Montana home with minimalist design highlights surrounding landscape


Cushing Terrell is responsible for this home with minimalist design details nestled on 4.5 acres in the eastern outskirts of Whitefish, Montana. Entitled the “Railway Residence, this home is located at the heart of three defining features: the Whitefish Range to the north; Great Northern Mountain, bookended by the Swan Range and Saddleback Mountain to the east; and connecting the two, the Great Northern Railroad. 

The design of this 3,500-square-foot dwelling captures and frames these landmarks through simple, gabled forms that loosely recall the agrarian vernacular architecture throughout the region. Together with contemporary detailing, the house captures the familiarity of the past while providing the functionality and performance of today.

Project Team: Architecture: Cushing Terrell | Contractor: Mindful Designs | Interior Design: Tate Interiors


Basic spaces—living area, home office, music studio, garage and storage—are divided into four primary volumes arranged around a central auto court. The spatial organization enables the family of four to have distinct public and private zones.

Short, low-slung, glazed walkways connect the cedar-clad gabled forms and emphasize movement from one zone to another. Windows are pulled up to the underside of roof eaves, bringing a modern sensibility to traditional building forms.


What We Love: This fantastic home features minimalist design details, focusing attention through large windows to the dramatic mountain views. Four simple volumes are separated out based on public and private zones, creating a simplified lifestyle for this family of four. We are loving the concept of a converted barn for a photography studio, an inspiring space for creativity!

Tell Us: What details in the design of this home caught your eye and why in the Comments below, we love reading your feedback!

Note: Have a look at a couple of other fantastic home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this home, Cushing Terrell: Wyoming farmhouse offers an exquisite mix of antiques and vintage pieces and Compact mountain home in Montana boasts sustainable features.


The interiors adopt a European-inspired aesthetic made evident through simple, clean lines and a limited yet warm material palette. White walls and concrete floors—made comfortable through energy efficient, radiant, in-floor heating that’s paired with a heat recovery ventilator—unify the interior aesthetic. Large windows showcase the dramatic mountain vistas.


“We went into the project with sustainability and comfort as a priority,” says the homeowner. “I love our windows and our living room…it’s so open and light. We get to watch the sunset on the mountains and see the deer. It feels like we’re outdoors even though we’re in our home.” To accentuate the views in the living/dining room, one of the walls angles toward a view of Great Northern Mountain.


“It’s a modest design move,” notes Charlie Deese, project architect for Cushing Terrell, “subtly guiding your eye in that direction. It also creates a pocket of space for exterior patio doors to have a little bit of cover.” One of the walls in the music room is also angled, though in this case for acoustical performance rather than to enhance views.


The interiors are pulled together by highlighting similar colors and textures throughout the space. A casual breakfast nook immediately off the entry and kitchen is at the building’s southern side, where exterior views are limited. Ample built-in storage keeps clutter to a minimum.


Foundation walls employ insulated concrete forms while exterior cedar-clad walls feature a rain-screen assembly with continuous insulation and blown-in cellulose cavity insulation—a 50% improvement over code minimums and equivalent in cost to the typical spray-in foam/batt insulation combination. 


Easy-to-build, prefabricated wood trusses meant sealing, insulating, and naturally ventilating the concealed attic spaces were easy to accomplish. High performance doors and triple-pane windows round out the performance initiatives. 


From the placement on the lot to the simple cedar siding to the accents of texture and color throughout, all these elements together create a sustainably responsible house that celebrates family life and the surrounding landscape.


Above: A barn that is original to the site has been restored and provides storage and a backdrop for the homeowner’s photography business.

Photos: Gibeon Photography

One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work page for consideration!

You are reading an article curated by https://onekindesign.com/

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments