All those involved agreed that the cabin should have a clean, modern look. The newly pitched roof provides the pcrfect o[.veiling statement. “My personal aesthetic tends toward contemporary, but I never do anything just for looks. There’s often twenty feet of snow out there, and we needed a covered entry, says Mela. Regarding materials, everyone adopted a recycle and reuse sustainable philosophy. Mela used salvaged metal
This Is the front of the ski retreat Since the area sees a lot of snow, a covered entryway was deemed necessary.
The family collected items from many different sources to decorate their skiing retreat. But the pieces sit well together in this open space. siding and timbers on the exterior. The porch ceiling boards were fashioned from interior wall sheathing removed during the remodel; railings are constructed from reclaimed steel panels.
The sustainability theme continues inside, where the living room’s maple floors were cut from an old gym Hoor. The kitchen Marmoleum (a brand of linoleum), upper-level cork floors, and maple plywood cabinets were also environmentally conscious choices. “Whenever possible, we used recycled materials and bought things from local vendors,” says Mela.
On any given weekend, as many as eight people pile into the compact space, making a workable floor plan paramount to the redesign. “The addition allowed for a larger kitchen and a third bedroom upsrairs ,” says Mela, who created a gear/mudroom for hanging wet ski clothes and for dealing with the family’s considerable collection of boots, skis, and other outdoor accoutrements. On the second floor are sleeping nooks, cozy play spaces lor the grandkids, and enough room for multiple guests to pile in on powder days.
The carefully conceived kitchen a mother/daughter collaboration started with Molly’s mandate for raised windows. “1 lived there for two winters and saw how the snow covered the existing windows, and 1 wanted to be able to see out all the time, not just six months out of the year/’ she says.
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Mela filled in with a mix of counter heights and surfaces, including EcoTop (a blend of recycled paper and bamboo) on the perimeter, butcher block on the island, and a stainless steel bar fashioned from an old restaurant table for additional food prep and casual dining. “ The space was designed to be wide enough so several people could be in there at the same time,” she says.
Molly had energy efficiency oil the brain when she designed the kitchens three-layer lighting system in accordance with California lighting standards. “There’s a combination of incandescent light fixtures, florescent cans, and under-cabinet LED strips, she says. Two existing “funky chandeliers were saved from the original structure to light the main bedroom and the entrance to the bunkroom at the top of the stairs.
While the newr digs get high marks, the main attraction remains the great outdoors. Skiing of all varieties is available nearby; a shuttle to the Sugar Bowl downhill area is just steps from the cabin.
But everyone seems to have his or her own motivation for showing up. Mike enjoys the mountain biking possibilities. Molly’s other daughter, Susannah, is a triathlete who prefers the summer months when she can train at 7,200-foot altitude. Molly herself favors fall, when she enjoys die solitude of sculling on Donner Lake. “I like to get down there at first light when it’s just me and a couple of fishermen,’’ she says.
It’s during those moments that she contemplates not just the beauty of her sur-roundings, but the pleasure in having created something that will stand the test of time. “This is going to be a place that my grandsons can enjoy, and hopefully their families after them.”