Photo courtesy of Mademoiselle Claudine via The Spruce.

In recent years, concepts from various countries have become trendy in U.S. interior design like the Swedish idea of hygge, meaning comfort and coziness, which has grown in popularity. From further east, the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi has made its way into U.S. architecture and interior decor. Before diving headfirst into this trend, it’s important to understand its meaning and cultural context. For wabi-sabi specifically, this meaning happens to be aligned with the lake lifestyle. Let’s take a deep dive into this concept and why it’s perfect for a lake home. 

What is Wabi-Sabi?

Photo courtesy of Joelle Magazine.

Although the trend is relatively new, the concept is rooted in ancient Japanese culture. Specifically, it comes from Buddhist tea ceremonies where the tea masters used simple, rustic, and irregularly shaped utensils. When you break the word down, “Wabi” refers to understated elegance that is often found in nature. “Sabi” is a celebration of the imperfections that come with aging. Wabi-sabi describes something humble, authentic, and beautifully imperfect. In other words, it’s appreciating the way something is rather than how it should be

Wabi-Sabi in Design

Photo courtesy of My Modern Met.

In keeping with this definition, wabi-sabi design is typically asymmetrical, modest, and intimate. A classic example of these characteristics is kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending cracked pottery with gold and silver resin. Instead of trying to hide the ceramics’ flaws, this technique celebrates them. 

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In 1994, Leonard Koren’s book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers garnered more widespread attention. The work of architects like Tadao Ando made wabi-sabi into a lauded design trend. For the interior decorator, wabi-sabi design techniques include mixing and matching, embracing and repurposing old items, artisanal decor, and homemade projects. However, just because it’s an eclectic style doesn’t mean it’s full of clutter. A wabi-sabi space should also be highly organized and peaceful.

The Appeal of Wabi-Sabi

Photo courtesy of DECOR8.

In a world where the latest trends are aiming for perfection and newness, wabi-sabi is refreshing. Helen White, design lead at House Of, says, “I think the main appeal of this style is that it appeals to the unpretentious and whimsical among us. There is so much beauty in the weather-beaten, cracks, and bumps in items as there are in meticulously crafted, smooth edges.” Further, this style offers permission to pick decor that simply brings you joy, even if it doesn’t match a specific aesthetic. Instead of showcasing a particular trend, wabi-sabi design introduces the people who live there. 

Invoking Wabi-Sabi at Your Lake House

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Wabi-sabi is evident in nature. Flora and fauna are not engineered to look a certain way– they simply are what they are, even as they age. At the lake, you’re surrounded by wabi-sabi. More broadly, the idea of leaving the city behind and retreating to nature with your loved ones is in itself, wabi-sabi. Since the lake lifestyle already adopts this concept, why not reflect it in your decor?

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Jeneva Aaron, founder, and CEO of The House Wire, describes, “Wabi-sabi design is also about bringing nature inside your house. This is very much possible when designing a lake house… I believe the wabi-sabi concept is used in most lake house designs because of the natural effect. People are now more into fulfillment over materialism.” In practice, you may incorporate earthy tones and organic materials into your decor, such as driftwood. The bottom line is that it should reflect something you genuinely love, even if it’s not in vogue. After all, lake homes should be welcoming, and a wabi-sabi style expresses that sense of warmth.

What do you think? Would you consider incorporating wabi-sabi into your lake house decor?


The Best Lake Toys for 2020

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Summer at the lake means more time on the water. You can waste away the days enjoying homemade treats on your boat dock, listening to relaxing music, and jumping in the lake. If you’re feeling energetic and excited for an afternoon full of games, there’s plenty of lake toys to choose from. Check out the best lake toys of 2020 to bring more summer fun to your lake home!

Hammacher Schlemmer Inflatable Dartboard

Of all the lake toys out there, this one’s right on target. Get competitive in a pool, shallow slough, or boat dock with this inflatable dartboard. Though it reaches 6 feet tall, it also stays grounded with a water-filled base. Who needs a game of darts in a crowded bar when you can enjoy space and sunshine? 

Floating Bluetooth Speaker

COWIN Floating Bluetooth Speaker

When you’re in the water, and the speaker’s on the boat dock, the music can become muffled and inaudible. With this portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker, you can bring the fun to the water. The clear sound enhanced bass, and loud volume makes for the perfect lake or pool party.

Inflatable Iceberg

Rave Sports Inflatable Iceberg.

Ever wanted to climb Mount Everest without leaving your lake home? Now, you can! This inflatable iceberg is one of the more adventurous lake toys. Towering 14 feet, it features a climbing wall on one side and a slide on the other for maximum fun.

Floating Golf Green

4’x6′ Floating Golf Green

Can you score a hole-in-one? To every golfer who lives on the lake, this one’s for you. Assemble this floating golf green in the pool or lake and test out your skills. Add an extra tee box and floating golf balls for a more comprehensive course. 

Yamaha Sea Scooter

Yamaha Seascooter

This recreational underwater scooter is excellent for the curious lake explorer. At speeds of 2.5 miles per hour, you can chase fish in shallow waters and take photos with the integrated camera. Since it’s designed for an ocean or salt lake, keep in mind it may have less buoyancy in a freshwater lake.

Rubber Dockie

Rubber Dockie Floating Mat

When choosing among lake toys, sometimes simplicity is the best option. These bold colored rubber dockies are highly visible for safety, tear-proof, and scratch and slip-resistant. Perfect for playing sports, lounging, or just messing around on the lake. 

Giant Shootball Basketball Toy

Swimline Giant Shootball Basketball Toy

For water sports, this lake toy is a slam dunk. Swimline’s inflatable basketball net comes with three balls and multiple ports so you can challenge friends and family. Points are designated on each side so you can keep score! 

Airhead Poparazzi 3 Person Tube

Sportstuff Airhead Poparazzi Inflatable Triple Rider

Hold on tight! SportsStuff’s rider towable tube is designed to be pulled behind a boat. The EVA padding ensures a comfortable ride, and the tough nylon cover guarantees durability. With the upper deck, one of the three riders can stand up for a more thrilling ride.

Inflatable Water Trampoline

Wotryit 10′ Inflatable Water Trampoline

Get airborne with this inflatable trampoline designed for the lake! Despite its large size, the multiple inflation vales make it easy to set up, so you can start bouncing immediately. It’s also safe and made from environmentally friendly materials. Try out your best dive into the water! 

Foam Water Shooters

NZQXJXZ Foam Water Shooters

Lightweight and easy to use, these foam water shooters are perfect for parents, kids, and friends. With a shooting distance of 31 feet, you can easily surprise your opponent. Use in the lake, on your dock, in the yard — wherever you’re ready to start a friendly water war! 

We hope you love these lake toys this summer! 


Whiteboard Topics: 5 Things Home Buyers Don’t Care About

August 5, 2020

When it’s time to sell your lake home, you’re likely keeping a mental list of what home buyers find important. However, your attempt to read buyers’ minds could be incorrect. To avoid this pitfall, Lake Homes CEO, Glenn Phillips, shares 5 things that home buyers don’t care about. What you paid for the lake house  […]

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A Guide to Flood Zones (And What to Do If You’re in One)

August 3, 2020

When buying home insurance, many homeowners overlook the possibility of flooding. However, assessing flood risk is crucial for all homeowners, especially those at the lake. According to Realtor Magazine, almost 6 million homes and commercial buildings in the U.S. are at high risk for flooding. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), […]

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Things You Need to Know About Bug Spray

August 1, 2020

In summer, you’re living your best lake life. But then, after only five minutes outside, mosquitos start landing and biting. Ugh. Fortunately, you can deal with these pests by installing ceiling fans and screens. But when you’re away from your lake home, there’s one established method for keeping the bugs at bay — bug spray. It’s almost […]

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Sun Protection Series #3: A Guide to UPF Clothing

July 30, 2020

As we’ve said before on this blog, sun protection is essential. Applying SPF at the lake is an integral step to keeping your skin safe. But sometimes, remembering topical protection is hard. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 15% of men and 30% of women regularly wear sunscreen when spending more than […]

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Whiteboard Topics: Predicting the Fall Real Estate Market

July 29, 2020

If you’re preparing to sell your lake home, it’s natural to wonder how the market will be doing this Fall. Although COVID-19 has left the market’s future more uncertain, some reliable predictions still exist. Lake Homes CEO, Glenn Phillips, shares five things to consider when predicting the Fall real estate market:  Stimulus checks, the PPP […]

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Top Lake Floats for Summer 2020

July 25, 2020

Nothing says “summer at the lake” like lounging on a float. Chances are, you already have a few lake floats at your house. Maybe they’re collecting dust in your boat dock shed, and they desperately need cleaning. Or perhaps it’s time to treat yourself by buying a new one this summer. Make sure to consider […]

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Top 5 Deepest Lakes in the World

July 23, 2020

Whether it’s the mystery of “what lies beneath” or the sheer natural wonder, deep waters are fascinating. The U.S. is home to many deep lakes, including Crater Lake in Oregon, which is deep enough to fit One World Trade Center with 200 feet to spare. In the Lake Homes market footprint, Lake Superior ranks the deepest at 1,333 feet. Although we […]

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Whiteboard Topics: How to Make Sure Your Offer Doesn’t Kill Your Transaction

July 22, 2020

When selling your lake home, you may think that taking the highest priced offer is the best choice. However, there’s an anomaly happening in the real estate market now. Lake Homes CEO, Glenn Phillips, explains why taking the highest and best offer can create some problems.  Picture this: You put your lake home on the […]

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