GONE FISHING

What does the term “fishing cabin” conjure? Do you envision a modest shack at the end of a weathered boardwalk? A New England bungalow surrounded by colorful buoys? Perhaps a portable ice shanty on a frozen lake?

Whatever you imagine, it likely doesn’t approach the refined rusticity and welcoming comfort of acclaimed designer Juan Montoya’s recent lakeside commission in Whitefish, Montana. His extensive renovation of this 1910 cabin has given the home a new identity and role for his long-standing clients. He has restored the integrity of the structure’s original design, while adding layers of texture and visual interest that encourage both exploration and relaxation.

“This was a wonderful project,” Montoya says, “but the shell we started with was not interesting at all.” Describing how the home’s essence had been lost in a series of unfortunate transformations, he adds, “People often feel that old is not good, and they set about ‘modernizing’ in the wrong way. There was Sheetrock everywhere in this house, on both the walls and ceilings. I told my client I was going to remove it all, and he said, ‘As long as you give me insulation, that’s fine.’”

This story appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of MILIEU. To read the complete story or to see all photos, visit the MILIEU Newsstand to purchase this issue in print or visit Zinio.com to purchase this issue in digital format.  

INTERIOR DESIGN BY JUAN MONTOYA

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC PIASECKI

WRITTEN BY EDWARD MCCANN