Permanently on Vacation: Lake House Remodel Part 1

The weather is crisp, the leaves are changing color, and pumpkin spice lattes are back again. That means it’s fall, everybody! I love looking at all the fall foliage this time of year, which reminds me of the most magical fall view at a lake house remodel we completed last autumn.

This project had lots of challenges. We first met our clients the Monday after Thanksgiving, and we completely designed, remodeled, and photographed their new space in under one year! (Not to mention, I also had a baby in January. As a matter of fact, 5 out of our 8 employees had babies during this build!) Despite the challenges that came our way, we accomplished our project within a strict timeline. That’s some serious dedication if you ask us! 

Here are all the details on this gorgeous (and speedy!) lake house remodel.

Lake House Remodel Project Information

You may have followed along with us on Instagram as we tackled project #LakeMeHappy. Here, we designed and remodeled an outdated lake house that lacked some basic functionality, like a laundry room and storage. Despite these missing items, our clients loved their vacation getaway so much that they wanted to turn it into a permanent residence. 

Located on a large corner lot, this house had loads of potential and breathtaking views of the lake. But because of its sharp, angular rooflines and large asymmetric windows, it needed special care and consideration to redesign properly. All in all, we added a pantry, laundry room, an upstairs bedroom, a full bath, and even dug down to add a large storage room in the basement. We just wrapped up the basement remodel, which we’ll detail in Part 2 of this series. Luckily, the exterior didn’t need too much work beyond some stucco, caulking, and a fresh coat of paint. However, we had to comply with stringent HOA regulations that required the exterior to be tan with stone detail. Truth be told, the regulations hurt my heart a bit, but what we couldn’t achieve on the exterior, we made up for on the interior.

The husband adored modern Scandinavian design with a rustic twist, though the wife wanted something a little more glam. Combining these styles was no easy feat, but the new design adds so much character to this lake house remodel, and we are in love with the results. 

Entryway with Floating Staircase

Before we came in, the foyer had no wow factor and didn’t say much about the home. So to fix that, we started by adding a hefty white oak pivot door with large sidelights to let in lots of light. This custom door is a deep, dark chocolate brown stain that complements the custom distressed and stained oak hardwood flooring we installed. In sum, the whole front door unit, including the glass sidelights, is 10 feet long! 

Typically, I prefer to install the same flooring throughout a house for continuity. But here, our clients wanted to pack a punch with a statement tile. Plus, being on a lake, they have lots of messy foot traffic passing through, so they wanted a more durable material. They chose to splurge on this tile, a thassos marble with stainless steel grout inlays, but I think it was worth it. 

As per the Scandi style, the husband really pushed for a floating staircase, so we designed a 3-floor floating tread staircase connecting the main floor, upstairs, and basement. Truthfully, this was an intense, dangerous install, but we got it done for our clients! 

Lake House Remodel with a Stunning Gold Range Hood

Originally, the layout of the kitchen was a little strange. The cabinets and island all jutted out in different spots that closed off, limiting the prep space and function of the kitchen. We didn’t need to change much to improve the space; we just needed to make some revisions to improve the overall look and functionality.

The kitchen was a top priority for our clients. The wife spends lots of time here because she cooks to de-stress, so she wanted a proper chef’s kitchen. All appliances, including the 2 dishwashers and double oven, are high-end Wolf Appliances. In fact, we were excited to submit this design to Wolf’s Kitchen Design Contest

Designed with the wife’s preference for the color blue and glitzy style in mind, we chose a waterfall quartz countertop with navy veining that matches the sleek painted cabinets and built-in storage. The gold range hood, pot filler, and faucet all coordinate for the ultimate glam look. Brooke, the lead designer, added 4 funky asymmetrical pendants placed on the outer edges of the island, so they don’t distract from the lake views. To hide the irregular footprint of the step-down breakfast nook, we added two beautiful black metal and glass display cases that also provide an opportunity to style some decor in the island. 

Their dining room functioned well. Before hiring us, the clients just purchased the dining table and chairs, so we just added some wall detail for interest and a lux gold and glass chandelier to tie in with the gold accents happening in the kitchen.

Shop the Kitchen & Dining Room Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Serpentinite Oval Platter | Saucepan Brushes | Round Gray Cutting Board with Jute Hanger | Marble Stacking Pinch Pots | Cotton Dish Towels | Mango Wave Edge Bowl | Resin Photo Frame | Teak Long Tasting Spoon | Hobnail Drinking Glass | Rattan Cage Salad Bowl | Gold Serving Set | Stoneware Canister | 7″ Sandstone Mortar and Pestle | Marble Chain | Sunday Suppers | Tea Cup Saucer Set | Olive Spoon | Linen Stonewash Napkin | Bamboo Tray Basket | Reactive Glaze Stoneware Planter | Handmade Stoneware Basket Bowl | Natural Wood Slab

Combined Walk-In Pantry and Laundry Room

One of our client’s biggest issues with this lake house was the lack of storage space, so we designed and built a combined walk-in pantry and laundry room off their dining room. We enclosed the new area with giant black steel doors, which you’ll see repeated throughout the house. 

Our clients are big entertainers—and can you blame them with a house like this? Inside the pantry, we added a wall of minimalist cabinets and a mini bar with a dual temperature-controlled fridge for storing beer and wine. The pantry was a great way to provide additional kitchen storage since the kitchen space didn’t allow for many cabinets, and we even found a creative way to hide their pets’ food and water. On the floor tile, you’ll see that we incorporated navy accents from the kitchen and throughout the rest of the home. 

Shop the Pantry Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Ikea Risatorp Wire Basket | Gray Wine Glass | Onyx and Wood Measuring Cups | Stonewashed Natural Linen Hand Towel | Flour & Grace Cookbook | Magnolia Table – Volume 2 | Stoneware Mug | Stoneware Tea Pot | Stoneware Honey Jar | Olive Wood Mortar & Pestle | Acacia Square Cutting Board with Short Handle

Storefront Glass Wall Home Office

When our clients purchased this lake house, there was a loft located above the kitchen. But once the pandemic hit, they needed a space to work from home, so we converted the loft into a home office. 

Like the walk-in pantry and laundry room door, we designed massive soundproof storefront glass walls so our clients could look out into the living room and watch their kids play from their workspace.

Mom and dad each have a desk with elegant white quartz desktops. And when their team visits, they can all sit around the large custom, organic shaped table for meetings or in the cozy side chairs we designed for this space. We didn’t want to over-decorate the office and detract from the stunning lake views, so we carefully designed storage options that blend into their surroundings. For instance, the printers are tucked away above a black mini fridge that blends into the cabinetry. 

One of our favorite features of this office is the white oak wall detail. We couldn’t remove the original wall for structural purposes, so we made the most of the situation and covered it with an eye-catching wall feature.

Shop the Office Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Marble Coaster | Dried Lion’s Tail | Recycled Glass Ripple Carafe Set | Maple Leaf Branch | Glass Vintage Reproduction Bottle | Moody Landscape Framed Wall Art | Large Taper Holder | Small Taper Holder

Living Room with Lake Views

The original living room had a bulky media station with an off-center fireplace. To restore balance to the room, we shifted the fireplace under the television and covered it in glass so it can be seen from the kitchen. 

Adjacent to the fireplace, we added lots of storage with large push drawers able to conceal any mess. With the extra space between the built-ins and the wall, we decided to add a cute little reading nook with some fun lighting. 

Most of all, our clients wanted their remodeled lake house to feel cozy, so we installed a few ceiling beams for some rustic charm. The living room is an irregular shape, so we had to get creative with the furniture. We used their sofa that they loved and added a sleek side chair that we placed in the corner surrounded by windows. 

Shop the Living Room Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Cream Slender Pom Pillow | Dried Lion’s Tail | You Are My Sunshine Handmade Paper Print | Round Wooden Vase | Tall Wooden Vase | Round Tall Vase | Medium Rustic Terra Cotta Bowl | Large Rustic Terra Cotta Bowl | Floating Photo Frame | Large Horn Picture Frame | Candle Snuffer | Mohair Throw | Stoneware Canister with Cork Lid

Primary Bedroom

Above all else, the homeowners wanted their bedroom to be pretty and peaceful, so we kept the design neutral and used colors we found outside on the lake for a calming effect. We loved the beige tones in the soft, striped wallpaper behind the bed and used them throughout the room on the custom oak end tables and ceiling beams. The deep blue hue of the lake inspired the built-in TV wall feature with striking brass inlays. 

We certainly wanted to embrace the surroundings for this design, but make no mistake—this house is more than just a cabin in the woods. We designed this lake house remodel with complete smart home functionality. The lighting, thermostat, steam shower, and more can all be controlled by our client’s phone. 

Shop the Primary Bedroom Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Calhuna Pot | Cement Boxes | Serpentinite Oval Platter | Gray Beaded Garland | Mini Leather Journal – Bob Dylan | Hobnail Drinking Glass

Primary Bath

Our clients didn’t connect with the original outdated primary bath. Instead, the wife wanted this space to feel like a spa. Per the client’s request, we removed the tub and water feature and then replaced them with a steam shower covered in the same glass and black steel as the office. Inside the shower, we laid horizontal straight stacked tiles, all in the same color family, to give the bathroom a serene, spa-like feeling.

To ensure the primary bath appealed to both the husband and wife’s tastes, we wanted the space to be modern with some traditional elements, like the slim shaker inset cabinets locally made by our Amish partners. The wife’s vanity is slightly larger, and because she enjoys more decorative furniture, we added traditional-looking feet to the bottom. 

Shop the Primary Bathroom Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Stonewashed Natural Linen Hand Towel | Stoneware Canister with Lid | Stone Planter

Girls’ Rooms

Both our client’s daughters needed their own bedrooms, so we designed an addition upstairs above the pantry for one of the girls. Neither room had any closets, so we built European-style closets into the wall. 

Our client’s preteen daughter wanted a mature, neutral space with shelving to show off her cherished items. Be sure to take notice of the wooden hardware on her closets. The other younger daughter adored sharks and the color blue, so we tastefully designed a room inspired by her favorite things. 

Shop the Girls’ Rooms Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Neutral Bedroom: Arch Marble Decor | Woven Cotton Throw | Serpentine Oval Platter | Truly Bud Vase 

Blue Bedroom: Handmade Stoneware Basket Bowl | Small Air Plant | Resin Photo Frame | Hanging Magnetic Strip Frame | I Believe in Pink Print | Cement Stow Away Candle Holder | Enameled Feather Hurricane Vase

Girls’ and Guest Baths

In addition to a bedroom, we also added a shared bathroom for the girls. We wanted this to be a fun space that would grow with them into adolescence. We kept the cabinetry neutral with black and gold accents, then had some fun with the bright blue walk-in shower tiles. We weren’t able to cut any windows on the walls, so we added 2 skylights here for natural lighting. 

We also spruced up a half bath and added a fun blue sink with some creative storage above the toilet. 

Shop the Girls’ & Guest Bath Decor, by S. Flynn Home

Girls’ Bath: Mango Wave Edge Bowl | Black Dot Dhurrie Rug | Wooden Bath Brush | Light Natural Linen Bath Towel | Cotton Bath Sponge

Guest Bath: Medium Fem Rosa Pot | Abstract Seascape Framed Canvas

The S. Flynn Design + Build team accomplished so much within a short timespan. But we truly couldn’t have done it without the help and support of our clients. After we concluded project #LakeMeHappy, our clients took our whole team out on their boat to celebrate!

Our client’s needs, wants, and desires always come first for us. To work with a team you can count on, contact S. Flynn Design + Build today!

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