When interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn begins a tour of the 2019 HGTV Dream Home on Big Mountain, he starts at the front door.
Flynn points through the expansive accordion windows running across the great room looking past snow-covered trees toward the mountains and down to Whitefish Lake.
“I wanted every room to focus on the view,” he says.
And every room in the 3,700-square-foot custom built home offers the opportunity to take in the Montana landscape, while still enjoying a fully furnished living space with custom HGTV details. The house is part of a prize package that will be given away to one lucky winner next year in HGTV’s largest giveaway.
Long before ground was broken on the project, the Whitefish’s Kevin Richardson of Timber Forge Design and Tyler Frank and Bear Barinowski with Malmquist Construction visited the property in Elk Highlands. Climbing up on a ladder with five feet of snow on the ground, they decided the home had to be pushed back to achieve the best view.
“It feels like you could take a zipline to the lake,” Barinowski said on a tour of the home.
“There’s layers of view,” Richardson adds. “The trees, the lake, the mountains.”
The anchor point of the living room is the modern fireplace made of hot rolled steal in deep blue and blacks. Mounted on the wall is an artificial moose covered with a Western-style fabric.
Flynn, an American TV producer turned interior designer, said there’s no TV in the Whitefish home for a reason.
“As a designer I feel like if you’re in a property with a million-dollar view, it’s ridiculous to have a TV in the same room,” Flynn said. “So the whole idea was to have conversation happen and to let the view be the star.”
There’s no denying the view is spectacular, but the house is also pretty grand itself constructed in a mountain modern style and furnished with all the touches viewers come to expect from an HGTV home.
Flynn says that he noticed every house in Whitefish is beautifully high-end, and he wanted to showcase something different that people who don’t live in the West might not expect.
“I’m hoping people will see something they haven’t seen before,” he said.
Three bedrooms, three and a half baths, plus a bonus room make up the two-story house, along with the open kitchen, living room and dinning room all over looking the mountains. Hardly a room in the house doesn’t have large window — even the master bedroom closed though on the opposite side of the house from the lake view boasts a large picture window.
Richardson says the house is very much based in where style trends here are headed.
“There’s large custom rooms,” he said. “And there’s lots of glass to bring in a lot more light to fight cabin fever. It’s bright, airy and fun.”
The outdoor space includes a deck with a Scandinavian-style hot tub, patio with dining and lounging areas, a grill and a fireplace. There’s also nearby access to a chair lift to Whitefish Mountain Resort.
A tour of the master bathroom reveals a walk-in closet with an island and a spacious bathroom with both a large tub and shower inside a glass-enclosed space with the same tree-filled view.
Barinowski and Frank point out touches that their crew was able to suggest and bring into the design of the house.
In the bathroom and dinning room the ceilings are covered with reclaimed barn wood that came from a barn in Columbia Falls.
“It has local characteristics,” Frank said.
The handrail heading to the second story is made out of cable from a ski lift.
“That’s lift cable from the old Chair 2 [at Whitefish Mountain Resort],” Barinowski explains.
Just off the garage is the mudroom with connecting laundry room that offers a stylish place to change out of ski boots and winter coats before heading into the main house. There’s a bench with throw pillows and plenty of storage for gear.
“This is a big room for a mudroom, but it’s such and important room in Montana,” Barinowski said.
A fun touch that could come either straight from HGTV or Whitefish itself, a doggy room under the stairs has direct access from outdoors through a dog door into the cozy space complete with lap-dog sized couch.
The design and build crew were able to take the project through an impressive timeline finishing in under sixth months from start to finish, on a project the architect and builders said would usually take sixth months just to design.
“The film crew was great to work with,” Barinowski said. “We were able to get approval quickly.”
When he interviewed for the project, Richardson said he didn’t know exactly what the project was and he wasn’t really sure what to expect but working with HGTV was a positive experience.
“It was fun and easy,” he said. “Whenever I had questions — I got answers right away. The team worked really smoothly. I was given free reign in the preliminary design and they only made a few changes.”
The first Dream Home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was part of a giveaway in 1997. The Whitefish home is part of the 23rd edition of the HGTV Dream Home giveaway package, which is valued at $2.3 million and in addition to the full-furnished house includes a 2019 Honda Pilot Elite and $250,000.
Viewers can catch the DIY Behind the Build: HGTV Dream Home 2019 special on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 9 p.m. MST on the DIY Network, as well as the HGTV Dream Home 2019 Special on Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 6 p.m. MST on HGTV.
The entry period for the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway 2019 begins Friday, Dec. 28 and runs through Feb. 18, 2019. Visit www.HGTV.com for full details and official rules, and get a sneak peek and more information about the home at www.HGTV.com/HGTVDreamHome.