Interiorssneak peeks

A Montana Home That Honors the Journey

by Liberty Lausterer

I’ve always been the sort of person who prefers a clear destination to the uncertain, winding journey. Before I take a risk, I like to know it will end exactly as I envisioned, a perfect plan leading to a perfect outcome. This, you’ve no doubt already surmised, has hindered my ability to see how a detour might actually present a never-before-thought-of possibility. So I marvel at how someone like Bridget Ambrose gracefully embraces experimentation, honors the need for unexpected changes, and understands that her home is essentially a “never-ending art project.” Bridget, whose family loves to go on van trips, is the best kind of road-tripper. She knows the place between where we begin and end up is where the real creative magic happens.

Bridget, an energy medicine intuitive with a healing practice at Be Crow Be, and her husband Mathew, a product design director, spent a year updating their 1932 bungalow in Missoula, MT. Local builders Mast and Co. helped them realize their vision by “incorporating all of the original doors, some original lighting, and mimicking all of the original trim,” while also introducing modern touches. But things didn’t always go as planned. A wall in the room the couple nicknamed “the love room” was supposed to have a built-in platform-style sofa. But when they discovered the wall was needed to hide the HVAC, they got creative and designed a built-in bookshelf and desk instead. The process, says Bridget, taught her patience and helped her to see how with every design tweak a new “energy or vibe emerged to build on.” And then, once the updating process was complete, Bridget found herself wanting to fill the empty spaces in her home as quickly as possible. She soon realized, however, that the emptiness actually gave her time and insight to fulfill her creative vision. It’s this spirit of openness that makes Bridget and Mathew’s home pleasing to the eye and great for spinning vinyl while reclining on rugs under the lights of LOVE (slide 12).

These days, Bridget, Mathew, and their 13-year-old son Ryder like to gather in the kitchen around a custom reclaimed wood dining table. Here they take naps, do homework, work, or curl up with a book. Around the corner a letter board on a floating fir shelf reads, “Love yourself more.” Love is quite literally spelled out in two different places in their home. I can see how a home that lives by love as its motto is able to envision possibilities where others see only road blocks. Love, afterall, is what makes the uncertain, winding journey so darn worthwhile. –Liberty Lausterer

Photography by Bridget Ambrose 

Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
Bridget, Mathew and Ryder like having a long table so the day's mess can stay out and there's still room for family meals. A pancake breakfast with huckleberries picked fresh just minutes from their home makes this already cozy space even better! The dining nook features a custom reclaimed wood table, vintage dining chairs, and Home Depot pendant lights.
Dining Nook from Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
Because Bridget and Mathew wanted the table to be smooth, it lost some of the rustic appeal they loved so much. Bridget used several stains and vinegar blends to recreate the original look. "It was a bit of a long process and at many points along the way I was certain it wouldn't turn out. Thankfully it did!" The vintage mud cloth pillows were sourced from different sellers on Etsy. The print is "Mist Six" by Brian Merriam.
Kitchen Shelves from Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
A kitchen window offers a glimpse of the family's historic neighborhood. Days filled with the buzz of university students give way to quiet evenings where families stroll the shade-covered streets. Floating fir shelves feature an array of West Elm glasses and dishes. The letter board is from Letterfolk Co.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
Since Mathew loves to cook and the couple enjoys having friends over, they wanted a space where everyone could easily come together. The custom island features reclaimed wood and white cement. It's Mathew and Bridget's favorite piece in their house! The countertops are also white cement and have been paired with light grey cabinets, modern brass hardware, and a cork floor (which Bridget says is not only eco-friendly and easy on the feet, but retains heat during the Montana winters).
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
With the remodel, Bridget and Mathew didn’t have a furniture budget. "But with a little creativity and lots of Instagram inspiration, a little can go a long way," Bridget asserts. The family likes to cuddle up for a movie with popcorn and a wood fire. Bridget has a passion for supporting the small business community and sourced the pillows from makers on Etsy and Instagram. The West Elm sectional is accented by a CB2 rug.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
By night, Bridget says, the thrifted coffee table doubles as an ottoman during family movies. By day it features "For the Love" by world champion surfer Kelly Slater, healing crystals, and a petrified wood bowl found on the family's recent van trip to the Black Hills, South Dakota. These are examples of the small touchstones of love and healing energy Bridget likes to place throughout the home.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
The family uses the original copper inlaid wood-burning fireplace on winter nights. White oak floors are found throughout much of the house. The well-loved Barcelona chair is from Craigslist and Bridget found the brass side table on clearance from Target. An eBay light and print by Mandi Nelson complete the "bohemian moody Montana vibe."
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
The original built-in shelves hold framed wedding photos and books about the couple’s favorite musicians, along with crystals and ceramics. Bridget is learning to be a green thumb and enjoys the vibrancy plants bring to a space.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
This is a dedicated space for spinning vinyl and impromptu dance parties. A recent date night had Bridget and Mathew staying up late grooving to Trombone Shorty and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. The shelf is from a local vendor in Missoula. The photos were taken by Bridget's uncle in the 70s.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
In the master bedroom, matching dressers were purchased at a consignment store just days before moving from Seattle to Missoula. "We had no idea they'd fit so perfectly!" Bridget says. After the updates on the home were finished, Bridget and Mathew slept on the cork floor for many months before purchasing the West Elm bed, yet another example of their patience and willingness to live with emptiness. The blanket is from The Stella Blue Gallery.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
The main floor bathroom features pendant lights from Schoolhouse Electric. As seen here, the couple kept all of the original doors in the house because they "add a warmth and retain the history of the home." A modern sink sits atop a vintage dresser. The photo is from their wedding day in the San Juan Islands.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
You walk from this room, nicknamed the "love room," to get to any other room in the house. Because of this, Bridget and Mathew kept the furniture minimal to allow for more floor lounging, game playing, and lots of playtime with their black lab, Mac. The "love" lights, from Etsy, are turned on during late night fun with family and friends. Here you can also see the wall originally intended for a platform style sofa reimagined as a bookshelf and built-in desk.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
Morning light filters through the windows of the "love room" and nearby living room. Bridget had a difficult time deciding on a rug for the room, so she opted for several instead and had the vintage chairs reupholstered.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
A self-professed chair lover, Bridget purchased this hanging rattan chair from Serena and Lily six months before moving into their home. Now it's a family favorite. The feather wall hanging is from Torchlight Jewelry.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
Bridget has created a sacred space for her healing work. "Making our home a sanctuary is really a natural extension of my work," she says. The pendant light and blanket are from West Elm.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
Bridget reclines on a Shop Flea Market Fab ottoman atop a Homegirl Collection rug in the "love room," aptly named because it's filled with objects that reflect the many stages of Bridget, Mathew, and Ryder’s life together.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
The inside of the family camper van has the same vibrant textiles and sacred objects as their home. "I love our van life adventures: nights under starry skies, exploring new places, new people, and spending time with family," Bridget shares.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
Here's the family on the road during their most recent trip to the Black Hills, South Dakota.
Bridget Ambrose's Home Tour for Design*Sponge
"...and most of all love," because that's what makes the journey so darn worthwhile.

Suggested For You


  • This place has love written all over it! It makes me want to leave NYC for the hills of Missoula and stop by for some pancakes. LOVE!!

  • Your home is lovely and artful, warm and inviting. That particular white works so well as a backdrop. Can you tell me what shades you used on the walls and trim?

  • Thank you Catherine for the kind words. The white is really warm. We used Sherwin Williams Alabaster White and opted for a matte finish. The trim was custom made to match our window trim so I don’t have the specific color name on that.


  • I also have a print by Brian Merriam that my sister gave to me as a wedding present this past September! I am in love with it, as I am your home. I am now aiming to make my future home resemble this more! Love the Southwest feel and cozinesss. <3

  • This is really beautiful with gorgeous textiles and a lovely if subdued palette. It really is reflective of place and has a feeling of calm and sanctuary about it. Love that island in the kitchen and the photos taken by an uncle – oh and the rug in the living room! Could go on and on….

  • Bridget this is so beautiful to see how you have emerged into your world with your true soul essence in full bloom. Seeing your journey of Love manifest in physical ways is such joy and I can only imagine you are living on cloud 9. You did an amazing job in creating such a special place – must be a reflection of the beauty within yourself! Rock on Soul Sister!

  • This house could be in the 1970’s with the exception of the Viking Stove. It’s a lovely home.

    • Bridget did an amazing job. It’s not only beautiful it lives well. A challenge through the was ensuring livability and function. As with the stove – which is a Thermador commercial grade. We abuse that thing and it works beautifully!

  • I think we might be neighbors! This is a gorgeous renovation. Love all of the fabulous Montana details.

  • I love your entire home!! What color white did you use on your walls and trim? Cozy but not too stark!

    • thank you! we used SW Alabaster White for our walls. the trim was custom to match the windows.

  • Hmm, looks like I’m a bit late joining the thread. In awe of your home and the photos that have appeared my way via Pinterest. I’m wondering what brand and colors of cork flooring you used in your kitchen? The subtle stripes are just fantastic!