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Three generations of an LA family discovery bliss at their stylish Sierra retreat.

by Catherine Warmerdam
Photography by Mariko Reed

When Richard and Barbara Bergman of Los Angeles were looking to purchase a vacation home, they never seriously considered a place in the mountains. “Our children were really interested in a beach property,” says Richard. “They love the beach and so do we.” But at a friend’s urging, the couple decided to take a look at Martis Camp, the luxury mountain-home development located midway between Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. One whiff of the alpine air and they were smitten.

“We arrived around noon, and by 4 o’clock we were in escrow,” recalls Richard. “It was a really impulsive move on our part. But we just knew it was the perfect place for our children and grandchildren.”

Perfect indeed. Martis Camp, which sits about 100 miles from Sacramento, is considered one of the country’s finest private-resort communities. The 2,177-acre property offers year-round outdoor recreation, including an 18-hole golf course, private access to Northstar ski resort, and miles of picturesque trails. Members of Martis Camp can also take advantage of a 50,000-square-foot lodge, lavish sports and fitness facilities, a private library, movie theater, bowling alley and outdoor amphitheater where The Beach Boys and Lyle Lovett have played summer concerts.

The Bergmans hired Truckee-based architect Ted Brobst of Ward-Young Architecture & Planning to design their vacation home after seeing other homes he had done at Martis Camp. “My wife said, ‘We’ve been living in traditional houses all of our lives. Let’s try something different,’” says Richard. Their instructions to Brobst: Make it modern but not austere.

The Bergmans enlisted Amy Kehoe of Los Angeles interior design firm Nickey Kehoe to transform the house into a home that looks polished but not overstyled. “Amy was perfect for the project,” says Richard. “She believes in a modern element that’s comfortable.”

In the end, the Bergmans haven’t a tinge of regret about forgoing a beachfront property. As Richard puts it, “We got everything we wanted here.”

Mountain Escape Great Room

In the great room, a custom-made sectional and a pair of Hans Brattrud Scandia swivel chairs are the best seats in the house for taking in the breathtaking views. The zinc-topped dining table is designed to handle heavy use. The floors are Surya gray limestone, which is impervious to heavy foot traffic.

Mountain Escape Kitchen

Barbara Bergman insisted on an element of blue in the kitchen. “That influenced my decision to keep everything else neutral,” says designer Amy Kehoe, including the oatmeal-colored tile from Waterworks and the simple oak cabinets.

Mountain Escape Entry

Throughout the house, Kehoe added texture and interest through sculptural light fixtures, a mix of vintage and new furniture, and layers of textiles, all of which exude personality and warmth.

Mountain Escape Bathroom

Virtually every room in the house enjoys stunning sightlines and abundant natural light, including this bathroom.

Mountain Escape Bedroom

Kehoe credits the Bergmans with granting her a great deal of creative freedom. “When you’re trusted, you just do an inherently better job,” she says. The duvet cover is by Libeco. The wall lamps are from Design Within Reach.

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