By Patrick Straub
Living in Big Sky may appear as the life of hyperbole. Our ski runs feel longer, our powder seems deeper. Our rivers teem with more trout and our forests go on for miles. Our wild just feels wilder. When the last run of the day is made, the final dry fly is cast, or the day’s peak is bagged, coming home is the affirmation of knowing a day was not wasted. Creating a home’s interior—one to synergize with the grandeur of the land we call home—demands a similar passion for mountain adventure.
Hemingway wrote “where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to go.” We can imagine him sitting in his chair looking towards Lone Mountain as the morning sunlight tops the peak and crawls down into the bowl. Home, for those living in our mountain hamlet, is the jumping-off point for outdoor adventure. If a home is where the adventures begin, its interior design must be worthy of embracing where we are truly meant to go…and that is home.
As big as the vistas in greater Yellowstone, is the passion behind Alder & Tweed’s luxe, yet approachable home design process. Stepping into the Alder & Tweed office in Big Sky creates a sense of arrival, as if you’re already a local. Greeted with a smile and a genuine “How’s your day going today?” from Elise Clark, the office’s Director of Business Relations. For Clark and Alder & Tweed clients, from start to finish, the personal touch is reassuring as fresh snow on the mountain.
Having started her day with an early hike or run with her dogs, Clark’s been in touch with clients early. “It is my passion to help our clients understand and meet their goals,” she says. “The design team we have here is so connected with the Big Sky community, our inspirations are also those of our clients.”
Alder & Tweed is no stranger to luxury home design inspired from an outdoor lifestyle. For over fifteen years they have set the bar in creating a one-of-a-kind home design experience. With offices in Big Sky, Park City and New York, the team in Big Sky understands the marriage of modern sophistication blended with mountain enlightenment to create a home that will bring an owner’s vision to life.
This is a family business owned by Reed, Heather and Lynsey Humphrey and all three are involved daily. Like the Humphrey brother and sister’s team, the Big Sky Alder & Tweed team cherishes the values of the Big Sky community—working hard and playing hard throughout the natural landscape. By living and working in the local community, the Big Sky office team is able to give new and existing homeowners a one-of-a-kind design with impeccable service.
“Our preparation starts well before we meet with a new or return client,” Clark says. “We know the value of everyone’s time. And we create spaces that allow our clients to enjoy that precious gift of time here in Big Sky.”
Vacation home living is about enjoying time away from the distractions of every day. What one owner may find exciting about a vacation home another may not. The mountains, rivers and peaks that define Big Sky and the surrounding environs are what brought—and keep—many of us here. Alder & Tweed’s designers combine the balance between luxury and an escape to the natural environment without sacrificing the wantonness to be at home, yet still in the wild.
In our current state of living in a global pandemic, time at home is more abundant than ever. Our homes are now many things— offices, classrooms, gyms, nurseries, places to go for date-nights or dinners with friends, playgrounds and much more. With over a decade of experience, Alder & Tweed has worked with its clients to create all of these attributes of a well-designed home and bring a client’s vision to life.
Similar to design trends of the past, life in current times is creating its own set of trends and fashions. As people desire for a simple lifestyle, the need for a home to be a complete package has never been more important. The needs of what a home can, and should do, have changed dramatically.
“With our home designs we can calm down the chaos of the current times and create a home that is a sanctuary,” said Heather Humphrey, one of the co-founders of Alder & Tweed. “With the marvelous textures and colors of the landscape in Big Sky and the backdrop of the mountains, our design team is inspired by the same things that inspire our clients—those majestic mountains and outdoors we look at every day.”
Homeowners are now designing interior spaces that aspire to bring the outdoors in. A busy executive can cross-country ski Lone Mountain Ranch in the early morning and can still make a brunch-time conference call while gazing towards the ski hill picking out the afternoon’s runs. A yogi can create an in-home studio that allows sun salutations facing the rising sun over the Gallatin Range. An on-the-go family can have a workout room and gym space in their house that doesn’t affect other areas of the home when peace and tranquility are desired. Sauna rooms and relaxation studios can serve up a respite from a busy day while the in-laws or kids play in separate space.
“Homes need to be a cozy, yet a very functional place for families,” says Lynsey Humphrey. “Since families are spending more time together, certain rooms and larger spaces are being redesigned or rethought, enhancing daily life.”
Alder & Tweed’s success and loyal following is because they embrace the client experience. Whether new or existing clients enjoy their annual Sky Box at Big Sky’s PBR or putt for par during the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation’s Tom Weiskopf Cup—a charity golf tournament which Alder & Tweed is a key sponsor and social partner—the team at Alder & Tweed invests time to create relationships with their clients.
“We want to know who they are as people,” says Reed Humphrey. “We want to know what inspires them, what their families enjoy, how they’ll use the home. We like to get to know them and learn as much as we can about each individual client, whether residential or commercial.”
Alder & Tweed recently finished the design of a bar and lounge at the Yellowstone Club. Members of the club had expressed interest in desiring a vintage-feeling ski bar, the likes of a roadhouse dive bar meets college town hangout—the kind of place where shot glasses on old Rossignols are welcome.
Partnered with Alder & Tweed’s unique blend of creativity, listening to the customer’s desires, and fine-tuned project management, the Yellowstone Club’s Boot Room now blends classic retro with modern comfort to create an interior design unique to Big Sky.
From the initial meeting to finished project, the committed staff is there throughout the process. “Many of our clients are very busy,” says Clark. “We strive to be their partner in interior design without creating further demands on their time. Whether we are sending color samples via courier or driving to visit clients ourselves, our team here in Big Sky does our homework and goes the extra mile.”
WHAT INSPIRES YOU INSPIRES US
FAVORITE SKI RUN AT EITHER BIG SKY OR YC
“Lone Mountain has amazing XC trails!” – KC Smelser, Designer
FAVORITE MOUNTAIN BIKING TRAIL
“Big Sky free bike trail is definitely Mountain to Meadow. It’s got the climb, a flow track and those tight turns. I always end Mountain to Meadow with a cold beer at Beehive Brewery.” – Madison Woith, Office Administrator
FAVORITE WAY TO KILL AN HOUR IN BIG SKY
“Big Sky Ice Rink is a great spot in the winter. When summer comes around, Big Sky Town Center Plaza has great live music.” – Bradley Jespersen, Logistics Coordinator
“Having a drink on the heated patio of Lone Mountain Ranch. They also have live music during happy hours!” – Daniel Bontrop, Senior Designer
“The cherry blossom room at Blue Buddha is one of my favorite spots. The restaurant is fun and the open patio is so relaxing on warm summer nights. The live music on Friday evenings is awesome.” – Elise Clark, Director of New Business
“Olive B’s has a great lunch. The chicken breast caprese is consistently delicious!” – Ashley Powers, Senior Designer
“Ordering from Alberto’s! When we can, we love to have company lunches and Alberto’s is our favorite! I love their verde chicken and cheese enchiladas and we always order an extra order of chips and guac, just in case!” – Lindsey Treasure, Design Director
FAVORITE LEG-BURNING, HEART-THUMPING HIKE
“I like Lone Peak via Bone Crusher because from the summit, you can appreciate the most scenic overlook and see the mountain goats, especially on blue sky days!” – Ali May, Interior Design Manager
FAVORITE “TAKE THE OUT-OF-TOWN VISITORS” HIKE
“I love Ousel Falls and always take my family there when they come to visit. It’s short and easy and my toddler loves playing in the waterfall at the end.” – Lindsey Treasure, Design Director
FAVORITE GOLF HOLE
“In general, I really just love playing the golf course when I can. Everyone is so friendly, there is a real sense of community and the 360-degree views are breathtaking.” – Melissa Kunes, Senior Designer