written by:
photos by:
June 24, 2016
Originally published in Interiors We Love
as
Let's Chalet
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
Turkish textiles hang in the living room.

In the living room, an 18th century jajim, purchased in Istanbul, hangs behind a Molteni & C sofa covered in woven linen with mohair pillows. The wool rug is from California Carpets. 

Photo by 
1 / 10
Kitchen with Blu Dot barstools.

In the kitchen, designer Maca Huneeus prepares lunch with her daughters Ema, 12, and Ofelia, 7. The pendants are Jonathan Adler; the island is a custom design, inspired by a 1960s Dansk tray that belonged to Huneeus’s mother. The barstools are from Blu Dot

Photo by 
2 / 10
Dining table with bench seating.

An oversize oval black linen shade from Dogfork Lamp Arts hangs above a table Maca created out of a wood slab from West Marin-based artisan Evan Shively of Arborica. The bench seats are De La Espada; the brass candelabrum is vintage, sourced from 1stDibs. The credenzas are Bo Concept

Photo by 
3 / 10

Maca purchased linen in Indonesia for the draperies in the living room, where a wall of Western Windows overlooks the home’s front entrance. An Ochre light is above a coffee table from Bo Concept, where the family often sits on pillows to eat dinner and play games. 

 

Photo by 
4 / 10
In this kids’ bunk room, Maca Huneeus designed walnut beds with built-in storage and fabric headboards, and covered each one in hand-knit blankets by Marcela Rodriguez-Chile.

In the kids’ bunk room, Maca designed walnut beds with built-in storage and fabric headboards, and covered each one in hand-knit blankets by Marcela Rodriguez-Chile. The giraffe sconces are from Jonathan Adler. The girls play on a hand-embroidered Olli lounger from Heath Ceramics

Photo by 
5 / 10
Facade of the Sun Bowl residence.

The team reviewed twenty years of snowfall data to find an average that would dictate the height of the house’s base. They also extended the roof to protect both the front entrance and the deck—this way the family doesn’t need to worry about snow removal upon arrival or dealing with windows that won’t open.

Photo by 
6 / 10
Closet inserted between master bedroom and bathroom.

Maca inserted a closet-dressing room between the master bedroom and bathroom to offer more privacy to each space. She chose a vintage George Nelson lamp to lend character.

Photo by 
7 / 10
Ove tub beside custom angled window.

In the master bathroom, a matte Ove tub from Wetstyle is one of Maca’s favorite getaways. The angle of the custom window, designed with a minimal frame to maximize the view, mimics the roofline.

Photo by 
8 / 10
Master bathroom features chrome sconces.

Talo Mini chrome sconces from Artemide installed atop the mirror in the master bathroom effectively disappear, becoming what Maca calls “subtle 3-D sculptures.” The Neo Blanco vanity, from Porcelanosa, is clad in the same Douglas fir as the ceiling. The IQ faucets are from Jado

Photo by 
9 / 10
10 / 10
Turkish textiles hang in the living room.

In the living room, an 18th century jajim, purchased in Istanbul, hangs behind a Molteni & C sofa covered in woven linen with mohair pillows. The wool rug is from California Carpets. 

Project 
Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home

During ski season weekend, for about ten years, Maca Huneeus, her husband, Agustin Huneeus, and their young daughters Antonia, Augustina, Ema and Ofelia, would decamp from their home in San Francisco to drive three hours to the Sugar Bowl ski resort in Norden, California. Maca and Agustin, who are both half Chilean, met while skiing in the Andes, and they wanted their children to grow up with the same kind of exposure to the outdoors. The Sugar Bowl community is very close-knit—homes usually only change hands through word of mouth, with many families staying for generations. Each year the Huneeus family would rent, always looking for an opportunity to purchase a home of their own. Finally they found their chance in a property jointly owned by two neighbors, held undeveloped for many years. After brokering the deal from a chairlift, Maca, an interior designer, worked with architects John Maniscalco and Rob Kelly to build a decidedly modern retreat nestled among a series of Alpine-style chalets built in the 1940 and ‘50s. Here she shares her story. 

Maca Huneeus: I always had a vision of what I wanted—a simple, uncomplicated home where there was nothing to add and nothing to take away. I promised my neighbors that I wouldn’t build anything over 3,500 square feet. A few other people wanted this lot, but I was told that they had a larger footprint in mind and wanted to place a house toward the road. I wanted something discreet, and John was able to set it back.

Dwell: This is an infamously difficult area to reach in winter. How did that challenge your design process? 

MH: The snow here presents one of the heaviest loads in the country, so we had to consult with a few engineers. A foundation must be in before the snow comes in mid-November, so we were on a tight schedule. We closed on the property in April, John had the plans in May, and by July, our contractor had broken ground. I had a vision, then John interpreted our needs architecturally and spatially and worked to execute them with architect Rob Kelly. We divided and conquered.  The house met all the deadlines to move in before the 2009-2010 ski season.  

Dwell: You waited ten years before you were able to buy here. Why was this area so appealing? 

MH: Sugar Bowl is the closest ski resort to San Francisco. It’s quaint and beautiful—you go up the mountain in a gondola, so it’s only ski-in and-out. There are no cars here—we drop ours off on Friday, and we do not get back into it until Sunday. At the time we started coming here, our kids were young and I wanted an environment where they could walk from house to house and I didn’t need to worry. It’s an old school-type place. The families who come here are about skiing; they’re in love with the outdoors and very physically active.   

Dwell: What was the plan for furnishings? 

MH: I wanted pieces that would be timeless: classic, modern, and warm—things that would never leave this house. The house organically started to feel South American, as I worked a lot with textures and natural fabrics: wool, linen, cotton, cashmere, and raw silk.  Our home feels very cozy and inviting, with a big emphasis on craftsmanship.

Dwell: How often do you use the house?

MH: We try to go up every weekend. I look forward to winter because we have this place. The girls have been part of the Sugar Bowl ski team for years, and we also use the house for a couple of weeks in the summer when they go to camp—they can go river rafting, mountain biking, and rock climbing. In July and August, the mountain is covered in wildflowers. It is the kind of place where, if you love nature, you come once and you are hooked.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016