A Day at the Lake
Fashion designer Jenni Kayne-Ehrlich updates her childhood Lake Tahoe home for the next generation.
Summers spent along the shores are the stuff of dreams—those endless, lazy days of swimming and sand castles awash in California sunlight. Beverly Hills native Jenni Kayne-Ehrlich lived that fantasy at her family’s home on the southern edge of Lake Tahoe. “They sold it about 10 years ago. Our lives had changed, and we had all moved on,” Kayne-Ehrlich recalls. “After having kids [Ripley, 3½, and Tanner, 5½], I got very nostalgic for the home, and my sister Saree and I talked about renting a house in the same area.” Searching for rentals online, the sisters discovered their childhood house was on the market. The family purchased it together, and Jenni was tasked with renovations.
The Cape Cod-style abode had not been updated since the 1980s. Kayne-Ehrlich redid all six bedrooms, the five bathrooms, and opened up the kitchen to look onto the living and dining rooms. “The kitchen is our favorite part,” she says. “We do a lot of cooking. It’s the room where everyone is hanging out together. Tanner especially loves to help me bake!” Kayne-Ehrlich’s husband, high-end real estate agent Richard Ehrlich, works in Los Angeles during the week and joins the family on weekends. “Our friends come up with him, and we’re constantly cooking and entertaining,” she adds.
When it came to decor, Kayne-Ehrlich kept things clean and simple. “I wanted it to feel like a lake house, with lots of blue and white and comfortable sofas,” she says. “It’s OK if you come in with sandy feet.” She used Swedish antiques and Belgian linens throughout, plus Swans Island throws at the end of every bed (“to channel a little Americana”).
Together, the sisters curated the art: a mix of pieces from sister Maggie’s Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery and work by friends that includes photographs by Liza Ryan, Rick Ehrlich (Jenni’s father-in-law) and Jed Lind—one of Jenni and Richard’s closest friends. “The photography really speaks to looking outside, bringing the landscape in with lots of water and nature,” she says.
Kayne-Ehrlich most treasures memories of playing on the beach and taking boat rides with her siblings, and she’s hoping her children will follow in her sandy footsteps. “We have a bowl of sea glass we collected from years of walking the shore with my mom. Ripley and Tanner and I have carried on that tradition,” Kayne-Ehrlich says. “Being together again in that house has been magical for our family.”
By Heather John Fogarty.
Photographed by Lisa Romerein.