All the Home’s a Stage
by Bill Lombardi
Marek Pavlovski and Jesse Hart of BIND Interiors in Bozeman know a thing or two about balance.
Combining rural wisdom and urban energy, disciplined study under renowned artists and craftsmen, strict adherence to a code of ethics and values, attention to detail, and a focus on listening to clients, Hart and Pavlovski have created a design and build firm that captures the spirit of where city meets country.
BIND’s unique philosophy, along with the owners’ skills, puts them in high demand in Gallatin Valley and Big Sky.
The duo channels a New York intensity that’s grounded by Montana’s raw beauty and unpretentious nature. Together, the BIND owners conceptualize and bring to life contemporary interiors and custom furniture that combine modernism, color, sleek lines, and, sometimes, a dash of rustic charm to reflect a client’s aesthetic.
“Whatever the client divulges to us, explicitly or implicitly, we insist on enhancing and deepening so there are as many possible layers of interconnectivity throughout the design,” Pavlovski says.
Bozeman real estate developer Matthew Paine has hired BIND three times, and says that BIND combines practicality and integrity in a contracting world that’s unpredictable.
“To me, they perfectly combine youthful energy with old-school values, which is unique in the times we live in,” Paine says. “They’re extremely reliable and committed, and they don’t deliver false promises. They have a guarantee, or warranty of work, rooted in their moral code that’s greater than a legal obligation. They put values above all else.”
The duo’s route to becoming designers, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs is intertwined with their devotion to art, morals, erudition, and craft.
Pavlovski hails from New York City, where he studied under some of the world’s top artists, dancers, master carpenters, and designers. At 11, he was accepted to the School of American Ballet, and transitioned to a more academic pursuit, receiving a degree from Northwestern University’s School of Communications. He produced and designed for film, television, and theater.
Sandwiched between these endeavors, Pavlovski worked with his hands as a carpenter and experiential designer. He expanded his brother’s home and commercial renovations business, focusing on kitchen and bath design, and custom furniture.
“Whatever the client divulges to us, explicitly or implicitly, we insist on enhancing and deepening so there are as many possible layers of interconnectivity throughout the design.”
–Marek Pavlovski, BIND Interiors
In 2019, Pavlovski founded BIND to focus on developing the best system to streamline design processes that capture the “heart” of an endeavor.
Hart met Pavlovski in the city, where they worked for a year on designer showrooms and home remodeling before decamping to the Berkshires. There, Hart created a custom furniture brand that featured contemporary rustic furniture and “honesty in material.”
Hart and Pavlovski then picked up and moved to the Rocky Mountains. In Bozeman, they launched their integrated firm that does interior design, commercial and residential remodeling, experiential marketing (displaying a client’s business, product or showroom), and custom furniture.
While Pavlovski channels the urbane and theatrical in design, Hart, a Kentucky native, brings to the drafting table his innate sense of rural, functional, and simple compositional principles. Hart learned these concepts working as a partner in his parents’ award-winning custom home-building business in Louisville. (Pavlovski appreciates that Hart can build a home from the ground up: Every summer, Hart’s father had his son tutor under a different master – plumbers, electricians, framers, floorers, tilers.)
Hart found his calling in woodwork and finish carpentry, and learned deeper lessons imparted by carpenter Irvin Miller in Munfordville, Kentucky.
In the heart of Kentucky’s Amish Country, Hart observed how Miller seamlessly wove his life into his work: they were one. Under Miller’s tutelage, Hart learned the value of meticulously performing basic skills, because, in Miller’s methodical approach, “It’s got to be done right.”
“The best route to Mr. Miller’s standards was often not the shortest, but at least I could sleep at night,” Hart says.
Hart can speak authoritatively on various wood-sawing and -drying methods, and has an eye for designing and planning wood grains for furniture.
He channels that Amish sense of interdependence – faith, family, community, and living a simple life – and balances it with Pavlovski’s dramatic flair to build a successful business in a booming university town where visitors bring disparate tastes to the Big Sky area.
BIND’s meticulous attention to detail is captured in the company values posted in the shop:
Devotion to customer experience
Precision in craft
“The best route to Mr. Miller’s standards was often not the shortest, but at least I could sleep at night.”
–Jesse Hart, BIND Interiors
Those aren’t the only shop signs. Quotes from the ancient Stoic philosopher Seneca, Ernest Hemingway, and Winston Churchill adorn the walls as well. And allusions to the arts pepper BIND’s website: “We’ll help you set the scene. You’ll add the characters.” “Your home. Your story.”
It is theater, where space makes a statement and the client becomes a dramaturg to help these craftsmen tell a tale.
Hart, Pavlovski notes, combines a sharp wit with rural wiles, and in meetings can lead clients into “a wetland of comedic tears.” Hart also can teach former urban dwellers how to care for their livestock, tractors, four-wheelers, and outdoor gear. Hart shows them – and Pavlovski – how to be a Montanan.
BIND Team (pictured left to right): Nick Jones, Käryn Carpenter, Ray Scott, Jr., Evan McKnight, Kelly Hayes, Jesse Hart, Marek Pavlovski
They eschew the usual rush to get things done. And they’re hands-on, and verbally pick a client’s mind and then systematically survey their aesthetic through a comprehensive design worksheet and detailed profile to garner key traits to determine that client’s intention.
A construction/remodeling workflow sheet describes what a client can expect from pre-production, demolition, excavation, construction, and finish. Projects are wrapped up in a client review and debrief. Sophisticated budget analyses break down costs in charts and graphs for construction, finish material, and labor.
“Expressing and elevating the client’s vision is our ultimate goal through excellent craftsmanship and an understanding of space,” Hart says. “But gaining the client’s trust and respect through transparency is key to every project we do.”
“My project required a lot of tedious attention to details, and they nailed every single one to my standards. This is a place where we can show off our true attention to detail in a historical setting.”
–Ashley Hertz, Owner & Curator, Onyx Studio
During a project, the owners adopt different roles: Pavlovski, the “protagonist,” visualizes details in his head, while Hart, the “advocate,” spends time with clients to gain a deeper understanding of their desires.
Ashley Hertz, owner and curator at Bozeman’s Onyx Studio, hired BIND to design her business’s space to make it like an art gallery to showcase products and services.
Hertz recalls how they first connected in a small-town manner, “I was having a solo breakfast at Feed Cafe in Bozeman and overheard two men talking about tile saws and schedules. Looking at them, they were dressed like mountain town professionals—clean, sharp, and casually stylish. I leaned over and said, ‘Not that I’m eavesdropping, but are you guys tile setters?’
“Marek exclaimed, ‘Why yes we are and so much more!’
“This is how I learned that BIND Interiors are not only builders, but jacks of all trades. I hired them for a personal project of mine which required tile installation as well as construction of a smaller project. This led to the building of both a friendship and professional relationship, and, quickly evolved into the Onyx Studio project, a complete remodel of our downtown Bozeman showroom space.”
For the Onyx Studio project, BIND focused on honoring the downtown space’s unique character, details, and history. In under nine months, they gutted the store’s interior and elevated it to meet its new purpose, including installing large, custom mirrored doors to bounce limited natural light, and repurposing special tile shelving salvaged from the old store.
Hertz says, “BIND Interiors built so many things for my new space—signage, sconces, a conference room table base, steel framed mirror barn-style doors for the office space, steel tile display troughs, and many other features. Our cabinetry arrived in rough shape and they managed to repair every issue to perfection. They understood that these details are important to me as this space is a showcase of our products & service; I wanted the space to feel like an art gallery. The gallery needed a backdrop of beautiful and aesthetically pleasing design that had to pair with the restoration of a building from 1911. The majority of our clients are trade and this is the place where we show off our true capabilities in a historical setting. BIND nailed every detail!”
Hertz reflects on working with Marek Pavlovski and Jesse Hart on Onyx Studio’s renovation. She says, “Marek and Jesse were hands on, detail-oriented, and genuinely cared about seeing my vision executed. They are guys who wanted to share in my imaginative process. Never would they say ‘no’ to my dreaming or scheming to the design of the space. Rather, when new ideas were suggested, they had glowing looks on their faces and an attitude of¬¬– ‘where there is a will, there is a way!” They made many things happen such as the floating walls which are my tile display walls that pop off the brick. That was a big vision that had its challenges and they made it happen without hesitation and streamline engineering. Throughout the entire project, they gladly took on challenging objectives and I couldn’t be happier with the final result.”
A former business owner who values precise communication, Stacie Hixson of Bozeman hired BIND to finish a home renovation. She appreciated BIND’s detailed client worksheet, which can be a personality test: “My friends and family most often call me: a) willful b) sensitive …”
Pavlovski, she notes, brings all of his talents to a project and turns the “nebulous” into a style. “His professional backgrounds are creative,” she says. “Not that ballet is helping him to decorate a house. But he has a good eye for line, color, and texture. He could see the big picture before putting it on a computer.”
BIND has grown quickly, from the two partners to seven employees. They utilize a 4,000-square-foot shop to build and fabricate custom furniture and cabinetry and to paint.
The firm is also deepening its roots in Bozeman by working with local nonprofits. “We’re committing to where we live because we care about our customers and home,” says Hart. “It’s our way to give back to a place that’s helped us succeed. We want others to succeed, too.”
Ballet, Pavlovski says, requires discipline and balance, but it’s not floating – it’s grounded, arduous, and explosive for a male dancer. BIND, he adds, harnesses that passion and merges it with running a profitable business.
“We weave our values into our customer service and employee code of conduct,” Pavlovski says. “We have our own tastes and opinions. But we check our egos when it comes to designing for a client – they come first. And they know that.”