Sophistication at elevation: Slope-side living elevated at Northstar California’s Mountainside Stellar Homes |

Sophistication at elevation: Slope-side living elevated at Northstar California’s Mountainside Stellar Homes

Katrina Paz
Special to the Tribune

Scott Corridan is no stranger to sophisticated mountain living. As one of the premier interior and event designers of the West, his elegant yet approachable work has been incorporated into a myriad of homes around Lake Tahoe — a subtle statement for discerning homeowners.

Corridan was recently invited to be one of only two interior designers brought in to give Northstar’s new Mountainside Stellar Homes the idyllic modern mountain look. The properties, perched between the Ritz-Carlton and the Village at Northstar, consist of townhomes and residences. Designed by Bay Area-based Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (lead agency for Apple Inc. stores worldwide, including the iconic Fifth Avenue location) the Stellar Collection was developed to introduce a new parallel of mountainside luxury — cozily contemporary and thoughtfully progressive in design.

Scott Corridan Design’s work on the models, one residence and one townhome, was just unveiled this past February and has already received acclaim and praise for its bold and refreshing take on cabin life. The project was most recently featured in Martha Stewart Living and included his tips and insight on revitalizing classic designs.

From the ground up, the Stellar Collection was tailored to a very specific clientele. Taking a 180-degree spin from the rustic cabins and chalets of the ‘80s, Stellar created homes for those wanting a mountain experience with a chic contemporary feel and modern conveniences.

Jackson’s sleek and distinctive architecture instantly inspired Corridan. “There really isn’t anything like it in our region. There are some hidden gem holdouts from the international and modern movements in the 1950s and 60s, but there just isn’t anything like Stellar Mountainside in the Tahoe destination.”

Mountainside at Northstar offers two options in real estate, a 2,200-square-foot Stellar townhome and a 3,450-square-foot residence. Both properties are ski-in/ski-out and essentially steps away from Northstar’s multitude of activities and amenities.

Corridan notes that both layouts are great options for homeowners and offer the Mountainside lifestyle, but cater to two different audiences at two different price points.

The townhome is geared toward a younger, more active lifestyle. It appeals to a couple or young family from the Bay Area or a larger metropolitan area. The focus is on accommodating residents who are constantly on the go — skiing, hiking, biking, and exploring. The materials and pieces used were all about form and function. Everything incorporated was built for easy maintenance and wear and tear. Corridan accomplished this rugged sensibility while creating a cool, hip atmosphere.

The sleek architecture and furniture are accented with contemporary pops of color — blues, oranges, and yellows, reflecting the seasons of Tahoe.

“The blue being representative of the sky and winter, and the pops of orange and yellow the spring and summer,” Corridan said. “It’s a youthful approach to the property.”

The residence, which would appeal to more family-based buyers, has a more sophisticated and established character. Here, Corridan fused mountain flair with urban contemporary using classic furnishings with high-end details. The colors are more muted with earth tones and a palette of browns and blues.

Corridan’s keen and experienced eye ironically turned him to Southern California and Palm Springs circa the 1960s to infuse life and modern accents into today’s contemporary mountain abode. He was also inspired by various pop art movements from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

“There are very few places in our country that define mid-century modern like Los Angeles and Palm Springs,” he said. “The styles and iconic looks of these (specific) neighborhoods have been increasingly popular over the past 15 years. You can see it popping up more and more in mainstream stores.”

“So looking back to Palm Springs was an easy thing to do to drive design decisions. It was a risk, but the dressers, nightstands, credenzas, and lamps we incorporated have gotten the most positive response of all.”

The result was a show-stopping amalgamation of modern style and edge with vintage roots and historical timelessness. Additional elements that played into the homes were the uses of layering and incorporating the seasons of Lake Tahoe. He stresses that keeping up with the changes in the outside world can help keep the interior fresh. Fur blankets and wool pillows in winter give way to lightweight chenille and cotton pillows in the spring. Small accent pieces can have a definite impact, so changing out the colors and scents of candles with each season livens the space.

Despite designing for a very specific clientele, Corridan was able to provide a broad appeal. In addition to the specific theme and style, he also strived for a turnkey allure, where buyers would simply buy the property as is. Affluent buyers are also more likely to buy a turnkey home.

As a base, each home’s palette shifts quietly in tone with varying choices of tile and counter stone surfaces, all within the same subtle palettes of sage, charcoal and cream. But moving forward, it is really up to the soon to be new owners to stamp their personal definition of what Stellar means to them.

“I love all our clients and all the projects we’re invited to define,” Corridan said. “Stellar, however, has really spoken to me personally. It’s fun to have an aesthetic that speaks to the things I’m inspired by.”

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