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  A sleek, light-filled home near Bozeman, Montana proves that contemporary lines and unexpected colors feel right at home in Big Sky Country. The entry of this home in a prairie setting outside Bozeman was the first inkling that this might not be your average Montana homestead. Through the almost Asian-feeling portal gate, a long boardwalk leads to the front door, painted a cheery yellow—a color that morphs with the daylight from a bright lemon to a rich squash color. Overhead are beams of blonde wood; to the left a wall of stacked stone in shades of ivory and, to the right, a field of tall prairie grass, waving unkempt in the warm western breeze. Western living isn’t always about rough logs and dark leather sofas. In fact, some of the most refreshing western architecture and design blend a decidedly minimalist aesthetic with the independent spirit of the West. Here, blonde woods, white walls and expansive windows are anchored by a richly hued wood floor and boldly colored rugs. The substantial stone hearth with its naturally hewn bench and the dramatic, strong artwork keep the space from feeling too ethereal or urban for its rugged location. Artsy pendant lights hover over both areas in complementary (but not matching) colors and shapes. Streamlined cabinetry and fixtures, plus unadorned leather seating continue the stylish theme. A vibrant backsplash of mosaic glass adds visual interest without compromising the functional elegance. Ultra-cool, effortlessly hip, and very interesting. What a great impression for a kitchen and dining room to make! The thoughtful floor plan brilliantly links the formal dining area to the kitchen, encouraging an unbroken flow of energy, ambiance and a more frequent use of the table. Sleek is the word in this bathroom that uses a onyx-hued counter to offset the gorgeous caramel, sand, and vanilla tones throughout. A delicately-patterned rug adds a delicious note of opulence to an otherwise spa-like serenity. “For real style impact, try a vivid color on the walls with a solid or neutral bedspread, or, if you don’t want to commit to bold paint, a pale wall with a brightly colored bedspread.” A swinging bench held aloft with hand-knotted rope offers a peaceful place to enjoy the view of the grasslands and the setting sun. The pale turquoise planter adds just the right amount of color without contrast, proving that in decorating, details do matter! An outdoor living area features a grand fireplace for entertaining or enjoying alfresco evenings. The matching chairs with putty-colored cushions and vivid blue pillows reflect the same palette as the living room, linking the spaces visually and bringing the design of this house on the prairie full circle. (Originally published in the July/August 2012 issue of Cowgirl Magazine).

All photos are courtesy of Gordon Gregory.