Modern vacation retreat in the woods near Lake Tahoe

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Lake Tahoe Residence was designed by Chelsea Sachs Design for a couple living in San Francisco wishing to create an idyllic vacation retreat in the woods near Lake Tahoe, California. The owners of this heavenly home were searching for years to find the perfect home before finally deciding to start fresh and find the perfect location. The magical spot they finally came upon was one that back up to wooded nature preserve that showcased a trickling stream. The plot was situated close to a lake and rested amidst heavenly pine trees. The architect and clients worked closely together to work on a family vacation home that would meet the needs of the client and display some incredible results.

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The most important design feature was the floor, which helps to support all the other elements in the space. The owners wanted dark flooring, so wide plank oak flooring was selected and stained in a beautiful shade of dark brown. The designer stumbled upon a stone that complimented the flooring beautifully, called “Montana Moss Rock”, this was the perfect start to bringing the design to life.

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The clients wished for modern interiors infused with the comfort and warmth of a mountain retreat. The designer added barn wood paneling throughout the interiors of the home that helped to perfectly achieve this design aesthetic. The wood came from old dismantled barns from Indiana, which help to create a warm, weathered look. The wood was used on the fireplace column, some areas of the ceiling, accent walls and was what was used to clad the whole exterior of the residence. The color palette was very rich, with the mix of dark oak flooring and wood panelling, so custom walnut built-ins with a light stain helped to compliment and offset the richer hues beautifully.

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One of the designer’s favorite parts to the design project was the lighting selection. As can be seen above the dining room table, the chandeliers reflect nature, which seems to be always closeby wherever you are in the home. The fixtures are Saggina chrome chandeliers, which emulate tree branches. Another beautiful light fixture choice in the home was in the front foyer, also picking up from nature. Mizu glass pendants by Terzani emulate the rippling water that can be seen in the creek located in the backyard.

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The material palette selection ranged from a beautiful limestone in the kitchen, to a metallic ceramic flooring in the front foyer.

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The biggest inspirational draw to the project was the surrounding beauty of the Lake Tahoe area and the landscape where the home resides. The owners wanted their home to seem like it had been organically sprung up from the land. To do so, the designer incorporated rock that seemed like it had been quarried just outside their front entryway. Wood was used in the design that seemed as though it had been split off the bark from the surrounding trees. Concrete elements used in the design scheme match perfectly with the rock boulders that surround the lake.

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Journey: Building on raw land takes not only patience but offers you a great education. The journey had begun with just drawings and inspiration boards then sprung to life over the course of a couple of years. When the designer first set foot on this fantastic property, she walked with one of her clients down to the stream, collecting rocks, leaves and bark, which she then brought home with her and left on her desk throughout the entire design phase as a reminder of what mattered most: creating a design scheme that was in harmony with the natural environment.

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Photos: Peter Medilek


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