There's a year-round vacation house on the shores of Lake Tahoe that could be almost anyone's favorite retreat.

Small, compact, efficient and almost maintenance-free, it has but 1,760 square feet of space. The rugged redwood inside and out the house sits low and sleek among the pines, hugs the mountainous terrain and blends beautifully with its rustic site in the Sierras of northern California and western Nevada.

Mr. and Mrs. Sherrill Broudy of Santa Barbara, Calif., built the house as their second home where they and their teen-age sons could go for weekends of skiing in winter and for water sports in summer. Broudy relaxes here from his busy schedule as owner of a custom woodwork house for architects and designers. Mrs. Broudy, an artist who exhibits in Santa Barbara, paints here.

The house has just three bedrooms and a single large central area for kitchen, dining and living room. Mrs. Broudy did the decorating, keeping furnishings to simple, contemporary pieces. Accessories often are the ceramics of local potters, an occasional window of stained glass and her own bright paintings. The pleasing and restful, no-nonsense interior does not invite clutter. The color scheme throughout is white, blue and the natural hue of wood.

The broudy house is one of many that conform to a Tahoe mountain style popularized by architect James Marton, AIA, of Bozemann, Mont.

Morton, who has built hundreds of houses around the shores of Lake Tahoe, designs so that homeowners do not have to be concerned with snow loads in the winter or with sun glare in summer. His houses have deep overhangs, rustic shingled roofs, built-in cabinetry and huge fireplaces of native stone.