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Bringing the Outdoors In

Design inspiration comes from the picturesque scenery of Lake Almanor

Written by Grace Rigdon
  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    Breathtaking views of Lake Almanor in northern California inspired the design of this home for a family who calls themselves “free birds” because of their love of travel. Sometimes, though, even those with the greatest wanderlust want to nest—and this family longed for a retreat to call their own. They called on Deirdre Doherty of Deirdre Doherty Interiors to bring their vision to life in a renovated home.

    “The interior and exterior goal for this home was to create a timeless retreat for generations to come,” Doherty says. She sought to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living spaces so they feel at one with nature.

    The home's original heavy windows were replaced with streamlined models to draw the gaze outside rather than obscure it. “We didn’t want to feel disjointed from the outdoors—so I did everything in my power to create a balance," Doherty says. “When guests pull into the drive, they are able to gaze all the way to the lake through the home."

    She added bluestone to the exterior, continuing it into the entry to amplify the natural vibe. The stone melds with Doherty's vision for the home—a textural combination of modern Danish and classic European country style. 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    In the great room, Doherty catered to comfort and entertaining with an inviting furniture arrangement cozied up to the fireplace. The low-maintenance furniture choices handle wet swimsuits, sand, and snow, while neutral tones and textures mesh with the outdoors—always a visual focal point. To open the room to lake views, she added two sets of expansive glass doors.

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    Beautiful cedar ceilings unite the living and dining areas of the great room. Doherty chose a pair of chandeliers to define the different spaces, while adding rustic flair. 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    Textural elements that nod to nature continue in the kitchen, home to a handmade backsplash and Calacatta marble. Doherty had a local artisan design the wood-and-stone waterfall countertop for the island. “With the amazing view, I wanted to incorporate several different wood components to resemble the European classic country feel,” she says. 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    Looking to the master suite to feel like a vacation oasis from the family’s on-the-go-lifestyle, Doherty tied together different wood and stone components to create a spa-like retreat. She included a fireplace for cozy comfort and a small desk to accommodate work tasks. To finish the space, she brought in an eclectic chandelier from Visual Comfort. 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    Doherty incorporated bluestone throughout the home, including the master suite. She had the stone chipped to create unique texture replicating cobble streets in Italy. 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    Doherty's vision for the master bath started with a large soaking tub. “The marble countertop, backsplash, and even the striated tiles around the tub are all the same material, just made with different finishes,” the designer says. This technique allows the room to feel texturally alive while not appearing too busy. Her favorite aspect of the master bath is the flooring from Soli Stone, resembling European streets. 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    The kid-friendly bunkroom was carved out of a space that formerly was a five-car detached garage. Its paneling and color palette visually connects to the main house as it provides everything a guest could need:; built-in nooks, a kitchenette, fireplace, heated flooring, and sleep spaces for six. 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    In the second guest suite, fan favorites are the vintage nautical flags found at a local flea market, which tie to the lake-inspired decor. Doherty added a built-in closet for storage and brought carpet into this room to keep it warm and comfortable for guests—and to contrast the cedar ceiling. “The hanging pendant is from Palacek," she says. "I love the shadows it casts on the wall, and the rope feels very much like a lake house.” 

  • Photography by Meghan Beierle O’Brien

    The scenery seems like an artwork itself, providing plenty of inspiration for Lake Almanor home.