The saying goes “work hard, play hard,” and that’s exactly what Dallas-Fort Worth TV legend and lifestyle blogger Jane McGarry does. Of course, North Texas has gorgeous weather 9 months out of the year, but where do you go if you want amazing skiing and outdoor sports?
“We looked around for the spot in the nation that had the most snow every year and it was Big Sky, Montana, so that’s where we built this cabin in the woods,” McGarry told Second Shelters. “Our hope was that our son, Michael, would get to spend some time in the snow.”
But the true advantage of the property was that it’s not only gorgeous in winter, but this sweet vacation home is on the Gallatin River, where that lovely Brad Pitt drama “A River Runs Through It” was filmed, so it’s downright phenomenal in the summer, too. Her cabin is “just down the road from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park,” McGarry added.
“I wanted a ‘vintage cabin’ — something that felt like one of the original ones, but with the modern conveniences of comfortable bathroom and wi-fi,” she said. “We built around two things: the beautiful view looking down the Gallatin River toward Yellowstone, and the wonderful native Montana stone fireplace. The fireplace gets a lot of use all year round in Montana because even in summer the temperature dips into the 20s in the early mornings.”
Find out more about the cozy, charming second home where McGarry escapes the hustle and bustle of life in North Texas after the jump!
City: Big Sky, Montana
Price Range: Our cabin was built for under $400,000 but there are homes in the multi million-dollar range in the nearby “Yellowstone Club.”
What is your favorite room in your home and why?
It’s a toss up between the great room— playing Scrabble in front of the fire in the winter with the snow coming down outside — and the master bedroom where the breeze off the Gallatin River in the summer is delightful.
When building your home, what were your “must haves”?
I wanted a real wood fireplace built out of native Montana stone like I had seen in some older cabins in the area.
I also love the deck on the front of the cabin where you can sit outside all year long and listen to the rushing of the Gallatin River.
And I wanted the cabin to look “vintage,” we even hauled old pine paneling up there from a 1940s lakehouse outside Dallas.
Who is your builder?
Doug Bing, one of the oldest and most respected building firms in the area.
Why did you choose your neighborhood?
The cabin is at the bottom of the road that goes up to the Big Sky Ski Resort, the largest ski area in the country. It’s a short 20 minute drive even on the most snowy mornings. But instead of building on the mountain, we wanted something on the river because that makes it an “all season” vacation home. The fly fishing is excellent.
What is your décor style, and how do you plan on making your spaces unique?
I liked the cabins I had seen in the Adirondacks so this had a bit of that feel, but I also wanted it to feel like the wonderful vintage cabins I had seen along the Gallatin River. I always like color, so there’s plenty of that, but I think it feels like a cabin that has been there for a long time. And of course there are lots of pieces from Texas, like the longhorns in the stairwell!
Who is your designer?
Kenneth Blasingame, Ft. Worth. Ken is one of my best friends and one of the most talented people I have ever worked with. He has an amazing eye for space and beauty, and for making a home reflect the person who lives in it, which I think is a very unique talent. Ken’s work on Prairie Chapel Ranch of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush was recently featured in Architectural Digest.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would add another bedroom suite for guests, which I’m actually thinking about doing. And I think it would be fun to make that an actual treehouse, connected by a covered bridge!