Mountain retreat with reclaimed old-world details

This European-inspired mountain retreat is located on a wooded site in Lahontan, California, not far from Lake Tahoe. The owners wished to have the design of their home be timeless and evocative, the kind of home that would reflect their family and be respectful to their surrounding environment. The owners commissioned to create a home that feels reminiscent of a northern European country home. The homeowners wanted to achieve an authentic atmosphere, so they travelled to France a couple of times, scouring the region in search of antique materials such as reclaimed oak beams, aged limestone tiles and salvaged limestone fireplaces.

In remote villages they found barns that were scheduled to be dismantled and the materials salvages and a factory where stone flooring was being processed from old and very thick limestone tiles. The old beams were shipped and taken to a warehouse to be sorted and selected to where and how each would fit into the home. The timbers were not rated for construction so the building team had to construct a house within a house, using conventional post-and-beam framing to create the structure. In the warehouse, the beams and trusses were pre-cut and pre-fabricated and then added as decorative elements.

Designer/interior architect Cheryl Brantner of Los Angeles-based was brought in to sculpt the layout of the interiors to create a natural flow. To create a successful layout, the placement of the windows and doors was taken into consideration. The homeowner has a flair for design and selected her own furnishings and accessories of things that drew her eye. Her selections were high-quality materials and craftsmanship, layered textures and some surprises such as the Chinese apothecary chest found in the living room and the exquisite chandelier in the master bedroom.


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