Sun, Snow and the Silver Fox

Winter or summer? For Peter Marguglio and Linda Trocki of Tiburon, the answer to that perennial question about a favorite season at Lake Tahoe is “both!” Although Trocki confesses she might even like autumn best, when the aspen trees turn color.

Fortunately, as fractional owners of Silver Fox, a 5,800-square-foot luxury-lodge-style house in the Big Springs neighborhood of Truckee, they—along with their lucky guests — get to enjoy all four seasons.

And with twin master suites, two additional bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, an office, a well-equipped gym, large dining and living rooms, a family room outfitted with a home theater, pool table and second wet bar, a spacious 1,100-square-foot deck with oversize hot tub, and forest or mountain views from almost any window, there’s plenty of appeal for guests.

“The house is bigger than our Marin home and it’s very rare that we’re up there alone,” says Marguglio, a former software company owner. That’s what he and wife Trocki, a retired Bechtel executive, were seeking. “We wanted it to be a big open house for family and friends when we’re there.”

The couple’s Tahoe mornings usually start with coffee and newspaper at a breakfast spot in bustling Northstar Village. In summer, they’ll explore the countryside by car, hike lake trails, golf on local courses, or shop for dinner at any of the three local farmers’ markets. When guests visit, a boat ride on the lake or a ride on Squaw Valley’s gondola is usually on the agenda.

During the winter, Marguglio and Trocki either slip on snowshoes or skis and head for the trails or spend cozy afternoons poking around the art galleries of Truckee or beyond. Because their place is only a half mile from the new Ritz-Carlton and just a ski run or shuttle ride to Northstar Village with its collection of tempting shops, galleries and restaurants, even the nonathletic guest can get find something to do.

Marguglio and Trocki are one of eight fractional owners of Silver Fox. They have one fixed week of access each year and can choose an additional four weeks through a lottery system. “We’ve always gotten the weeks we wanted,” Marguglio says. Owners may reserve the remaining weeks on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Silver Fox is one of several luxury boutique fractionals managed by Pacific Catch and World Wrapps founder Keith Cox, a former Belvedere resident whose company Resort Equities operates similar residences on Maui and in Tuscany, Squaw Valley and San Francisco.

Unlike a time share, which typically entitles buyers to one week in a pool of condominiums, what Cox’s company sells are “just a handful of deeded ownership interests in each one-of-a-kind residence,” he says. Owners can participate in an exchange program giving them dibs on other participating residences. It is “the closest thing to owning an entire vacation home,” Cox says.

Marguglio agrees: “It’s your own home but without the maintenance. We love that everything is taken care of for us, that we can leave things in our private lockers and, if anything’s out of order, we just send a quick e-mail before we leave. We’ve been there three years now and have no buyer’s remorse.” Trocki adds, “We’re able to enjoy a big vacation house at a much smaller investment than full ownership and for the optimal amount of time we have available to spend in Tahoe.”

The two are just as happy with the four-bedroom Tiburon home they purchased seven years ago. “We met (Morgan Lane realty agent) Patricia Navone at an open house, mentioned that we’d be needing a bigger home and, the next thing we knew, she found us this one,” says Marguglio, who liked the open floor plan’s potential for easy entertaining. “We walked in, fell in love with it and made a bid on the spot.”

Trocki was smitten with the setting. “What I absolutely love are the views of Ring Mountain open space, the city and the bay,” she says. “It’s a friendly neighborhood and, with the interior design changes, the home has become a lot more comfortable.”

They credit San Francisco designer Cesar Alonso for making those changes. He washed the walls with warm colors—oxblood red in the dining room, dark taupe in the family room, a soft beige in the living room—and collaborated with the couple on the custom gilt-and-cherry-wood dining table designed to accommodate large family get-togethers.

Alonso also designed the gently angled family room sofa. “That was a challenge,” he says. “It had to work well with the television and the fireplace, the kitchen and the view.” He complemented it with a leather-covered ottoman that doubles as a coffee table and a Tibetan area rug from Dolma Inc. in San Francisco. Bookcases from Ironies were installed in the living room, chairs were upholstered in Donghia fabric and classic cloth draperies from Kneedler-Fauchère were selected for the windows.

The most dramatic changes were reserved for the kitchen and the nearby wall space that now accommodates a stylish kidney-shaped walnut wet bar topped with Absolute Black granite. A clever side pullout shelf, concealing various bottles, slides behind a glass-fronted cabinet filled with beverage glasses, and a wine refrigerator is inconspicuously tucked into the lower side of the bar.

“The bar makes an impact and takes advantage of the view but you don’t have to negotiate your way around it,” Alonso says. “The same with the kitchen.”

He moved the kitchen’s back wall, incorporating the pantry and laundry space into the larger room, then “rotated” it all so that the kitchen no longer had its “back” to the view or the family room. With the extra floor space, Alonso had room to create a center island, which he topped with Juparana Delicatus granite, and a striking travertine sink. Through deft positioning of the plumbing, the island could include large drawers. “We squeezed a lot out of it,” Alonso says.

Marguglio and Trocki might say the same about their life these days. As recent retirees, they’re finding their balance points. He serves on a corporate board, mentors a Stanford student and stays involved in the business world and family investments. Trocki chairs the board of MentorNet, a support organization for female and minority college students majoring in math, science and engineering; serves on the boards of her alma mater’s college of earth and mineral sciences and a steering committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and will be a docent for the Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Both are looking forward to welcoming Labrador retrievers into their home when they start fostering animals for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

For fun, their activities in Marin are “about the same that they are in Tahoe,” Trocki says. “Lots of biking, hiking and golf.” When they aren’t cooking at home, they frequent their favorite dinner spots of Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon, Poggio in Sausalito, E&O Trading Co. in Larkspur and “the Buckeye Roadhouse…when we can get in!” she adds with a laugh.

Architecture: Mohamad Sadrieh  Interior & kitchen design: Cesar Alonso Design  Bar & dining room design: Alonso-Newman Design  Lighting and furniture design: Cesar Alonso Design

CAPTION: (bottom): Peter and Linda raise a glass with designer Cesar Alonzo at the bar he designed in the Tiburon house.