Keep Tahoe Blue (and Green and Gold)

Vintage textiles, playful accessories and color—lots and lots of color—add to the playful vibe at this cabin in South Lake Tahoe.
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the bed wall, the green chevron paneling echoes the mountain landscape surrounding this Tahoe cabin
On the bed wall, the green chevron paneling echoes the mountain landscape surrounding this Tahoe cabin. Photo by Geoff Bardot.

When Sacramento interior designer Rebecca Plumb was invited by clients Lisa and Geoff Bardot to help reimagine the vacation home they were remodeling in South Lake Tahoe (a getaway they’d dubbed Camp Golden Bear), she knew that the palette would be nothing like the drab brown-on-brown color scheme that dominates many mountain cabins.

Above the bed hang paddles hand-painted by homeowner Lisa Bardot. At its foot is a bench re-covered with a Mexican blanket. Art selected for a gallery wall evokes the home’s woodland surroundings.
Above the bed hang paddles hand-painted by homeowner Lisa Bardot. At its foot is a bench re-covered with a Mexican blanket. Art selected for a gallery wall evokes the home’s woodland surroundings. Photo by Geoff Bardot.

“They are both amazingly creative people who are really into color,” says Plumb, who’d already helped design a cheery studio space for this accomplished artistic couple. (She’s a graphic designer; he’s a photographer.) “I knew they wanted something that felt different; it needed to feel like them.” Inspiration came in the form of a vintage striped Pendleton blanket, which led to vivid color choices: saturated blue, green and gold tones with some red accents. The hues give off a playful vibe, reminding visitors that this is a destination where fun is the point.

The vintage blanket and wildlife etchings above the bed are from the Sacramento Antique Faire. A pair of rackets, one of Lisa’s finds, is a nod to leisure time.
The vintage blanket and wildlife etchings above the bed are from the Sacramento Antique Faire. A pair of rackets, one of Lisa’s finds, is a nod to leisure time. Photo by Geoff Bardot.

“We knew we wanted the cabin to have a vintage camp feeling,” explains Plumb. “My job was to make it feel as elevated as possible and still feel like Tahoe. When people go to a vacation home, I think they’re looking for something aspirational. In this era of Instagram, they want a snapable moment of their vacation.”

Designer Rebecca Plumb went with gold paint on the ceiling and across the top of the wall as a way to “add color without saturating the room, so that it’s still light and bright.”
Designer Rebecca Plumb went with gold paint on the ceiling and across the top of the wall as a way to “add color without saturating the room, so that it’s still light and bright.” Photo by Geoff Bardot.

Plumb worked in close collaboration with Lisa, who helped refine the color choices and source accessories, and Geoff, who did much of the construction and “poured his whole body and soul into this place.” Together, they managed to create a joyful space that conjures up a whole new way of seeing and experiencing Tahoe.

The pink concrete basin by Nood Co. “was our little nod to something playful and different,” explains Plumb. “It softens the other colors in the room.” The bathroom’s wood accents, a reminder of the home’s forest setting, come in the form of shellacked teak tiles from Indoteak Design.
The pink concrete basin by Nood Co. “was our little nod to something playful and different,” explains Plumb. “It softens the other colors in the room.” The bathroom’s wood accents, a reminder of the home’s forest setting, come in the form of shellacked teak tiles from Indoteak Design. Photo by Geoff Bardot.
Plumb, who bemoans how bathrooms are often neglected spaces in vacation homes, designed this one with luxury in mind. “This is meant to be an escape,” she says. The space is dominated by Fireclay wall tiles in a color called—what else?—Lake Tahoe. “It gives you the feeling of showering in the lake.”
Plumb, who bemoans how bathrooms are often neglected spaces in vacation homes, designed this one with luxury in mind. “This is meant to be an escape,” she says. The space is dominated by Fireclay wall tiles in a color called—what else?—Lake Tahoe. “It gives you the feeling of showering in the lake.” Photo by Geoff Bardot.