your design tribe
“I wanted to have something I got up and did every day, where I get to create something for others, to give them the opportunity to be in and fall in love with Montana, like I am.”
–Colton Martini, Founder, Camp Martini
The idea of “finding your tribe” has become a common catchphrase, but it lands perfectly when Colton Martini bands together his tribe of creatives. Humans evolved to thrive on community as an essential key to survival, one that is often stifled in our modern lifestyles. Colton Martini, founder of Camp Martini, knows this value in his bones, and has built his business around it. In working with Camp Martini, builders and designers and makers and clients work with, and become, part of a creative tribe. “It’s not just me envisioning and executing one perspective, it’s a true collaborative of creative minds and talents that I gather to help birth the vision that fulfills a designed environment that satisfies the owners’ desires,” says Martini. When these minds meet there is often a feeling of serendipity. “What I hope is unique to my process,” he continues, “is my ability to truly listen to my client and then share with them the collective visions and applications from my camp. We want to achieve beauty that comes from the appreciation of pure forms, maker’s craftmanship, and understated luxury.” Martini brings a wealth of inspiration to his projects, and in seeing each one as an open slate, he offers interiors inspired by a depth far greater than what one individual could generate on their own.
Martini pitched his tent and planted the flag called Camp Martini in 2016, capitalizing on the momentum and knowledge he’d gained in 15 years of experience in design, building, and architecture in Montana. Martini dreamed of having a business that shared his love for this locale with the people he works with. “I wanted to have something I got up and did every day, where I get to create something for others, to give them the opportunity to be in and fall in love with Montana, like I am,” shares Martini. A Montana native himself, he understands the lure and the lore of creating a northern Rocky Mountain home. The grace of living under the Big Sky, amidst the elements that are unique to the region, allows homeowners to be fully immersed in the experience of the lifestyle. This reverence for culture and place extends beyond projects in Montana, as well. “Even when I work outside of Montana, I think about what it means to live, work, and recreate in a place, and I keep that in mind for all my projects,” continues Martini. “An even more important element that I always share with my creative team is that our designs must wield enduring charm and must help enhance the personalities that will fill the spaces.”
The Camp of Camp Martini has its foundation with Martini himself and his sister, Chelsea. She’s also a designer, focusing on interior design and jewelry. Martini thrives on the potential offered in working together, sourcing unique provisions, and helping clients bridge the gap between reality and dreams. In fact, Camp Martini reaches out toward many makers and design-related resources to create and designate spaces that have authentic style with relaxed energy. “Every space has its own life force and if we aren’t sensitive to that from the beginning, we cannot begin to fake it through irrational design,” Martini comments. “My job as a designer is to take the ideas my clients love and grow upon them,” she notes. There is a deep reverence for the necessity of collaboration and how it consistently supersedes individual possibility.
“I’m always finding inspiration—on a hike, on vacation, at a trade show—knowing that I may not use an idea tomorrow; it may be ten years before I do, or I may never get to use an idea, but I document it nonetheless, knowing it’s in my toolbox to use down the road.”
–Colton Martini, Founder, Camp Martini
Martini enjoys the challenge of all projects and finds himself especially passionate for the puzzle that remodels offer. “I love working with an existing space where you have those parameters that you can’t change, coming up with exciting ways to work with the existing structures and forms,” he shares. In a recent log home renovation, Martini had the task of incorporating an extensive art collection into the re-design. “The owners handed me their art collection of 30 years, with the sole directive to build the home around that. It became a super modern, contemporary home, with a touch of Montana, filled with art. It was stunning,” he reflects.
With an open mind, it is no surprise that Martini finds inspiration everywhere and therefore maintains a vast collection of ideas that he brings to each project. “I’m always finding inspiration—on a hike, on vacation, at a trade show—knowing that I may not use an idea tomorrow; it may be ten years before I do, or I may never get to use an idea, but I document it nonetheless, knowing it’s in my toolbox to use down the road,” shares Martini. He continues, “I love finding inspiration from makers, artisans who have cornered the market on something amazing.” Martini sees himself as a bit of a creative director and still gets excited at the start of every project, knowing that he will work with a tribe of people who share his enthusiasm to conjure new spaces. He doesn’t ever want to create environments that are precious. Camp Martini invites the imaginative to be astonished and encouraged to feel the inspiration that comes of a meeting of the creative minds, yours included.