Montana Interior Designer – Countertop Discussion

Montana Interior Designer - Countertop Discussion

 

As a Montana Interior Designer in Big Sky, I get involved in discussions and decisions on countertops. Both in new construction and in remodels where we are trying to upgrade a home. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one persons likes may not match another persons. My bottom line is if you love it then it is right! There are a number of choices and materials to choose from and things to consider. Hopefully, this article helps enlighten you on some things to consider when deciding on countertops, whether for your kitchen, bathroom or wherever else.

-Granite Countertops are what the majority of people want in their homes. They are beautiful and Granite is unique. It is a mined slab of natural earth material where no two slabs are alike. Because they are natural material, they are imperfect and some people are concerned that one countertop in a room may not match another countertop exactly. Some people love that slabs show character and some are bothered by it. Costs have dropped recently and granite is more reasonable than in the past. Chances are you will have to have seams depending on the size of countertop. The person that installs can minimize the seams but they are still there. This is due to slabs coming in somewhat uniform sizes and countertops coming in all kinds of lengths! Costs are a concern for me as a Montana Interior Designer and there are a few ways that I can help you in deciding on granite. Many times I can find remnants of an already used slab. Another cost consideration would be thickness of the slab. While the kitchen will normally be a 3″ slab a number of people are now going to 2″ slabs for bathroom and elsewhere countertops. You can also sometimes find excess inventory of certain colors or something that might have been around the yard for a while. Another cost consideration for countertops of all materials is the edge treatment. If you want a edge that is something different than comes from the mine it is going to have to be machined and normally that is going to add expense. The other consideration to consider on granite is if you want a non maintenance surface granite may not be the best for you. It needs to be periodically cleaned and sealed. There is one recent consideration on granite. There are slabs coming more and more from countries such as China that are lesser grade. They are much cheaper but can discolor and are not always as durable. I would ask where the slab has come from and discuss the origin with the supplier. As a Montana Interior Designer, I talk to as many suppliers as I can because they all have different materials, slabs and you never know when you might be able to save a client money!

-Quartz is manmade and is actually more expensive than granite right now. I say manmade, it is actually crushed quartz particles that is then formed with the help of rosin into a solid material. Very durable and has a look and feel of stone. There is no maintenance for quartz. At this point and time it is more expensive than granite. Some people are bothered that it is manufactured but if you want a countertop that you can place and not have to worry about quartz is it. I have used quartz countertops being a Montana Interior Designer and have no issues with using them in a home. In fact, in rentals, it is a very good choice. In theory it is stainless and incredibly durable. Quartz can be effected by sunlight over a period of time so if you have an area that gets noticeably more sunlight you would need to consider that. Because quartz is manufactured versus real stone if there are seams they will be much less noticeable. Quartz is made to look like stone and is much more uniform in color, texture and pattern. If that is important to you consider quartz.

-Quartzite is not to be mistaken for quartz. They are different materials. Quartzite is actually sandstone that has been put under pressure and heat. Choices of colors are more limited in Quartzite, usually, more whites and grays. Quartzite will have more streaking and may have colored streaks depending on materials present in the naturally occurring process. Quartzite, unlike quartz, requires maintenance since it is a stone. You need to seal and reseal to keep material from penetrating the stone. Costs are comparable to quartz.

Other Materials for Countertops

I like to mix things up as a Montana Interior Designer since I can be doing rustic, modern rustic, cabin, ski chalet or any of another styles. There are a couple of materials that I like to use as countertops on more of an accent basis mixed in with some of the materials talked about above. I will just name them alphabetically and not necessarily in order of preference because so much depends on the style and the design.

-Concrete is a great accent piece for islands and smaller areas. It is manmade so you have to seal it a couple times a year and it will stain. Most people view concrete as something that develops character and you can use different color mortars to accent your design. You can do a very light color all the way to black. It is a change of pace that is more of an accent than a long counter. Islands are perfect for concrete.

-Stainless Steel is also a good accent piece, although some will use it for a whole counter. Nothing wrong with either. It is in the personal taste category. Stainless will scratch easily and you either mark that down as character or you can get burnished stainless steel that you will be able to buff out some of the scratches. Stainless is good for a modern look and more of a commercial kitchen look where scratches would not matter anyway. Easy to clean and isn’t going to stain.

-Wood would be the other material I would like to mention that I have used as a Montana Interior Designer. We will use butcher block in limited areas to accent a kitchen. I love the look of butcher block mixed in with a darker colored countertop. This is something you have to seal and clean more than other materials but people that like to cook, love butcher blocks.

Cleaning of Countertops

Just a thought on cleaning of countertops. Over the years in my job as a Montana Interior Designer I have been taught a few things. Any of the natural earth made materials, the best way of cleaning them is with hydrogen peroxide and rock salt. This sanitizes all the little cracks and crevices without damaging the material of your countertop. On the manmade surfaces you can use more normal sanitary cleaners. I would not use bleach on any surface that you will be preparing food.

I hope you have found this article to be helpful. I know I have left out some surfaces so if you love a surface that I did not mention please feel free to drop me a note or comment. If you liked the information you might also check out the rest of our blog for more articles and please feel free to check out our Portfolio section to see some of our latest projects. You can also check us out on Pinterest, Houzz or Facebook and by all means if you have a project in Montana where you need a Montana Interior Decorator give us a shout  for a free consultation.

 

 

Photo Credit: Victor Hanacek  www.victorhanacek.com

 

 

 

Interior Designer Big Sky MT -Do you work outside of Big Sky?

Cozy bedroom in Mountain home in Big Sky, MT.

One of the questions that I receive from Realtors, Builders and other potential clients is do you ever work outside of Big Sky MT? Of course! If you want to know about out of state, I have done projects in Texas and South Carolina. Most are talking local and I have done multiple projects in Bozeman and West Yellowstone. I travel anywhere within Montana and have travelled elsewhere. Once a client has a certain comfort level it is easy to do another home for them or their primary residence. I adapt to any theme or design quickly. I attribute that, to doing jobs in Dallas where Mountain Home is not high on the list of decorating themes to consider and the extensive time I have spent in areas such as Seaside, Florida and other beach areas. Being an Interior Designer Big Sky MT the area I would travel would certainly include these areas: Bozeman(of course), Ennis, Livingston, Big Timber, Manhattan, Three Forks and then Island Park, Idaho. The developments I have worked with in Big Sky are Spanish Peaks, Moonlight Basin, Big Sky Resort and all over Big Sky proper. If you live and work as an Interior Designer in Big Sky Montana, you are going to travel.

I’m known for being able to pull off an Interior Design job quicker than most designers.  In fact, close to half my Interior Decorating business is quick turn projects. So, I can travel anywhere and between on site and Internet I can do a design job very quickly. It might include an onsite visit with measuring, getting a feel for the client and house and then shipping in items and time on site to bring it all together. In Montana, you need to be able to do things remotely and then pull it all together if needed in just a few trips to minimize cost while creating a home that pleases the client!

What is key is the organization of ordering and delivery in a more rural setting. It brings me back to my former career of having to pull a number of media and print projects together and making it all come together within a timeframe. I did this for Fortune 500 companies under very tight time and budget constraints while sourcing products both internationally and domestic. It is very similar to the organization of construction, painter, appliances, furniture, etc..takes a special talent to communicate, organize and have everyone get along, while keeping the end goal in mind! Especially, as it gets close to transition times from construction wrapping up, cleaning of the house and furnishings starting to be delivered, placed and the final touches. There are a lot of moving parts!

So, if you are looking for an Interior Designer Big Sky MT located in SW Montana we may very well be the designer you are looking for! Feel free to look at our Portfolio page to see some of our recent projects. We can adapt to most any style! You can also check us out on Pinterest, Houzz and Facebook. If you like what you see, feel free to Contact us.

If you are trying to decide between a 2nd home in Big Sky or want to get away from the crowds and purchase a Ranch or Farm in Montana, let us know. We would highly recommend Venture West Ranches in Bozeman as a farm and ranch real estate broker. We know there are decisions to be made when investing and both a 2nd home in Big Sky or a Farm or Ranch in Montana both have great opportunities for appreciation with the growth we are seeing. And, of course, I love designing ranch homes and lodges in all parts of Montana!

Rustic Montana Home

Interior Decorator Big Sky MT-Furniture Discussion

Rustic Montana Home

Can I Use Furniture I Already Have? 

I have many questions that come up repeatedly when talking to prospective clients about doing the Interior decorating for their Big Sky, MT home. The question of whether I can use furniture or art in the house or brought from the client’s home. My job is not to spend your money to fulfill my dreams or to put the project into my portfolio. There are numerous projects where I have done the interior decorating here in Big Sky, MT and used pieces that are already in the home. As long as the piece looks good I love saving money for everyone involved. In fact, you will learn there is nothing that pleases me like a good deal!!! You might have a couch, dining room table or any of a number of pieces that might fit in the design. Maybe we stay with the dining room table and get new updated chairs or vice versa. Big Sky, MT can be an expensive place for a second home and sometimes budgets can get a little tight after paying for the home. So we look at the overall theme and if we can use present pieces or pieces from home and still have a professional looking interior decorated home, we do it! You don’t have to tell your friends that if you don’t want to. Mums the word from me and I feel like that is part of my talent! I think it is very important for me to note, I am interested in you being pleased both in the looks and what everything costs.

How we do this is after deciding the theme, we see what fits. Ideally, you don’t want the existing furniture to drive the decor. We have done it that way and it has worked for the most part but that is not the ideal situation. You don’t want to force the interior decorating in your mountain home in Big Sky. It should fit. If it doesn’t fit, I have connections where I can sell your furniture to offset budget costs if you would like. So you can send me photos of pieces and we make mutual decisions on whether something might work. What you will find is I like deals and spend your money like it is my own. Very carefully!

Should you have an Interior Design project coming up in Big Sky Montana please feel free to get in touch with us so we can discuss your Big Sky, MT dream home. You can also check us out on Houzz or Pinterest to see some of our collection of projects or ideas that we will use to help determine your tastes and likes. You can also find us on Facebook or check out our Portfolio page. I love Interior Decorating in Big Sky, MT! One of the most beautiful places in the world!

Big Sky MT Interior Designer

Big Sky MT Interior Designer – My Tastes vs Your Tastes – You Win!

Montana mountain view cabin sitting area

My Interior Design Tastes vs Your Interior Design Tastes-You Win! – Big Sky MT Interior Designer

I’m going to start writing blog posts on some of the most common questions clients ask before hiring an Interior Designer. These are questions that come up across the board no matter the size of house, budget, style, location, etc…Let’s take Big Sky, MT where I live and do Interior Design, as an example. Big Sky is a ski resort with a wide variance of developments. You can have very large homes in super high end developments such as: Spanish Peaks, Yellowstone Club and Moonlight Basin. Then, on the other end, we have more modest homes in the meadow and mountains surrounding Big Sky. Big Sky Resort was started in the early 70’s, so you are looking at many homes and developments that are 30+ years old. So, you have many homes that need updating to maximize their Big Sky, MT Real Estate values. If you are going to be successful as a Big Sky MT Interior Designer, you have to be adaptable. You better be able to do Rustic, Rustic Modern, Ski Chalet, Cabin look, Modern, European, Lodge and whatever else clients want. It is enjoyable to decorate in different styles and keeps me excited and energized!

Which gets me to the title of this post. When I decorate am I decorating for my tastes or yours? First of all, I am not decorating for my portfolio or to please myself. I please the client first and get my satisfaction out of bringing their tastes together to make a home they can love and enjoy. So how do I learn your tastes? There are a number of ways! We do a lot of talking! The more, the better! This is easy for me because I love to talk and make new friends! We use to show pictures out of magazines to find someone’s Interior Decorating likes and styles. I still have piles of them! Now, I can send you to my Pinterest, Houzz, or Webpage. You pin or like my ideas or share your ideas. We can even have a private page that just you and me and maybe a friend that knows your tastes can visit and make notes and comments. This leads to a discussion where we start to get to know each other(remember friends). If you are in Big Sky, we go see houses I have decorated and go shopping together for an afternoon. When the buying starts I send pictures at first asking for feedback. Do you like this? What do you think of this? I have done over 100 projects between Montana and Texas so the system works. Most, all the items I purchase are returnable and we usually will return a couple of things that don’t fit your idea of the house.

This whole process is to try and get inside your head a bit from a Big Sky MT Interior Designer standpoint. A good Interior Designer picks up on the little things and comments you make such as: Love this, To die For, I’d Marry That, Gotta have that, Yes, and all the other funny things I’ve heard through the years. This process is all about us having fun while turning your Big Sky, MT home into something you love!

Feel free to visit my Houzz, Pinterest or Facebook page or look at our Portfolio section to see some of the recent projects we have had the honor of doing! If you have a need for a Big Sky MT Interior Designer and have a project please feel free to call or email me. It’s easy, I live in this beautiful place! Contact me.

If you liked this article, you might find this one on What size Interior Design budgets we deal with here.

Interior Design Big Sky, MT

Big Sky, MT Interior Design Redo

Sometimes we get real excited and go out and do something out of the norm! This is our 2nd home that we have purchased out of foreclosure to redo. We look for a home that has good bones that is outdated and maybe been neglected the last few years. Then we get after the Interior Design part of it! We knock out walls to open the floor plan, widen doors, give it new flooring and carpeting. New architectural accents with porch downstairs, shutters and window seat in master. Then finish it with new paint, new lighting, new front deck and new landscaping. It turned out very nice and has had rave reviews from Realtors in Big Sky. This home is in the Aspengrove neighborhood of Big Sky, MT. From an interior design standpoint this is the type neighborhood that we think anyone would love to live in. Quiet, wildlife, off the beaten path but still has great access to the mountain and town. The house is set off from the road a good distance, set in it’s own forest of pine trees with good views. You will see moose, elk, deer and maybe a bear or two. The goal as an Interior Designer was to have the house fit in to the natural surroundings of Big Sky. It needed to accent what was already put there by Mother Nature. All the feedback is that we did a good job in doing that on this Big Sky, MT redo! Please feel free to contact us if you have a home in Big Sky, MT that needs a loving touch!

Big Sky Montana Ski Home

Big Sky Montana Ski Home

This is a recent job we did for a wonderful family that is now enjoying the beauties of Big Sky. Located close to the slopes, they wanted a warm, inviting place for family and friends to enjoy and relax after skiing. They are also very good fly fishermen and enjoy the wonderful rivers of Montana! This is a gorgeous Big Sky Montana Ski Home. Where else? Of course, Big Sky, Montana!

Feel free to check out some of our other recent projects at our Portfolio page. We can, also, be found on Pinterest, Houzz and Facebook. If you have or are looking at a Big Sky Montana ski home and need an Interior Designer that lives in Big Sky please feel free to call or email so we can discuss your project! Contact us!

interior decorating big sky mt

As a Big Sky Interior Designer, where do you purchase furniture, rugs and accessories?

I am a professional shopper. I have been all my professional career. From Word Records where I had to source creative and cutting edge marketing ideas and products to The Odee Company where I sourced products for customers from all over the world to Tatom Design, my reason for being put on this earth is to shop! To find the best product at the best price is one of my biggest thrills! It was easier when I decorated homes in Dallas, of course. I had thousands of options to shop. Becoming a Big Sky Interior Designer and has helped me continue to find unique sourcing avenues for what I need to furnish my clients homes. After a whole career of shopping for clients, developing skills in negotiations and having numerous sources for any one product I am able to give great value to my clients.

I use any avenue to source furnishings for clients. I use the internet, travel to Bozeman and Billings, attend auctions, go to Market in Dallas and Las Vegas take trips to Santa Fe and Denver and use my Dallas connections to make sure that clients have the best possible trends and fashions to furnish their mountain homes. I have contacts with reps all over the country from the East Coast to the West Coast to make sure I have numerous options to show clients. My contacts source rugs, furniture, lighting, accessories, fixtures, etc…It is a busy life but I enjoy it! My husband thinks I’m a little crazy but what does he know!

My shopping allows me to have numerous options and angles on how to furnish homes from high end luxury homes, to rustic ski homes, to quaint cabins. I can be hanging moose heads and old ship lap to overseeing installation of the finest marble or granite countertops in the same day.

I love being a Big Sky Interior Designer with all the varieties of Mountain Interior Design. Getting involved in different facets from construction to Interior Design to a Redesign or freshening up a Mountain Home keeps the creative juices flowing. Should you have a future or present project you would like to talk about, I would love a chance to discuss it with you and get the opportunity to get to know you. Please feel free to call or email!

If you are a Facebooker please go check out our Facebook page and we are also on Twitter. Give us a thumbs up if you like what you see!

Being a Big Sky MT Interior Designer is no easy task when it just starts snowing!

So I thought I would give you my do good public service announcement for Big Sky. In my job as a Big Sky MT interior designer I get to drive a great many miles! Roads are very slick in the early season! I went to Bozeman and counted 6 cars off the road in the Canyon and many more in Bozeman! Not sure why it is so much slicker in the early part of the year until things get more solid. We have that thick, sticky snow that turns to an icy slippery mess. Even with snow tires and studs it seems to be difficult driving out there. If you are in a rental car go ahead and irritate some of us locals and drive way below the speed limit. Just use pullouts to let everyone pass! You can always view the scenery during the pullouts. Remember you came here to slow down and enjoy the scenery so just incorporate that in to your safe driving!

It gets this way the first 2 or 3 weeks of snow season and then returns in the late season. I look forward to roads getting packed and temperatures dropping to where the snow has more traction. This goes without saying but the downhills and the turns are what you should watch for at this time of the year. One of these pics is from our driveway which is an adventure this time of the year! Put in 4 wheel low, down shift to first gear and hold on for the ride!

If you are coming in December you should be fine and driving should be much improved for snow driving. If you can say that!

We are very busy at this time of the year with double digit projects going on most of which needs to be done by Christmas or before. Being a Big Sky MT Interior Designer revolves around these times of the year so we will be on the road with you so be careful and have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.

Don’t forget to come visit our webpage often, we will have some updated portfolio pictures coming soon from some of our projects! Also, please drop by and visit our Facebook page and give us a like! You can also find us on Twitter and Pinterest! If you want to see some of our projects please check out our Portfolio!

If you have a project you would like to discuss, that is what we live for! Give us a call or email and we would love to chat!

If however your dream is a Montana ranch for sale try Venture West Ranches. They specialize in Eastern Montana Ranches.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Getting Involved in People’s Holiday Season in Big Sky MT

Today was our first real snow day here in Big Sky. Our family was discussing and some are happy to see snow and some could wait a while longer! Halloween was just a few days ago and it can be anything from a super nice fall night to a complete blizzard!

My mind has turned to the Holidays:

  1. Being a Big Sky Interior Designer, I have to think several months ahead with clients. We have to have homes ready for Thanksgiving or Christmas family time! It is a great deal of fun trying to get client’s homes ready for the relaxing, fun times in Big Sky during those times! Very fulfilling!
  2. Our son Tate is coming home from his first semester at the Air Force Academy(YEAH!) and we are planning his flights. We can’t wait to see him and are super excited! He has been gone since June so it will be great to have him home!
  3. Christmas movies have started! Gets started earlier and earlier every year but as a family we have watched one every night since Halloween! Love this time of the year.

This is a time of year that is very busy for us. From getting homes ready for families, to turning houses over to rental companies and all the many details that entails. We decorate a few homes so when clients arrive they walk into a tree and a decorated house so they don’t waste a minute of their time during this precious time of the year in Big Sky. I love being an Interior Designer in Big Sky this time of the year and the rush of helping people’s dreams come true with furnishing their vacation homes. That special time of the year starts the first day of real snow! I wonder what Christmas movie is on TV tonight?

Let us know if we can help in any way on a present or future design job. We would love to help you make a dream come true!

Best wishes from Tatom Design and Big Sky MT and feel free to visit and or like us on Facebook-Tatom Design!

 

Our first good snowfall of the year here in Big Sky!

Our first good snowfall of the year here in Big Sky MT!

Fall Flyfishing in Big Sky Montana

Most of the crowds in Big Sky MT come once the snow starts falling but our beautiful town has a great deal to offer in other times of the year. The summer has become a very popular time as well for people to come hiking, mountain biking and then my personal favorite, fly fishing! We, like most people that, live up here have numerous people that want to come visit. Many of the men want to fly fish for Rainbow or Brown trout. Most want to come in June, July and August. What they don’t realize is that is not the best time to fish for trout. If you want to catch a bunch of big trout, Fall is the time to come. The later, the better. These pictures show a few trout out of a stupendous day with a friend catching a bunch of big trout. Fall is also the time for bugling elk and more sightings of all kinds of animals. The other reason to come is the reduced crowds. Oh wait, never mind. Forget you read this!

If you do ever come to Big Sky MT and decide to build your dream home and need a Big Sky MT Interior Decorator, let us know! We would love to help you! If you enjoyed this post you might also like Grizzly Bear In a Car!

 

Fall flyfishing in Big Sky, MT.

Fall flyfishing in Big Sky, MT.

Fall brown trout in Big Sky, MT.

Fall brown trout in Big Sky, MT.

Big Fall Rainbow in Big Sky, MT.

Big Fall Rainbow in Big Sky, MT.

If you are trying to decide between a 2nd home in Big Sky or want to get away from the crowds and purchase a Ranch or Farm in Montana, let us know. We would highly recommend Venture West Ranches in Bozeman as a farm and ranch real estate broker. We know there are decisions to be made when investing and both a 2nd home in Big Sky or a Farm or Ranch in Montana both have great opportunities for appreciation with the growth we are seeing. And, of course, I love designing ranch homes and lodges in all parts of Montana!