Located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, California, a year-around resort destination for visitors from around the world, this 3,000 square foot four-bedroom, three and one-half bath residence enjoys close proximity to the lake, immediate access to wilderness with a multitude of hiking and mountain biking trails, and minutes away from world-class skiing at Squaw Valley, Incline Village, Northstar, and the like. The San Francisco Bay Area is less than a three-hour drive away, placing the Tahoe area within easy reach.
After being in the Frederick family for several decades, the decision to develop the site was made in the late 2000’s. Daniel Frederick and his wife Susan McKeehan, having spent some four years in the design and construction process, now enjoy their house along with visiting friends, their children and grandchildren.
Daniel Frederick, an award-winning architect from the San Francisco Area, produced a design that reflects skills honed over decades of residential and commercial projects located in California and Asia. Being a career modernist, he utilized contemporary elements while maintaining a sensitivity to the local environment. Steeply sloped roofs positioned for shedding of snow, south-facing glazing to capture solar gain, and exterior materials chosen for a mountain climate and wildfire protection. With a half-acre of land, the house was positioned to take advantage of the privacy of and outlooks upon a peaceful wooded setting. The house is approached through a landscaped area consisting of native plantings and placed stones sourced from Lake Tahoe dredging operations. A breezeway enclosed by eight-foot custom steel and glass doors serves as an owner studio as well as a second garage. Having to adhere to restrictive local planning requirements for lot coverage, Daniel Frederick was able to create a unique and spacious residence that fulfill the needs of the family’s lifestyle.
Being food and wine enthusiasts and art collectors, Daniel and Susan, made it a design priority to include a near-commercial kitchen and provide spaces conducive to exhibiting art works. The great room is anchored at one end by the large kitchen, containing custom bamboo and oak cabinetry, countertops of stainless steel and Cambrian black granite, a free-standing island, three sinks, three ovens, roll-out storage and wine racks, and custom led ambient, under-cabinet, and display lighting. The dining area, as part of the great room, is lit by a owner-made wood and led-lit fixture inspired by aircraft wing construction. The living area focuses on a large stone Rumford fireplace – one designed for being highly efficient and within strict local emission guidelines. Ample wall areas provide exhibit space for the Frederick/McKeehan collected artwork.
Bedrooms, both at the level of the great room and one above, are designed with an Asian inspiration – Daniel having spent much time in Japan and China. Light wood entry doors and closets are reminiscent of Japanese tansu chests and shoji screens. The master bedroom suite at the upper level, and consisting of the master bedroom, bath, and office, are linked via a tall passageway. The master bath is divided into a vanity space with custom and rare California walnut cabinetry and a shower/bath room with walls lined with limestone and floors of slate.
While extensive landscaping was installed, including imposing boulders, unique step stones, stone pathways, and a paved seating area, the majority of the site was left in naturally vegetated and forested state. An owner-built tensile canopy was installed over the paved seating area.
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View at rear
View at rear with breezeway, deck, and tensile structure
View from street
View at rear
View of great room with living, dining, and kitchen areas. Site-built Rumford fireplace.
Great room living area with Rumford fireplace.
Great room dining area and kitchen beyond.
Great room dining area with kitchen beyond.
Kitchen with custom bamboo/oak cabinetry, stainless steel and granite countertops
Kitchen with custom bamboo/oak cabinetry, stainless steel and granite countertops.