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Renovating a Dream Tahoe Cabin

For today’s post we’re going to do a case study on a recent Tinsel House project - a late 1920s Lake Tahoe summer cabin on the north end in need of a modern makeover. True story: in those days, visitors and guests arrived by boat, not road, and the front door faced the lake!

Since then, some loving renovations over the years keep the “Old Tahoe” character and charm, while modern amenities bring it into the 21st century. 

This was a quaint property and we wanted to preserve that quaint-ness and charm with any fresh ideas. We started with new French Oak flooring, and new electrical work throughout the house to bring it up to speed with how we live. Most of the older lighting remains, alongside new fixtures with a period look. Like many old Tahoe cabins this home had wood paneling in many shades of sun damage, and we updated that to a neutral paint palette.

We were able to sandblast the wood ceilings and exposed beams, and bring out their raw natural beauty once again. The client loved the look so much, we took the same approach to sandblast the original doors and restore their original hardware. These changes made a huge difference in the way indoor light bounced around the property. 

Renovations were necessary for the two full baths, and we added what this home never had: an official master bath! In the kitchen we made some big changes like new countertops, painted cabinets, and a charmingly retro Big Chill fridge. The work trickled down to the details with new brass hardware, faucets, and an updated backsplash. 

The home was also lacking storage for the many wintertime activities Tahoe is known for, so we added a new entryway mudroom that doubled as laundry and extra storage. Custom built ski storage lockers and a handy countertop makes it a useful all-purpose space. Heated floors finish it off to keep those skis from leaving puddles!

This perfect lakeside cabin is a property I will never forget, and makes me smile every time I drive by. If you’re thinking about a similar makeover for your Lake Tahoe cabin, contact Tinsel House Studio to help you create a fresh-yet-familiar identity in your beloved space! 



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