A Luxury Montana Log Home Gets a Huge Update

The beauty of a luxury Montana log home is revealed after a major renovation.

Story by Stacy Durr Albert | Photography courtesy of Peak Photography, Big Sky

exterior snow log home

Set on a wooded lot in Big Sky’s prestigious Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, the sprawling log home affords breathtaking vistas in all directions. Since the original siding hadn’t been properly maintained, the owners decided to replace it with reclaimed barnwood. They also restored and re-stained the exterior logs to a deep brown tone.

It’s often said that first impressions are everything, but maybe Franz Kafka knew better. The famous writer firmly believed that first impressions are “always unreliable.” The owners of this majestic log home would probably agree, for when they first toured the house on a 10-minute walk-through, they left with an impression that was far from favorable.

 The living room windows frame majestic views of the Spanish Peaks and the big, beautiful Montana sky. The massive fireplace features local moss rock; it serves as a divider between the dining and living room areas.</div></p>
<p><div id=165-Wildridge-living1 -Great-Room" width="800" height="532" /> A striking photograph of a wild mustang by photographer Tracie Spence creates a dramatic focal point in the living room. The natural hues of the photo are complemented by the home’s soft color palette. Upholstery in leather and boiled wool introduces rich notes of texture. White chinking against the re-stained logs creates contrast and that unmistakable log home warmth.

Set on a wooded lot in the prestigious Spanish Peaks Mountain Club in Big Sky, Montana, the 6,000-square-foot home affords spectacular mountain views, and is a welcome respite from the couple’s hectic life in California. Though it needed a major facelift, its layout offered a great flow of space that instantly appealed to Kelli and John.

“We love it,” shares Kelli. “We wouldn’t change a thing about it.”

“We like to live a casual lifestyle,” says John. “We enjoy curling up on the couch with the kids and watching a movie, so we didn’t want a formal setting. Instead, we craved a place that we wouldn’t want to leave; a place where you could touch things and not feel uncomfortable.”
 Structurally, very little about this house was modified. John felt the bones were good, though it was in desperate need of a facelift.</div><div id=165-Wildridge-kitchen5 -Master-Bedroom" width="800" height="532" /> But now, the room opens up to a deck so that the owners can enjoy being closer to nature. By refinishing the original flooring with a clear-coated pine and re-staining the logs a rich brown, the space appears brighter and more open.
The kitchen is another area that underwent extensive renovation. One of the most challenging areas was the concrete flooring — the owners hated its acid-green hue, so they painstakingly converted it to an earthy shade of beige. For cabinetry, they opted to remove the upper cabinets, replacing them with open shelving. They added beautiful reclaimed white oak cabinets below. Honed black granite counters, a Moroccan hand-glazed tile backsplash and an upscale La Cornue range add notes of luxury. “We have the expectation that we’ll be in this home for the rest of our lives, so we splurged a bit in some areas,” Kelli admits.
 Before, the master bathroom was dated and dark.</div><div id=165-Wildridge-master-bathroom2 [AFTER] Now, a whitewashed effect creates an instant air of tranquility in the spa-like retreat. A reclaimed sawn timber serves as a step into the tub, adding an intriguing textural contrast to all of the stone.

Though the renovation entailed a lot more than the homeowners ever imagined, they are thrilled with the results.

“The emotional component is so different from the original house,” shares Kelli. “It is lighter, more comfortable, organic and inviting. The home is a mountain-rustic-modern design, and we’re thrilled that we were able to go in and make it what we wanted.”

Every time they visit the house, Kelli and John feel the stress of their busy California lives lift away.

“Everything slows down in Montana,” says Kelli. “It’s such a different pace of life, and we love it! It truly is an all-season playground for the outdoor enthusiast, and John’s soul just longs to be here.”

As the couple unwinds in their welcoming retreat, Kelli can’t help but concede that her first impression of the home was completely wrong — and she reluctantly admits something that most wives won’t dare to: Her husband was 100 percent right.


Home Details

Square Footage: 6,000

Construction: Chris Lohss Construction

Interior Design: Rain Houser, Pearson Design Group

About Spanish Peaks

Spanish Peaks Mountain Club is a 5,700-acre ski and golf community in Big Sky, Montana. The Spanish Peaks Mountain Club offers direct access to Big Sky Resort, the Biggest Skiing in America®; an 18-hole Tom Weiskopf Championship golf course; and over four miles of private access on tributaries of the trout-rich Gallatin River.

The Clubhouse provides dramatic views of the Spanish Peaks mountain range and offers dining, golf and ski operations, pool, fitness, spa treatments and youth programs. Real estate offerings include homes, home sites and cabins. Learn more at


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