TOPNOTCH FINE FURNISHINGS & INTERIOR DESIGN
Topnotch Fine Furnishings & Interior Design owner and interior designer Arianne Heyser says, “My husband and I have been blessed with the opportunity to take over this well-established 40-year-old business. We are committed to carrying on the traditions of this locally-owned business carrying fine-crafted furniture.” Taking great pride in responsive and extensive customer service and their unique collection of home furnishings and accessories, Heyser and the team at Topnotch know that the showroom experience is a valuable one. Their Ketchum location is not only convenient, but it’s also a great way to see products before purchasing them. Heyser says, “At Topnotch, we can assist you in all phases of interior design—from new construction to remodeling, and we offer specialty pieces for any room in the house. We ship anywhere in the world, and we offer free local delivery for those of you in the Sun Valley area.”
What services do you offer?
We can help with any and everything you may desire for your home interior and exterior living spaces.
What is your professional and educational background?
After my undergraduate degree, I travelled the world for a year. Then I worked in the environmental field for four years. But I was so inspired by the people and the architecture on my travels that I went back to school for interior design. I earned my design degree with an emphasis in green design. I worked for many years in Winter Park, Colorado, in
the kitchen and bath industries, mainly in new construction. Then I met Lori Berier and began working at Topnotch eight years ago. Now, my husband and I are the proud owners of Topnotch.
“ I LOVE WHEN A PROJECT PORTRAYS WHAT A CLIENT WAS ENVISIONING BUT COULD NEVER QUITE DESCRIBE. IT IS SO GRATIFYING TO SEE A CLIENT’S FACE WHEN THEY WALK IN AND SEE THE DESIGN HAS MET AND EXCEEDED ALL OF THEIR NEEDS, FUNCTIONS, AND AESTHETIC DESIRES. ”
-Arriane Heyser, Topnotch Fine Furnishings & Interior Designs
When did you know that you wanted to be a designer and what motivated you?
As a little girl I knew I wanted to be a designer but it took a while in my adult life to realize it. After my first college degree and a really great job in the environmental field, I found myself feeling unfulfilled. One of my dearest, wisest friends recommended doing some soul searching and encouraged me to think back to what I enjoyed as a child. She said, ‘If you can make that a reality you will be very happy and successful in life.’ Reflecting back I remembered always rearranging my parents’ house and redoing all my friends’ bedrooms. I always loved interior design. It just took some time to find my way to it.
How do you see design changing in the next five to ten years?
Less is more. Definitely sleeker, simpler designs. I love how we are moving into an environmentally conscious state as well.
Describe your process—how do you work with clients, contractors, and architects?
I like to start with a design inspiration from our clients, whether that be a piece of art, rug, or unique space. That really helps us build on their vision.
What other specialties do you have in-house?
Instant gratification! We stock much of our merchandise so you can fall in love with
it that day and we can typically deliver it that evening. We also offer in-house interior design services, with a large design center for selections and computer-generated drawings.
What makes the difference between good design and great design?
The accessories, art, and final touches really bring a space to life—the perfect rug, a on the pillow, a throw on the end of the sofa.
What do you enjoy most about helping people create a home or business that reflects their lifestyle?
I love when a project portrays what a client was envisioning but could never quite describe. It is so gratifying to see a client’s face when they walk in and see the design has met and exceeded all of their needs, functions, and aesthetic desires.
If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be doing?
Being a mom. My newest passion in life.
What do you listen to while you work?
Dave Brubeck—something about his upbeat jazz makes me focus.
Do you have a favorite sport or recreational activity, and what do you enjoy about it?
Cross-country skiing. There is something so relaxing and serene about it. I don’t even have to think and I
just look around and see the most beautiful views.
What’s your favorite season? Why?
Fall—there is just something so invigorating about the leaves turning and the crisp air. Almost unreal with all the bright yellows, oranges, and reds.
The fireplace has always been a gathering place in the home. And while the way that homes are heated has changed over time, the urge to gather around the fire has not wavered. Bev and Jake Hawkins and the team at Fireplace Outfitters help customers pick the appropriate fire device for their home heating designs and applications. They also serve your outdoor needs with spas, grills, and firepits.
What services do you offer?
We offer hearth design, installation, service, and repair. This really involves any appliance producing fire, whether it be a gas log set, a fireplace, an insert, or a stove. We sell Bull Frog Spas which are really the most innovative and customizable spa out there. We also extend our services outside to grills, smokers, and firepits.
What geographic area(s) do you serve?
We have stores in Hailey, Ketchum, and Pocatello. What we like about the Sun Valley area is that everything has a very small- town feel. We love that we’re in a place where you can take people at their word. We are lucky enough to provide service to the same customers year after year, building long-term relationships. It is great to work
and be involved in a community that is really supportive of the small local shops and the people behind them.
What specialties and certifications do you have?
We have a HVAC hearth specialty certification. A few years ago, Idaho started requiring a special certification for hearth appliance installers. Certification is important since we literally work with fire.
What is your professional background?
We have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests here, and that makes our staff unique and diverse. On our team we have a culinary chef, a specialist in military avionics, someone with a background in international business, an aircraft pilot, a competitive skier, and specialists in sales, marketing, and distribution. Everyone on our team really brings value. We work well together and bring out the best in each other. The architects, builders, contractors, and homeowners we work with are exceptional and raise the caliber of our work.
What project are you most excited about right now?
This is a tough one as we have several large projects going on right now and we all love the challenge and excitement that comes with working with top-notch builders on large-scale projects. The large projects are always exciting and challenging. But as much as we love the big projects, we also love the small personal ones. We like to work with homeowners and really understand their vision for their home. This Valley is fabulous for providing exceptional opportunities to see and do something new almost every day. We work with products that add character, value, and warmth to a home and that is satisfying.
Could you describe your process?
Our process is customized for each job, project, or customer, but it all starts with detailed conversations about what a customer or client wants and needs, what products and services we can offer, and on-site visits.
What are your preferred products?
We love the Bull Frog Spas. This spa is so innovative and custom that after seeing one it would be hard to buy anything else. There is just something spectacular about owning a spa and the use of spas can range from therapeutic to just-for-fun.
The other product I love is the Renaissance Fireplace with the guillotine door. Masonry fireplaces are really big around here because of the romance of the crackling fire, the big flames, and the huge open boxes. The only problem with these beautiful open fireplaces is that they are inefficient and cause a great deal of energy or heat loss from the chimney. The Renaissance unit allows the customers to enjoy all the features of an open fireplace, but have the efficiency of a sealed unit. This is achieved with the guillotine door that can be open or closed during operation. When the unit is off the glass door can be closed and the home returns to an efficient sealed state.
What do you love about working and living in the Sun Valley area?
We are newcomers to the Valley and this place just has a wonderful feel to it. We love that people are happier and healthier here. There’s less stress and impatience. We love the strong small-business community and the casual nature of the town. We also love that family and community are important here.
Montana Rockworks, the Northwest’s largest supplier of architectural and landscape stone, is located in Kalispell, Montana, and they quarry their stone in the Montana Rockies. Working with homeowners, architects, and contractors to bring the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains into homes, designs, and building projects, Montana Rockworks adds character to any project.
Making a lasting impression with landscape and architectural rock in every element of a home or office is their forte and owner Bill Carter says that every Montana Rockworks employee is dedicated to making a project stand out with superior stone quality.
What services do you offer?
Montana Rockworks supplies masonry and landscape stone.
What geographic area(s) do you serve?
North America, with a heavy emphasis in the Rocky Mountain region to the West Coast.
What is your professional background?
I was involved with real estate sales and development from 1990 to 1997 and I’ve been with Montana Rockworks since 1997.
When did you know that you wanted to go into construction and what motivated you?
After college, I immediately went into real estate development. In 1997 there was a rising demand and
a lack of supply for natural stone. Since it was still involved in construction, I was immediately attracted to it. We jumped into the supply side and began working with architects and contractors to help satisfy their natural stone needs.
How do you see construction changing in the next five to ten years?
Construction continues to move towards green and sustainable materials. Montana Rockworks is following that same path with our line of Thin Veneer. Thin Veneer enables us to utilize less of the natural resource as well as reducing the weight by 70% per square foot, thereby reducing shipping costs by 70% per square foot. In addition, there are many other factors where the use of Thin Veneer reduces costs of the project.
“I ALWAYS LOVE GETTING INVOLVED IN PROJECTS DURING THE PLANNING STAGES WHEN WE CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE CREATIVE PART OF THE PROJECT AND UTILIZE THE UNIQUE RESOURCES WE HAVE AT OUR SHOWROOM TO CREATE A PROJECT THAT PLEASES EVERYONE INVOLVED.” -Bill Carter, Montana Rockworks
Describe your process—how do you work with clients, designers, and architects?
We consult with clients, designers, and architects for not only color and style, but for making recommendations for the right product. Our showroom in Kalispell—the largest of its kind in Montana—is a huge benefit. Whether it is the owner or the professional, our showroom is used on a regular basis for making selections.
What project(s) are you most proud of?
After 18 years of doing this work, it’s difficult to single out a particular project. What I am most proud of is that we have continued to provide the quality and reliability that keeps architects and contractors using Montana Rockworks for their natural stone needs.
What makes the difference between good construction and great construction?
The biggest difference between good and great construction is when the people planning a project take into consideration the use of green and sustainable materials. Then through the building process, there is a strict effort to minimize the environmental impact around the building envelope.
What is the most exciting new product or development in your field?
Thin Veneer and Dimensional Cut Ashlar. Prior to 2005, Montana Rockworks didn’t provide cut stone. Since then, we have grown to be one of the largest U.S. producers of cut Thin Veneer.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
There are two things: 1. I always love getting involved in projects during the planning stages when we can participate in the creative part of the project and utilize the unique resources we have at our showroom to create a project that pleases everyone involved. 2. At Montana Rockworks, we built a company from the ground up. Today we employee 85 people and we offer health insurance, retirement plans, and bonuses. Through all of this, we have created a company where people can enjoy their work and build a life for themselves in Montana. That is very gratifying.
Favorite season? Why?
Summer. I love to spend time on the water—boating, rafting, fishing and camping.
Most embarrassing moment?
That’s too embarrassing to publicize! I can’t go through it again.
From irrigation design and central control systems to water conservation strategies and water audits, Advanced Irrigation Solutions is a market leader in water-saving solutions. Kodi Farnworth, president of Advanced Irrigation Solutions, says, “I’m really interested in working in water conservation. To date, I have saved over 70 million gallons per year on various landscape irrigation systems I have designed or adjusted. My motivation is to save water by educating people in the irrigation industry about proper design, uniformity, matched precipitation, the use of the correct materials for the new installation, and methods to remodel existing systems to cut water use by 30 to 60 percent.” Farnworth’s AIS is experienced with large-scale commercial projects as well as residential projects.
What geographic area(s) do you serve?
Sun Valley, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, Jackson. Eventually, everywhere!
What are some of your special qualifications? I am a certified backflow tester and I’ve taken the certified landscape irrigation auditor class and the certified irrigation contractor class, as well as courses in advanced irrigation design for water conservation. I’m a level 3 Maxicom Certified Central Control manager. I’m also currently working on my certified irrigation designer classes.
What inspired you to work towards water conservation?
About 10 years ago, I could see where the future of water was headed, and I understood we needed to change our approach. I decided to educate myself in water conservation and start a company that would help conserve water use in landscaping and agriculture while still keeping plants alive.
Whom do you admire?
People who are willing to make a difference in water conservation. It’s one of the major issues of our lifetime and we need more people to pay attention to it.
“ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO, I COULD SEE WHERE THE FUTURE OF WATER WAS HEADED, AND I UNDERSTOOD WE NEEDED TO CHANGE OUR APPROACH. I DECIDED TO EDUCATE MYSELF IN WATER CONSERVATION AND START A COMPANY THAT WOULD HELP CONSERVE WATER USE IN LANDSCAPING AND AGRICULTURE. ”
-Kodi Farnworth, Advanced Irrigation Solutions
What are some notable projects you have worked on?
Huntsman Springs in Jackson, The Lodges at Fish Creek in Jackson, and the Latter Day Saints Temple in Twin Falls. These were large-scale and notable projects, but I’m proud of the work we do on any project no matter the size or scope.
What’s your process?
I meet with clients to determine their needs, and often meet with the landscape architect as well. I then determine the current state of the site. If it’s an existing system, I look at what it will take to correct the existing issues. I aim to cut
the water use of each system by at least 50 percent. On a new site, I design the best system to water efficiently and pair that system with smart technology to manage the site.
Could you share a few projects with which you have had notable success?
I recently designed a system for a property in Sun Valley that now uses 70 percent less water than houses of the same size with comparable lots. I’ve outfitted Sun Valley’s Blaine County School District with central control and water management tools and by doing so, reduced the water usage by 50,000,000 gallons a year.
What is the difference between a good irrigation system and a bad one?
A good (or great!) water system can be achieved for less than 10 percent more than the cost
of a traditional water system. In addition, a good water system uses 40 to 60 percent less water than a traditional system, both conserving water and saving considerable money on water bills.
What is a book you would recommend?
Cadillac Desert—to get a solid understanding of our water issues in the West. Marc Reisner’s 1986 book on the history of water in the West is just as relevant today as it was when he wrote it.