Bozeman Interior Design by Rocky Mountain Design Interiors

Bozeman Interior Design by Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors is a premier and long established business in Southwest Montana with two incredibly beautiful showrooms.  While offering Bozeman interior design consulting, each showroom has its own unique style and together they showcase both their interior design capabilities as well as the diversity and quality of their resources.

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Livingston and Bozeman, being 2 of the most beautiful and interesting communities anywhere in the world are the locations for their unique showrooms. Johnbozeman-interior-design and Carina Russell, the owners of Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors are  Montana natives. “Every time I look out at the Absarokas, I know this is where I am meant to be” says Carina. “There is a peace and awe about the West that is unlike any other place.” After completing their education, they decided to open a storefront in Livingston and then opened the bozeman interior design and furniture showroom almost 20 years later.

This was in 1978, when the Burlington Northern Railroad still had its locomotive repairs shops and was a major employer in Livingston. Soon after they opened their design business, the railroad shops shut down and the town was devastated. But like the strong spirit and independence that is the nature of the west, the town “reinvented” itself as artists, writers and celebrities discovered its unpretentious and free spirited qualities.  The town has survived and changed and is still a haven for creative individuals who want a place that emphasizes “the path less followed”. In 1997, John and Carina decided to expand into the Bozeman interior design market. “We were finding more and more Bozeman residents driving over the hill to shop in our showroom in Livingston. The timing just seemed right to accommodate the Bozeman interior design and Big Sky interior design clientele.” They set up shop and within a short time established themselves as the most unique and innovative interior design and furnishing showroom in the Gallatin Valley.

A house will tell you what it wants to be, as long as you are attuned enough to listen.” – Carina Russell; Bozeman Interior Design Consultant

Carina is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers.  She feels this is important as it sets the professional and dedicated designers apart from those that may just be dabbling in the profession.  As an added boon to being a member, it allows access to nationwide resources and continuing education. Design is an ever changing entity and it is important to keep current with new resources, installations, safety and code requirements.  To become a professional member, one needs to pass a national 2 day exam which is the standard for licensing in 24 states that require licensing for individuals that practice in the profession of Interior Design. Montana does not currently require licensing, but as Carina is always striving to be the best at what she does, she felt this was necessary for her to show prospective clients that she is willing to go beyond just the basics.

Every day Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors is searching for new ideas and products to fit their bozeman interior design clientele’s needs and desires.  They have a strong philosophy that design is a reflection of the owners, not based on current trends and fads. However, with the advancement in technology and the introduction of new and improved products, there is an importance in staying current with these new improvements.  “Function is always the first rule when Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors designs a floor plan. If it doesn’t make sense in the everyday use of the space for the clients then we’ve done something wrong” The flow from one room to the next must be congruent to the function. After reworking a floor plan, allowing all the variables that might arise over the clients changing lives,  the fun part begins. Form. This is where the designers at Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors explore all the endless possibilities in finishes, textures, colors, and furnishings. “ As everyone has a personal design style that is most comfortable for them, it is our job to find what that style is. By asking the right questions, and connecting with our clients, we are very good at finding that personal design style.  While one’s taste may evolve and change over the years, there is still that core style that is inherent in their soul. This is what we strive to find so that the design options we present are meaningful and relevant”. Besides one’s personal design style, it is important to select finishes and furnishings that are compatible with the architecture of the home as well as the home’s environment in the landscape. “A house will tell you what it wants to be, as long as you are attuned enough to listen”.  This is Carina’s philosophy each time she undertakes a design project. Carina also feels it is important to bring the outdoors into the interior of a home. With such a rich natural environment, living in Montana makes it easy to include natural elements into the interior of the home. “Our landscape is so alive with color, texture, magnificence and naturalness, we can take what we see looking outdoors and bring it indoors.” Deep colors, warm worn finishes, natural stone, hand forged metal, woven materials are all so fitting in Montana interiors.

“As interior designers, our job is to research through countless finish and design options, and give the client the best options considering the use of the space, budget and personal style.  A white marble countertop in a high use kitchen might be beautiful, but impractical. With our expertise and knowledge we know the best products to recommend for the use of the space. In the case of the kitchen counter top, a solid surface quartzite or granite may be a better solution than the white marble, as they are more resistant to stains.    Slate is a beautiful and natural option for a floor, but not one that is exposed to outdoor moisture and changing temperatures. The slate can flake if moisture gets between the strata, whereas a porcelain tile may be more durable. Silk may be a perfect visual choice for a settee, but not a practical choice if the settee is in front of large picture windows.  Silk is susceptible to sun fading and disintegration whereas a synthetic fiber may perform better. A clear finish fir floor, though beautiful and a good design choice for a rustic home, may not be the most functional choice if there are large dogs in the house. Hickory or a solid oak may be more practical as the wood is harder and not as likely to scratch.  A client is shown large dining chairs that are too big for a table that normally would seat 8, now can only accommodate seating for 6. The client orders the table and 8 chairs, then discovers the designer did not consider the size of the chair when making the recommendation. Now they have 2 chairs that won’t fit the table and they have lost maximum seating. This can happen when a designer is not paying attention to all the aspects of a design project.  Another common mistake; night stands that are too large for a wall once the bed is installed. If the designer has an accurate floor plan, this should never happen.” With Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors involved, every attention to detail is considered.

bozeman interior design

Carina is the principal designer at Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors, and she works closely with the other talented designers that are part of the business.  “We find that sometimes when more than one designer is involved in a project, we see the challenges ahead with different perspectives, thus we have more than one way to approach the project. This is to the advantage of the client. Much of what we offer is done in house.  Our furniture, lighting, area rugs and accessories are so diverse with countless resources and varying design resources. We also supply most floor coverings; carpet, tile, stone, wood flooring.” Window coverings are a specialty at Rocky Mountain Design. John and Carina know window coverings inside and out.  They had their own in house window covering fabrication workroom for years until they decided the space could best be used as showroom. They now have very talented and knowledgeable outside sources for fabrication.


With John as the project manager on design projects, he oversees installations, measuring, coordination of deliveries and the “nuts and bolts” end of design that is so important for the proper end result.  All of the Bozeman interior design products ordered through Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors are delivered directly to their warehouse, not some receiving facility. “We unbox and inspect every piece to make sure there is no damage or quality issues.  Delivery is done by our delivery crew. Each piece is brought in and placed in the proper space. Great attention and care is considered for the finishes in the home, and our delivery crew is meticulous in moving furniture.”


While Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors was established in 1978, 40 years have passed and in that time, John and Carina have seen many design fads and trends.  “ Some were very good, and they are the ones that transcend time. Some were very bad and we were most happy when they ended. Though we have never followed the trends for the sake of the trends, we are always scouting for new and creative products to show our clients.”  Fashion always has a way of recycling, and interior design styles do cycle around. We may not want our homes to look like our parents homes, but our grandchildren may.


At Rocky Mountain Design-Interiors the foremost goal is to provide an atmosphere that is “home” to their clients.  A whole house or even 1 unique piece of furniture, nothing is too small to garner the full attention of the staff. “When anyone walks through our doors, they are warmly greeted and we are ready to serve them in anyway we can.  Because the items in our showroom are for sale, we are happy to sell a candle or a whole house of furniture. The quality and level of service a customer receives is the same.” They are also very good at researching and sourcing unique pieces of furniture.  Their knowledge of the design industry is so vast, they are able to find almost anything. This attention is quite visible at the completion of a project. Everything is neatly in place, the floors are clean and the clients can move right in. They have even gone so far as to light the fireplace, pour the wine and set out a cheese tray.  “We want our clients to walk in and feel this is their home, comfortable and functional”. Our end goal is always the satisfaction of the client. If they are satisfied then we have done our job well.


Bozeman Interior Design