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4 Non-Cliché Design Trends in Tahoe

Second home in Tahoe? Don’t mind if I do. It’s an ideal getaway spot for family and friends to relax and decompress from our overloaded schedules. But in my experience? Though these retreats are a getaway from city life, they lack sophisticated style.

Typical Tahoe homes have that cliché rustic touch (you know the one I’m talking about), with dark brown wood interiors, antler decor, logs, Pendleton blankets, oversized stone fireplaces, live-edge furniture, and wood rafters on the ceiling. Not the good kind. 

Although these details may be quaint on their own, together they create an overdone cliché that is recognizable the second you walk in. If you’re tired of your Tahoe home looking like it was crafted in a woodshop class, take it from me — it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Today, I’m sharing 4 timeless and sophisticated design trends that will help your Tahoe home feel chic, natural, and timeless…

Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

1. Incorporate Timeless Textures

The problem with “mountain chalet” decor is it’s filled with stone and wood, which feels cold and hard. Let’s soften it up, right? Layer chunky textures from wool, linen, or cotton to give your eyes (and yourself) a cozy place to land. Bonus? These textures will create a cozy, natural space that’ll keep you toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. 

2. Layer in Functional & Stylish Lighting

Tahoe homes often have huge, tall ceilings and expansive windows to take in the natural setting and light. Those windows are fantastic for daylight hours. But, when the sun goes down, the tall ceilings and windows suddenly make a space feel dark, exposed, and uninviting. 

Transform the feeling of your home in the evening by thoughtfully layering lighting. Start with ceiling lighting, and then bring in romantic sconces for your walls. Set the mood with task lighting like floor and table lamps. Before you know it, your room will become a warm and welcoming gathering space you can’t get your family to leave.

Tip: Looking for a creative way to bring in a sculptural design element? Lighting is the answer. Select an eye-catching piece that will bring a fun personal touch or a bold statement.

Scandi Modern Project | Photographer: Vivian Johnson

3. Add Playful, Imaginative Finishes

Most Tahoe homes seem to be in a  monochrome or neutral style, which is great if you like that. But there are tons of exciting options for a vacation home. Why not get creative? We encourage you to be bold and playful with fun patterns and textures. 

In my opinion, your vacation home design should be fun, inviting, and reflect you. Although there are various ways to design your space, we always approach it with your style in mind. (Still trying to discover yours? Take our Style Quiz to determine your aesthetic preferences.)

Scandi Modern Project | Photographer: Vivian Johnson

4. Make It Comfortable & Low-Maintenance

With their idyllic location, Tahoe homes are high-traffic spaces that see lots of wear and tear. Mud will come inside, sofas and dining chairs will succumb to wear and tear, and crowded bathrooms will have a rotating guest list. In short, it may not be the best place for Grandma’s cherished antique settee or your vintage silk area rug. 

Instead, stick to durable, easy-to-clean, and relatively replaceable finishes and furnishings, like furnishings with performance fabrics that won’t stain or fade in the sun. For hard surfaces, we also love durable, waterproof flooring (like LVP) and high-performance countertop options, like quartz. 

Scandi Modern Project | Photographer: Vivian Johnson

It’s official — you have my full permission to ditch the exposed logs and taxidermy for something new, fresh, and exciting. And you know what? You can achieve all of this with a professional designer who never sets foot in your space. Yep, talking about us. 

Our Online Design Service gives you everything you need — floor plan, mood boards, materials and furnishing selections, shopping links, and more — to create your own highly functional and personal space. 

Set up a discovery call to learn, and we’ll help you get those antlers outta there.




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