Travel Blog

Interior Design Spotlight: Equity Estates luxury vacation home in Lake Tahoe

Each of the homes in the Equity Estates portfolio presented its own unique challenges from conception to completion, and each has its own story. Today, we’ll tell the story of one of our most-loved residences—Lake Tahoe.

Equity Estates doesn’t have a standard design kit for each home purchased or built. The aim is not to have every home look the same. Rather, we try to embrace the architectural and design concepts of the local area in which each residence is located. In many homes, we even use locally sourced building materials and decorate with pieces by local artists. After all, one big draw of travel is to immerse oneself in different cultures and embrace local flair.

Each of the homes in the Equity Estates portfolio presented its own unique challenges from conception to completion, and each has its own story. Today, we’ll tell the story of one of our most-loved residences—Lake Tahoe.

“When I visited the Lake Tahoe home, it was close to being finished. I got to see the home in its empty state and really take in the bones of the space,” said Lance Nicholas, Senior Vice President of Operations and Member Services at Equity Estates.

“What struck me was the mix of modern and traditional mountain elements. It had these big open spaces, clean lines, a modern fireplace and an abundance of windows and natural light—it wasn’t exactly what you’d expect in a typical mountain home. To take this unique space and completely outfit it with lodge-style decor just didn’t make sense.”

You see, the interior of the home was built out in a much more contemporary way than was initially anticipated. After these revelations, Lance began working closely with an LA-based interior designer to create something truly spectacular.

Lance’s vision was clear—the Lake Tahoe residence would adhere to the “Modern Mountain” design concept.


According to DIY Network, Modern Mountain “balances simplicity and clean lines with the livable warmth of natural materials.”

Modern Mountain hallmarks include a boxy but open floor plan, large windows with lots of natural light, use of local materials whenever possible, oversize elements, clean lines, a neutral color scheme, low maintenance landscaping and an abundance of outdoor living space. This design concept marries traditional mountain and contemporary design elements to create a look that is updated, but still timeless.

Yet the design team knew this space was not right for ultra-modern pieces, either. They were after authentic mid-century modern pieces to represent the contemporary component, and finding the right pieces for the space would prove quite challenging.

The 1960s mid-century modern pieces featured in the Tahoe residence were found at an antique hall in LA and restored by an expert on furniture from that era. Pieces to note in the residence include the chairs in the living room and the chandelier in the dining room, all mid-century modern signatures which are highlighted in the photos on the left.

Other Modern Mountain elements in the residence include its use of native cut hardwoods, natural slate stone in entryway, fired steel surrounding the fireplace, oversize  windows and doors, use of a color scheme of taupes, browns and creams, natural landscaping and large outdoor deck space.

It’s no coincidence a residence in which Lance was so hands-on in designing turned out so extraordinary. Equity Estates’ resident design consultant, Lance has been integral to the design of many of the homes in our portfolio including Grand Cayman, Watersound Beach and the new constructions in Hawaii and Big Sky. He’s also been on the front lines for many updates and remodeling projects, including the residences in Costa Rica and Hilton Head.

Throughout his varied career, Lance has always gravitated back toward real estate and has always had an eye for design. Years ago, he was in the business of rehabbing older homes. He never hired a designer, because he always felt he inherently knew what looked good in each home. In 2007 he purchased a granite and stone company and was able to use his intuitive skill set to design kitchens, baths, tables, flooring and more from the stone and marble. At one point, he even had an antique booth which focused on unique mid-century modern pieces.

“My favorite piece of the puzzle is the design aspect of these incredible homes. Seeing them come together in a way that allows our investors to have the best experience possible is a joy,” he said.




*Equity Estates is an equity destination club heading into its tenth year. This vacation home alternative is for accredited investors, offered via private placement.  A globetrotter's dream with more than 60 private luxury residences spanning more than 25 countries, Equity Estates' mission is to deliver measurable and memorable returns. Equity Estates Fund I sold out in 2012, and Fund II will sell out by the end of 2016. Equity Estates has collectively raised and effectively deployed over $75 million and delivered over 10,000 outstanding vacation experiences. Equity Estate’s unique model could allow investors to travel for free for 10 years or get paid to travel.


This website is designed to offer owners and guests of owners certain information about our real estate investment fund and its portfolio of private homes. Investments in Equity Estates are only available to accredited investors. This is not an offer to sell securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities.