The Modern Home Look from Old Montana Building Co.

Montana's Finest Homes: Old Montana Building Co.

Old Montana Building Company brings the modern look to Montana

By DAVID REESE/Montana’s Finest Homes

The look of Montana architecture is changing, and Old Montana Building Company is helping usher in a new era of modern design in homes.

Montana has always been where people bring their lifestyles, ideas and culture from around the country, and that’s happening in home design now, says Jon Krack, owner of Old Montana Building Co. in Whitefish.

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“We’re into this cleaner look now,” Krack said. “It’s reflected across the country, as people are bringing their tastes with them to Montana.”
He’s seeing clients asking for less of the heavy wood and stone elements that have dominated Montana architecture for the last 20 years. The new wave is the “mountain modern” look, Krack said.

In fact, Old Montana Building Co. recently performed a major modern-design remodel on a home on Big Mountain in Whitefish that was heavily into rock and log. “It comes down to who is driving the design ideal and that’s the younger generation,” Krack said. “There’s a generational piece to this. They have different tastes.”
Clean lines and modern materials are aspects of construction you see in New York lofts. Those design elements are showing up in Montana. “You can take that look a lot of different directions,” Krack said.

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Old Montana Building Co. has carved out a niche in the custom-design market with homes of unique appeal. “The big log look is not our bread and butter,” Krack said. “There are builders in this area that have done that look, and if people are looking for that, we’d probably refer them to someone who has done that.
“We’ve developed a good little niche, and it’s important for us to stay there.”
An example of their design approach is seen in a home that Old Montana Building Co. recently built near Kalispell for a family who relocated to the Flathead Valley.

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The home is 4,500 square feet on three levels, and is designed for a growing family, with a gym, media room, small bar, office, game room and three car garage. 
“It’s a nice mix of modern and rustic,” Krack said.

Certain elements of the home, such as abundant reclaimed materials and modern design, were patterned after what Old Montana Building Co. partner Somer Treat had used for her own home near Glacier National Park, where she built a custom home that resembles a Montana fire lookout.
“We had great clients who were open to fun things and were excited to do something different,” she said. “They pushed themselves and they were most excited to try something they never would have done.”
Treat is part of the Old Montana Building Co. team who helps their clients create functional, design-driven homes in Montana. Many of their clients, she said, say they want a certain look “but don’t know how to achieve it. This home is a good example of showing people you can build something really fun, and be excited to experiment a little bit.

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“The lighting, cabinetry, and details on the finish took the home to a different place than the typical Montana house.”

The homeowners chose to use zebra wood, imported from Africa, for the cabinets, which were done by Alpine Cabinetry.

The home has spectacular views of the Swan Mountain Range, but was a challenging design footprint, as it was placed on heavily rocky area.
Originally the design team with Old Montana Building Co. and the homeowners were considering using a Formica product for the cabinets to produce a clean, modern look, but they came up with zebra wood. “When you’re open for it, you end with something fabulous,” Treat said. “It’s a great feeling to know we did it right.”

Treat said one of the highest compliments they received on the home was from the homeowner, who told her they have built a house where the owner’s children will have their graduation photos and wedding photos taken. “It’s great to see this family building their forever home, a legacy for their children.”

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