Have You Been Curious to see What's Going on at Martis Camp?

Old Fashioned Family "Camp Style" at Martis Camp in the Sierras!

Even though I have been working on a project at Martis Camp, I have been dying to get a look at the Family Barn club house. I'd heard it was wonderful. (There is also a beautiful, more formal golf club house.)

Martis Camp Family Barn
A few months ago I attended a birthday party in the Martis Camp Family Barn. You may know that Martis Camp, in the process of being built, is probably Tahoe's most exclusive community. Houses are placed on 4 acre parcels, there is a beautiful golf course and club, a private ski lift to North Star, a library, art studio, and my favorite, the Family Barn.

The Family Barn is really a modern day version of the great old family "Camps" of the Adirondacks.  Created around the turn of the 19th century by some of America's wealthiest families, these outrageously designed and decorated retreats,  were "rustic" in style but with every possible comfort imaginable.

Great Camp Sagamore built by the Vanderbuilts in the Adirondacks in 1895-97

The Martis Camp Family Barn is really a casual club house that is dedicated to play. It is comfortable, welcoming and delightfully whimsical. Amazing attention to user comfort and enjoyment is evident everywhere, from dress-up trunks filled with Fairy Princess costumes, to a real old-fashioned soda fountain, games, books, swimming, bowling, basketball, concert facilities, you name it, if it's fun to do in the mountains, it can be found at the Martis Camp Family Barn.

Best of all is the staff.  During weekends and summers the barn is fully staffed with camp counselors, sports counselors, lifeguards, art counselors.  You name it, if your kids want to do it, there's someone there to make it happen for them.  

I was knocked out by the way the whole place is decorated. Virtually everywhere you look there is something charming to see. It's clever, mountain rustic and understatedly elegant all at the same time. My favorite design style! I had such a wonderful evening roaming around and poking into eveything. There was one delightful surprise after another. Kudos to the design team!

Martis Camp Family Barn--notice the outdoor amphitheater.

The beautiful exterior--it really is modeled after a barn.


The fireplace area, below,  is comfortable and welcoming but the details are personal and whimsical. It feels much more like a wonderfully decorated family house than a public space.



Books, needlepoint pillows, local art, mushroom figures on the mantle! Where better to spend a winter evening?


This is the upstairs art studio, below, which takes up the entire second floor.  It's huge! The studio is stocked with virtually every sort of art supply you can imagine and is staffed by artists and counselors on the weekends and in summer. Artwork by Martis Camp residents has been framed and displayed throughout.


This is a close-up photo of the stair risers on the flight from the main floor up to the art studio. Clever, aren't they?

Below, the bowling alley. Isn't that a wonderful painting of Tahoe in the 1920's.

A clock made from tennis shoes. Just one of the dozens of clever little details that makes it so fun to wander around the barn.


The indoor theatre is used for movies and kid productions. The night I was there we used it for a personal slide show for our birthday girl.


There are mountain collections everywhere like this charming grouping of butterflies and dragonflies in round and oval frames.




Above, a close-up photo of the fabulous green-painted floor.

And what about the soda fountain?  Of course there's one!





The pool area, above.



There are games galore including a full gym and all the balls, bats, nets etc to meet any young athlete's fantasies.  Here's a photo of the pool table, below.


There are also tucked away spaces for meeting with friends and family.  This is the yellow room, below.


You can't talk about the Family Barn without mentioning the events.  From Easter Egg hunts to fireworks, outdoor movies, there is a regular schedule of fun on hand at the Family Barn.  


Martis Camp Lost Library

Another Martis Camp out-building. This is the Lost Library, above.

The fireplace in the Lost Library, below. You can see that user comfort and pleasure was a top priority of the design team.

Martis Camp Lost Library Fireplace

Cozy Seating on the porch at the Martis Camp Lost Library


And last, my favorite, the interior of the Warming Hut, located at the base of Martis Camp's private lift into North Star Ski Area.

Martis Camp Ski Hut (This temporary building has since been made into a permanent ski lodge.)

Martis Camp Ski Lift to Northstar


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