Design Project: A modern, private holiday home in the mountains with floor to ceiling glass walls

This stunning, custom-built mountain home acts as a holiday home – both a summer getaway and winter ski retreat. The impressive structure features floor to ceiling glass walls and windows to make the most of the views over Lake Tahoe, while inside acts as a showcase for the family's enviable art collection...

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Located within Lake Tahoe’s Martis Camp enclave, this stunning, custom-built mountain home acts as a summer getaway and winter ski retreat for a San Francisco couple and their two daughters. The impressive structure features floor to ceiling glass walls and windows to make the most of the views over Lake Tahoe, while inside acts as a showcase for the family’s prodigious art collection, which includes pieces by Kiki Smith, Louise Bourgeois and Ed Ruscha.

Inside, there’s a stunning double height great room with a mezzanine wraparound balcony, a separate media room/snug, an open-plan kitchen and dining room, an enviable master suite, elegant guest bedroom and compact but chic built-in bunk bed room too. The home also includes a separate art studio, a screened porch with a wood burning stove, and a stainless steel hot tub.

The interiors are designed by ABD Studio, who worked closely together with the couple in order to showcase their private art collection in the best way. ABD Studio created a cohesive feel throughout, with a restrained approach to a modern farmhouse aesthetic. The result is a perfect balance of custom furniture, vintage finds from all over the world and the homeowner’s expansive personal art collection.


Situated between the lake and the historic town of Truckee, California, the site is right next to the Tahoe National Forest and offers sweeping views of the Carson Range Mountains to the north and west. The exterior is made from black-stained wood cladding and stone, with a metal roof.

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Guests are welcomed at front door by custom Urban Electric Company open-flame gas lanterns. Once inside, there’s a handy boot room with plenty of storage for coats, shoes and outdoor accessories.

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Floor to ceiling steel windows within the main Great Room create an airy transparency connecting you to the surrounding wilderness.

Get the look: Sofa, chaise and coffee table: Custom designs by ABD Studio. Lounge chairs are Vintage from Denmark. This is a Marc Phillips Rugs. Cricket Table is Vintage.

The mezzanine wrap-around balcony connects to the upstairs bedroom, and features a desk space.

The interiors feature a thoughtful mix of custom, retail and vintage furniture, lighting and rugs. The materials and colour palette underscore the owners’ modernist leanings.

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The wife is both an artist and avid art collector and the home features pieces by Richard Misrach, Tim McKinley, Kiki Smith, Sarah Sze, Luke Butler, Robert Mangold, Kenneth Noland, Louise Bourgeois, Mary Shaffer, Ed Ruscha, Jockum Nordstrom and David Nash, as well as custom commissioned pieces by Margo Wolowiec and James Surls.

Get the look: Bulls Eye is by Kenneth Noland. Hawk is by Kiki Smith. Sculpture is by Mary Shaffer. L-Shape sofa and leather ottoman are custom designs by ABD Studio. This is a Marc Phillips Rug.

Wood-clad walls make this a warm and cosy snug for watching TV in.

Get the look: Womb Chair is vintage with custom Cowtan & Tout upholstery

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A large photograph by Richard Misrach adds drama to the dining space, and is a nod to the home’s location near Lake Tahoe.

Get the look: Artwork by Richard Misrach. Dining Chairs from Sawkille Co. Dining Table is from Nickey Kehoe.

An oversized rug grounds and defines the dining area in the open-plan space.

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A black kitchen with wood countertops punctuates the white space, complementing the steel-framed windows.

Get the look: Light at breakfast banquette is vintage. Table is a custom design by ABD Studio

A breakfast area with built-in seating offers a cosy spot for a morning coffee.

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There’s a separate utility room too, with a sliding barn door and a predominantly white colour palette, including white painted ship-lap ceiling, and white grouting that’s barely visible between the white metro tiles. Wood countertops and shelving add warmth.

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ABD Studio made a chic and elegant bunk bed room for the daughters.

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His ‘n’ hers basins give the daughters plenty of space for getting ready.

Get the look: Tile from Commune Design

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The guest bedroom features a built-in bookcase framing the bed. Space was left above the headboard for hanging a tapestry.

Get the look: Black and white photograph: Olivo Barbieri. Bed: Custom design by ABD Studio.

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The master bedroom showcases a James Surls artwork above the bed, and an upholstered headboard with floating drawer-shelves.

Get the look: Bed: Custom design by ABD Studio. Wall lights are Tolomeo Sconces from DWR. Art above bed is by James Surls. Folk art by Jockum Nordstrom. Pendant is Custom-made by Stephen White

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The bedroom continues into a generous master bathroom space, with warm wood flooring. A plastered wall (instead of tiled) also gives this space a warm and cosy atmosphere.


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A wide, generous terrace at the back of the property gives stunning views of the surrounding pines.

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Photography: Suzanna Scott

Architect: Clare Walton

Interior Design: ABD Studio

Contractor: Jim Morrison Construction

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