White Brick Contemporary

Situated on a corner lot and surrounded by 100-year-old houses in the heart of Missoula’s historic University District, this new home designed on top an existing foundation strikes the perfect balance between making an original statement and respecting the neighborhood.

For the interiors of this tall and stately white brick home capped with a standing-seam metal roof, we worked hard to create a design that can’t be pigeonholed in order to imbue the full-time residence with timeless style. Its strong architectural forms created a blank slate for interior details that nod to Scandinavian design, mid-century forms, Montana’s legacy in the ceramic arts and the Tudor homes a stone’s throw away while still giving free rein to the client’s love of color and pattern. 

The house abounds in custom features — starting at the moment of entry with a hardwood front door embellished with a distinctive sleek metal handle — and a lively sense of style, as seen in the foyer’s yellow and black hex tiling and the unexpectedly colorful upholstery found throughout the home. We relished the opportunity to create a host of tile “rugs” throughout that play against one another and remind the owner of many years she spent working in Manhattan before returning home to Montana. Special moments abound, such as in the library, with its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and deep brown curtains. Upstairs, a bold floral-upholstered chair and ottoman in the music room— a space both energized and restful, whether one is practicing the violin or reading. Stucco walls and pickled pine ceilings in the living room set the scene for a midcentury-style lighting fixture, cushy seating, custom bookcases and a fireplace surrounded by art tiles. In the primary bath, tall sheer-covered windows and a whimsical floral wallpaper sourced from Sweden create a striking backdrop for a custom yellow enamel tub. The kitchen maintains traditional proportions and a separation from the formal dining area yet sports a contemporary attitude, as seen in lighting and in the detailing of tile flooring, custom cabinetry and countertops. An oversized painting commanding pride of place in the eat-in kitchen was commissioned from artist Ben Pease, a regular at K&K’s sister company, Kibler & Kirch Fine Arts.

The home, both serene and full of unexpected details, is sophisticated yet still relaxed and welcoming. In keeping with the best projects, it celebrates its owners’ varied interests, life experiences and unique spirit.