At Home in a Gambrel
A Houston couple discovers a vintage gem near Lake Tahoe, giving it a fresh new look
Interior designer Raegan Twisselmann and her husband, Seth, a commodities broker, followed a job to Houston more than a decade earlier, but it never felt like home. Both grew up in California, and they searched online to find a home near Lake Tahoe. In 2014, when they found a 1973 house with a gambrel roof, nestled in the woods in nearby Truckee, they made an offer, sight unseen.
Captured by its vintage character, Raegan set about breathing new life into the 1973 breadbox-shaped property that provided floor-to-ceiling views of scenic Martis Valley. “I love taking old properties and making them shine,” she says.
Raegan relocated with the couple’s two children, and Seth would join them from Houston on weekends. She retained the 1,600-square-foot home’s soaring beams and wood-burning stove but painted the walls and paneling in a warm, neutral palette. She had carpet removed and hardwood flooring installed downstairs; new carpet in the upstairs bedrooms and loft; and new tile, showers, tubs and hardware in upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.
To capture breezes on hot summer days, the front door was chopped in half to create a Dutch door. “Once you walk into the house there’s this voided space under the stairs where I created a nook for kids with hanging lights, a fluffy rug, pillows and games,” she adds.
Army-green paint gave the generic kitchen cabinets a welcome facelift, as did replacing steel knobs and fixtures with brass. A kitchen wall is transformed by live-edge wooden open shelving and a backsplash of subway tiles. A custom industrial light fixture over the island and a yellow ceiling light with flowers woven through it warm and brighten.
Upstairs, the original brown-stained beams and staircases were retained. “I want to preserve as much as I can and work from there,” Raegan says.
The addition of period art, lighting and bedding lend a fresh spin to that ’70s vibe while windows afford timeless forest views.
The couple has since relocated permanently to Truckee, where Seth works remotely—recently getting his realtor license—and Raegan runs the vintage-home-oriented design business Tinsel House Studio. “Living here, we can be outside more,” she says. “It feels like coming back to our roots.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Raegan Twisselmann Tinsel House Studio