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Local Designers Tell Us About Their Childhood Homes

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Your childhood home: it’s a place where first memories are formed. These memories may involve 80’s gems like a seashell-shaped bathroom sink or Laura Ashley bedding. If the 90’s were your formative years, wicker furniture and faux finished walls ruled, and the “Friends” apartment color-palette inspired teenage bedrooms. Your parents’ design choices in your first home made an impression on you, whether it be a model to replicate or run from.

With that in mind, we talked to 6 Bozeman interior designers about their childhood home. What did they love about their house? Here’s what they had to say.

Sharon Lohss
Shelter Interiors

Left: Sharon's childhood home. Right: Sharon Lohss of Shelter Interiors.
Left: Sharon’s childhood home. Right: Sharon Lohss of Shelter Interiors.

My parents built our house and it was strangely modern and ahead of its time. I say strangely modern because my parents are more traditional, but they chose to listen to their young architect who was very focused on energy efficiency and had a more modern aesthetic. They chose to spend extra money on energy-saving features, namely windows. My mom was an amazing landscaper and her handiwork softened those oversized windows. I also loved that my parents let us choose the paint color for our rooms, I chose blue.

If I could change one thing I would move our house closer to town and maybe not use parquet flooring :).

Lindsey Stewart
Lindsey Stewart Architecture + Interiors

Lindsey[caption id=
Left: Lindsey Stewart playing in the state-of-the-art built in cabinets in her childhood home. Right: Lindsey’s sister, Allie (L), and Lindsey (R) posing with their gingerbread houses in front of the built in cabinets.

I grew up in my father’s childhood home in Great Falls. My parents bought the house from my grandparents who built it in the 50’s. It’s a ranch style house with lots of custom/cutting edge design features (for the time). It had radiant heated floors, built-in sound system, firewood storage that is accessed from inside and outside, lots of birch built-ins, even a little built-in spot for a projector. It was really thoughtfully designed with great outdoor spaces that were well blocked from the relentless Great Falls wind. My parents still live there; I think my dad has lived there at least 50 years now.

When I was little I would crawl inside one of the built-in cabinets (see picture). Also, the house has a HUGE driveway that we loved riding bikes and Power Wheels on.

Amanda Heys
Locati Architects and Interiors

I moved from Long Island to Montana when I was 14 years old so most of my younger years were spent in New York. My childhood home was very cozy and comfortable. It wasn’t big but tastefully done. We also had a pool and I loved that!

Looking back, I remember I would always rearrange accessories, furniture, and fluff pillows. I loved that I used to change my room around all the time [not] realizing years later I would go into the Interior Design profession! I would shut my door and move my bed, nightstand, desk, and armoire all by myself (poor wood floors!). I played in my room all the time. I would say that was my favorite space! Our kitchen and great room were also very open to each other and I liked that.

Ashley Sanford and Kelly Lovell
Clean Lines Consulting

From Left to Right: Kelly and Ashley in matching outfits. It's a happy accident that has continued into adulthood. Right: Sisters, Kelly Lovell and Ashley Sanford in Bozeman.
From Left to Right: Kelly and Ashley in matching outfits. It’s a happy accident that has continued into adulthood. Right: Sisters, Kelly Lovell and Ashley Sanford in Bozeman.

We grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (the deep south), in the same neighborhood that our grandparents, multiple aunts, uncles, and cousins lived in, and a hundred feet from where our mother grew up. It had a deep backyard full of trees and a creek running beside it. We have lots of memories of running down the ditch catching frogs and tadpoles and are thankful we never had any run-ins with the poisonous snakes that most surely lived there :). Our mother and her sister had an interior decorating business as well (which was the one thing we both swore we’d never do!) so our home was always changing. Because it was in the South, our house was full of items that had special family significance, like Great Aunt Ora’s fencing sword from college, or Granddaddy’s antique clock, and rugs that had belonged to someone’s cousin. It was also the place where our habit of dressing alike by accident began (it’s a habit that we still have to this day).
Our mom also encouraged us to develop our own style. This is the place where I dreamed up a periwinkle purple bedroom and got to execute the vision myself (Ashley). Looking back, probably the only thing we didn’t love was that periwinkle bedroom because we had to share it. Kelly was about as obsessive about order then as she is now, and as a 6-year-old, she ran a line of blue tape down the center to keep all of my mess on one side.

Brianna Farland
Icon Interiors

Left: Brianna posing with proof that she had butterfly wallpaper in her home. Right: Brianna as a baby posing with her family on the deck of her childhood home.
Left: Brianna posing with proof that she had butterfly wallpaper as a child. Right: Brianna as a baby with her family on the deck of her childhood home.

My childhood home was nestled in the rolling hills of a small town in Vermont. The woods, rivers, ponds, dirt roads and covered bridges were our playgrounds. My exterior surroundings were as influential as my actual house which is why I feel natural elements always find their way into my designs, whether through colors, textures or materials. These elements provide a sense of warmth and timeless quality that cannot be contrived. The house was small and cozy with a central wood burning stove, which I still miss to this day, tongue and groove accent walls, heirloom furniture pieces handed down from great-grandparents, braided rugs and farmhouse knick knacks……quintessential New England. What I love most about my childhood home was the mixture of materials and finishes and how they complimented the natural surroundings……and yes we even had butterfly wallpaper, seriously. I still love to incorporate a touch of whimsy in my designs because who doesn’t need a touch of whimsy!

Abby Hetherington
Abby Hetherington Interiors

Left: Abby's Lake House in Minnesota. Right: Abby Hetherington.
Left: Abby’s Lake House in Minnesota. Right: Abby Hetherington.

As a child, we moved around a lot so it’s tough to pinpoint one thing I loved about my childhood home. For that reason, our homes were more about lifestyle rather than a certain look. For my parents, location was more important than functionality. One time we literally walked our belongings down the street and moved to a new home because it was on the lake in our neighborhood.

Our homes were always well appointed. We learned quickly that sitting on the arm of a chair was not okay, but every room in the house was accessible and kid-friendly. Everything was functional because moving knick-knacks is just one more box that needs to be packed. Now, as an adult, I’ve chosen to put down roots in one place and I’ve lived in the same house for eleven years now.

Great Gifts for Dad

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Father’s Day will be here before you know it, and we’ve put together a collection of great gifts for the father figure in your life. Is he a lover of the wild? A bibliophile? A foodie? Whatever his interests, we have something sure to make dad happy.


1. The Beer Deck, $15.95 2. Copper Block Clock, $80 3. Football Quiz, $10 4. How to Eat in the Woods, $19.99 5. Chicago Flag Flask, $48 6. Classic Westerns, $25 7. Leather Fly Swatter, $24 8. On Beer and Food, $42 9. MD Coffee Mug, $56

Stop by our downtown shop and browse these great gifts or let us help you find just the right present for Dad.

Food Truck Fridays Are Back!

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food truck friday

Food Truck Fridays at the Architect’s Wife are back! It’s hard to believe, but this is our FOURTH FTF season! This year’s lineup includes Tumbleweeds, Grille 406, Street Cookers, and Totally Tasty Food Truck.


Stop by the shop at 23 West Babcock every Friday between 11:30 and 2, starting June 1st through the 29th and enjoy an old favorite—or try something new! It’s lunch at AW every Friday in June and we can’t wait to see you here.

Great Gifts for Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is May 13th, i.e., less than one week away. It’s time to kick it into gear, and get your special lady something that celebrates her! If you’re not sure what to get the mother figure in your life, we’ve rounded up 15 beautiful options. Whether she’s a reader, loves to entertain, or can’t wait to explore the wild, we’ve got you covered.


1. For the chef, Dutch Deluxe Bread Boards, $75-199 2. For the lover of all things cheese, Cheese Tools, $44 3. For the girl who loves to entertain, Amina Tray, $240 4. For the entertainer, Shard Ebonized Bowl, $120 5. For the girl who’s getting by on a wing and a prayer, Fingers Crossed Sculpture, $130 6. For the design conscious, Marble Trapezoid, $850 7. For the aroma therapy lover, Luxuriate Marble Vessel $70; Royale Candle Insert, $45 8. For the romantic, Large Blush Orchid Candle, $59.95 9. For the girl who likes to bring the outdoors in, Oud Cedre 10. For the lover of interiors, The House That Pinterest Built, $65 11. For the outdoor fanatic, A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook, $18.95 12. For the book lover, Ibiza Bohemia, $85 13. For the girl who believes there’s no such thing as too many handbags, Foldover Leather Clutch, $168 14. For the World Traveler, Laser Cut Passport Case, $68 15. For the girl who gets out in style, Kantha Evening Bag, $118

Visit us at our downtown Bozeman shop and we can help you find just the right gift for mom.

Spring Cleaning Sale!

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It’s time for spring cleaning starting with a Clearance Tent Sale in our parking lot!

This is your chance to get high-end designer pieces at a great price! We’re cleaning out our warehouse full of products we have used to stage homes, items purchased at auctions, and slightly damaged items. Shop designer furniture, rugs, lighting, as well as antique one-of-a-kind finds up to 80% off! Bring your friends and make a morning of it – we’ll provide the donuts and coffee.

Where: Join us downtown in the Architect’s Wife parking lot…under the big white tent!

23 W. Babcock Bozeman, MT 59715

When: Friday, April 20th and Saturday, April 21st from 10:00 am – 6:00 p.m.

Can’t make the Tent Sale? You’ve got a whole WEEK to save big in-store at our annual Spring Cleaning Sale happening April 20th – 28th, 2018.  Get 30 % off storewide* and 10% off art.


  • All sales final.
  • Prices as marked.
  • Sale is for locals only – no online orders.
  • Large items purchased at Tent Sale must be picked up by 6 pm Saturday, April 21, 2018
  • *Some exceptions apply. Excludes consignment pieces.
  • Store hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m





Artist Abstract: Meet Cherlyn Wilcox

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Cherlyn Wilcox in her studio at The Emerson.
Cherlyn Wilcox in her studio at The Emerson.

On the top floor of the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, Cherlyn Wilcox’s studio is pulsing with creativity, energy, and today a mix of classic jazz. The abstract artist often calls her studio a mess, but there is a pleasant harmony to the groupings of oil paint, acrylic, graphite, and colored pencils. Dozens of canvases line the walls, on shelves, on easels, and propped against the wall. The range of Cherlyn’s work is impressive; the pieces in the North East corner are dark and moody, full of rich blues and greens; high on the top shelves on the South wall sit canvases with light blues, pinks, and yellow, evocative of her Hawaiian roots. “It’s never this clean in here (she laughs), but I’m enjoying it while this photo shoot lasts.”

On studio vibes: “Music is a must,” Wilcox says. “Music helps to shut off part of the brain, so I can just let the work take place.” She doesn’t start a painting with a plan or even a color scheme. “The first layer is a warm up. I see marks and the way the colors are working together, and one drip or brush stroke determines what my next move will be. I like to listen to music that fits my mood, and then just do what feels right on the canvas. I’m getting better at letting accidents happen. It’s a challenge, yet most of the time, they move me in the right direction.”

paint brush, artist
Tools of the trade: Cherlyn’s collection of brushes, pastels and paint on her work table.

On the creative process: “Each canvas is a new emotional experience. I’m in the studio painting and working and thinking, and want those feelings to be expressed on the canvas. I’m taking the complex things in life, the highs, the lows, beauty, my environment, and translating these emotions into a piece. I appreciate the spontaneity of the process and freedom that abstract art allows me.”

On all the feels: “Ideally I just want someone to get lost in the emotions of my work because I do when I am painting it.”

On motivation: Cherlyn has been able to commit to being a full-time artist for about 5 years. She goes to her studio five days a week, even if she leaves for a dog-walk almost immediately. “Sometimes it’s just not going to happen, and that’s okay. It’s important to make an effort to be in the studio, sit with my art, and often just being there generates excitement.” Multi-tasking also makes it easier to stay motivated. “I’m always working on multiple pieces at once. I work on canvas and paper, and it’s nice to mix up the mediums. The approach is so different starting to work on a large canvas rather than a smaller paper piece; it is nice to balance them out.”

install, interior design, art, wall art
Cherlyn’s abstract pieces grace the walls of a 5 West design project by Abby Hetherington Interiors.

On calling it a day: “I can’t get too attached to the piece, or I’d never add another brush stroke. While painting, I often take a step back and turn the piece. It will change the whole feel, or I get an immediate sense that it’s wrong, totally wrong. When I think a piece is finished, I’ll sit with it awhile, about a month. It’s a fine line though; I can’t look at it too long or I’ll over critique it.”

Cherlyn lives in Bozeman with her husband, Paul, and their two pups, Zeppelin and June Bug.

artist, studio, painter, abstract art
Cherlyn dons her paint filled smock in her studio.

Stop by her studio space in room 217 at the Emerson or shop her work hanging in our downtown furniture store. For direct inquiries contact her at .

Thank you for inviting us into your studio, Cherlyn!

Photography by Cathy Copp

Love is in the Air! Gifts for Him and Her

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This must be love… Architect’s Wife is now THE go-to gift-buying shop for any and all occasions. Come and check out our new concept store for unique and one-of-a-kind finds. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or just Treat-yo-Self day, spread the love for all of those special someones. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite gifts for the day of love. From jewelry to games that will make you fall in love with your best friend’s laugh all over again; I challenge you to step away from the box of chocolates and give a gift that will be memorable!


From Left to Right: 1. Show her you’ve got style, Ketema Cuff, $120 2. Let her know you get romance, New Romance, $60 3. Shelter her from the storm, Ribbed Beanie, $120-$149 4. Whisk her away on a romantic weekend getaway, Feed Bag, $335 5. Up Her Selfie Game: Photo Booth Prop Set, $16 6. Set the mood, Montana Forest Candle, $ 34; End with a big wet kiss, Hot Lips Matchbox, $5.00


From Left to Right: 1. He’s My Little Rock & Roll, Marshall Blue Tooth Speaker, $375-$450 2. Warm your cockles on a sleigh ride, Chevron Flask $48 3. You know the way to his heart, On Beer and Food, $42 4. You REALLY know the way to his heart, Bison Koozie, $100 5. Keep him laughing, Kazoo Tune, $15 6. Drop the hint: you like dinner in<, Kitchen Multi-Tool, $32

Stop in and stock up on Valentine’s Day gifts at our downtown store! Don’t forget we’re open Saturdays 10-6.

Gifts for Her

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2018 is just around the corner which means it’s gift-giving season. We’ve gathered some of our favorite gifties for her. So whether you’re looking for something to arouse the senses, keep your lady warm, or gifting ethically made goods is important to you, AW has you covered. So, without further adieu, here are our choice picks for her:


From Left to Right: 1. Ketema Stone Cuff, $120 2. Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck & Sarah Lonsdale, $39 3. Ketema Ring, $68 4. Bread Board, $199 5. Brass Peace Sign, $135 6. Green Thomas Scarf, $134 7. Cashmere Beanie, $120-140 8. Montana Forest Candle, $34 9. Velvet Notebook, $18 10. Copper Water Bottle, $37

Shop all this, furniture and more at Architect’s Wife in downtown Bozeman.

Gifts for Guys

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Ah, yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to wrack your brain to figure out the elusive gift for the guy in your life. Luckily we live in Montana where Guys in Ties are frowned upon, so there’s no need to find the perfect tie for a collared shirt. We’ve gathered some of our favorite gifts for him, so you don’t have to think about it.


From Left to Right: 1. Marshall Radio, $375 2. Iron Glory Mug in Red, $16 3. Classic Westerns, $25 4.Leather Chevron Flask, $48 5. Survival Playing Cards, $15 6.Iron Glory Domino Set w/Anchor Motif, $58 7. The Fly Fisher, $60 8. Leather Camp Stool, $480 9. Iron Glory Pen Set 10.Nate Cotterman Whiskey Glass and Decanter, Glass $80; Decanter $180

Visit us to shop these gifts and all the other special people in your life. We love helping our clients find just the right gift for every occasion!

Wabi-Sabi: Embracing the Art of Imperfection

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Do you ever arrive at Friday and wonder how your week completely dissolved in the blink of an eye? It happens to the best of us because, in this age of digital enlightenment, we live with constant churn; we run from meeting to meeting, pick the kids up from school, hastily make dinner, zonk out and the next day, we start all over again.

Wabi-Sabi Welcome arrived at the shop recently and it’s the perfect antidote to busy. If you’re new to wabi-sabi, the theory is pretty straight-forward, it’s the art of embracing imperfection in every aspect of your life. Basically, it’s all about CHILLING out and living as the author, Julie Pointer Adams puts it a “considered life” and so by doing, “[make] time and space to breathe, slow down, and be specific.” Julie has been entertaining crowds both large and small for years, but she purports entertaining doesn’t have to mean laying down a lavish meal for 15 dinner guests. It can mean preparing tea for a friend or inviting your neighbors over for a potluck and gathering flowers from your yard as your centerpiece.

wabi-sabi, dinner, dining
Wabi-Sabi Welcome (left) and a view of an Italian dinner designed to encourage guests to linger at the table.

As I was researching this piece, I stumbled upon a Holland Lake wedding that local event design guru, Kait Costanti of Bash designed which wholly embraces the wabi-sabi aesthetic. So, I decided to ask her a few questions about this event and get her take on the wabi-sabi way of life. Follow along to find out how she put this philosophy into practice.

1. I loved your recent work at Holland Lake. Tell me a little about this project. It feels like you embraced the WS tradition wholeheartedly. How did that come to pass?

Our Holland lake lodge wedding was a real passion project for the most deserving clients around. They have since become great friends. I’m currently in the process of developing a program that essentially gives a wedding away for free to a deserving couple that truly values a Wabi Sabi approach to weddings. This wedding was phase one of that project and while not all components were given away I still managed to get Florals on board (Wild Blume), Hair/Makeup (Shawny from Shine Bozeman), paper goods (Collette at Bontemps Calligraphy), all design/planning from BASH plus the squash blossom necklace (Mountainside Design). Next year will be the next phase and I can’t wait to see how that evolves.

canoe, wabi-sabi-wedding, lake
The tranquility of a post-nuptial canoe ride embraces the wabi-sabi ideal of slowing down.

2. How do you work this into your client projects?

As a designer, it’s so refreshing and fun when clients truly trust your process and enable you to let your creative juices flow and at the same time, they have faith that you will keep their personal style in mind. I’m of the opinion that less is more when done in an impactful, Wabi Sabi, way. Go big on florals! That said, big doesn’t mean it has to be expensive or big in the literal sense. It could be a minimal approach but the impact is big. Maybe it’s all monochromatic whites but with different textures and variations of white. Or it could be a few vibrantly colored Dahlia’s as big as saucers. Maybe no flowers at all! Whatever feels natural and organic for the event and space is how I like to design.

wooded, wedding, lakeside, wabi-sabi
The water and woods provide the backdrop for this intimate lakeside wedding (left). Foraged rocks create the the aisle and a simple, but dramatic floral arrangement create a focal point at the end of the wooded path.

3. Are you encountering more clients who are seeking a ‘quieter’ celebration of their big day, i.e. drawing from the wabi-sabi ideal?

We tend to draw a more minimal bride that doesn’t want to overshadow the surroundings and isn’t as interested in adding things that don’t make sense. Just because you’re ‘supposed’ to have a guestbook doesn’t mean you have to. I think Wabi Sabi in the bridal sense means authenticity and paying attention to things that matter most while ditching traditions just for tradition’s sense. Montana is such a vast and incredibly picturesque locale, so our clients really want the beauty to shine through from the already existing landscapes.

place setting, palo santo, weaving
Woven favors handmade by the bride accompanied by Palo Santo bundles.

4. How have you incorporated the wabi-sabi mindset in your personal life and your home?

Definitely. I’m a non-clutter type gal. I definitely have certain things that I love to collect and value but I’m not attached to things as much as I am to memories. I try to buy art everywhere I travel to remember the feeling of where I was. Wabi Sabi finds beauty in imperfection and that’s pretty much mantra in all aspects of my life.

Ready to adopt the Wabi-Sabi mindset? Start by grabbing a copy of Julie Pointer Adams gorgeous, Wabi-Sabi Welcome at the shop and be ready to embrace a life filled with thoughtfulness and ease.

Images by Pascal Shirley

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