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Team Q&A : The Intersection of Travel + Design

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“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” 

Henry Miller says it well. Travel teaches one all sorts of things, not the least of which is to look at the world in a different way. The same is true in design – it’s a way of looking at the world around you (kinda like getting fresh pair of spectacles). The two have a lot in common, which means that it’s easy to take lessons from one and apply them to the other. 

Here, our team share favorite destinations, tidbits of meaningful moments, and how their out-of-bounds experiences have influenced the way they see things in one way or another. 

Note: As a team based in Bozeman, Montana, we have been hunkered down for the long winter and currently experiencing spring fever. We hope you can daydream along with us here…


Q. Where are your favorite places to travel?

Jeana: Small urban villages that have a lot of history, where people have been living for centuries. On the flip side, wild landscapes that makes a person feel like a grain of sand.

Hillary: Italy! The culture, lifestyle, and people are all wonderful!! 

Allison: Southern Utah; the landscape is foreign and beautiful. Such a change from the lush mountains of Montana, but striking in its own way.

Chelle: Pack the car and road trip! Best part is spontaneous stops and making memories along the way.

Courtney: Deutschland! I love the the spectrum of architecture you can find there – every major European style from Roman to Postmodern is represented. Visiting the The Bauhaus School in Dessau, Germany, the primary place where the movement took form will always stick with me.

Q.What are three items you must travel with?

Jeana: My sketchbook, running shoes, and comfortable clothes so I can be on the move all day!

Hillary: Face wipes, phone charger, wet ones!

Allison: Running shoes, sunglasses, and a book

Chelle: Camera, sunscreen and snacks

Courtney: Sour patch kids, phone [camera/maps], and big book

Q. What is one interesting or exotic find that you’ve stumbled across (or something you’ve done) while traveling that you’re particularly proud of?

Jeana: A hand woven wall hanging from Guatemala. Not the most exotic but it’s beautiful and reminds me of the amazing place it came from and the people I was with.

Allison: I’m always trying to find the best hole in the wall restaurant or bar – always rewarding when you find the funky hidden gems – the best ‘local secret’ dim sum joint, cocktail bar, etc.

Chelle: Living in London for 6 months during a study abroad program really opened my eyes to the excitement and curiosity of travel and exploring other cultures.  The classes we took were hands on and taught by industry professionals – which allowed us to be immersed on a whole new level, outside of the textbook.  One class in particular was on Museums. Taking the time to appreciate not only the history but what it meant to be there current day – the architecture, the stories behind the exhibits and the feeling it created.  There were no tests at the end, only requirement was to always have a notebook on hand and sketch your way through the journey! 

Courtney: I discovered my ’79 International Scout II in Anza, California. I had never driven a twin-shifter before, but somehow made it back to Montana. Proud or foolish? Not sure. Nonetheless, my Scout is dear to me because these vintage 4x4s have a way of becoming catalysts of connection to our past, to others, and to great adventures.

Q. How does travel change the way you think about design?

Jeana: Traveling brings empathy. It makes you acutely aware of what is not’normal’, but to others is essential to their life. It teaches you to first and foremost listen and observe before interjecting with your personal biases and preferences.-

Hillary: Inspiration is everywhere. I love seeing the world and seeing design influences throughout. I remember seeing a smart car for the first time in Belgium and realizing how they really are necessary for crowded old cities! 

Allison: We are so privileged to be able to travel to keep up on design; the AHI team went to NYC this fall for market, and while the show was great, it was the showrooms in Soho, the Whitney Museum, the art galleries exhibitions, the hotels and restaurants that we visited that really allowed us to see what is happening in design. While we love Montana, it is so important to look up from the day-to-day and see the bigger picture; make sure you are informed of design trends passing through Europe and larger cities. Abby, particularly, has an amazing ability to know what design is coming out of Europe, and translate it into a palatable application in the states.

While we love Montana, it is so important to look up from the day-to-day and see the bigger picture; make sure you are informed of design trends passing through Europe and larger cities.

Chelle: Travel should be about slowing down, engaging and appreciating, rather than rushing to do and see everything. I have to remind myself of this as I never want to miss out on anything. Taking the time to look at your surroundings and immerse yourself if only temporary allows you to see things from a different perspective. From holding a hand thrown coffee cup at the diner on the corner, to the intricacy of the doorway of the hotel, slow down and keep your eyes open!

Courtney: A lot of times when you start out on a trip, you want to know as much as possible —  where you’re going to go, what you’re going to do and when. But sometimes the best experiences come out of the spontaneous, or when you don’t know something. Trying something new can invigorate your design, expand your skill set, and give you a reason to collaborate with the design community — ask for help if you need it! But take the calculated risk.


We hope that you can use the traveler + designer mentality to expand your life. It will change the way you think and improve awareness of your surroundings in a new way. Hetherington, and her team at Abby Hetherington Interiors, are constantly sourcing pieces from auctions, contemporary artists, antique fairs, and exclusive European retailers. Meet the rest of the team.

AW tunes for you 🖤

Our team put a handful of tunes together for wherever your next travels may take you. Enjoy!

Cabin Style

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“Cabin Style is all about good living in wild places of spectacular natural beauty. It’s about how to bring texture and tone, color and flair, and coziness, comfort and originality to unique homes where altitude meets attitude.

It’s always fun to see your work in print, but it’s even better when it’s a book by a friend and it’s all about cabins! Photographer Audrey Hall and writer Chase Reynolds Ewald have put together a beautiful compendium of classic and contemporary homes that we’re proud to say features work by Abby Hetherington Interiors. The book showcases the elements of refined cabin style by top designers in destination mountain resorts and pristine rural, rustic and mountain regions around the country.

Each page in the book is an inspiring look at homes that are connected to their own location and shares the process and backstory by talking with everyone from the owner to the architect and builder. Stop in and pick up a copy at the Architects Wife!

Cabin Style
Cabin Style – now available in the shop and on Amazon

A Father’s Day to Remember

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He’ll say he wants for nothing, but when it comes to Father’s Day, you know you’ve got to deliver. We know shopping for the Best Dad Ever can be a challenge, so with it being crunch time (June 16th is around the corner!), we’re sharing a few of our favorites that we know could be your dad’s fave too.

The Movie Misquote Game

Film magazine Little White Lies invites you to relive 300 movie moments in this great new party game for movie lovers. Just pick a quote and ask your friends to transform it by filling in the blank with a phrase from another classic film. Best mashup wins!

Off the Road

An inspiring book from the Gestalten crew that looks at life in wild places and the vehicles that get you there. Great for a dad with plans of fixing up that old CJ Jeep he’s been dreaming about.

Cube Glasses

A clever way to keep dad’s favorite beverage cool without the melted ice, these glasses come with a solid-glass cube fused inside. Store them in the freezer and they’ll be ready to roll when he’s ready to relax.

Where’s the Dude?

Everyone who’s seen The Big Lebowski knows the Dude abides—but what if he found himself abiding in a completely different movie? This book answers that question in an entertaining take on a classic format.

Pablo Clamp Table Lamp

Designed for versatility and portability, this light combines the beauty of wood and the brilliance of LED technology into this award-winning execution. Three simple parts allow for an infinite array of positioning options, and the red power cord really makes this a unique and useful addition to a room.

Themed Playing Cards

Dad humor at its finest, and we’ll just leave it at that.

Dangerous Experiments

He’s always managed to impress you with his talents, but this little kit will help him take his dinner-party skills to the next level.

Marshall Bluetooth Speaker

Built for life on the road, this travel speaker travels light and sounds heavy. Perfect for the dad who loves his music and appreciates quality sound and classic styling.

Cribbage Board

Perfect for the dad who’s happy spending a Sunday afternoon with cards in hand and friends around the table, this beautiful cribbage board makes for a unique centerpiece whether anyone’s playing or not.

Portable Backgammon Set

One of the oldest known board games, backgammon involves a strategy of combination and luck and makes for a very relaxing way to spend an evening with friends and family. With this travel set Pops can swing by and finally teach you how to play!

– – –

With some inspiration now in hand, feel free to stop by the shop and explore the wide range of gifts, furniture, decor, and one-of-a-kind items that will tell Dad you’re his number one fan.

Friday Round Up

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As we all head out into the weekend, we’re pausing to share just a few things that caught our eye this week. Some design moments, some feel-good moments, a little something for everyone. Enjoy!


10,000 porcelain birds in flight at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Stunning.

A heartwarming Twitter thread about Mr. Floyd, a mailman of 35 years.

IKEA brings some iconic living rooms to life in this ad series running in the United Arab Emirates.

Friday Round Up

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It’s been a few weeks since we’ve published a Friday Round Up list, but we’re happy to be back in the saddle and sharing a little bit of what’s made us smile this week. The sun is out again in Montana, so we’re planning on getting out as much as possible this weekend and we hope you’re doing the same, wherever you are. Here’s to spring sunshine, and spring showers, and every kind of Montana weather in between…


This Modernist Swimming Pool in the French Hills is a Geometric Masterpiece

A Photo Appreciation of Libraries (view in full screen!)

“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.” 

From @thelovechange)

Skater Girl, from Tattly

Take a Seat (or two)

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Every once in a while we get a crazy idea and then every once in a while again—we make it come to life. This time, we’re talking about our upcoming Tent and Sofa Sale this weekend!

This is your chance to bring the best finds from our warehouse to your home at a HUGE discount. A large selection of sofas are discounted up to 75% off. We’ll have great deals, food, and an artist demonstration!

Look for the big white tent at 23 W. Babcock – just one block south of Main, and save up to 75% outside and 20% in store (excluding consignment).

Friday, April 26th, 10-6 pm
Saturday, 27th, 10-1 pm




Friday Round Up

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It’s Friday afternoon! You made it! The weekend is here, and our plan is to get out and use as much daylight as possible—regardless of the weather. Springtime in the Rockies is a fickle thing, so you have to be prepared to commit and simply bring a jacket or two…

Whether you’re planning on joining us outside or holing up for a few days with the internets, we’ve got your weekend inspiration right here.



From Surf Shacks 070 — David Hertz + Laura Doss Hertz: Malibu, CA

A wonderful series of interviews and home profiles from surf shacks around the globe, aptly titled “Surf Shacks” from the crew at Indoek. There’s also a book and a deep, deep archive of photos and stories. Worth spending some time with.

The sunken lounge is carpeted in a Chili Pepper Red hue – the signature color created for the project by the architect. 

Reservations are now open for guests wishing to stay at Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen‘s 1960s terminal building at New York’s John F Kennedy airport, following a restoration of its modernist details. Amazing.

You might have seen this already, but holy smokes—elephants are pretty cool.

Also – don’t forget we’re auctioning off three great books this weekend on our @architects_wife Instagram account – it closes at noon on Saturday!

Friday’s Auction Action

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Spring! It’s technically here, but as we know in Montana—the seasons are often just suggestions. Anything’s possible—and that’s why we’re auctioning off an indoors weekend fun pack tomorrow at noon!

Shoulder season weather got you down? Simply break out one of the games or puzzle (a pickle!) and presto—blue no more. For a more down-tempo kind of afternoon you can spend some quality time with our Architect’s Wife Colored Pencil set and a Bob Ross coloring book. Either way—your time inside will be well spent. Ready to start bidding? Here’s the details.

Where and when does this go down?
The action gets started at 12pm MST on Friday, March 29 on our Instagram feed @architects_wife. Simply jump on in, give us a follow, and check in after 12 noon on Friday and before 12 noon on Saturday (when the auction ends). Click ‘comment’ on the auction post and leave your information to bid. It’s that simple!

How do I bid?
Bidding opens at 12pm MST on Friday, March 29 and closes at 12pm MST on Saturday, March 30. We’ll start the bidding out at $2, and we’ll see where it goes! To bid, click on the auction post and then just leave a comment. Place a bid at least one dollar higher than the previous bid, and tag the person who placed the previous bid. The post will be open for bidding until noon on Saturday, at which point we’ll close it down and announce the winner.

How do I pay?
You will be sent an invoice from us via PayPal within 24 hours of the end of the auction. You will then have until midnight on Sunday, March 31 to pay the invoice. If you are unable to do so, the item will go to the next highest bidder.

Do you have other questions?
Feel free to reach out via the Instagram app, and we’ll see you out there!

Friday Round-up

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It’s nearly Spring Break here in Bozeman, are we are so looking forward to some quality time down in the deserts of Southern Utah. Before we load up the car however, we wanted to share a few of the things that caught our eye recently. Some of it’s design-related, some of it less so, but it’s all good stuff to help set you up for an inspired weekend.

Check them out whenever and wherever you travel this week—and enjoy!


 “The minute you choose what you really want to do, it’s a different kind of life.”

The Colors of Motion makes single image timelines of the colors used in various movies. Beautiful. (via Kottke)

It’s a Talking Heads kind of weekend – (via openculture)

A different way for us to think about fabrics and pattern design—from a commuter’s perspective.

Barcelona from above…

A Fresh Start

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Every once in a while it’s nice to start over. That paradigm certainly plays a part here on the floor at Architect’s Wife—our showroom “flips”, as it were, help keep things fresh and vibrant and interesting and fun. Extending the concept to our website was a very easy step… After a long time with a very static web presence, we’ve relaunched our site with some fun new features and capabilities.

We’re bringing a series of collections to life and featuring a variety of products and furnishings that are now available to order online. It’s a small start, but will be growing as we add more collections to the mix and showcase more of what’s possible here at AW. We hope you enjoy the updated site and find some inspiration!

Check out the four collections below and stay tuned for more!

Cabin Hideaway + Barnstormer + Great Escape + Urban Aerie

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