Living & Designing in Big Sky, Montana

We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world

It is very hard for me to simply sit and take a moment to take a deep breath, relax and take in my surreal surroundings.   After 20 years of living here it is pretty easy to get into the work/school routine and forget we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  During the work week, I am often reminded to snap out of it when I am on a job site “alone” and have a moment to take in the view or exterior in some form.  Each dwelling site has its own individual beauty that calls to its owner.  Around here the views seem to be the most important part of the process of purchasing or building a home.  I personally love homes in the forest without views because they have that cozy, “there’s nobody else in the world” feel.  A woods home would also force me to hike for my views.  No matter where my clients or fellow Big Sky peeps choose to create their MT home, the reason we came is to “Get Lost” in our little quiet corner of the Rocky Mountains.

When I do take a moment, I realize that my surroundings affect me so much more than I am even conscious of.  Not only do my extracurricular and family activities revolve around mountain activities, my work life is almost always affected by our special region.  Designing here takes on a whole different path than I might imagine the process would be in a larger community.  We don’t have many of the resources that big city designers have at their fingertips.  Things like design showrooms and home furnishing stores are few and very far between. We are quite remote with only 1 highway in and out of town.  Our community is tiny and honestly, that is how we want to keep it.  Sure, we go to design market and get our hands on everything other designers can, but it is certainly not as convenient or cost effective.  Everything takes a little bit more work and costs a little bit more it seems.  However, the benefits of living and building here far outweigh the little annoyances.

It has been a long road to try to “keep up” with designing in larger places.  My team and I have spent years fine tuning our skills and gathering amenities to make working with a local design firm like us (the very first 1 in BS, I might add) the very best experience.  Not only do we have these inspiring big skies all around we also have wonderful indigenous building materials that are more specific to mountain regions.  Stone and wood are prolific in our area and take a lead role in most of our architecture and design.  I’m not sure I would have ever used birch bark to create bunk beds if I didn’t have birch forests to inspire me every day.  Montana moss rock is one of my very favorite “local” stones to use for fireplaces and/or accent walls. We use stone on, I’d say 98% of our fireplaces where in a different type of town I might be more inspired to use brick, or tile, or even ship lap on a fireplace façade.   Our winters are long and cold here, so fireplaces are very common and very used.  A stone fireplace is, in my opinion, one of the most romantic places to cozy in after a long day in the deep snow. 

We also have talented artisans who settled here because they share our same passion for the outdoors.  I am so proud that after 20 years of designing in Big Sky, Erika & Company has an arsenal of specialized sub-contractors, craftsmen and artists whose talents allow us to take creativity to the next level.  Steel and reclaimed wood are just a couple of materials we use to create custom bunk beds, wet bars, unique design features and awesome mountain details. 

If any of you out there entertain building or buying a home in Big Sky or even just want to visit, please look us up.  We love to talk to anybody about our area and why we love it so much.  If you do decide to have a home here and start the process of hiring an interior designer, consider working with a local firm instead of bringing your team from home.  We offer something above and beyond designers that aren’t here.  We have the same passionate love for this area that brought you here in the first place.