interior design by JENNI KAYNE
On the shores of Lake Tahoe, Jenni Kayne dreams up a whitewashed seaside sanctuary filled with family history.
Kayne upgraded an old hardwood side table by giving it a sleek, new travertine top.
Growing up in Southern California, designer Jenni Kayne spent nearly every summer of her childhood at her family’s waterfront home on Lake Tahoe. Her parents purchased the woodsy hideaway over 35 years ago when they were first dating, but decided to sell it a decade ago after Kayne and her two sisters, Maggie and Saree, had grown. However, in 2011, the siblings bought back their beloved adolescent vacation home as well as the Cape Cod–style cottage next door, where Kayne continues to spend her summers—now with her own family—boating, hiking, cooking, and hanging at the lakeside beach. “My husband comes up on weekends and my parents, sisters, and friends visit often,” Kayne says. “It makes for a lot of barbecues on the front porch, afternoon picnics across the grassy lawn, and lazy days spent lounging by the lake.”
The space is adorned with vivid artwork inspired by the surrounding landscape, including a pair of Melanie Pullen photographs in the living room.
Kayne installed custom wood cabinetry and painted brick backsplashes for a more rustic feel in the kitchen.
Stools made of black walnut and leather by BDDW add an organic note to the pared-down dining area.
Marble accents modernize the space.
As soon as Kayne got her hands on the original house’s neighboring cottage, she turned it into a cozy and bright companion lodge for friends and family. After eliminating the shag carpeting and popcorn ceilings, she lightened up the foundation with fresh additions like white wood paneling, bleached hardwood floors, and cabinetry covered in rustic reclaimed lumber. Kayne then layered in functional furnishings: custom-built wooden bunk beds, comfy white slipcovered sectionals, and lots of lightweight but durable upholstery. She polished off the space with earthy design details—vintage Heath dishes, driftwood tables, lush landscape photography, and loads of accessories sourced from her retail shop. “Comfort and practicality were paramount,” Kayne explains. “It’s a genuine cabin retreat.”
“I look for pieces that speak to the natural environment,” Kayne says. “They surpass trends and never go out of style.”
Soft layers of white and cream allow textures to make a statement in the bedroom.
Kayne fills the cabin’s guest rooms with fresh flowers every week.
Kayne stays cool inside her Sierra Nevada getaway.
“I prefer neutral palettes,” Kayne says. “They keep things clean and timeless.”
Soft, striped Libeco linens complement the rustic texture in the kids’ bunk bed room.