There is an unspoken alchemy that occurs when you finally find a space that's perfect for you.
As soon as Rebecca Revel, founder of The Weavers Studio, walked into this 1890s home in the historic Bon Ton neighborhood of Bozeman, Montana, she felt empowered. "I had a feeling of peaceful strength and grounding," she recalls to Lonny. "I knew this was the place where I was supposed to spend time, to build my company, to heal, and to grow. It has a presence, it holds you."
Known for its historic residential architecture from the early 1880s to the 1930s, Revel says she is surrounded by "beautiful, loved homes" and while her own Victorian home is also beautiful and historic, it only recently began to receive the love it deserves. "On the exterior, it still looks like the big, spooky house on the corner where the witch lives — the one that you’re delightfully afraid of when you’re a kid," she adds.
And, coming across the home was nothing short of pure magic, Revel shares. Born and raised in Montana before moving to San Francisco (where she went to college and built her career), Revel had long dreamed of returning to her home state. It was only after she "finally chose to honor that calling" that she saw this space come up on Zillow, two blocks from where she was staying at the time. Serendipitous to say the least.
Revel sees "beauty in restraint" so when approaching the design of this house, she stayed close to her values seeking out beauty with sustainability, as almost everything she sourced was either used or from a local maker. She also made sure the home reflected community — the flow of the space allows for easy connection, whether that’s around the dinner table or sitting on the floor pillows in the main living room. To bring this vision to life, Reveal worked in close collaboration with Brit Epperson of Studio Plow. "She is my constant collaborator on space," explains Revel. "We worked in rhythm with what was original to the home and planned around my forever palette of neutrals and nature-inspired colors."
And you can see this juxtaposition throughout the entire house. It's complete with history and tradition with a hint of modernity. Achieving this nuanced design style without forgoing the past is a delicate dance, but one that Revel is only too happy to master with Epperson. "We talk often about the power and intention of space and the importance of curation," she begins. "Each and every piece is carefully considered." Reveal is also very patient and budget-minded, so she's okay for things to move slowly—a refreshing approach in a typically impatient world. "One day I may want a couch, and the next I want room to dance and play," she adds."So, I’ll wait until I have knowledge for that particular space."
To achieve this, Revels likes to spend time alone and "take in the space." She continues, "I spend a lot of time in my main room, on the floor watching the light and shadows move across the space. I am patient with how the space will evolve, so I only act when inspiration strikes." Even then, she will often take her time to see how that inspiration evolves before making another purchase or putting a brush to paint. In this particular space, which was already adorned with historic wallpaper and intricate flooring, Revel knew, instinctively, that "less is more."
In fact, light is one of Revel's favorite things about the space. "I love the way the light dances like rainbows across the original hardwood floor and the velvet flocked wallpaper," she recalls. "I also love the trees outside of my dining room. Every season they offer a new gift, from flowers to autumn leaves to carrying snow. I thank those trees daily." Nature also heavily informs her design process which is little wonder given the breathtaking Montana countryside on her doorstep. "I am a big fan of what Margaret Grade has done with her properties in Olema [Mankas and Druids Hall]," explains Revel. "I implement similar elements of nature within my own home — I love to bring the outdoors inside."
This is especially present in the flowers, greenery, and branches she styles throughout. "If you see tree-trimmers working on the street to trim trees — stop! Ask them for some of their branches," she advises. This green thumb also extends into her holiday decorating, layering clippings of pine, herbs, olive branches, lavender, and seasonal stems to freshen up the tablescape and mantel. "It’s such a yummy, cozy time of year—I especially love the scent," she says. "I think the more that you use your hands and are involved with the décor, the more that you’ll love it."
Since her aesthetic is fairly restrained and curated, Revel purposefully reaches for pieces that are brimming with texture — think textiles, art, and wood — to bring in warmth and visual interest. This is obvious in the bedroom where touchable fabrics like linen and wool in varying neutral hues are layered together to add a delicious richness and dimension to the space. It feels very meaningful and personal but then again, sentimentality is definitely a common design theme in Revel's home.
When asked about this approach to decorating, we find that personal narrative and storytelling is also a thread that's delicately woven into the creative process. She details, "Creativity is like a conduit to the soul, a means to tap into your innermost world to express yourself. It is part of our internal journey, coming back to ourselves and finding belonging. I find the design process to be one that helps me to be curious about myself and what inspires me and brings me to life. Those are the things I’d like to be surrounded by." And this visual language is clearly demonstrated in every corner of her beautiful home.
And when you consider Revel's original vision for the home, it's easy to see why. "My initial intention was for it to be a welcoming place for healing and connection — hosting circles, breathwork, music, and more." she explains. This focus has shifted since then, in part due to Covid-19 restrictions but she tells us quarantine has deepened her relationship with the space. "I was starting my company at the time, and I really needed to turn inward in order to navigate the unpredictable, challenging times we’re facing," she recalls. "My home held and inspired me."
If you're new to design and want to inject the same sentiment and nuance into your own home, then put Revel's esteemed words of advice into practice. "When you look at a space you design, you see yourself mirrored back to you," she points out. "It’s such an opportunity to bring your dream to life. No one else has that dream and vision but you — what an excellent way to see yourself." As we outlined earlier, she's also not in a rush to the finish line and doesn't think you should be either.
"Take your time and choose pieces that you love, and know why you love them," she details. "Be present with your decisions. Be curious about why you’re making them. Your process evolves into the environment in which you live, where you create and dream. You want that foundation to be inspiring and a reflection of the life you want to create. Whenever you look at them, you’ll see a little part of yourself that you love." We couldn't agree more.
While the home looks finished, Revel reveals it's still a work in progress. "I did, and still am, very much taking my time with this space," she says. "I've invested in a handful of pieces, mostly made by local makers, while the rest was repurposed from my home in California or found in antique stores and Craigslist." This slow and steady approach also aligns with her sustainable, storytelling process — a thread she hopes to continue weaving as she created a curated, warm, and magic home. "I hope that people feel welcomed when they arrive at my home," she adds. "I hope they feel held. It’s a peaceful space and I hope that this all reflects my nature."