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Montana Expressions

Where Western Tradition Meets Modern Aesthetic

By: Taylor Owens

Nestled between Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana Expressions is a thoughtfully curated space housing an interior design firm and retail store filled with furniture of all types, antiques, accessories and home goods. Each piece speaks to the enduring Western style that this area is known for, while also incorporating modern touches. 

Originally owned by Ralph McHenry, Montana Expressions has since been taken over by Addi Sires, McHenry’s daughter, since his passing in 2022. 

“My dad purchased Montana Expressions in the mid 90s,” Sires, Owner and CEO of Montana Expressions, said. “He was previously an antiques dealer. He wanted to fuse his love of antiques with modern design. When the opportunity came up, he jumped at that. He owned Montana Expressions until June 2022. After his passing, I decided to take it over.”

Montana Expressions has become a family business with employees who have been a part of the fabric of the store since its early days. 

“Having grown up in it, it just seemed right to keep the business running,” Sires said. “Our store manager, Barb, and our lead interior designer, Kathy, have been here since ‘02, ‘03. So they’ve kind of been here for the whole ride. It’s become a family business. Everyone’s family here.”

Fueled by a passion for interior design, Montana Expressions has come to life over the years under multi-generational leadership and a design team that offers insights gathered over decades of dedicated expertise. 

“Our family has been in the Gallatin Valley for over 100 years,” Sires said. “Actually, the store is on family land. I grew up doing homework here. I was my dad’s only child. I lived at the store when I wasn’t at school. The store became my second home. After my dad passed, it just kind of felt like it was only right to keep it going. So I made a big pivot.”

The design firm and store’s focus is split 50-50 with interior design and retail with clients spanning from Big Sky to Bozeman to Big Fork. Montana Expressions’ space allows for each client to achieve a holistic change to their homes by offering more than just furniture and design expertise.

“I think the apothecary has been our most recent development of kind of focusing more on at-home luxury like home fragrances and robes,” Sires said. “We’re trying to find purposeful accessories too on top of furniture and interior design to make it a lifestyle brand. Just because, especially being out in Montana, that really is a lifestyle in its own.”

As a full-service interior design firm, Montana Expressions accommodates each client’s needs, whether they are looking for a quick living room makeover; arranging pieces that the client already has; bringing in new accessories; or a full build or remodel.

“Our philosophy is that your home should be a reflection of everything – who you are, where you’ve been – we like to bring all those pieces in and tell your story personally,” Sires said. “We’re always listening to our clients and what home is to them. That’s what we want to bring out. A big part of that is finding pieces that go with their personal aesthetic and the things that they already own.”

Inside Montana Expressions, the furniture and accessory offerings range from timelessly classic to modern-day practical to elegant luxury. Complete with a design office inside the store, the design team is available to visitors and clients alike looking to revamp and furnish their space. 

“My process would be just to try to get to know a client by asking questions like where are they from; what do they do; how are they going to use this space; how often are you going to use this space; and just try to listen,” Kathy Koelzer, lead interior designer at Montana Expressions, said. “I try to make good decisions for them for what they’re trying to achieve.”

Montana’s unique blend of rugged landscapes and distinct Western style are mirrored in interior design style in homes in Big Sky, Bozeman, and beyond the valley. The state’s evolution over the years has brought a mixture of contemporary trends and the enduring spirit of Montana to design aesthetics. 

“Montana is always changing, obviously, especially lately. Montana Expressions has more of a boutique feel, and we try to source products that feel modern, but also give you a sense of home in Montana. That Montana style is always, like I said, changing.”

Whether it’s newcomers to this region or long-time residents, people are here because they have a love for the West. 

“Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of calls from clients saying, ‘I want more color, and I want more warmth,’” Koelzer said. “As much as I may want to pare down the design aesthetic a bit, most people are living here because they like the West. We do need to subscribe to that Western style in some form just because it’s Montana.”

Whether it’s a lush rug, beautiful furniture options, aesthetic wall hangings, luxurious candles, or a Pendleton coat, the store and firm provides a holistic approach to interior design, home furnishings, and associated goods. Montana Expressions brings together a harmonious blend of modernity and tradition that resonates with the residents of Big Sky Country.