Lake Tahoe, a picturesque enclave perched in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, has long been a fresh-air getaway for San Franciscans. But many of the homes in the area resemble classic timber lodges with hunter green trims — and that traditional look wasn't what a retired couple had in mind for themselves. When they decided to leave the city to purchase an outdated 1970s condominium, they turned to Sacramento-based Popp Littrell Architecture + Interiors to create a modern address inspired by the minimalism of Scandinavian design. "The biggest challenge was making the space feel larger," principal Curtis Popp said. The team removed a wall to give the illusion of more square footage, and brightened the setting by whitewashing the ceiling to match the new surrounding light paint. And once the layout was set, they thoughtfully considered ways to bring the outdoors in: a central chandelier resembles tree branches, artwork nods to the scenery, and large windows provide idyllic views. It's just what the couple had envisioned when they sought a new life in the great outdoors.