The Nordic Entryway is one of the most useful Scandinavian architectural/design contributions to Fjeldheim, making it easy to maintain a difference between outdoor and indoor conditions. This is most obvious in winter, as it is a perfect place to peel off snowy outerwear, stack ski boots, and hang wet gloves and hats to dry, before entering the warm interior of the home. All year round it offers a “mid-doors” between indoors and outdoors: a way to carry luggage (or groceries or shopping loot etc) inside in several trips, leaving the outer door open without emptying into the wilderness the warm (or cool!) inner air. The deep shelves and sturdy workbench are for your use, as is the selection of snow boots of various sizes and makes, left behind by previous guests and family members. The long wall is lined above with coathooks and below with a steam heat register, and has a graceful wrought-iron park bench that is perfect for getting pesky boots on and off.
The Hallingdal Media Room (or “sitting room”) is part of the Hallingdal suite, situated between the Hallingdal bedroom and the Bar. Its two fold-out queen-size couches sleep two couples easily, and two to four children will be delighted to use the couch cushions and extra pillows and blankets to make nests for themselves on the floor.
The Hallingdal Media Room offers a big-screen television with VHS and DVD players, and two comfortable couches. On the other side of the room is a computer with printer stocked with paper for your convenience, and the main wireless router is installed here too. Plug directly into the Ethernet port for an absolutely secure internet connection.
The Laundry Room is on the ground floor between the Bar and theHallingdal suite. It is always warmer than the rest of the house since it also houses our high-efficiency boiler. The laundry room offers a huge industrial rinsing sink, a commercial washer and dryer, an iron and ironing board, spray starch, and various places and ways to hang damp things to be dried. The laundry machines are not large-size retail models with a “Commercial” badge glued to them, but genuine laundromat machines: please allow Josh to show you how to use them.
The Bar has a long sectional couch that extends around two sides of the billiards table. Two of its segments are recliners, and it is long enough to allow two or even three persons to sleep head-to-toe. If you choose to do this, we recommend tucking sheets around the couch cushions each night and folding those sheets up and stowing them in the Laundry Room each morning.
The Bar can be generously stocked with both food and drink for any occasion. You will find a variety of glassware, two drop-in refrigerators and one mini-fridge (with a conventional door) behind the expansive granite bartop, with a rinsing sink in one corner and a television mounted near the ceiling like a sports bar. It also sports an ornate billiards table with a wall rack full of cues, chalk cubes and bridge. Windows look out at the parking area so you will see friends and family arriving before they ring the bell. It also has a convenient half-bath (sink, mirror, toilet) just past the door to the Laundry Room.
The Great Room is the center of gravity and gravitas for the entire home. It also functions as an extension of the Dining/Kitchen area: we can move a couch and end tables out of the way and add more dining tables and chairs to seat a maximum of 50 guests, although 40 is a more comfortable number that preserves the spacious feeling of the room. Even with the Great Room filled with seated guests, the towering ceiling banishes any feeling of being crowded. The Great Room is open to the second floor and all the way to the main roof beam of the home, so the second floor balcony looks down into it, and the sound of the piano on that balcony reaches every room except the Bar and the Hallingdal suite on the ground floor below the Great Room.
The Library, with its six La-Z-Boy recliners and two couches, is an ideal “overflow sleeping room.” One couch folds out into a queen-size bed, which easily sleeps two persons. With two in that bed and one on the additional couch, three adults can sleep comfortably here in privacy, using the Oden bathroom at the end of the hall.
Fjeldheim’s Library is a richly-appointed refuge. With a widescreen Sony LCD television, surround sound, Xbox video console, hundreds of DVD and VHS movies (and more nearby for rent), hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books and anthologies, dozens of boardgames, six La-Z-Boy recliners and two couches, the pine-paneled Library is a haven for aprÃ¨s-ski relaxation.
Kitchen/Dining Room is sized appropriately for the house, but still on a comfortable family scale, no cafeteria feeling here. The massive trestle dining table and large matching dining chairs seat 10 to 12 persons at a time, and there is plenty of room to add an additional table or two without extending into the Great Room. The kitchen has everything you might need: a cabinet full of oils, spices, extracts and powders, over 50 sets of old-style Scandinavian table service and flatware, a wide assortment of pots and pans and utensils, two coffee makers, a quiet dishwasher, a microwave, a large fridge with ice maker, a four-burner commercial Wolf range that includes a 36″ griddle, a broiler, and a cavernous oven that easily handles several lasagnas, roasts, or a 30-pound turkey. Planning on buying (or making!) a ton of food and drinks? Just around the corner from the kitchen is a walk-in pantry, and we have more refrigerator and drinks/snacks storage downstairs in the Bar and the Nordic Entryway. Don’t forget the 48″ custom Viking barbecue outside on the Patio if you need extra cooking power.
Just outside the Great Room you find our Deck and Patio. The Deck wraps around three sides of Fjeldheim with beautiful views in every direction except to the northeast. The curving flagstone-and-lawn Patio also overlooks the Lake and is lovely enough to serve as the site for wedding ceremonies at Fjeldheim. At the southwest corner of the Patio is a stone-clad custom-built 48″ Viking gas barbecue, with “the best view a grill man could want” and enough capacity to cook for your entire group at once. (But will you really want to rush the process, in such a beautiful setting?)
At the edge of the Patio sits the Hot Tub House, one of the most popular features of Fjeldheim. Its wood paneling and cedar-shake roof follow the Norwegian motif, but it is not really a “house” at all. It was designed to enclose the hot tub, providing privacy and shelter from wind, without cutting the hot tub off from the open air, the alpine setting, or the view of the Lake. So it has protective eaves but no roof, remaining wide open to the sky above. It is built around an ancient towering Ponderosa pine, which appears to stretch toward the sky like a benediction. And it has the only floor-to-ceiling windows you will find on the entire property, allowing a full and unobstructed view of the Lake and surrounding Sierras. The hot tub itself is a 6-person Hot Springs spa large enough to accommodate 8 at a pinch.
The Observation Turret is a favorite feature of Fjeldheim. It is the highest point of the house that is still indoors and has the largest window of the house, facing west; it looks out over the casino towers of Stateline NV, the resort hotels of South Lake Tahoe CA, Lake Tahoe itself, and the western Sierra Nevadas with iconic Mount Tallac obvious and glorious among them.Â With binoculars you can see Emerald Bay and hints of Camp Richardson on the far side of the Lake. Photographers, with a polarizing filter you can shoot your own postcard-quality panoramic photos from the comfort of an indoor perch! (Because it has no heat registers, and for safety reasons, we do not allow guests to sleep in the Observation Tower.)
The second-floor Observation Balcony is the only balcony that has no direct access to any bedroom. In the summer it serves as a private sun deck in the afternoon, and winter snowfall gets swirled here into graceful otherworldly shapes by the eddies of the wind.Year-round it is an amazing vantage point from which to view Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierras.