#20 - Architecture as a "hobby"


    Our Studio & Gallery we designed and built ourselves.

    I really enjoy good architecture and interior design. I did even consider them as majors in college. I dabbled. I was an Architecture major for a semester along the way and a Product Design major for a spell.


    I have always deeply appreciated good design... particularly in art, architecture, products and interior design.


    This back story may set the stage for the craziness that I am about to unleash....


    Our Gallery in winter

    Now, we had the Gallery up and running, studio and workshop spaces set up, our home mostly complete along with a rental home - and still those 2 small children in the mix ;)


    The art market was a bit in limbo after the economic downturn combined with the growing online world, but our rental was coming on strong. Compared to the ups and downs of art, the rental property stayed pretty consistent. After about 15 years as self-employed artists, any consistency was highly appreciated!

    Inside our Gallery

    As people came into our Studio & Gallery to see our art, many commented on the beautiful space and how inviting it would be to stay in such a unique artistic surrounding, with such amazing views right out the windows, while visiting Yellowstone.


    I agreed. Remember, I am a big fan of nice architecture, interior design and art. I think there should be more of it in the world. And introducing people to nature up close and personal, I have always been a supporter of that! Our interest in the concept grew. We could spread the value of "art - full" surroundings into the world. Let people experience it all first hand.


    View from our property - Yellowstone National Park on the Yellowstone River.

    Our spectacular property lent itself to share in that way. Artistic spaces where you could experience the natural world all around, as well as through our art. A space guests could linger and soak it ALL in. If we would add guest accommodations to our Gallery, they needed to be beautiful, comfortable, WELL designed, creative, unique spaces. Above and beyond. Obviously created by artists.


    How hard could it be?


    The Gallery side of our building was pretty large and we did have additional workshop space. We would need to make a new floor plan to add bedroom/bathroom suites, a kitchen, living and dining space and then onto remodeling.


    The down side? The amount of work that was ahead of us to change the spaces around completely... that we had just finished!


    But if you've been reading this blog for a while now, you'll expect that we forged ahead anyway, creating guest spaces worthy of being part of our Gallery and the architectural statement we had started.

    Gallery kitchen island

    A bedroom view

    Gallery kitchen

    Architecture and Interior Design became our 'side job'. I do enjoy designing comfortable spaces and then bringing it all together with a pleasing design of cohesive, natural, slightly unexpected elements. A fun part to me is being creative in a functional way by recycling old interesting antiques and other materials into new uses. And honoring those amazing views of Yellowstone with large windows to bring in the expansive views!

    Gallery dining

    Here's an old antique Yellowstone National Park luggage cart (from the era when the horses pulled visitors luggage from the train station to Mammoth) now retrofitted with a glass top for dining in our Gallery kitchen. You'll see MANY other examples of 're-use' throughout our property... like the old Corwin Springs bridge beams, the old corral from friends in Shields Valley, antique hutches for kitchen cabinets, repurposed lighting (those are pack saddles and random old farm equipment mixed with some general 'antique finds' on that chandelier above the wagon table) What else would you hang above a wagon table?! ;)


    Now that we had these creative guest accommodations complete, our affinity for good design was haunting us to do the same over at the Guest House. The Guest House was "fine" but not a space we had 'sunk our fingers into' and reflected our style and tastes. It needed to 'fit' with the rest of our property.


    So guess what?


    Yeah, onto the Guest House!...





    • Facebook Social Icon
    • Facebook Grunge
    • Instagram Social Icon

    Shirl Ireland, Artist

    Elk River Art, Lodge & Studio

    Subscribe to our newsletter!

    Shirl Ireland, Artist Instagram