The main living area encompasses kitchen, dining, and living rooms and has five French doors. In the winter, they let in light beautifully, and in summer, the living area can be completely opened up. “Our deck space is like a whole other room to us,” Breslin said.
Because the home plan was smaller, Breslin and Sweney were able to invest a little more in some novel finishes. They’d seen a house in Santa Fe that used galvanized tin inside. So they tried that—on the cathedral ceiling in the living area. It works.
“It just lights up; we hardly ever have to turn on the light,” Breslin said. “It’s unbelievable.”
The treatment of light is key in small spaces, according to architect Brian Caldwell, Co-owner of Thinktank Design Group in Bozeman. When Caldwell designed and lived in his own small home in Bozeman, he paid attention to how light would play in the structure. He also used a creative interior layout to make the 1,700 square foot home feel modern and spacious inside while fitting on a small corner lot in a historic neighborhood.
There are five levels to the house, each separated by a half-flight of stairs. From each level, you can see into other spaces. “The visual connection creates long sight lines,” Caldwell explained. “It makes it feel extremely large.”
He also created a sunken courtyard on the south side of the house, which served two purposes: it brought in full daylight into the lower level and it created a private yard space on a lot that is otherwise very exposed.