Finding home: From first to forever

Beautiful Beginnings

In 1976, Marvin and Beverly Flaten purchased their very first home near downtown Billings, built in the early 1900s. The young, newly married couple were expecting their first son and were excited to start their life together in Montana. They got to work re-wiring, re-plumbing, stripping paint, and wallpapering to create a beautiful space to call their own. 

Coincidentally, the day the electricity was ready to be fired up was also the day the couple brought their son home from the hospital, August 8, 1977. Beverly fondly recalls sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags with their newborn son between them.

Fast-forward nearly 40 years later to when the Flatens were renting their home out to an elderly lady who hadn’t gone down to the basement for over five years.  Unbeknownst to her, a pipe had burst and was flooding the entire basement. They weren’t made aware of the problem until a postman saw water pouring out of the basement windows and call the police. After accessing the damage and structure of the existing home, the tough decision had to be made to tear down the house and rebuild a new one in its place. Beverly says, “In keeping with the neighborhood, classic brick was chosen for the outside design of the home.”

After the couple selected a home plan that they loved, interior designer Connie Charette suggested adding an upper level to the plan to provide more bedrooms and a bathroom. This would better accommodate family and guests from out of town.

The Flatens couldn’t be more pleased with the results! “Connie doesn’t create a house, she creates a home,” says Beverly. “She finds our treasures, photos and things that are special, and make a family home warm and comfortable.”

The overall style inspiration for this home was “an Old World feel of Europe.” The stone accent wall and fireplace, wooden beams, and furnishings were all chosen to reflect this style. Beverly fondly refers to the home as “Our Oasis.”

Trash to Treasure

Sometimes, treasures can be found in the most unlikely of places. Charette’s finds are proof that with a little imagination, forgotten and ordinary objects can take on a new life and become some of your home’s most interesting, unique pieces.

Sweet Slumber

All of the sleeping quarters were designed with ultimate comfort in mind and attention to details from floor to ceiling. Beautiful bedding, light fixtures, paint colors, and accents provide a retreat for all who stay here.

The master suite features a beautiful paint color, Anonymous, by Sherwin Williams. While the guest suites feature luxurious bedding and accommodations chosen with relaxation in mind, the shades are Oyster Bay and Believable Buff by Sherwin Williams. 

From First to Forever

The place where the Flaten's created their beginning has now become a place they will spend their retirement years. The same family that made their start here, along with the addition of spouses and grandchildren, gathers here for holidays and memory making.

photos by Kristin Hartzler

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s January 2019 issue. 

Check out the digital edition, here