Category Archives: Architecture & Design

2018 Architecture Articles


TQ has started doing launch parties for the magazine, which I think is incredibly fun despite the fact that I haven’t managed to attend yet. However, I just got the invite for the Mountain Home 2019 party and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to make this one! After all, I wrote SIX stories for this issue (five homes plus the Arts profile), and it’s taking place at Reno’s Nevada Museum of Art, which is an amazing venue and conveniently close by.

The invite also contains links to last year’s Home Award winners, which reminded me that I haven’t updated this site with my more current published articles in at least that long (and, let’s be honest, probably much longer). That being said, since I finished with this round of work, I decided it’s time to get some of those stories onto the interwebs. I’ll try to get more uploaded at some point, but here are my architecture stories for the 2018 Mountain Home issue:

Clockwise from top left: Simply Majestic; PRE-tty FAB-ulous; Relax, Rejoice, Retreat; Interior Divine


Mtn Home Proofs


Whew! Finally finishing up with the TQ Mountain Home Award write-ups! I love this issue (and I know I say that every year about this time) but seeing these amazing houses and then being able to explore what makes them so special is one of my favorite annual traditions.

For this issue, I took on five houses, four in Martis Camp and one in Reno. It’s amazing the breadth of design: One was a showstopper of a house with features like imported French oak flooring, a human-sized fireplace hearth and two-story wine walls. Another was impressive because of its well-crafted simplicity, a feat much harder to achieve than it seems.

In addition to the Home Awards articles, I also wrote a piece for TQ’s Arts column about functional art for the home, where I interviewed a metalworker, a woodworker and a potter. All very different, but each interesting and unique! We’re in the proofing stage now, so only a little longer until the magazine is in print—I’m looking forward to seeing and reading about the other magnificent homes featured, as well!

Summer 2018


The Summer 2018 issue is in! The magazine is huge—at 240 pages, it’s tied for the largest issue of TQ ever—and I’m really loving the cover shot. I’ve got two articles in the issue. One is a piece about Truckee-based birdhouse-maker Greg Zirbel, who creates his one-of-a-kind creations based on historic buildings or places of interest. So fun to see the photos of his Thunderbird Lodge (emphasis on the ThunderBIRD) in front of George Whittell Jr.’s 1930s-era version. Likewise, he’s created birdhouses based on the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, Truckee diner Jax at the Tracks, and many other local buildings.



My other article is a Home Design piece about a spectacular 8,600-square-foot Martis Camp estate, complete with curving copper roofs and a meticulously executed streamscape. Designed by MWA’s Kristi Thompson, the home was built by NSM Construction, with interiors by JJH Interior Design. It’s a stunning piece of architecture, and I always love getting to explore the area’s best home designs.


I’ve only just started browsing the rest of the issue. I have to admit, for a magazine this size, it really is a relief to not be on the proofing side and to be able to enjoy, story by story!

TQ Mountain Home Proof

Once again I’ve been a negligent blogger! In my defense, I’m 26 weeks pregnant with baby girl #3 (yay!) and I’ve been fairly swamped since the holidays. We got back from a whirlwind Christmas vacation—to see family back east, skiing and a New Year’s Eve wedding in Colorado, then on to L.A. for a day at Universal Studios and the heartbreaking Rose Bowl game—and I’ve been playing catch up ever since. School started back up for my older daughter, but we’ve been getting hammered by storms, which meant a lot of snow days and delays, which is obviously not ideal for productivity.

Anyway, I managed to fit in my interviews and finished my stories for the TQ Mountain Home Awards. I loved the homes I wrote up—a remodel in Alpine Meadows, another along Incline Village’s shoreline, and two beautifully designed and executed homes in Martis Camp. All gorgeous, all awe-inspiring, all of which made me want to gut my own home and start fresh. Oh well.

We had our first proof last week and the second proof today. A few hiccups getting a couple of stories in, but it all looks great and I’m excited to see the final issue. We were supposed to have the second proof tomorrow, but pushed it up as we’ve got another storm rolling in. At least now I’ve got a lull from work, so if this latest storm hampers my productivity, then at least it’s a valid excuse for hot chocolate and a movie date!

TQ Home Tours Begin!

It’s my favorite time of the year: TQ Mountain Home tours! I’m constantly amazed by the amount of talent displayed by local architects, builders and interior designers. On Tuesday, we had our first set of tours: a house in Alpine Meadows, a property at Squaw Valley and a remodel at Sugar Bowl. All very impressive (and make me want to remodel my own home).

IMG_4801Since we ended at Sugar Bowl, I used the opportunity to hike Mt. Judah, my favorite Tahoe trail. The best part, I think, is scrambling on the boulders that are just off the trail; there are some amazing views of Donner Lake and the mountains to the east.

I couldn’t make the tours today, but I have two more days of touring next week. Very excited to see the rest of the homes and can’t wait to hear what the experts on our tour panel make of them all!

Getting Home Award Ready!

Last week, I went into the TQ office for some pizza and to help sort through the applications for the Mountain Home Awards. The Home issue is my favorite magazine of the year: It’s incredible to tour these houses, which are such labors of love, and then talk to the various architects, contractors and homeowners when writing up the articles. This year promises to be a good one—Tahoe Quarterly received more than 40 applications, including some absolutely stunning projects. It comes as no surprise that much of the development is in Martis Camp, near Northstar California, which boasts really unique and very high-end mountain homes. Anyway, fun day at the office choosing the best submissions, and I can’t wait to see these places in person when we tour!

TQ Mountain Home 2014


Woohoo! The 2014 TQ Mountain Home issue is here and it looks beautiful! I’m a huge fan of our mountain architecture and this issue is my favorite that TQ produces… not only are the pages full of beautiful houses by talented architects, builders and designers, but the stories behind the homes are fascinating. I’ve got a bunch of stories in this issue, including a profile of Barclay Moore, who creates one-of-a-kind “functional art” (or furniture) and the many facets of the Martis Camp home that won the TQ Interior Design award.

Grab a copy from stands around Reno/Tahoe or subscribe here!


Home Tours!



Faulkner-designed fireplace.

I’m belated (imagine that!) but I’m very excited because I just got assignments for the Mountain Home issue. The TQ panel toured the finalist homes back in October, though due to a poorly timed trip, I was only able to attend one of the four or five tours. Still, such a wonderful experience! It’s such a privilege to get private tours of these residences by the incredibly talented architects and designers who worked on them. It’s hard to play favorites: I loved the home by interior designer Diana Vincent, the environmentally friendly home for a full-time family in Gray’s Crossing and an amazing, incredibly designed home in Tahoe Donner. Still, I’m partial to a 10,000 square foot residence atop a ridge in Truckee that overlooks Donner Lake. Yes, it sounds monstrously huge, but there is such an amazing story to the home that I won’t give away before the February magazine comes out!

On another note, the 10,000 square foot home is where I took the top photo. I’m pretty sure that I’ve wanted a bookshelf with a ladder ever since 1991, when I first saw the library in Beauty and the Beast. So only 22 years. Maybe someday!

Mountain Home Articles

This West Shore home opens to breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe.

I just updated my site with some of my stories from the 2013 Mountain Home issue of Tahoe Quarterly. Feel free to browse about a family-minded home in Martis Camp (East Coast West), a modern Martis home that enjoys life at an angle (Skewed Spaces), a West Shore update to a home that had already been through several not-particularly-well-done remodels (Redesigning a Remodel), and a superbly crafted lakefront estate that owes its success to its owner’s involvement (West Shore Refinement).

In other Mountain Home news, I get to help sort through this year’s entries on Friday. Can’t wait to check out the latest and greatest in Lake Tahoe architecture and design!

Final Proof

TQ home awards-1Sometimes I forget how good it feels to work—to be in an office, talk to people and actually use critical thinking. Not that I don’t enjoy having dance parties and drinking imaginary juice with my toddler—I love it! But, it’s also nice to have adult interaction. And, after our daycare disasters and a couple rounds of pinkeye that meant we were confined to the house, I was starting to crave it a little. Anyway, that’s my way of saying that it was very nice to drop of the two-year-old and head up to Truckee this past Tuesday. I got to have a lunch date with some friends before heading into the office for a final proof of Mountain Home. The issue looks different—some style changes and, as I noted before, some big changes in the masthead—but overall it’s coming together really well! Copies will be available around Lake Tahoe in the coming weeks, or subscribe here.