WHEN TALENTED PROFESSIONALS TALK, WE LISTEN.

As you look to furnish, decorate, or remodel your Montana home, you wonder: Perhaps I need some help? Who in the area has the background and expertise
to bring my project to the next level?

WHJ introduces you to three talented professionals: a well-established furniture expert with a showroom and design team; an interior designer who brings her experience working in Minneapolis and Aspen to Bozeman and Big Sky; and a custom rug specialist who combines inspiration from Native American design with Himalayan craftsmanship.

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“Our showroom functions as an ‘idea gallery,’ a visual and tactile space where you can go for inspiration. Our designers are there to help you expand upon your vision and bring it home.”
–Ralph McHenry, Owner, Montana Expressions

Montana Expressions
Furniture & Interior Design

Recently relocated from Bozeman to Four Corners, Montana Expressions has been a Gallatin Valley institution for over 20 years. Ralph McHenry remains at the helm as the owner and leader of a talented team of customer service professionals and interior designers. His passion for design, knowledge of furnishings, roots in the Valley, and genuine care for his customers all contribute to a truly authentic Montana expression.

What is your professional background?

I spent 28 years in the antiques business before opening the Montana Expressions showroom. Now I have over 40 years of experience in design and remain as enthused as ever.

How do you see your field changing in 5-10 years?

Styles and tastes change and we stay abreast of what appeals to our clients. While we’re always innovating with technology and adapting to a more digital consumer, our “old-fashioned” customer service and human creativity will not be changing in the future.

At the end of the day, one-on-one relationships will continue to make us successful and our clients will continue to be extremely satisfied with our services. A human touch keeps our “brick and mortar” business model alive and thriving.

What words do people use to describe your work?

Timeless. Crafted. Attention to detail.

What project are you most excited about right now?

We just furnished and decorated a model condo near the Bozeman hospital, a real estate office, and a penthouse in Big Sky.

What do you offer that is unique?

Our showroom and interior designers work hand-in-hand. This is a design experience that you won’t find on the Internet.

What do you enjoy most about living and working in the Gallatin Valley?

Montana’s rural lifestyle—ranching, farming, horses, open land—it keeps me inspired. I bring that inspiration into my work where the showroom and design team give me a great deal of pleasure.

What do customers experience in your showroom?


The showroom functions as an “idea gallery,” a visual and tactile space where you can go for inspiration. Our designers are there to help you expand upon your vision and bring it home.

Everything is arranged to inspire home design, from small items like candles and soaps to large furniture pieces like sofas and bed frames. Tastes vary from antiques to contemporary and our showroom gives customers an experience of eclectic styles. We then get to know our clients’ tastes and order for them whatever we don’t have in stock.

What do you do that most people would not be aware of?

With the move to Four Corners came a more open showroom space, an expansion of the interior design studio, and a more central location conveniently located between Bozeman, Belgrade,
and Big Sky.

Montana Expressions offers a full design service…beyond just furnishing your home. For example, if you come to us with house plans, we work with you on selecting unifying themes and styles for your soon-to-be-built house—bathroom fixtures, lighting, kitchen countertops, carpet, window treatments, and even exterior color schemes.

What inspires you?

Art, photography, architecture…and, of course, Montana.

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“Beautiful artwork is the final touch to personalize a home and can be absolute magic.”

–Shannon Grady Nygard, Owner, SGN Interiors

SGN Interiors
Shannon Grady Nygard

With a father who is a leading architect in Minneapolis, Shannon Grady Nygard grew up surrounded by design. From her father she learned that “style” was not something you have but rather, something you interpret as a design professional. Her career brought her from Minnesota to Colorado and finally to Montana. Shannon shares with WHJ her background, approach, personal interests, specialized skills, and current projects.

What services do you offer?

The core of my talents is in residential interior design. The majority of my design work has been for second homeowners in Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek, and, now that I reside in the Gallatin Valley, in Bozeman and Big Sky.

What extra value do you offer your clients?

I’m trained and certified in window covering and treatments—shutters, shades, blinds, and custom draperies. I offer this service as part of an interior design contract or as a stand-alone service, sometimes in conjunction with architects and other interior designers.

In the West we love our views to let in nature and I preserve those views. Selecting and installing window treatments is much more complicated than people realize. I function as a mechanical, as well as aesthetic, problem-solver.

What is your professional background?

After college in Colorado and design school in Minnesota, I went to work for the top designer in Minneapolis, Kitty Mercer. I later moved to Aspen, started my own interior design business, and opened a retail interior design store—Designs West. Located on Aspen’s Main Street across from the Jerome Hotel, the shop offered design ideas and services for movie stars and business moguls as well as the locals.

What project are you most excited about right now?

Currently, I’m building my own house near Bozeman. Watching a design concept evolve from my ideas on a legal pad and become a reality is truly an incredible and rewarding experience.

Describe your process and how you work with clients.

We meet and discuss the scope of the work and establish a budget and timeline. Depending on the job, I typically find all the building materials in Bozeman, but for furniture and fabrics I may travel to Denver or to a design hub like New York or Los Angeles.

What service do you offer that is unique?

I have 25 years of experience around decorative or collectible art. I consult on acquisitions. Beautiful artwork is the final touch to personalize a home and can be absolute magic.

Share with us a noteworthy project.

In Aspen I did the residence for the Warner Brothers film company CEO and friends reported back to me that my clients commented that it was the most comfortable house they had every had.

What words do people use to describe your work?

Timeless. Comfortable. Mixtures of textures. Inviting colors.

What do you enjoy most about living and working where you do?

Like all of us who live here, I love the vast outdoors and its never-ending beauty. Balanced with the small-town pace, I enjoy Bozeman’s added sophistication. With a diversity of interesting and creative people, the area offers a rich menu like a big city but with a small-town charm and atmosphere.

Share with us something unique about yourself.

I do field trial competitions off horseback. I breed, raise, and train champion English Pointers that hunt and compete.

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“Our rugs are all custom designs with varying pile heights and sizes. I worked with artisans in the Southwest to create 120 custom yarn colors inspired by early Native American designs in parfleshes, beadwork, and weavings.”

–Linda Perlman, Owner, The Perlman Project

THE PERLMAN PROJECT
Custom rug design studio

Located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, The Perlman Project is a custom rug design studio catering to private clients, architects, and designers. The owners have just introduced their first collection of 12 rugs, some inspired by early Native American designs and others from their travels around the world. As a designer for 30-plus years, Linda has a strong interest in design and architecture and has created these rugs to enhance a wide range of architecture. The studio also has a creative space within to create personal designs.

Who are three of your favorite artists whose work you collect?
Frank Stella, Ori Gerst, and Nicholas Africano.

What services do you offer?
We are a custom rug design studio collaborating with private clients, architects, and designers. Our rugs are hand-knotted in Nepal, made from 100% Tibetan wool using custom-dyed yarns. In our first collection we have 12 designs—some inspired by early Native American designs from 1840-1900. Others are inspired by our travels around the world.

What geographic area do you service?
We are based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and are also represented through Woven Arts showroom in International Market Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is our first collection and launch to the public so I would say we technically serve the Rocky Mountain West from our Jackson Hole location—but we can work ANYWHERE!

What distinguishes your rugs?
Our rugs are all custom designs with varying pile heights and sizes. I worked with artisans in the Southwest to create 120 custom yarn colors inspired by early Native American designs in parfleshes, beadwork, and weavings.

Where do you see your rugs displayed?
Our rugs are designed as “art on the floor” to be the focal point of a room—beautiful in both traditional and modern architecture. I also see them in large corporate settings as well as on the walls of restaurants, where they could serve a dual purpose—as art with an acoustical application.

What projects are you most excited about right now?
We have in production a very large rug, of one of our designs, going in a contemporary home in Jackson Hole designed by Peter Bohlin.

Another project, reflected in one of the images shown, is a room in a log home furnished with a large contemporary Starns brothers photograph, an 18th-century Chinese lacquer buffet, and custom hickory chandeliers.

How would you summarize your design aesthetic?
In a nutshell, every room “should” have a story and we believe our rugs play an important part in that story.

What is sure to make me laugh?
My husband!

What are some of your great getaways?
Italy and St. Barts.

What is another passion of yours?
Cooking. I am a chef.

What do you most enjoy about living and working where you do?
In Jackson Hole the list is endless! The mountains, wildlife, weather (all seasons), cycling, fly fishing… Many of our rug designs arise out of and are inspired by the American West. I look out my studio window and see the Grand Teton mountain range, and a stream running through our property with a breathtaking palette of colors. Where I live inspires me daily and gives me energy that I try to reflect in my rug designs.

We have also lived in the Southwest and were attracted to the mid-century modern architecture as well as the tapestry work of the Native Americans. Houses designed by architects such as Richard Neutra in Palm Springs are brilliant examples of post-modern design. But as interior designers, architects, and owners work to reconcile modernity with tradition, our rugs can play an important role in the creative process.

A favorite book that you would recommend and why?
Since my husband retired he has written two novels: The Last Layer and The Russian Collector by Lawrence Perlman. I’m going to get “points” for this!

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