Homes Away From Home

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The waterfront house features three bedrooms with a river view. (Photo courtesy of Kristiana Spaulding)

Gold Country River House

It’s not every home, or perhaps any home, that can seamlessly blend mid-century aesthetics from the middle of two different centuries, but Kristiana Spaulding and Greg Didriksen’s bungalow in the Lotus-Coloma area effortlessly accomplishes just that.

If Coloma rings a bell from elementary school history classes, you’ll remember that’s where gold was discovered in 1848 along the banks of the American River, the defining environmental feature of this waterfront abode. Pair those roots with the modernist interior design sensibilities of the 1950s, and you’ve got a decidedly cool place to hang your hat in Gold Country for a few lavishly lazy days.

Above: The master bedroom with a white Eames-inspired lounge chair and hardwood floors. Below: The 900-square-foot wooden deck is perfect for alfresco dining and lounging. (Photos by Kristiana Spaulding)

This 1,000-square-foot home sits on a hill overlooking the South Fork of the American, with each of its three bedrooms featuring large glass doors that open onto a long wooden deck, where you can lounge or dine amidst the lush greenery and admire the view. Alternatively, you can head down the exterior stairs to the grassy riverbank where you can chill in silver Adirondack chairs, or launch your own raft or kayak into the refreshing waters for an aquatic adventure.

From left: Swing into low gear on the backyard riverbank; a sign above the front door welcomes you home (Photos by Jeremy Sykes)

It would be easy to spend your entire stay (with a three-night minimum, you have time to settle in) outdoors, but inside the house is just as idyllic, with its hardwood floors, comfy tweed couch, Eames-inspired lounge chair and George Nelson bubble lamps. Helpful geographical maps of El Dorado County do double duty as artwork in the living room, and the master bedroom contains a framed invitation to the homeowners’ wedding, held on the property in 2007. Upon booking, Spaulding—she and Didriksen live off-site—will let you know that cell reception here is spotty, making this riverside pad a perfect place to unplug and unwind. $292 per night plus fees. —Jessica Rine