Cal­i­for­nia dream­ing

Ru­ral but ut­terly re­fined, this Lake Ta­hoe home is a mas­ter­ful Mod­ernist mix of mar­ble, con­crete and cedar wood, which is framed by scenic for­est vis­tas

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - News - Words CHAR­LOTTE BROOK Pho­tog­ra­phy JOE FLETCHER/OTTO

Ru­ral but ut­terly re­fined, this Lake Ta­hoe home is a mas­ter­ful Mod­ernist mix of mar­ble, con­crete and cedar wood

Amer­ica’s Sierra Ne­vada moun­tains se­duce skiers from all over the world, in­clud­ing one Lon­don-based fam­ily who vis­ited for a one-off ad­ven­ture hol­i­day and, seven years later, have built a house here. Hav­ing snapped up a de­sir­able lake­side plot of land, they asked Faulkner Ar­chi­tects to de­sign the re­treat, which they wanted to use for ex­tended stays, as well as for host­ing friends and fam­ily.

‘The H-shaped house’s de­sign fol­lows pat­terns of light, shade, slope and shel­ter,’ says lead ar­chi­tect Greg Faulkner. A pair of two-storey ‘sheds’, each con­tain­ing six bed­rooms, are linked by a dou­ble-height com­mu­nal space built prin­ci­pally of glass, through which day­light streams and shifts through­out the day. ‘ We wanted to weave the house into the ex­ist­ing to­pog­ra­phy,’ Faulkner ex­plains, ‘for the light, build­ing and land­scape to re­spond to one an­other.’ In terms of vol­ume, this meant they could play with scale. The kitchen and din­ing space’s ceil­ing soars to more than four me­tres, yet doesn’t make it a third of the way up the cedar, fir, aspen and pine trees it rubs shoul­ders with. Dur­ing bliz­zards, this space is the warm, calm eye of the storm, sur­rounded by snow­fall on all sides, but ren­dered cosy by the low fire­place.

When it came to ma­te­ri­als, Faulkner and the cou­ple chose to clad the house in cedar, which they black­ened in the Ja­panese shou sugi ban style, scorch­ing it on-site. This gives the tim­ber a patina, links the house to its ar­bo­real en­vi­ron­ment and, more prag­mat­i­cally, pro­tects it from for­est fires. Ta­hoe-based in­te­rior de­signer Sarah Jones in­stalled Cal­i­for­nian wal­nut floor­ing to make true Faulkner’s vi­sion that ‘ here, out­side is in­side and in­side is out­side’.

Break­ing up the ar­chi­tec­ture’s clean lines, an al­most-cos­mic Bocci chan­de­lier floats over the din­ing ta­ble and glow­ing pen­dant lights by New York stu­dio Niche De­sign hang in the kitchen. In the liv­ing room, a soft rug from ar­ti­san spe­cial­ist Tufenkian leads to dove-grey B&B Italia sofas, per­fect for sink­ing into af­ter a long day on the slopes. faulkner­ar­chi­; sarahjonesin­te­ri­orde­

Liv­ing room The traver­tine-clad fire­place is the fo­cus of this space. A B&B Italia sofa and pair of arm­chairs frame the log fire and sit on a cus­tom-made Tufenkian rug. In­te­rior de­signer Sarah Jones de­signed the cof­fee ta­ble in glass and wal­nut. The...

See even more of this con­tem­po­rary moun­tain re­treat, plus our edit of the world’s most beau­ti­ful coun­try­side homes, in ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Coun­try Vol­ume 11, on sale now. For more inspiration, fol­low us on Twit­ter and Face­book @Ellede­co­coun­try

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