Creating a Custom Home

By Beacon Staff

The upper northwest section of Montana is arguably one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Those fortunate enough to call this area their home graciously become global hosts to enthusiasts of all kinds. Glacier National Park, a national treasure, is located within an hour from our front door. It has recently celebrated its centennial anniversary and for those called by the outdoors, a pilgrimage destination.

The Flathead Valley and its outlying mountain ranges, rivers and lakes, cater to skiers, hikers, bikers, hunters, fishermen, photographers, artists and, of course, equestrians, all searching for the perfect balance between man and wilderness. An inexhaustible sense of serenity permeates these surroundings and entices Montana’s visitors to claim a portion for their very own.

As final frontiers are explored, and the western lifestyle remains intact, those with a need for adventure and a desire to “cowboy up” find their way to this vast state. For the past decade, Kalispell has been the host to the Event at Rebecca Farm, the largest equestrian triathlon in the United States. “The Last Best Place,” as it is fondly referred to, is home now to those who were born within the state borders and to those who have always dreamed that there was a bigger and better place for them.

When our guests decide to make Montana their home, there is often an ideal lurking in their minds: A beautiful Montana home, be it lakefront, mountain, equestrian, ranch, bungalow. The options are numerous. The “hunt” is over. The destination has been decided. The home will be as individual and unique as the owner’s imagination.

It is not often that perfection of dream is realized in perfection of execution. It is even rarer in the real estate world. Decisions made, plans drawn, ideal locations are sometimes lost in the magnitude and sheer necessity of “creation.” So when that ideal is embodied, when nature and man’s design collide and coexist harmoniously, it then becomes an event to be recognized, acknowledged and celebrated.

There are many examples of these successes as newer Montanans capture their dreams.
One such property is an exquisite equestrian retreat located west of Kalispell. It has achieved a balance that most just search for.

The property lies in the private, gated community Paradise Hills, located west of Kalispell. This was the first completed estate in the development and was the culmination of years of designing and planning. A luxurious log home, the architect manages to create the semblance of grandeur combined with a cozy, welcoming interior. Massive logs and interior beams give way to walls and ceilings assembled from knotty alder and superior craftsmanship.

Nestled in the rolling hills, this property’s terrain is both graded and groomed and landscaped impeccably. Surrounded by pristine, untouched acreage, this is the ideal location to train and house your equine companions as well as admire the neighboring wildlife, which willingly shares this tranquil setting.

Another testimony to custom home creation is a renovated summer cottage on Foys Lake. Translucent, turquoise waters surround this waterfront “gem” nestled on the shores of the lake. This tropical color is attributed to glacial sediment found throughout. Like any true love story, this tale begins with an ideal; in this case, a childhood filled with memories of family and Montana lakeshore festivities.

This majestic home site comes from humble real estate beginning and has been transformed into a family compound with breathtaking panoramic lake views. It was purchased by the Hellman family in 1960 in its original cabin form. It became the extended family retreat. The current owners, Bob Hellman, their son, and Linda, his wife, purchased the property in 1985.

Bob grew up in the Flathead and spent his childhood recreating on Foys Lake. Bob and Linda spent their lives traveling the country working for the federal government, Bob as an engineer and Linda working for various organizations, including NASA. As extensive as their travel was, Montana was always home. They wanted their family to have the same opportunities that they had and spend summers on the lake. When they purchased the Foys cabin, they embarked on their lifelong dream of creating their own bit of paradise in Northwest Montana. The result is an entire transformation that embodies both the Hellman history and the owner’s lifestyle preference.

Making Montana “home” can only be limited by an owner’s imagination, and, of course, some architectural realities. Part of Northwest Montana’s inherent beauty now lies in discovering how its residents have built their dream into the breathtaking landscapes. There are as many stories and journeys as there are Montanans.

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