Mountain Home Awards 2017 Feature Articles



Summertide’s Lore

Written By Matthew Renda      

Famed Crystal Bay property associated with eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes has a storied past   If houses could talk, the stories they would tell.      The legends that have grown up around Summertide, a five-and-a-half-acre property that abuts the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, are profuse. And like many of the tales of tycoons from this nation’s gilded yesteryear, many…

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French Flair

Written By Alison Bender      

Alps style meets a Tahoe retreat   In the living room, clean interior finishes mix with sophisticated furnishings and pieces the Macfees found on a buying trip to the Alps, photo by John Merkl   It would be the perfect birthday present.     That’s what the Atherton, California–based owner thought when viewing the in-progress spec home at Martis Camp.…

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A Snow Lover’s Eden

Written By Vangela Wightman      

Creek-side Alpine Meadows home is at one with nature   A fireplace with hot-rolled steel paneling anchors the spacious living room area, which overlooks Bear Creek, photo by Gregg Gibboney     Environmental sculptor Andy Goldsworthy said snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood. The burn of a freezing snowball in a bare hand or the mesmerizing dazzle of…

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Home Base

Written By Alison Bender      

Intricate detailing knocks this Martis Camp house out of the park   In late summer of 2012, Don Fulda of Truckee’s Ward-Young Architecture & Planning got a call from a local realtor who had clients checking out Martis Camp lot 546. The clients, who wish to remain anonymous, wanted to be sure the steeply sloped site, almost one and a…

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Flawless Execution

Written By Vangela Wightman      

Exceptional detailing highlights complex Martis Camp home   The measure of success in modern architecture resides in what is unseen. Concrete footings the size of a travel trailer allowing the most impossible cantilever to create surreal outdoor living, for example. Or, the remarkable efforts of 22 guys, shuffling four inches at a time, carrying a several-thousand-pound slab of stone to…

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Lakeside Transformation

Written By Meghan Herbst      

1970s Tahoe City home gets a rustic makeover   The original home shown before the remodel, courtesy photo   John Huster and Aiwah Chang wanted a home that felt like part of a community in Tahoe. They found what they were looking for in a 2,277-square-foot property in Dollar Point, but the house itself was small, outdated and lacked a…

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Taking the LEED

Written By Vangela Wightman      

Guesthouse earns elite LEED Platinum rating   The great room opens to a covered patio dining area, photo by Vance Fox   The evolution of the green building industry has slowly but surely moved far away from the iconic aesthetic that helped bring it mainstream awareness—thick-walled, straw-bale houses, racks of solar panels propped awkwardly on roof tops, the occasional rainwater…

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Off the Shelf

Written By Vangela Wightman      

Donner Lake home lives large with carefully planned functionality   There is a presumption that high-end custom homes, particularly those that are more architecturally evolved, are built and finished strictly with top-shelf materials and systems. However, inexpensive, utilitarian materials handled in unexpected ways not only can save money, they can introduce a fresh and interesting take on preconceived architectural details.…

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Shoreline Shelter

Written By Alison Bender      

Aging lakefront home given a much-needed makeover   Located on a rocky shoreline in a secluded cove, the home was once the guesthouse for philanthropist Warren Trepp, photo by Jon Menezes   When their son wanted join the Northstar California ski team, a Carson City–based couple decided to move to Incline Village, living in a rental while they looked at real estate.…

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Pushing the Envelope

Written By Sylas Wright      

Truckee River remodel project expands from modest start   This was no run-of-the-mill remodel, despite the original intent.      In 2014, Truckee’s SANDBOX Studio and Mark Tanner Construction were hired to open and brighten the interior space of a home along the Truckee River near Squaw Valley. From that initial concept, however, the project snowballed into a complex, nearly complete…

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On the Comeback Trail

Written By Greyson Howard      

The confirmation of wolves in Northern California begs many questions—from the likelihood of the species repopulating the state to how to proceed if they do   Wolves—a symbol of wilderness and an icon of the American West—likely wandered the woods of Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada a century ago.      Though estimates put the country’s total wolf population at…

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Inspiration by Design

Written By Alison Bender      

Exceptional detailing plus a stellar team equals outstanding results   The cube-like water feature runs from the entryway, under the bridge and pools behind the house near the master suite, photo by Vance Fox   Oftentimes, a great home is the result of its team—the architect, builder and interior designer—collaborating from the beginning, a process that allows the contractors to…

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Rugged and Refined

Written By Jen Schmidt      

Martis Camp home captures the essence of mountain luxury   It was late 2014 when Clare Walton, principal architect at Tahoe City’s Walton Architecture + Engineering, first walked the Martis Camp property. The snow glistened as she charted the trees and view lines across the length of the site.      “I immediately had a sense of this amazing place, and…

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Second Life

Written By Sylas Wright      

Elegant Nevada home rebuilt almost exactly after catastrophic fire   Two years after moving into their custom-built home, a family awoke in the wee hours of March 25, 2014, to the sound of every homeowner’s worst nightmare—the ear-piercing, intermittent screech of a smoke detector.     “My wife got our son out of the house, and I found where the fire…

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Perfection in the Detail

Written By Dylan Silver      

Rubicon Bay home transformed into modern lakefront retreat   The owner asked to keep some of the large wood beams in the master bedroom. Lindsay and crew also added built-in benches, photo by Scott Thompson   Aristotle may not have had home design in mind when he surmised the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. But, for…

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