5 Simple Upkeep Tips to Rejuvenate Your Lake Home

Photo courtesy of Houzz

After everything we’ve been through these past couple of years, we could all use a fresh start—and so could our homes. Just as personal rejuvenation is therapeutic for mind, body, and soul, so is it for the dwellings we live in. If your lake home could use a little pick-me-up, here are some simple upkeep tips that pack a powerful punch and make your rooms look and feel renewed. 

Keep It Clean

Photo courtesy of The Lilypad Cottage

We all dread household chores but love the feeling and satisfaction we get from a clean home. After all, it makes no sense to spend a fortune on our homes and all the furnishings if we don’t keep them clean. The payoff is well worth it, so let’s face it—we can’t avoid this unpleasant task. But it doesn’t have to be as unbearable as you think if you plan ahead and implement some handy gadgets that make cleaning a breeze.

Consider investing in hi-tech housekeeping tools such as a robot vacuum, a carpet spot cleaner, and an electric mop to make tasks go quicker and seem virtually effortless. Keeping floors, furniture, baseboards, ceiling fans, and surfaces dirt and dust-free—and washing windows regularly—makes all the difference in the world in how you and others perceive the look and feel of your home. Plus, if you keep things clean regularly, you won’t have to put as much effort into it each time.

Also, make a schedule and stick to it. Break up chores in simple, easy-to-digest increments, so they won’t be such a pain and take up an entire day. If you’re not doing it all yourself, make it a family project and delegate jobs each week. For truly huge tasks, don’t be afraid to call in a professional.   

Declutter and Downsize

Photo courtesy of ecko360estates

Removing visual clutter from your life is a beautiful way to keep your home looking smart, stylish, and organized. Also, as many of us are downsizing to smaller places these days, it’s the perfect time to take inventory of our belongings and get rid of things we no longer want in our lives. The minimalist look continues to trend today—so less is more.

In the kitchen especially, keep countertop clutter to a minimum and arrange the daily objects you use efficiently and within easy reach. Group items on trays and in canisters to keep things looking clean and orderly. Don’t forget to edit and arrange your pantry, cabinets, and drawers neatly—even though their contents are hidden from sight. Most of us accumulate clutter in those very places, including our closets, and later dread the thought of clearing them out.

We all know how difficult it is to part with our personal possessions, so be mindful and practical about the process. Consider gifting or donating things you no longer need—or have a yard sale. Without all that baggage, we tend to feel lighter, freer, and more at peace in our surroundings.

Maintain What You Have

Photo courtesy of Serena & Lily

Our lake homes are our sanctuaries, so make it a priority to maintain what you already have. Keep your beloved rugs and plush carpets clean and odor-free, replace any worn rugs, patch holes in the wall, polish bathroom and kitchen fixtures, replace cracked tiles, and regularly clean grout on all your tile surfaces. If your rooms look tired and outdated, give them a fresh facelift with new fixtures, hardware, and lighting.

Don’t forget to maintain your lake home’s exterior features as well. For example, clean your gutters to direct water away from your house, seal your driveway to prevent cracks and preserve your pavement, and touch up your home’s exterior paint if you notice any chipping or peeling.

By keeping up with these essential maintenance tips, you can avoid living in a house that looks and feels neglected and instead enjoy a well-dressed home that feels fresh, clean, and cared for.

Paint Power

Photo courtesy of Country Living Magazine

There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to change the complexion of any room. So don’t be afraid to introduce a splash of color to your kitchen with painted cabinetry, an island base, or even your wooden floors. Paint will instantly transform your rooms and dramatically change the mood with a simple color change.

If your bright white walls look sad and dull, there’s no better way to revive them than with a brilliant new coat of your favorite hue. To create an eye-catching focal point, consider painting an accent wall in a darker, more richly pigmented tone that will make a striking contrast to the adjacent walls while still complementing the style of your interior.      

Fresh Linens and Towels

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

Let’s confess, we all have them—flattened pillows, ratty towels, and old worn-out sheets that are either stained or torn. And the sad truth is, nothing makes bedrooms and bathrooms look more unkempt than having these less-than-luxurious items in plain view. However, you can elevate your spaces instantly simply by replacing them with plush, luxurious bed linens, fluffy towels and bathmats, and plump new pillows—either down-filled or a down alternative. Also, consider using two duvets to get a more sumptuous plumped-up look. You can stuff two duvets into one duvet cover or simply layer them one on top of the other over your bed.

For more tips on how to freshen up and rejuvenate your home, click here. From all of us at Lake Homes Lifestyles—here’s to a beautifully renewed 2022!

2022 Kitchen Design Trends

Photo courtesy of Emily Followill

If your lake home kitchen is begging for a refresh this year, read on and enjoy. Today, we’ve tapped into top talent Matthew Quinn, a leading expert in kitchen, bath, and product design, to get his take on what’s hot in 2022.

Author of Volumes One and Two of his book series, Quintessential Kitchens and Quintessential Kitchens and Spaces, Matthew is a principal of the Atlanta and Nashville-based Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio and founder of the Matthew Quinn Collection, a luxury kitchen, bath, and architectural hardware showroom that blends the best of today’s products with his own expanding lines of kitchen, bath, and closet product designs.

The recipient of numerous national design awards, Matthew’s designs have been published in magazines and books, including House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Elle Décor, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Luxe, and Veranda. 

Matthew is also a passionate lake homeowner who knows first-hand what it takes to create fresh, functional, and beautiful spaces that make lake living a breeze—especially in the kitchen. Here are his top 7 kitchen trends for 2022.

Working Pantries

Photo courtesy of Robert Peterson

“A larger version of the walk-in pantry, these hardworking spaces feature deep countertops for all the small appliances that can be plugged in and used right there,” explains Matthew. “A sink, microwave, and sometimes an additional oven and refrigerator are popular add-ons for this highly functional and versatile kitchen space,” he adds. “These are especially perfect for lake houses, so your coffee maker, toaster, and other self-serve items are easily accessible and out of the way of the chef making pancakes in the main kitchen area.”

For this sleek working pantry, Matthew used dark ebony flooring against contrasting glossy white cabinetry and contemporary pendant lights overhead. Glass-front cabinets showcase beautiful dishware and serving pieces that connect to the overall color palette.

“When designing or renovating your kitchen, keep in mind that all the features of a traditional city kitchen can easily be translated to the comforts of your lake home,” notes Matthew.  

Handmade Tile Backsplashes

Matthew Quinn’s lake house kitchen.
Photo courtesy of Emily Followill

“I love the perfect-imperfect aesthetic of handmade tile,” says Matthew. “The more uneven edges and undulating surfaces, the better,” he adds. “This look is especially ideal if you’re wanting a relaxed yet sophisticated lake home vibe.”

Create unique looks to suit any taste using oversized rectangles or even 4-inch square tiles. Depending on your style, you can incorporate a wide range of complementary hues to design eye-catching patterns or simply select one color for harmonious continuity. 

“I love using a honed countertop with a glossy handmade tile and letting candlelight reflect on the tile—similar to what you see when the moon reflects on the water,” sums Matthew.

Antique Metal Finishes

Photo courtesy of Emily Followill

“Antique finishes are warm, inviting, and casual,” says Matthew, “and they also represent a relaxed lifestyle. You can even mix them with more lustrous contemporary surfaces to introduce a charming vintage feel in your kitchen,” he notes.

Here, an otherwise modern kitchen gets a hint of antique-like patina via a brass-topped pub-style table that connects visually to an antique brass and stainless-steel hood over the stovetop. “Lake homes are all about entertaining with effortless ease,” says Matthew. “When you’re at the lake, having to maintain or worry about polished finishes should not be a priority or an item on your to-do list,” he laughs.

Steam Ovens

Photo courtesy of Emily Followill

“Microwaves are becoming a thing of the past,” says Matthew. “These days, single-serve coffeemakers are the norm, so there is no reason to reheat coffee—and popcorn is mostly bought in bags in the chips aisle,” he adds. “Enter steam ovens. This innovative appliance will reheat your food as if you just made it fresh and cook just about anything else perfectly with healthier results,” he adds.

Steam ovens maintain more nutrients in your food, cook more evenly, and eliminate the need for oil. They look just as sleek as other built-ins, so no worries that your steam oven will appear cumbersome, even in a smaller lake home. And if you still insist on having a microwave, simply stack both for an elegant, uniform look that will bring more versatility to your kitchen. 

The “New” Shiplap

Photo courtesy of Robert Peterson

“Vertical and horizontal wall planking has been the rage for many years—especially in lake houses,” says Matthew. “Now, designers are pushing the envelope with cabinetry, walls, and entire rooms outfitted in fluted, ribbed, and square-beaded facings. It looks amazing—like these high-gloss fluted butler’s pantry cabinets. But be careful with fluted or ribbed walls, as art can be difficult to hang,” he cautions.

Strip Lighting

Photo courtesy of Emily Followill

“I have never before seen technology in lighting move so quickly,” says Matthew. “LED strips and accent lighting are becoming smaller and smaller, making the source of the light almost unnoticeable. We are installing them everywhere—under each stair tread, under the toe-kicks of bathroom cabinets, under beds for night lights with motion sensors that turn on when you get out of bed, and, of course, in ceilings, outdoor kitchens, and open shelves,” he sums.

These high-tech lights offer lake homeowners endless opportunities to install wherever you like—especially in the kitchen. Here, soft and subtle cabinet lighting illuminates wine bottles and barware, creating a dazzling focal point when entertaining family and guests.


Photo courtesy of Mali Azima

“At no time in my career have I seen such enthusiasm to use lots of color in the kitchen—from cabinets to ranges to countertops,” says Matthew. “Although white will always be classic, it is now considered too safe. Clients are wanting to make this highly visible and most-used space all about their personalities and not about the marketability of selling the house later. And at the lake, there is no better inspiration for color than looking out the window to all the colors outside,” he adds. 

For this kitchen, orange is the superstar, even though used sparingly. Just small pops of vibrant color—a La Cornue range, orange throw, and orange-trimmed upholstered banquette—are all it takes to create dynamic visual impact and personalize this most beloved space.

If you’re interested in working with Matthew on your own dream kitchen, click here. From all of us at Lake Homes, here’s wishing you a blissful 2022 at the lake—cheers!

2022 Outdoor Furniture Design Trends

Photo courtesy of Tuuci

Written by Michelle Rohrer-Lauer, ASID
Produced by Laura Bianchi and Jeanne Delathouder Hudson

It’s that blissful time of year—when lake lovers start heading outside after a long winter to embrace the great outdoors and the splendor of lake life. So why not make the most of your glorious outdoor spaces so you can enjoy them to the fullest? As a designer and a lake homeowner, I know I will! From early spring to late fall, I want to be able to go outside, breathe in the fresh Wisconsin lake air, and let Mother Nature do what she does best—make me feel relaxed and revived.

To prepare for this spring’s outdoor season, I have gathered some of my favorite new trends and furnishings to share. I looked for smart technology, outstanding design, comfort, and durability. As the founder of Michelle’s Interiors in the Chicago area and a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, I am always looking for eco-friendly products that are both sensible and beautiful. These attributes are doubly important for lake homes, where we are surrounded by the beauty of nature and want to preserve it.

Outdoor Work Spaces

Photo courtesy of Tuuci

More than ever, people are working at home. Working outside has become a logical extension of that trend, whether at your primary residence or your lake home. This automated, louvered cabana from Tuuci allows you to work outside while still having some protection from wind, sun, and rain. Just add furniture and an optional outlet/USB port for your electronics, and you’re open for business. Lights and heating elements are optional but oh-so-wonderful and can dramatically extend your daily and seasonal use. I just installed one of these for a client—it’s incredibly low-maintenance and weatherproof, so it never needs to be taken down.

Dedicated to eco-friendly design solutions, I also love that this cabana is fabricated of durable aluminum and stainless steel, which are both 100% recyclable. Seventy-five percent of all aluminum that has ever been made is still in use because the metal can be recycled indefinitely. Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled metal product in the world. Recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy used to make primary aluminum for the first time.

Lounge Love

Photo courtesy of Summer Classics

Low-slung sofas and chairs with deep cushions, like this Avondale grouping from Summer Classics, are part of a loungey look that’s on-trend for 2022. I’m crazy about this style because sitting lower to the ground makes me feel more a part of the environment, and the sofa cushions give me plenty of room to sit with my legs in the lotus position. The simple, clean lines prove once again that there is elegance in understatement, and as a bonus, the aluminum frames are also recyclable. So, sink in, relax, and enjoy.

Sleek & Sculpted

Photo courtesy of Pavilion

Furniture is taking its design cues from sculpture, especially in these intriguing Tides lounge chairs and ottoman from Pavilion. The fluid curves remind me of waves rolling across the lake on a windy day. I love the way the sunlight passes through the narrow slats to create an intriguing contrast of light and texture and how the pieces cast amazing shadows in the water. I could spend hours in one of these chairs, relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. 

All About Al Fresco

Photo courtesy of Pavilion

As we continue our battle against the COVID pandemic, al fresco dining on the lake will become hotter than ever in 2022. I can just imagine my family and friends gathered around this Brickell Communal counter-height dining table from Pavilion on beautiful days, laughing and planning an afternoon of fun on the lake, or sharing tales of our adventures in the evenings.

These cushioned counter stools and bench, also from Pavilion’s Brickell collection, really caught my eye. The crisp square shape and stiletto-style tapered legs of the stools have an awesome blend of streamlined urban elegance and lake home energy. The long bench allows for more seating, especially for a gang of kids with skinny backsides! The table is available in two lengths—75 inches or 112 inches for larger gatherings.  Of course, I like that the materials are super durable, too, built to withstand the great outdoors.

Stretch the Outdoor Season

Photo courtesy of Sutherland Furniture

Stretching the outdoor season as long as possible has virtually become an Olympic sport for most lake homeowners, right? My husband and I enjoy sitting on the back porch of our lake house from early spring until the end of October when we watch the autumn leaves turn color. These clever Heatsail Lamps from Sutherland Furniture can help you make the most of outdoor living. Nearly all heat sources are just that—only heat, not light. But with these lamps, you get both—plus, they are stylish. That’s a win-win! I like the way this heat lamp arches over the seating area. It distributes the heat more evenly than those floor heaters that restaurants put in the corners of their patios.

Get Your Green On

Photo courtesy of The Delos Company

What I call “getting your green on” is one of the hottest trends in luxury home furnishings. As a passionate promoter of eco-friendly furnishings, I was thrilled to learn that 97% of consumers in a 2021 survey from the Sustainable Furnishings Council said they were very interested in buying environmentally safe products, assuming that style and cost are about the same. That’s huge—and so encouraging for our planet. I am constantly introducing high-quality, eco-friendly goods to my clients, including outdoor furnishings whenever possible.

Can you tell that this rug from The Delos Company’s Wanderlust Collection is woven from yarns made with fibers produced from recycled water bottles? According to Forbes and Scientific American, it is estimated that one square yard of carpet keeps 50 two-liter water bottles out of landfills. That’s good for the planet, and these rugs are durable, stain-resistant, and retain their color.

Constructed with a textural flatweave, this rug is easy to maintain, soft underfoot, and reversible—a great bonus. From a design standpoint, outdoor rugs have the same attributes as indoor rugs—they help define a space while contributing texture and color.

Photo courtesy of The Delos Company

Have you heard about semi-outdoor rugs made of discarded fishing nets, spent carpets, and other nylon waste? I’m super excited about them—and they are manufactured from The Delos Company’s proprietary ECONYL®, which is 100% regenerated and regenerable nylon. This Water II custom rug is durable, cleanable, and beautiful for covered porches where they won’t get soaked in the rain. They are stain, bleach, and wear-resistant, which is especially important for lake homes. 

According to the folks at Delos, for every 10,000 tons of ECONYL®, the company saves 70,000 barrels of crude oil, avoids 57,000 tons of carbon emissions, and saves over 1,000 gigajoules of primary energy demand. Now that’s something to contemplate as you take a dip in the lake.

So, start dreaming of your own beautiful outdoor spaces and make the most of lake living this year. My team and I would love to help you plan your next project!

Regional Lake Living: Pacific Northwest Styles – From Classic Craftsman to Sleek NW Modern

Photo courtesy of HGTV

In our previous segment of Regional Lake Living, we explored the architectural styles of the Northeast, where charming bungalows and shingled Cape Cods dot the lake shorelines of this breathtaking region that stretches all the way up to the northern coast of Maine. Today, we turn our focus to the Pacific Northwest as we take a guided tour of some of the most notable architectural styles and how they came to be. So, grab a glass of your favorite regional wine, and relax on your breezy lakeside porch as we relish life amidst Washington state’s majestic mountains and all areas in between.

Classic Craftsman Style

Photo courtesy of HGTV

A harmonious mix of functionality and classic architectural beauty is what makes craftsman style an iconic favorite throughout the Pacific Northwest. Blending seamlessly with the region’s extraordinary natural landscapes, craftsman-style homes feature an abundance of locally sourced materials—predominantly wood and stone—for which the area is widely known.

Stone foundations, gable roofs, and exposed wood beams are some of the most noteworthy characteristics of this beloved style. Deep overhangs and spacious wraparound covered porches provide much-needed protection from the Pacific Northwest’s excessive rains. Expansive windows allow plenty of natural sunlight inside while also offering picturesque views of the surrounding lake scenery.  

Rustic Cabin Retreats

Photo courtesy of The Mandagies

What could be more charming—and visually appealing—than a secluded cabin tucked into a forested lakefront in the Pacific Northwest? At one with the mountains, trees, and sparkling crystal waters, these rustic retreats meld gracefully into their natural environments, offering inhabitants a comforting sense of peace and a deep connection to the great outdoors. Using an abundance of reclaimed and salvaged wood, along with other locally sourced materials, simple cottages and log cabins are built with ease throughout the region. These cozy hideaways are most commonly found in more remote and rural areas, which makes them all the more alluring if you’re looking for a quiet escape away from it all.

Floating Homes

Photo courtesy of Seattle Pi

For many of us, the romantic notion of living in a floating home—or houseboat—conjures memories of a beloved movie favorite, Sleepless in Seattle. The thought of living in a dwelling that sits atop the shimmering water amidst the sounds of waves lapping gently in the night is a wonderfully dreamy image and one that people in the Pacific Northwest continue to pursue.

Contrary to popular belief, floating homes do not drift but are moored and often float next to a pier. Their typically small spaces often offer unique opportunities to create innovative architectural and interior design solutions that most minimalists thrive on.

But this extravagant 1,750 square-foot residence expels the notion that all houseboats are tiny. Flooded with natural light and surrounded by the tranquil waters of Seattle’s Lake Union, this captivating two-story floating home features incredible custom built-in cabinetry throughout, a luxurious sauna, and a breezy roof deck from which to watch the area’s spectacular sunsets. In addition, this lavish dwelling boasts a huge kitchen/dining area, three bedrooms, two baths, and two decks from which to enjoy the best of alfresco lake living.      

Tudor-Revival Style

Photo courtesy of Seattle Pi

Gracefully arched entryways, steep-pitched roofs, and cottage-like half-timbered stucco facades give Tudor-style homes a castle-in-a-fairytale vibe. With origins in England, this beloved architectural style is popular throughout the country, specifically the Pacific Northwest. Both quaint and elegant, Tudor style lends itself to splendid lakefront properties with sprawling grounds and spectacular views. With a hint of English grandeur, Tudor-revival homes typically feature narrow windows grouped together, creating wide expanses that allow lots of natural light and maximize the views outside.

This stunning home perches pristinely over Seattle’s lovely Lake Washington and boasts majestic roof peaks, leaded-glass windows, elaborate archways, and ornate brickwork. Cozy fireplaces and lavish outdoor spaces make this dwelling just as inviting in summer as in the chilly winter months.

Modern Style

Photo Courtesy of Hammer & Hand

For those who love minimalist design, modern style—sometimes referred to as NW modern—is a perfect choice. With clean lines, spacious open floor plans, and a complete lack of ornamentation, modern style architecture intentionally blurs the lines between home and landscape. Unadorned exterior design incorporating natural materials and vast expanses of glass and steel windows give this genre an industrial vibe that’s also warm and livable. Extended overhangs provide protection from the region’s notorious rains while creating year-round outdoor spaces that can be used—rain or shine.

An offshoot of modern style, NW modern style takes on a distinctively Japanese aesthetic—think sleek bamboo and lustrous maple woods, light-filled minimalist spaces, and a deep connection to the natural landscape.   

If you’re eager to explore lake living options in the Pacific Northwest region—or anywhere else across the country for that matter—visit Lakehomes.com, select your desired state, and discover the beauty of life on the lake.  

2022 Winter Oasis: Inspiring Roundup of Dreamy Winter Lake Homes

Photo courtesy of GoodFon

Despite all the staying-at-home we’ve experienced over the past two years, many of us—especially lake lovers—still long for the enchanted snow-filled days of winter spent snuggling up inside and whiling away the hours reading, daydreaming, or spending time with loved ones. And if you love getting out in it, there’s no better setting than a lakeside winter wonderland for cross-country skiing, hiking, ice fishing, or just having fun in the snow. As we move into a more promising 2022, Lake Homes invites you to rekindle those carefree snowbound afternoons by imagining yourself in a blissful lakeside haven surrounded by breathtaking snowscapes that only mother nature can deliver. For some visual inspiration, read on and enjoy.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Rear View, Lake Winnipesaukee retreat.
Photo courtesy of Trent Bell via Whitten Architects

Imagine yourself looking out onto this extraordinary winter landscape that nestles along the shores of New Hampshire’s beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. Like a picture postcard, this four-seasons home offers its owners the best vantage point from which to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Designed by Whitten Architects, this retreat features a central fireplace—the beloved heart of the home—that divides the dining and living rooms. The floorplan and windows were strategically placed to capture the natural light and exemplify the spectacular views outside. The surrounding native vegetation protects the home from the chilly lake winds while also offering shade during the area’s hot summers.

Pend Oreille Lake, Idaho

View from the living area, Pend Oreille Lake retreat.
Photo courtesy of Marie-Dominique Verdier via Hendricks Architecture

Both rustic and refined, this lakefront home boasts amazing views of the water and snow-capped mountains beyond. Designed by Hendricks Architecture in Sandpoint, Idaho, this magnificent retreat is flooded with gorgeous natural light via a newly constructed cupola and pair of dormer windows up top.

The spacious great room, which includes an open kitchen, dining area, and living space, capitalizes on the awe-inspiring views of Pend Oreille Lake’s sparkling blue waters and majestic mountain backdrop. The master bedroom features a cozy fireplace, and the basement, which allows in plenty of sunlight, includes guest bedrooms, an office, and an exercise area. A haven of fun and relaxation, this family refuge undoubtedly feeds the soul day in and day out with its incredible scenery.

Lake Wenatchee, Washington

Sophisticated yet delightfully cozy, this mountain retreat perches above Lake Wenatchee, Washington, amid the Cascade Mountains. Deforest Architects, along with the homeowners, worked to create the perfect family dwelling that would blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. The four-seasons structure combines earthy tile, stone, and composites with the warmth of natural wood—the perfect complement to the modern/rustic regional aesthetic of the Pacific Northwest.

Stand-out features include alternating roof forms, indoor/outdoor spaces, a media room behind a secret bookcase, reading nooks, and a sleeping loft to accommodate kids and guests. The home’s innovative design offers flexibility for almost any occasion and exudes a sense of peace and tranquility throughout every room.

Lake Michigan, Charlevoix, Michigan

Photo courtesy of William / Kaven Architecture

This captivating retreat set amid birch and pine trees on the shores of Lake Michigan echoes the pristine, stark winter beauty of the Midwestern region. Located just outside Charlevoix and designed by William / Kaven Architects, the home serves as a beloved retreat for family gatherings and lakeside recreation.

At the homeowners’ request, the dwelling takes on a rustic, low-maintenance demeanor with natural materials and an earthy color palette. A cantilevered living area featuring expansive views of the lake connects to the outdoors, creating an airy, open vibe. Tranquil sunsets and views of Beaver Island are just a few of the perks enjoyed inside this awe-inspiring refuge.

Wood Lake, Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Corey Gaffer via SALA Architects

If you crave being at one with the landscape, then this intriguing little haven is just your style—and it can be rented as well! Set amidst a 140-acre property overlooking Wood Lake on a plot of rural land in Frederic, Wisconsin—just 90 minutes northeast of Minneapolis—this humble yet remarkably energy-efficient retreat was designed by architect David O’Brien Wagner of SALA Architects. Accessed via a gravel drive, the wonderfully secluded property features a pathway leading between the trees to a footbridge that carries guests across to the entry of the home, aptly named Metal Lark.

A corrugated steel wall buffers the dwelling from the prevailing northwest winter winds common to the region. Inside, the line of the bridge continues out the other side, where a cantilevered deck offers extraordinary views of the landscape beyond. The 820-square-foot cabin features living spaces on two levels and sustainable strategies, including solar panels, passive solar orientation, triple-pane windows and operable windows for cross-ventilation, and thick walls for maximum insulation.

Created for a multi-generational family who dreamed of building a vacation rental near their family cabin, Metal Lark Tower is the first retreat to open at Nordlys and is available to book on Airbnb.

If you want to find your own cozy refuge by the lake, visit LakeHomes.com and select your desired lake region. Happy house-hunting!

2022 Pantone Color of the Year: Harmonize Your Lake Home with Very Peri

Photo courtesy of Huge, Inc. for Pantone

Released in early December 2021, Pantone’s highly anticipated Color of the Year 2022, Very Peri, “is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through,” say the experts at the esteemed Pantone Color Institute.  

“As we move into a world of unprecedented change, the selection of PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri brings a novel perspective and vision of the trusted and beloved blue color family, encompassing the qualities of the blues,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Yet at the same time with its violet-red undertone, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expressions.”

Impossible to ignore, this captivating blue hue most certainly captures our attention as well as our creative spirit. So, how do we introduce this curious color to our lake homes? Whether you want to make a big splash, or apply little pops of color throughout your rooms, here are some ideas to inspire you—and perhaps tempt you to break out your creative paintbrush.   

Palette Play

Photo courtesy of Pantone

To help you use this wonderful new shade in your home, Pantone has created four unique color palettes intended to work in harmony with Very Peri. “Each palette conveys a different mood, illustrating PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri’s versatility,” say the color experts. “Each palette additionally features three suggested color combinations integrating PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri.”

Choose from the subtle tones of Balancing Act, the nature-infused greens of Wellspring, the classic neutrals of The Star of the Show, or the whimsical color bursts of Amusements when designing the perfect palette to reflect your personal taste.

“The Pantone Color of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer,” says Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our Pantone Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place. As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red violet-infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us,” she notes.

Artful Accents

Photo courtesy of House & Home

Want just a splash of Very Peri without committing to an entire room? Instead, paint an accent wall that will instantly liven up your space and truly immerse you in this vibrant hue. Amplifying just one wall is an ideal way to add color to your room without going too bold. In addition, your decorative furnishings—artwork, lighting, furniture, and collections—will suddenly pop if you use contrasting or complementary colors like white, black, neutrals, and varying shades of blue.

Kitchen Charisma

Photo courtesy of Shelley Metcalf via HGTV

Combine this powerful periwinkle hue with bright orange for a dazzling and unexpected WOW factor in the kitchen. Here, streamlined cabinetry, contemporary furnishings, and sleek accents lend themselves to this ultra-modern aesthetic.  

Bathroom Beauty

Photo courtesy of David A. Land via HGTV

Freshen up your lake house bathroom with this pretty periwinkle shade. Combine with visually impactful embellishments like a patterned shower curtain and some new towels in a vibrant complementary color—try citrine or spring green—to give your bathroom a dose of cottage charm.

Off the Wall

Photo courtesy of Sarah Dorio via HGTV

Use this irresistible periwinkle tone as your foundation shade for a layering of sophisticated blue hues. But this time, take it all the way to the ceiling, wrapping your entire room in this soothing and mesmerizing color. Here, the harmonious mix of blues works to unify the space and blend the whimsical fusion of design styles.

Bold & Beautiful

Photo courtesy of Pantone

 “Displaying a carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit, inquisitive and intriguing PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives,” say the Pantone color experts. “Rekindling gratitude for some of the qualities that blue represents complemented by a new perspective that resonates today, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri places the future ahead in a new light.”

So, start dreaming now and infuse a bit of this delicious hue into your lake home spaces. The palette possibilities are virtually limitless, with an endless array of color combinations. From all of us at Lake Homes Lifestyles—may your 2022 be filled with joyful color!

Refresh & Renew: 2022 Interior Design Trends

Photo courtesy of Aaron Leitz via Livingetc.com

As we sheltered in place last year, we adapted to a different style of living. We all learned to work, play, school—and live life—in virtually every square inch of our homes. As lake lovers, we also connected with nature in a big way to cope with the isolation we felt from the global pandemic. Fast forward to a refreshing new optimism forecasted for 2022.

In the new year, interior design trends take on a hopeful, more upbeat attitude with continued emphasis on sustainability and all things natural. Simplicity is key, with minimalism on the rise due to more time spent between our own four walls. Out with visual clutter and jarring hues—and in with serene, spare spaces and calming color schemes. There is also a well-balanced integration of timeless classics with retro whimsy as well as organic and Zen elements. The importance of the home office and multifunctional living spaces also plays an essential role in the renewed aesthetic of 2022.

Color Cues: Basic Neutrals

Photo courtesy of Aaron Leitz via Livingetc.com

The pandemic only furthered our desire for neutral hues that inspire relaxation and a deep sense of tranquility magnified by comfort. The trend coincides with our newly found respect for all things natural and soothing to the eye. As people spent far too much time at home, some found bright details disconcerting and began moving toward the tried-and-true basics. Think Brave Ground, the Dulux color of the year in 2021. Soft shades of white, ivory, gray, beige, and other muted tones have since become faithful base colors that blend beautifully with our natural surroundings. Both warm and cool neutral tones apply, depending on your style and desired color palette.

Luminous Pales

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore

With the introduction of Benjamin Moore’s 2022 Color of the Year, October Mist, along with their Color Trends 2022 Palette, we see an inspiring mix of meditative hues intended to bring an effortless harmony to the home, no matter your design style. “Evoking the silver-green stem of a flower,” says the well-known paint brand, “October Mist creates a canvas for other colors—and your imagination—to blossom.” The diverse color collection offers an invigorating array of luminous pales that can anchor any space, nurture your environment, and inspire creative expression.

Well-Rounded Edges

Photo courtesy of Interior Décor Trends

Emerging as a design trend during the pandemic, curvy shapes continue to thrive in 2022. The soft rounded edges of sleek sofas, chairs, tables, and other home furnishings bring a stylish romantic vibe to any room as they also complement straight edges and angled pieces. Decidedly feminine and forgiving, rounded furniture introduces a throwback element from the modern era that creates a surprisingly fresh aesthetic when mixed with both contemporary and vintage pieces.

Natural Appeal

Photo courtesy of Aaron Leitz via Livingetc.com

After spending more than a year at home, nothing has become more important than our connection to nature and preference for natural materials. The trend is showing up everywhere, from fabrics and finishes to the placement of windows in unexpected places to create a visual connection to the great outdoors. There is a tactile earthiness—and simple elegance—found in surfaces such as white Carrara marble, onyx, dark basalt floor tiles, stone, granite, and natural woods. Lavish textiles made of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, linen, and silk enhance the look, as does foliage and plant materials collected from your own backyard.

Minimalism Meets Vintage Charm

Photo courtesy of Aaron Leitz via Livingetc.com

As we learned to focus on the central purpose of each room in our homes, minimalism became our credo and remains so in 2022. But make no mistake—this look does not by any means need to appear austere or void of personality. Quite the contrary, as decluttering your spaces will evoke peace of mind, a sense of freedom, and a satisfying state of well-being. Carefully consider the functionality of each room and keep furniture choices simple by using one or two primary materials. In this bedroom, both rustic and refined light woods are compatible. Contrast with varying textures for visual interest and keep your color palette soft and neutral with shades of white, cream, beige, or gray. Minimize accessories to infuse rooms with the presence of air and beautifully unadorned floor and wall space.

A hint of vintage charm offers the ultimate fashion statement that will energize your minimalist spaces in 2022. One brilliant piece, such as this antique Baccarat crystal chandelier, is all it takes to elevate a room from stylish to stunning.

Office Efficiency

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In 2020, working at home became the new normal and continues today for many households. Equipping an efficient home office space with comfortable seating has become essential for most, whether you work there full time or a few times a week. Proper lighting is critical, with both task lighting and natural light from a nearby window preferred. Electrical outlets and Wi-Fi access are also important considerations when planning your workspace. If a home renovation is out of the question, look for a quiet space or nook within your home that can accommodate a small desk and chair.

Garden Green

Photo courtesy of Decorilla

For many of us, this global trend emerged during the quarantine conditions of the pandemic. When we all started to miss the fresh air and mental release of regular outings, the home garden trend took hold even stronger. During this intense isolation, we began bringing more and more greenery indoors and felt deeply comforted by the mere presence of plants. The trend has gained traction in 2022, and caring for potted plants has transcended beyond a hobby to a joyful obsession.

When planning your indoor garden, remember to keep plants to a minimum. If there is an overabundance, your rooms become cluttered and less serene. One or two large statement plants placed strategically will create more visual impact without overpowering the space. Matching pots or containers similar in style will ensure continuity, and don’t forget to consider sunlight requirements when selecting your plants.

Multifunctional Spaces

Photo courtesy of Aaron Leitz via Livingetc.com

Single-use rooms are fading into extinction as today’s families dictate multifunctional spaces to accommodate modern lifestyle demands. Long gone are the walls that used to separate kitchens from dining rooms and living areas as we move toward more fluid and multifaceted spaces throughout our homes. Dwellings during the pandemic became much more than simply a place to shelter. Our houses became gyms, home offices, recreation areas, and study nooks. The kitchen became a highly organized and functional space for gathering, cooking, and eating at home. When living spaces needed to be partitioned off at times to create a much-needed sense of privacy, we adapted with sliding screens, glass and metal doors, heavy curtains, and other innovative solutions.

This trend continues to evolve in 2022 as homeowners redefine their essential needs. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the opportunities each room in our homes offers—even vertical space—so we can make the most of every square inch, nook, and cranny.

For more design inspiration and top trends from the experts, visit Decorilla. From all of us at Lake Homes—here’s wishing you and yours a beautifully refreshing 2022!

2021 Winter Interior Design Tips

Photo courtesy of Clayton Boyd via Boston Magazine

Even as temperatures plummet, there’s still lots to love about winter at the lake. Whether it’s spending evenings by the fire, watching movies with friends, or savoring the sweet aromas of holiday baking wafting from the kitchen, there’s always something innately soothing about the cozy comforts of hearth and home.

Our desire to retreat indoors when the weather turns cold and cocoon ourselves in softness and warmth is perhaps one of the most essential elements of our well-being. We all know the feeling—so how can we bring more of that wonderfully calm and relaxed vibe into our lake homes? Here are some easy tips you can apply to any room in your house to instantly generate a sense of coziness that even your guests will notice.

Pull Up a Chair

Photo courtesy of Philip Vile via  Elle Decor

The first step? Rethink your furniture arrangement, especially if you have a fireplace. Begin by pulling everything inward—closer to the fire—to create a relaxing and intimate oasis that immediately draws people in. If your sofa doesn’t face the fireplace already, move it either directly in front or perpendicular to the hearth so you and your guests can bask in the warmth and ambient glow of firelight. Pull in armchairs for extra seating that complements your new sofa arrangement and accent with occasional tables so that every seat has a surface within reach to hold drinks and snacks.

Layered In Luxury

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Nothing speaks of toasty winter warmth like plush throws, pillows, blankets, and rugs. Use them in abundance throughout your rooms, and layer them to your heart’s content to design lavish texture vignettes that comfort and invite. Toss a fluffy sheepskin rug on the floor or atop a leather bench or ottoman to create cozy areas for morning coffee and evening cocktails. Drape smaller pelts over benches and dining chairs for added cushion and warmth. Pile pillows high with a mix of cable knits, faux furs, and other snuggly-soft fabrics, and keep enough blankets on hand for family and guests to stave off winter’s chill.

Quick Tip: When layering, make sure your soft goods adhere to a harmonious color scheme to ensure eye-pleasing continuity throughout.

Enlighten & Illuminate

Photo courtesy of Houzz

For instant gratification that requires little effort on your part, there’s nothing like the allure of candlelight to generate an instant cozy vibe. If you’re a scented candle connoisseur, even better. A seasonal fragrance—think cinnamon, clove, spiced apple, bourbon-vanilla, birchwood, pine—can lift your spirits and transform the mood of your spaces with the strike of a match.

Battery-operated candles offer a safe, mess-free option, and some come with timers so you can walk away and forget about them. For a more casual, Bohemian-chic look, string lights can illuminate windows, ceilings, and even artwork for an extra glint of glamor. And lastly, be sure to limit cold-temperature lights throughout your lake home and install warm light bulbs instead. Click here to learn more about lighting temperatures.

Natural Beauty

Photo courtesy of William Waldron via Elle Decor

Celebrate the beauty of nature and bring it indoors. Despite frigid temps, this spectacular outdoor space blends seamlessly with the frosty winter landscape and exudes an enchanting sense of warmth and charm. Take inspiration from the simplicity of its design and bring similar elements inside your home to warm up your rooms. Think pine branches and pinecones to adorn a table setting or stunning potted plants and floral bouquets to integrate splashes of green, pink, red, or white into your winter décor. No matter the season, the simple beauty of nature is at once tranquil, lively, and uplifting.

Cabin Cozy

Photo courtesy of House to Home Designs

Don’t forget your bedrooms when cozying up your lake home this winter. Swapping out your bedding is the quickest way to make a seasonal statement, and it doesn’t have to be costly. Adding colorful quilts or coverlets can transform your bedrooms in an instant and create that snug winter feel that you—and your houseguests—will love sinking into at night. Rich reds—solids, stripes, and plaids—generate a warm vibe and wrap the room in luxurious comfort. If color isn’t your thing, layer your bed with an ethereal mix of soft whites, creams, grays, taupes, and browns in a heavenly blend of cottons, cable knits, faux furs, and fleece. A plush, neutral-hued rug underfoot will add extra warmth and ground the vibrant color palette.  

Mantel Makeover

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

When the hearth takes the spotlight in winter, now’s the perfect time to give your mantel an alluring new look. Dress it up with a large mirror overhead that reflects the light—both sunlight and candlelight—and creates a high-impact focal point for your seating area. Here, a fresh green garland and a sprinkling of candles bring effortless elegance to the rustic, rough-hewn plank walls and the decidedly masculine style of the space. Wrought-iron deer figurines and fireplace tools create a sculptural design and echo the mirror’s black metal frame. Remember to keep it simple and achieve a pleasing balance with both elements from nature and meaningful decorative accents that add visual beauty to your space.

Pleasant Lake Camp: Waterfront Retreat for a Modern Family

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

Sited on a former 1930s girls’ camp called Camp Truda and set along the shores of Maine’s Pleasant Lake, a family property offers the opportunity for three generations to come together in one enchanting destination. On this heavily wooded stretch of land, a Boston-based couple with young children wanted to create a four-season lakefront retreat that would ultimately share a common driveway and a large swath of waterfront with the husband’s parents’ existing cottage built 30 years earlier. The challenge? To design a contemporary lake home that would relate to the traditional style of the surrounding architecture yet also accommodate the needs of a modern family.

“It was a social as well as an architectural challenge,” says Rob Whitten, founding principal of Whitten Architects, who took on the project. “Both homes needed to relate to one another while honoring their own identities and affording both families their privacy,” he notes.

Deep Forest Allure

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

A pair of stone piers and an alley of 70-year-old white pines leading to the waterfront welcome visitors to the property. “Because of the dense tree cover and our clients’ desire for daylight and lake views, we worked with a local arborist to site the camp around healthy trees while removing diseased evergreens,” says Whitten. “Our site-specific design planned for an open space between the camps on the inland side for family games and interaction,” he adds.

“We strived to maintain some of the big trees close to the house to honor the woods,” says Drew Bortles, a project manager at Whitten Architects who worked with Rob on the overall design. “It brings a level of age to the home, and we wanted this house to feel as if it had always been there,” he adds.

Camp-style Charisma

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

Nostalgic about the lake life, the homeowners—both with Maine roots—love the relaxed feel here and the area’s endless opportunities to connect with nature. Actively involved in the design process, they drew inspiration from turn-of-the-century waterfront camps. They wanted their home to take on a traditional look—an exposed post-and-beam structure with warm wood finishes—compatible with the neighboring parents’ camp yet with a more modern, light-filled open floor plan. 

The home features an exposed timber frame with white cedar shingles on the upper portion and red cedar boards running horizontally around the first level. The rustic appeal of a fieldstone chimney is echoed in the terrace walls that surround a bluestone patio out back. Hand-split granite was salvaged from the site and repurposed as part of an entry bench, a fireplace hearth, and a screened porch bench.

“This house is very focused on the waterfront and all the solar exposures,” explains Rob. “The son and his dad share a common driveway, and their screened porches face each other but still offer each home privacy. They all share the lakefront space, which includes a dock and a kayak rack. Creating a direct connection from indoor living spaces to outdoor living spaces was a key part of our design,” he explains.

The wrapped and screened porches with exposed Douglas fir rafters extend the interior spaces outdoors and provide an idyllic spot for entertaining and a play space for the kids—rain or shine. The lakeside terrace offers a sunny oasis to unwind on long afternoons, and a fire pit invites marshmallow roasts on cool evenings. A long dock allows the family easy swim access to the area’s main attraction—the lake.

Sunny and Spacious

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

The sun-drenched kitchen connects visually to the lake outside and features bi-parting sliders on the right side of the bank of windows that open to the front porch. To complement their home’s camp-style architectural design, the couple hired interior designer Krista Stokes to help them create a relaxed, down-to-earth aesthetic. Using a soft, understated color palette throughout, she gave the kitchen cabinetry an unexpected wash of Farrow & Ball Green Smoke paint—a shade they surprisingly discovered to be similar to the next-door parents’ kitchen. 

“The open shelving has a very campy feel,” Bortles comments, “and contemporary lighting fixtures take on a vintage look. The Macaubas quartzite countertop—a type of Brazilian granite—provides a nice textural contrast to the butcher block island topped in solid white oak plank,” he adds.  

Additional first-floor living spaces include a full pantry, mudroom, half bath, full laundry, and a getaway space with an office and TV.

Cozy and Casual

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

To invite spaciousness and light, Whitten designed open-plan living and dining spaces that emulate the look of traditional camp cottages as well as the neighboring parents’ house. Horizontal nickel-gap white pine boards outfit the walls and ceilings in a natural matte finish, and knotty white oak floorboards lend a gracefully aged patina. Oiled Douglas fir ceiling beams display a subtle red hue overhead, creating a tangible and satisfying warmth within. 

A slipcovered sofa and a built-in window seat are among the family’s favorite hangout spots for reading or snuggling in front of the fire. A Moroccan rug anchors the seating area and complements the solid fabrics with a bold graphic pattern. 

“This area is a haven of outdoor recreation with many lakes, spectacular fishing, a nearby ski resort, and ATV and hiking trails,” says Whitten. “The family visits every week—even in the winter—so we made sure to implement energy-efficient features including high-performance windows, spray foam insulation, and radiant heated floors. There’s also a home office where the couple can work remotely,” he sums.

Effortless Elegance

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

Backdropped by an open staircase, the adjacent dining area is kept airy and light with minimal clean-lined furnishings, including a reclaimed pine farmhouse-style table from Restoration Hardware, hand-crafted Shaker-style chairs from O&G Studio, and a black iron chandelier from Ballard Designs. Unobtrusive yet ample cabinetry hugs the back wall and creates even more room to breathe.

Scenic Stairway

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

A nickel-gap pine-board accent wall creates a glorious window to the woods atop the staircase leading to the second-story master suite, two guest bedrooms, a bunk room that sleeps five, and a generous Jack-and-Jill bathroom. Hudson Bay wool blankets draped over the stair rail give colorful texture to a cozy nook at the top of the stairs.

Find Your Niche

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts Imaging

Perhaps some of the home’s most inviting features are the cozy built-in nooks made for reading, sleeping, and daydreaming. Upstairs, cocoon-like bunk beds give the kids a secret alcove all their own, and the living room’s reading nook offers the best seat in the house for watching a summer rainstorm or the first winter snowfall. 

“We enjoyed designing all the built-ins, and I especially enjoyed having a hand in the bunk beds and all the finishes in that room,” says Bortles. “Throughout the property, we worked with the homeowners to create spaces that encourage little pauses—special moments—where you can just take it all in. The bunk room conjures memories of staying up late into the night and chatting, and the breathtaking views from the window seat and the terrace outside inspire you to ponder the beautiful natural environment and the refreshing lake beyond.”