Renovating the Alpenhof Lodge

Blanche Garcia makes renovations to the Alpenhof Lodge in California.

Interior designer Blanche Garcia leaves her mark on the Alpenhof Lodge in Mammoth Lakes, CA, after completing her renovations.
Dry Erase Board
Anthony Checks in With Blanche

Anthony Checks in With Blanche

Anthony checks in with Blanche to see how the renovation is going.

We decided to utilize a small accent wall as a great place to write the day’s weather and ski conditions for the guests. We chose a white color that is normally found in a dry erase board versus chalkboard black because the new décor of the lobby was very light and happy. (Dry erase kits are easily found at craft and hardware stores, and only take a clean wall and about 3 coats of paint to apply.) My favorite part of constructing a board like this is always designing the frame. I had our carpenter create our rectangular frame out of MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and route out an interior accent instead of adding another piece of trim. This material is also very budget-friendly. MDF should only be used when paint is being applied to your project, not when stain is being applied.

If you want to create a similar look to the one we did at the Alpenhof Lodge, then cut your frame out and notch out some interior curves to dress it up. Next route out an interior trim detail. Remember it’s just a detail so go no bigger than half an inch. Now, use 2 paint colors for your frame; one for the majority of the frame and one for the accent trim. Once that’s painted in the colors of your choice, then all you have to do is attach it to the wall over the area that you painted with the dry erase material.

You have created a daily opportunity for expression!

Stenciled Stairs
I wanted the lobby stairs of the Alpenhof Lodge to play a part in the design, so I decided to paint the risers an accent raspberry color that I used in the lobby and bring attention to them by using stencil art. This is an inexpensive way to create custom detailing.

Since Bavarian design is all about nature, I decided to use birds. This style of design calls for delicate accents. First, tape your stencil to the edges and start dabbing on the paint inside of the stencil. I say dab because if you use standard brush strokes, you will have your paint bleeding through behind your stencil.

Once the paint is applied, you’re going to gently peel the stencil off and lay it on a napkin so it can dry for about 5 minutes. Finally, don’t forget to take any excess paint off the stencil so that it doesn’t make a mess of your next location.

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