East comes West in Swan Valley Home

It's All in the Details: Historic East Coast architecture influences Swan Valley retreat

By Amity K. Moore

This tasteful retreat, built on 80 acres of a former homestead in the Swan Valley, boasts a medley of historic architectural influencesmost coming from the East Coast.

According to contractor Bob Foley, owner of Foley Builders in Somers, his client wanted to model the home after three places of the clients childhood: a family residence in New Jersey; a cabin in Maine; and
a farmhouse in Pennsylvania. The homeowner wanted a new house that had an antique feel, so Foley gathered a lot of used materialssome that even made their way to Montana from Pennsylvania. Foley credits his subcontractors with the fine details and workmanship. In the end, Foley says, "We got a very comfortable house, one that feels like an old pair of jeans."

Although this area was originally planned as a powder room on the first floor, the homeowners feared they were losing too much of their living room space. They opted to forego the powder room in lieu of a window seat. The stairwell railings and balusters came from the former Kalispell courthouse. Carpenter Steve Radosevich modeled the newels shown here after those in the courthouse. Foley says Radosevich used only hand planers — no power tools in the process.

This spacious master bedroom features a working fireplace, and a bathroom that was designed to feel like an attic room that had been converted to a bath. In the bathroom (not pictured), whitewashed boards line the walls, spaced in such a way so as to give the feeling of an older room. Antique fixtures complete the look. Bold blues, yellows and reds color walls and trim throughout the house. Here, the teal-blue fireplace has been muted and burnished with Briwax, a wax that leaves a brown tarnish. Windows at Monticello inspired the upper sunburst windows.

Foley and his crew used rough-sawn boards that they sandblasted, stained with three different colors, then sealed with linseed oil on the exterior of this two-story, three-bedroom, two bath home. Halfway up, the rough-sawn boards give way to cedar shingles. A porch and upper balcony, off the master suite, take advantage of the surrounding mountain views and potential for wildlife watching. The porch rails were replicated from a home in Kalispell.

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