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Healthy Living

3 Interior Design Lessons from Emily Henderson’s Mountain House

Using natural light, fresh air and a unique mix of materials to create a relaxed vibe.

Bedroom with wood clad ceiling, four skylights and a bed layered with blue and terra cotta blankets

Interior designer and style expert Emily Henderson renovated a Lake Arrowhead mountain house as a relaxing, rejuvenating getaway from her Los Angeles home. The home is meant as an escape from city life and an opportunity for her family to connect with nature.

Lake Arrowhead offers plenty of choices for outdoor recreation: hiking, biking, skiing and boating abound in the area. Henderson wanted to bring nature inside, so even late mornings relaxing indoors would provide the same benefits as a walk in the woods.

She incorporated architectural elements and design details to create nature connections and the following three design tips are easily implemented in any home, whether it’s a contemporary suburban home, a city town home or a rural farmhouse.

Combine bold color with natural materials

Often the most striking décor juxtaposes wildly different materials, and in the mountain house kitchen Henderson heightens the effect of beautiful, reclaimed beechwood floors and cabinets with contrasting black accents. Black metal light fixtures are a sleek, modern touch against the rustic, reclaimed wood. Natural light from two skylights heightens the bright and airy effect of the blond wood and helps the stark contrast of the black accents feel purposeful.


She stained the reclaimed wood on the kitchen island black and has three stools with upholstered seats and black metal frames that disappear against the island.


Create a variety of views to the outside

Nature views are healing, so Henderson made sure to give each room a visual connection to its mountain surroundings. Tall trees envelope the house on three sides, providing an instant seasonal reference. While the house has ample windows, including a two-story wall-full, Henderson added skylights to provide all-day lighting and additional views.

Skylights in the children’s attic playroom provide treetop and sky views. In the master bedroom, four skylights reveal night skies, a relaxing way to fall asleep.


Use natural light and fresh air in key spaces

That walk in the woods is sure to be a full sensory experience: the smell of pine trees, the breeze rustling tree branches and the sun creating a light-dappled forest floor. Henderson added eight VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights in the mountain house to create a full-sensory connection to the outdoors.

Two fresh-air skylights in the kitchen open for air flow that also clears out cooking odors. Master bedroom skylights open, along with windows below, to create an invigorating breeze. In the children’s playroom, opening the skylights keeps the space cool.


Ready to create nature connections in your home? Find a skylight installer in your area.

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