A Modestly Sized Montana Condo Blends Japanese and Scandinavian Design

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A leather couch next to a large plant
Our Coziest Corner

Name: Shaelynn Neel, husband, and two cats
Location: Missoula, Montana
Type of home: Condo
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, owned


Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I bought our condo in 2018 shortly after I immigrated to the U.S. from Canada following four years spent as a long distance couple. This would be our first home together and our goal was to create a calm and comfortable space that blended our styles together. We feel we’ve managed to do just that and it has been a very healing experience for us both.


My husband is a lover of Japanese design and architecture and I’ve always leaned towards the clean and functional feel of Scandinavian homes. The two main things that drew us to the home was the abundance of natural light and natural wood finishes. We had a great canvas to start, which made curating our space really enjoyable for a young couple on a budget. We share the space with our two orange cats, Sage and Jade, who happen to match our home’s color palette perfectly (haha).

A Small But Functional Kitchen

I love to host and create a welcoming and fun environment where people can feel themselves. I enjoy neutral calm spaces, simple style, and living well. I think all of these things are reflected in my home. I typically stick to a neutral color palette (shades of beige, green, white, black, wood accents, etc.). I love collecting unique pieces of artwork from different makers and artists. A common theme in our home is natural elements: we love ceramics, plants, natural fibers, etc.

My (Micro) Corner Office

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Japandi-inspired, calm, bright, functional, and natural


What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is our bedroom. It’s my favorite bedroom I’ve ever had because I designed it for my husband and I to share together. It’s simple but is exactly as I pictured it when I dreamed of putting the space together. It’s the only space in our home that hasn’t changed too much since we moved in simply because I love it that much.


What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I purchased for our home was a ceramic sculpture by Katherine Moes. I don’t have a link as it was one-of-a-kind and purchased at a shop here in town.


Any advice for creating a home you love? It’s probably cheesy to say but a great home takes time. And, it’s okay for your style to change and evolve. Don’t lock yourself into certain trends or styles. Ultimately you want your home to feel good and it should be a place where you feel safe and can relax and be yourself.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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