Rooms With a View
A California vacation home is all about bringing the outdoors in
Ask Brad and Kira Haas about their favorite space in their Truckee, California, vacation home, and their answers—he favors a specific spot on the sofa; she loves a certain chair on the patio—have everything to do with the sights. In fact, it was the views of nearby Lookout Mountain, Mount Pluto and the Martis Camp Golf Club’s driving range that sold the couple on their location.
“We looked at a lot of empty lots, but nothing spoke to us,” says Brad. “This was actually a lot we had ignored for a while. It had a guesthouse on it, but no main house. We finally walked down and loved the idea of being close to the driving range—our son was six at the time and loved hitting golf balls—and it had great views.”
So the Haases assembled a dream team to build a main house that enhanced the idyllic setting. Architect Clare Walton, project manager Eben Schreiber from Jim Morrison Construction, and interior designer Sarah Jones came together to create a 5,245-square-foot, five-bedroom oasis very much dictated by its surroundings. From the roofline to natural materials like hickory and Montana-sourced stone to floor- to-ceiling windows, every detail was chosen with the goal of bringing the outdoors in.
“The design of the house is very site specific,” Walton says. It’s very clean and restrained—but with some rugged elements like exposed rafters and beams—and a real celebration of the views.” Adds Schreiber, “When you walk in, with all the glass in the great room, you see the forest, golf course and ski hills before you even get past the front door.”
When it came time to make decisions about the interior design, the Haases knew what they wanted. “We like the cleaner look, without it being sterile. You want to feel comfortable in your environment—we have kids,” says Kira. “It has to be functional but warm when we have a house full of guests and warm when it’s also just us.” Jones took her design cues from the serenity and calm that nature inspires, selecting a neutral color palette along with textures and prints that nod to the outdoors.
“You can open the house up entirely. There are a lot of large glass sliding doors, and the patio wraps around the entire dining area, so the lines are really blurred.” Soaring ceilings—20 feet in the great room and 14 feet in other parts of the house—dictated larger scale furniture to ground the space. “But I didn’t want to block the views, so the overall height of the furnishings stays low, allowing the trees and landscape to really draw your eyes up,” Jones explains.
Every now and then, you’ll see paw prints on our windows.” — Homeowner Brad Haas
Views are best enhanced when they’re shared, so the house was made for entertaining. “It’s one-story living for us, but it expands when more people are here,” says Kira. Features built for fun include sleeps-a-crowd girls’ and boys’ bunk rooms—and the latter comes with a secret play space that’s accessible via rope ladder (“Thanks to the clever ingenuity of Eben, who realized there was a huge wasted cavity in the ceiling that could make an awesome little bonus space,” says Jones). There’s a fun television room— the most colorful space in the house—featuring a funky, adjustable Roche Bobois sofa where, Kira says, “Every 4th of July, you’ll find 12 kids lined up and sprawled out with popcorn.”
And there’s the wide-open kitchen, which boasts a 12-foot-long island and a houndstooth-patterned backsplash. “It’s nice that we can feel like this little village of people in there,” Kira says. “We cook together, the kids are at our feet and people are hanging out.”
Not all the guests are invited in, however. “The bears like to come by, too,” says Brad. “Every now and then, you’ll see paw prints on our windows.”
With views this magnificent, the last thing you want to do is obstruct them with walls. But open-concept living can complicate creating separate, well-defined spaces. Here’s how designer Sarah Jones divided and conquered. MIX UP CEILING HEIGHTS The ceiling in the great room soars up to 20 feet but is dropped in the kitchen and dining area, which helps define three different “rooms” in the large space. MAP OUT MATERIALS Give each space its own signature ingredient. While all the walls and cabinets are painted the same shade (Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore), the living area has a concrete-and-natural-stone wall around the fireplace, and kitchen walls are clad in Houndstooth tile by Walker Zanger. LAY DOWN AREA RUGS Perhaps the easiest way to carve out different rooms is by using rugs of various sizes to create borders. A large 17-by-20-foot Stark rug delineates the living area from the rest of the space. FURNITURE PLACEMENT IS EVERYTHING You can easily build “walls” with your furniture. Here, Jones used the lengthy backside of a Minotti sofa to create a nice subtle break that separates the kitchen from the great room.
As seen in our July 2020 issue
ENTRY BENCH from Cisco Home SOFAS Freeman Duvet Chaise Longue Sofas by Minotti from Arkitektura SWIVEL CHAIR Ms. Benny Swivel Club Chair by Holly Hunt from Kneedler Fauchère SIDE TABLE Wood Curved Cube Side Table in Ebony from RH Modern ROUND SIDE TABLE Sphere Round Side Table in Tara Reclaimed from RH Modern CUBE SIDE TABLE Aubrey Cube Side Table from Interlude.com CUSHIONS Professional Finish Rock Cushions from Baboo PILLOWS by Melange Trenzas from Homelosophy PLANK TABLE Reclaimed Elm Plank Table with T Leg Style from Clubcu ARM CHAIR Hampton Arm Chair by Holly Hunt from Kneedler Fauchère BENCH Lalune Bench by Holly Hunt from Kneedler Fauchère DINING BENCH FABRIC “Leaf Me to It” in Balsamic Dining Bench Back Fabric by Perennials from Sutherland Perennials Studio STOOLS Cherner Counter Stools from Knoll SECTIONAL SOFA Voyage Immobile Farnitente Sectional Sofa and Ottomans from Roche-Bobois COWHIDE by Spinneybeck from Knoll HEADBOARD Clarence House 35019-3 Master Headboard Fabric from Kneedler Fauchère LAMP Joren Lamp from Made Goods ARM CHAIR 1950s Italian Shelter Arm Chair from Restoration Hardware DRINK TABLE Sliced Petrified Wood Drink Table from Palecek SIDE TABLE Beam 2-Drawer Side Table from Cisco Home LAMP Joss Lamp from Arteriors TABLE Aegean Teak Rectangular Table from RH Modern CHAIR Aegean Teak Chair from RH Modern SOFA Paros 96” Sofa from RH Modern LOUNGE CHAIR Paros Lounge Chair from RH Modern WING CHAIR M-Brace Wing Chair in “Pepper” Finish from Dedon