Thom Felicia's Lake House

This morning One King's Lane is featuring a curated "lake house" collection by designer, Thom Felicia.  As they often do, they have included pictures of Felicia's own home and his personal comments about it.

Wildflowers Everywhere!

This is just so charming.....

Don't get me wrong.  I love living at Lake Tahoe, especially in the summer time.  It has it's very own charms.

Here's what's going on at my favorite beach this week...

Lupins in full bloom!!!  These are actually chest high now.  

Otis amidst the lupins.  
Aren't they amazing!!!  

It's beautiful here year round, but these are perhaps my very favorite weeks of the year.  All around, the wildflowers are bursting forth in bloom, the leaves have that fresh green, just budded out look to them and the grasses are bright green and growing inches every day.  Streams and creeks are flowing and small animals and birds are everywhere you cast your eyes. Life in all its exuberance is all around.  

And speaking of wildflowers, I'm working on a project right now, where we have a tile artist creating a custom tile mural featuring Tahoe wildflowers.  Below is another piece from the artist, but ours will not be roses, of course.  I have sent the artist photos of all my favorite wildflowers. We have approved a sketch and now the artist painstakingly carves the new design into a mold from which she will cast the actual tiles.  Can't wait to see it when it's finished!  

Fabrics and Trims...My Favorite Part of Decorating Mountain Homes

As a designer at lake Tahoe, my work is mostly on lakeside cabins and rustic mountain lodges.  Whenever I'm asked where I start in designing a room, I have to answer, with the fabrics.  I confess that I am passionate about fabrics.  I love their textures, colors and patterns.  I love the way that fabrics have the ability to enliven, soften and warm up a room.  For me, they are the personality in any design.

Sometimes it's fun to show the design process.  Here are a series of fabric photos I sent to a client during the decorating of her stunning Martis Camp home.  Some of these made the final cut and some didn't. (See more photos of this house.)

Chivasso Osman

Meet Chivasso Osman.  This is one of my favorite mountain fabrics.  Clients often fall in love with it. The problem with Osman is that it's expensive, very expensive.  However, that doesn't stop us from using it.  I've learned how to stretch a yard or two of really good quality fabric into a pair of spectacular toss pillows, some Euro shams or, in this case, chair seats or seat backs.  I often mix or match really expensive fabrics with less expensive fabrics to keep the total cost down but the overall impact up.  Using a few yards of a beauty like this elevates an entire room.

Chivasso, Osman, see here.

Since many of my clients only visit Tahoe occasionally, in person meetings can be infrequent.  I often start my work by snapping photos of suggested fabrics and trims.  Sometimes these photos include flooring or tile samples, paint chips or wood trim, too, depending on what we already know will be in the room.  If the client is interested in what they see in the photo, I will order physical samples to be sent to their home.  In the case of this house, the client was living in Mexico City during the construction and we did not meet at all during the period of time we were making many of these decisions.  Below is the actual photo I sent her with fabric ideas for her den.  You can see below that we used the stripe and feather trim on the curtains and Chivasso Osman on the seat backs on a pair of upholstered chairs.

The client loves horses and Western artwork.  Throughout the house we've used Western details and trims.  

You can see our final finished chairs here before the room got dressed up with toss pillows and accessories.  
Some of the pillow ideas for this room.  

Evergreen, Blue, see here.  
Next, we have another mountain favorite, Evergreen by Grey Watkins.  Evergreen comes in three gorgeous colorways.  My client chose the blue.

Although not as expensive as Osman, Evergreen is just a bit pricey too, and we needed a lot of yardage for curtains in the daughter's room.  We had already used it for a dust ruffle on the bed and the budget was getting tight.  Rather than do the entire curtain in Evergreen, we chose to extend it with a pretty stripe from Calvin Fabrics (no longer available). 

Sorry for the poor quality of the cell phone photo--it's the best I have of this room.  

Finally, here are some original fabric photos sent to my client along with a sketch for a chair and ottoman in the living room.

The fabric is Lee Jofa Eric Cohler Sundance Tapestry.  Again, this fabric is expensive so we "stretched it " with a beautiful but highly affordable herringbone.  Using Sundance on the chair seat, back and ottoman top only amounted to a significant savings and yet, the impact of this gorgeous fabric is still there.  Luckily for my clients, combining multiple fabrics on one upholstery piece works especially well in mountain houses where the intended look is rustic, comfortable and casual. 

Sundance in Clay...gorgeous nubby woven texture, see here.

I Love Designing Bathrooms!

Tile is one of my favorite design pleasures and over the years I've had the opportunity to design a lot of mountain bathrooms. Here are some cabin and rustic mountain lodge bathrooms I really enjoyed working on.

The bathroom below doesn't have a lot of tile, but it is a beautiful bathroom. I love the free-standing tub set into the arched niche with its rustic fittings, the custom designed area rug, and the stone wall.

Above and below are tile details from the shower stall.

Does pretty work in mountain cabins? Take a look, below, and you tell me. Several years ago I worked with a client who loved soft pastel colors and floral patterns. We remodeled the master bathroom to her liking.

Recently, I helped a client with a contemporary bathroom. I would love the opportunity to work on more contemporary projects, especially with clients who love high end finishes and detailing like this.

I designed the following bathroom for a modern mountain Arts and Crafts house. The client wanted Native American influences throughout the house and asked for a soft turquoise and red color palette. We used brighter versions of these colors in the furnishings but chose to keep the bathrooms somewhat muted. I love the crackled finish on the aqua field tile we used in the shower. The Indian motif mosaics were custom designed by me and created on the site.

Lastly, here are a couple of photos from a Lahontan lodge style house. The tile is handsome and simple but mountain themed, as the client wished.

Just one more thought on bathrooms, a lot can be achieved affordably. I usually like to put the impact into the deco tile and save money on the field tiles. But below in the same Lahontan lodge, a simple inexpensive but graphic idea, punches up the volume in a deco border.