A Beverly Hills Couple Finds Respite in Mammoth Lakes
Head for the hills to tour this Mountain Modern home
Mammoth Lakes has always held a special place in the hearts of the owners of this home in the small California town tucked among the grand peaks of the Sierra Nevada. “I grew up in Los Angeles, and Mammoth was the cool ski area to go to,” the husband remembers. “I started going to ski camps there when I was 12, and it’s been in my blood forever.”
His wife, on the other hand, grew up in New York. “I was definitely not an outdoor girl,” she confesses. Being a game sort (and being in love with her husband), it didn’t take long for her to succumb to the town’s charms. Soon, the couple was regularly making the five-hour drive from their home in Los Angeles to Mammoth.
When they decided to build a new vacation home, they found an architect with an equally deep connection to the town. Ted Brobst, a principal at the Truckee, California-based firm Ward-Young Architecture & Planning, spends a lot of his free time in nature. “I’ve been hiking and backpacking in the Mammoth area for years,” he says. “When I got this opportunity to design a house there I was super excited to be working in my playground.”
While Brobst’s familiarity with the town appealed to his clients, it was his experience in building Mountain Modern homes that sealed the deal for them. “We wanted to break away from the more traditional forms—the lodges, the Craftsman style— that dominate in the area,” the husband says. Still, he adds, they didn’t want to buck the local trend entirely. “We wanted it to blend in, to feel organic.”
Brobst obliged with a clean, simple but infinitely interesting design with multiple cantilevered shed roofs that create a visual echo with the surrounding mountain peaks. “The aesthetic is a cool mountain look with a fresh, clean-lined approach to the composition,” he explains. Western red cedar siding with accents of stone and metal, including metal roofing, stand up to wind and snow and suit the mountain context.
To keep the focus on the views, the rooms the couple spends the most time in were placed on the upper level. No one has to wait to catch a glimpse of the mountain majesty, however, because the front door, a quietly dramatic panel of steel, opens to a foyer with a window wall that frames a knockout vista of the Sherwin Range.
A floating staircase set against a wall of stone rises to the great room, a high-ceilinged expanse ringed with floor-to-ceiling windows whose glass panes of varied sizes are connected by walnut framing. Wood—from the cedar ceiling and white-oak floors to the kitchen’s beautifully crafted walnut and oak cabinetry—keeps the interior space grounded amid all the glass and creates a seamless flow from the dining room to the living room to the frankly gorgeous kitchen with its dramatic backsplash wall of quartzite interrupted only by a sleek, modern custom-fabricated steel range hood. “Because you see the kitchen from the living room, I didn’t want it to look too kitcheny,” says interior designer Corinne Brown of Brown Design Group.
Brown’s furniture choices add a cozy feel. The low-slung sectional sofa big enough to seat a crowd is outfitted in soft chenille. Plush chenille also covers an oversize swivel chair tucked into a corner near the fireplace. And a pair of shaggy fur sling chairs form their own cozy seating area between the living room and kitchen. “My clients have a penchant for chairs that have personality,” Brown says.
Splashes of bright color, like toss pillows of acid green and soft gold, pull the colors from outside. “You see a lot of green and gold out the windows,” Brown says, “so I wanted to bring those colors inside.”
An open floor plan with high ceilings, lots of glass and contemporary elements like industrial steel can run the risk of feeling cold. Designer Corinne Brown explains how she brought warmth to the expansive great room of this Mammoth Lakes home.
WOOD always adds warmth, the designer notes. Cedar ceilings help bring the tall space down to a more human scale. “Then,” Brown says, “by using walnut for all the window trim details and interior doors, we were able to wrap the space with a warm feeling, while still letting the fresh white of the walls communicate a more contemporary feel.” The HANGING LIGHT FIXTURES “connect heaven and earth,” as Brown puts it. “I generally don’t like to use a lot of decorative fixtures because they can fight the clean aspect of contemporary architecture,” she adds, “but the ones we chose for the entry and the dining room and main bedroom are interesting for their form and texture and materiality.” TEXTURE is key when it comes to cozy, and Brown uses plenty of it in this space. The long sofa wears a soft chenille, and a super-plush chenille covers the oversize round swivel chair. “Fur on the sling chairs, on pillows and on the little Icelandic ottoman juxtapose the clean shapes of the furniture, and everything sits on thick, earthy wool rugs,” says Brown.
LIVING ROOM COFFEE TABLE by Taracea YETI CHAIRS by Coup Detat SWIVEL CHAIR by Casa Italia LEATHER CHAIR by Roche Bobois LARGE RUG by Tufenkian Highland SMALL RUG by Marc Phillips GREEN PILLOWS by Kravet MAIN BEDROOM PENDANTS by Gregorious Pineo CHANDELIER by Troy Lighting BLINDS by Conrad Shades WALLPAPER by Phillip Jefferies RUG by Marc Phillips CHAISE FABRIC by Filippo Uecher ENTRY SCONCES by Objet Insolite MAIN BATH SCONCES by Objet Insolite