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Being an Interior Designer in Big Sky, Montana



Erika & Company

I often have to pinch myself driving to work to see if it’s all a dream. I love to go to my “job” and my amazing surroundings are just a huge bonus. Being an interior designer here means I’m typically asked to give my client their dream vacation home. They have often worked really hard to be able to enjoy, and pass on, a mountain home to future generations.

We created a very cozy powder bath with the wall treatments in here. The wood block is a reclaimed wood treatment from Everitt and Schilling, and with the added dark metallic wallpaper it almost feels like you’re wrapping a blanket around yourself when you close the door behind you. PHOTO BY KARL NEUMMAN

I’m so lucky to be able to merge Big Sky’s mountain style with my clients’ styles from across the country and beyond. I always try to give a longevity to my designs—and do love to use trends, but in ways that won’t date the homes I work on. Here are four mountain design trends that I love to use right now.

White, white, white

I love that white walls are “back in.” We have so many fantastic indigenous materials and textures used within the architecture here, so I ‘ve always loved a nice white wall for a crisp, clean backdrop. White provides a beautiful contrast to those often darker and more textural and organic materials such as wood and stone.

White is all over the place right now: white cabinets, white linens, even white wood floors like I just put in our new studio space. Some of my favorite whites right now: “SW7028 Sherwin Williams Incredible White” is a warm white paint color that reads nice and crisp without being stark, and Pom Pom at Home Belgian linen white matelassé coverlets are dreamy.

This simple bedroom is a great example of mixing all sorts of warm whites to create a cozy space. People often think of white as stark, but this shows white can be crisp and fresh without being cold and contemporary. PHOTO BY WHITNEY KAMMAN

Mixed metals

I had a very hard time accepting this trend and now I’m all over it. Mixing metals goes against my inherently “matchy” personality. I do suggest choosing a dominant metal throughout the bulk of the home, and simply accenting with other metal details almost like you would art. We have so many talented metalsmiths in our region, including Russ Fry, one of the most talented and detail oriented wood workers and welders around.

Reclaimed woods

There are so many benefits to using reclaimed woods in building and interior design. As wood ages, its true colors richen and it patinas, and old nail holes and hardware scars show the wood’s history. If only it could talk, the stories of its past would entertain and teach.

Wood can be durable and beautiful for generations. Reclaimed lumber may be a little more expensive but worth it for all the benefits it provides, sustainability being No. 1.

The woodsy wallpaper in this room completes the modern Nordic look we were going for in this girls’ bunkroom. The bunk beds were created and hand carved by Phil Howard. PHOTO BY WHITNEY KAMMAN

Wallpaper, wall treatments

To go along with the white walls, I love a great accent wall—whether behind a headboard or in a powder bath, use wall treatments in smaller places to create big interest. Wallpaper was such a bad word for so long but it’s huge right now. The textures and unique treatments are endless and fantastic.

Many clients come to me refusing paper, but when I present it as part of a design, it always wins. Use old sheet music or newspaper behind a toilet and your guests will be asking to use your powder bath all the time.



Erica & Company, formerly Carole Sisson Designs, is located at 245 Town Center Ave., Unit F in Big Sky. Visit or call (406) 993-2666 for more information.

Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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