A Family-Oriented Tahoe Home

“The more the merrier” is the theme for a couple’s Lake Tahoe family getaway
Photography by Lindsay Salazar

In the hierarchy of home building requests, bunk rooms rarely rise to the top of the leaderboard. But Joseph and Marguerite Field not only made sleeping quarters for their two boys and twin girls their first ask but also requested eight built-in bunks—to accommodate the revolving door of friends and cousins the couple anticipated would routinely visit their Lake Tahoe retreat. “We wanted this to be a place where families could come together, and the one thing we knew for sure was that we wanted a bunk room,” shares Marguerite, adding a practical note: “And it needed to be over the garage so the noise wouldn’t make everybody crazy.”

Architect Adam Bittle answered the request for simple natural materials with stained cedar siding and stone.

The emphasis on a family entertaining dynamic established a clear direction for architect Adam Bittle, whose floor plan featuring a central gathering space, a play/media room, a kitchen scaled for major meal prep and two first-floor master suites handily accommodates the steady flow of visitors.

The living room combines refined walnut cabinets with a rock fireplace.

Set amid a backdrop best defined as classic Tahoe with a modern twist, Bittle introduced two steep-pitched gable forms as organizing features and a natural materials palette of cedar and stone, the latter meant to establish a feeling of permanence. “They liked the traditional Tahoe forms but did not want a dark rustic cabin feel,” says Bittle. Noting that Marguerite favored light warm grays and earth tones, “Instead of paint we went with semi-transparent stains on the cedar to keep things light, and black [trim on the] windows as a modern accent,” he explains.

An adjustable two-arm wall sconce from Visual Comfort is the light source in the family’s favorite reading spot.

Collectibles on the coffee table provide a sense of history.

As the structure was taking shape, builder Doug Gray mocked up templates of the living room and master suite that would occupy the soaring spaces formed by the gables. “I wanted everyone to be able to envision the impact of the high ceiling and expanses of glass and understand the proportions of those rooms ahead of time,” he says.

A Robin Bruce slipcovered sofa and a pair of Vanguard Furniture recliners offer comfy seating in the great room.

Interior designer Suzanne Hall, who had worked with the owners previously, took that into account when creating the living-room fireplace design with her team. “There are horizontal grooves channeling all the way up to the ceiling to break the verticality of the room,” says Hall, who also intentionally over-grouted the stone here and in the kitchen. “We wanted them to resemble foundation walls with a sense of history.”

In the kitchen, interior designer Suzanne Hall mixed things up with Caesarstone and soapstone counters. A quartet of metal-and-leather counter stools by Noir belly up to the island, and the pendant lights are by Regina Andrew.

A combination of rough-hewn walnut cabinets, oak floors and warm-toned beam work completed the welcoming backdrop and set the stage for the color, textures and patterns to come. “We wanted the house to in some way acknowledge the area’s heritage,” says Joseph, and in response Hall and her team researched the Washoe Indians and selected patterns for the fretwork on the rails and drawers in the bunk room based on Native American pottery.

In the powder room a pair of Visual Comfort sconces flank an Arteriors mirror.

While the living-room furnishings get the job done—the sofa wears sensible Crypton and the chairs swivel to the North Star views— it’s the assortment of Pendleton blankets  and rugs fashioned from naturally dyed yarns that provide the character. In the master bedroom, for example, where the four-poster bed serves to mitigate the 25-foot ceiling, the floor covering reads like a piece of art. “There are no repeat patterns; I wanted everything to feel hand touched,” Hall says.

A chandelier by Currey and Company lights the four-poster bed from Vanguard Furniture.

In the guest bath twin mirrors are from Arteriors, and the sconces are Visual Comfort.

The bespoke theme is even evident in the nook located on the second-story breezeway. Outfitted with a twin bed touting a bright blue coverlet, the favorite place to cuddle with kids or catch some adult alone time is filled with a mix of Native American treasures, antiques and family pictures on the walls. About the success of the home’s eclectic style Hall concludes, “It’s the details that give this haven wisdom beyond its years.”

The striped settee is by Century, and the accent chair is from Made Goods.

“It’s easy to spend less on kids’ rooms,” notes interior designer Suzanne Hall. But when approaching the design for the children’s quarters, Hall and team researched local history, and Lake Tahoe’s Washoe Indians became integral to the design plan. Along with that came ideas for a theme-park-style bunk room that includes a teepee where everyone wants to hang out. 

PICK A CONCEPT “Everything from the throw pillow fabrics to the intricate carving on the bunk bed railings were inspired by local native pottery. MAKE ROOM In lieu of the angled ladders typical of most bunk bed arrangements, a custom cut-out step system with forged iron rails on the far end of the beds leads to the top spot. “We wanted the center space to be clear for play,” Hall says. OPTIMAL LOCALE Placing a bunk room over the garage or on a home’s lower level will contain the noise levels.

Hall designed the bunks with rails and drawers inspired by Native American pottery.

ARCHITECTURE Architecture Allure INTERIOR DESIGN Alice Lane Interior Design CONSTRUCTION Catalyst Builders

As seen in the August 2019 issue

Categories: Contemporary Homes