and the laundry room (pictured below) are located on the main level.

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Above: The front entryway door is comprised of cold-rolled steel, a custom piece commissioned by the interior designer. The entrance is tucked out of the way, allowing guests to wander through an art gallery hallway. Walls showcase the homeowner’s contemporary art collection.

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Above: The facade is characterized by wood, stone, steel and glass, a simple palette that visually links the home to its natural surroundings.

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Above: “The wood and stone exterior forms blend beautifully into the rugged mountains with a clean, modern architectural style,” states the architects.

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RELATED: A rustic family compound in the mountains of Montana

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Photos: Gibeon Photography

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