Envi Interior Design Studio owner and creative director Susie Hoffmann was recently selected by "Business of Home," known as the daily media of record for the U.S. home industry, as one of its "50 States" picks of standout interior designers. In Hoffmann's interview with "Business of Home," she discusses her journey toward creating the Bozeman, Montana-based Envi, her focus on wellness design and why her luxurious-yet-fun approach to interior design has been such a hit for mountain vacation homes in Montana's elite Yellowstone Club.
BOZEMAN, Mont., Aug. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The respected media of record for the U.S. home industry, "Business of Home" is considered a must-read by designers across the country, making selection to Editor in Chief Kaitlin Petersen's annual "50 States Project" – a candid conversation with one admired designer from each U.S. state – a coveted honor. This year's pick to represent Montana, Envi Interior Design Studio founder and creative director Susie Hoffmann has become a go-to mountain vacation home designer for the state's exclusive Yellowstone Club. Her recent Business of Home interview follows her somewhat serendipitous New York City-to-Bozeman, Montana, career trajectory – Hurricane Katrina played a role – as well as delving into her focus on wellness in design and new Envi projects far outside the state.
Hoffmann's interest in the more meaningful, wellness aspect of design was sparked by a personal struggle. "I had a really serious health issue that just stopped me in my tracks. It was the kind of thing that makes you reevaluate your life," she tells BOH. "At first I was like, 'Wait, why am I doing design? How can I help other people?' Then it became, 'Wait, design can help other people.'" Following her graduation from Parsons, Hoffmann worked for famed New York designer Clodagh, where she learned about feng shui and chromotherapy, beginning to look at design with the approach of "How does your home affect your health? How does everything around you affect your well-being?"
Following a brief plan to establish a business in New Orleans, upended by Hurricane Katrina, Hoffmann made her way to Montana, where much of her family had relocated. Though she loved the big-sky country, she wasn't sure the Mountain West vibe was a good fit. "I had just come from working in New York for one of the top designers in the world. Meanwhile, it was all about rustic timber-log construction here in Montana, which was not my jam," she tells Petersen. "But it's actually been an amazing place to start a business—and I was oddly ahead of the curve, right? Montana's booming now, and it has been for a while, but it was not quite there in 2006 [when Hoffmann founded Envi], and what I was really trying to do was introduce a new concept and style of design altogether."
Hoffmann got lucky with early clients looking for more than the then ubiquitous "fancy log cabin." They were building a Japanese-inspired spa and pool house in the resort town of Whitefish, Montana, intended as a wellness center and art gallery all in one. The vision aligned perfectly with Hoffmann's philosophy and experience and, at the time just 30 years old, she was entrusted with what would become a stunning – and oft-published – project. "We're still in touch," she says. "I feel like they took a chance on me, and it was an amazing thing to be able to launch my business with a project that was and continues to be very highly regarded."
The pandemic brought an unprecedented real estate rush to the Bozeman/Big Sky area of Montana where Hoffmann lives and works, and Envi has designed multiple projects in Yellowstone Club, a CNN pick for best private ski resort and haven for boldface names. Designing vacation homes requires "a different mentality" than creating primary residences, Hoffmann tells BOH. "You have a license to have a little more fun and maybe be a little less practical," she says, comparing the approach to hospitality design – another area where she has expertise, including her Scandinavian-inspired design for Nordic Brew Works in Bozeman and a view-focused clubhouse at Big Sky's tony Moonlight Basin. "It's short-term," she says of the more playful outlook toward vacation residences. "I think people are often looking for something that has a little more edge or more fun."
In a residence called "Blue Bird Powder Day" that Envi created in the Yellowstone Club for a Bay Area client, for example, requests for "fun" and "hip" design features resulted in a three-story glass stair, glass "peekaboo" windows in the floor and a trap door leading from the living room directly to beds in the bunk room below. Pops of blues and pinks and whites, colors seen in Montana skies following a snowstorm, informed elements throughout the home in furniture, cabinetry and artwork.
While rejecting the notion of being limited to traditional Western aesthetics, Hoffmann has learned to embrace the West in ways that allow for contemporary style to make a statement while continuing to honor the region. "I think it's so important to have the context of Montana—we're here, so let's embrace the palette and the materials," she tells BOH. "But you can do that without going too far in the Western direction and in a way that is still forward-thinking and contemporary. We can draw inspiration from Scandinavia, and it can still be Montana—it can still be a mountain house, but it doesn't have to be 'the American Mountain West.' Why not look to what's been happening in Switzerland for centuries?"
Recently, Envi's work has expanded far beyond Montana. Hoffmann, whose global experience stretches back through childhood summers in Germany with her furniture-maker grandfather and architect uncle, is working with an international construction team on an ultra-luxe seaside project in Mexico, and recently took the whole Envi team to Salone [del Mobile] in Italy to see what's new. "I'm really excited for the breadth of work we're doing. It's not just Montana, and it's not just contemporary style in Montana—it is contemporary Envi Design style in Mexico," she tells Petersen. "It's so exciting to be able to live here and appreciate the lifestyle and the beauty of Montana, but also explore different styles and types of architecture."
About Envi Interior Design Studio:
For Susie Hoffmann, interior design is about the total experience of the space, balancing all the senses in a holistic approach that respects architectural cues and a sense of place while expertly intuiting client individuality. Her Envi Interior Design Studio, which she founded in 2006 in Bozeman, Montana, has become a go-to source for homeowners seeking houses that foster an active lifestyle and connection to nature at nearby Big Sky and the exclusive Yellowstone Club, as well as in coastal California and Mexico. Envi's sophisticated mountain elegance pairs an undeniable element of fun with a dedication to wellness, promoting peaceful and joyful retreats for residential clients. An Interior Design Best of Year Finalist and Luxe 2020 Gold List honoree, annually recognized on Mountain Living magazine's Top Mountain Designers list, Envi also designs occasional hospitality projects, including Yellowstone Club's Moonlight Basin Clubhouse and Bozeman's Nordic Brew Works. Follow Envi @envidesign on Instagram and for more information, visit envidesign.com.
Anne M. Parsons, Word PR + Marketing, 3035484611, [email protected]
SOURCE Envi Interior Design Studio