DesignBar Home Furnishings Brings Mountain Whimsy to Lake Tahoe

This boutique is redefining mountain living
Boutique Shop

Shoppers can touch and feel paper, fabric, and carpet samples throughout the store. Almost everything, from furniture to finishings, can be custom ordered in the exact size needed. | Photos courtesy of DesignBar Home Furnishings

Bold colors, rich textures and unexpected objects greet visitors in every nook of DesignBar Home Furnishings in Truckee, California. Owner Sarah Ray-Fay’s intention was to offer something unexpected at the store. “‘Redefining mountain living’ is our tagline,” she says. “We wanted to give it a bit of a twist and help people find their own design personalities.”

Boutique Open Bed

Patterned velvet, faux fur, and rich linens dress a dreamy bed at DesignBar Home Furnishings. Fabrics set the mood throughout the boutique with color and texture.

Because Ray-Fay loves textiles, she organized the store in little vignettes with colorful backdrops of fabric rolls—everything from crimson and chartreuse velvet to bird and bloom prints. “I wanted to bring fabrics to Truckee that people had never seen before,” she explains. The unique fabrics also serve as inspiration. “Fabric is a great starting point. People walk in here and get a lot of ideas.”

Boutique Cowboy

Blues and yellows create an uplifting vignette that includes a cowboy painting, sinuous vases and playful bookends.

Boutique Dog

Decorative items include glossy white tree trunks and a lazy lab on a ledge.

General manager Stacy de la Rosa loves how visitors react. “Almost everyone is just wide-eyed,” she notes. The offerings are diverse: Pillows, throws, bookends, vases, frames and just-for-fun objects like tabletop sculptures. A skull-and-bones tic-tac-toe board sits on a coffee table. Around the corner, a golden clock ticks next to a scented candle smelling sweetly of birch bark and pine needles.

Boutique Deer

Deer and pine cones—staples of mountain style—get a surprising twist as an aristocratic bust and tabletop sculptures. Everywhere in the store mountain motifs are reinvented as unexpected objects.

DesignBar provides creative mountain décor options and ideas. A pendant light that quickly turned into a store favorite has a humble history. “We have a chandelier made of natural manzanita branches that we harvest ourselves and cover in fairy lights,” Ray-Fay says. “We’ve been commissioned to do a few of those for homeowners in the area.”

Boutique Phones

DesignBar Home Furnishings doesn’t take itself too seriously. Fun pieces include silver sculptures of first-generation mobile phones and wooden hand signals.

Boutique Cabinet

DesignBar features original art, thereby supporting local artists in the Lake Tahoe area. In every corner and cranny, shoppers can also find finishing touches for the home.

DesignBar Home Furnishings is an extension of Ray-Fay’s interior design business, which shares the space. While clients can purchase anything in the store, floor models serve as examples of the type of custom furniture avail- able to order. Clients can touch, feel, sit and lie on all of the furniture, including sofas, armchairs, benches and tables.

Boutique Sales

Owner Sarah Ray-Fay offers design services through DesignBar Interior Design, which shares the space. She enjoys helping clients put everything together in one cohesive room.

Ray-Fay likes to help clients visualize the entire project, from space planning to remodeling or revamping. “Sometimes, people just focus on things separately,” she says. “We help them see how everything will work together in the room.”

Boutique Hands

Owner Ray-Fay likes to make people happy. “I definitely want to get rid of the stigma that designers are snobby or that we know better,” she says. “Everyone here is approachable.”

Ray-Fay, who spent years in the hospitality industry before earning her degree in interior architecture, wants to make everyone feel welcome. “We want people to feel happy and comfortable,” she explains.

Categories: High-Country Communities