Some folks head to the mountains and others are drawn to water. Well, it’s no secret which one I gravitate to. Whether its a stream, canal, river, lake, pond or ocean, (heck even a pool!) there is something about a body of water that immediate makes me happy. Today on the blog I am sharing a two year+ project, a gorgeous Canandaigua Lake house that went from campy to captivating!
Canandaigua Lake House Renovation
Now this tale takes a few plot twists. Let’s just say that my clients had debated over purchasing a lake house for years because he wanted a lakeside cottage and she wanted to refinish the basement. After going back and forth he said” If we can buy a cottage, you can have Amie redesign it.” She conceded and that same day I received the call that a quaint cottage on Canandaigua Lake’s East side was ready for some “Amie magic. ”
Existing Floor Plan
The existing 1900 square foot cottage was choppy, dark and had low ceilings. The only view of the picturesque lake was from a 10 by 12 foot den and a small loft window. Not exactly my client’s dream Canandaigua Lake house but filled with potential none the less. With one bedroom on the main floor and a small loft there wasn’t ample room for this family of four nor a layout conducive of aging in place.
The only thing to do was to gut the interior and see what we had to work with. The ceilings were high but the windows were disappointing to say the least and did not maximize the lake view potential.
Black Framed Windows
The cottages are quite cozy on this private lake road and not a great need for windows on the side but the money shot was the vivid view of Canandaigua Lake. A wall of black framed windows were installed along with 7 foot stationary windows north and south viewing for increased panoramic lake visibility. Even more light flooded into the great room. We were on a roll!
Lake House Finishes
When the words laminate, vinyl, cultured marble, and parquet flooring are mentioned what comes to mind? Definitely not a high end Canandaigua Lake house, right? Think again. You’ve heard the phrase “What goes around comes around.” And yes, I did select laminate cabinets, luxury vinyl plank flooring, cultured marble bathroom counters, and parquet vinyl floors squares for the bathrooms. You’d be surprised at how durable these are and will outlive any other material on the water and still look luxurious! It’s all about balance and usage.
Don’t snub your nose to alternative products. Luxury vinyl flooring has come a long way in the past few years. I look for matte finishes, planks with beveled edges, and embossed grains. These are the most realistic and can withstand moisture change, beach sand and stones, water and dogs much better than real wood and never needs to be refinished.
Lake House Kitchen
I was drawn to a new melamine laminate driftwood finish cabinet from Welborn Cabinets. The soft matte gray with white washed wood finished reminded me of driftwood that washes up on the shores. We chose a simple shaker door style and a statement hood to bring your eyes up to the large black iron multi-tier chandelier. Commercial grade Wolfe appliances were a must for this entertaining family! A long 12 foot island anchors the kitchen with seating for 8. For a pop of nautical blue I chose the Bailey Counter Stool with a Lapis Sunbrella heavy duty fabric by Bassett Furniture. Borghini quartz countertops and backsplash were chosen for a sleek look and easy cleanability!
Soft close drawers and doors, under cabinet electric, and a large undercount stainless steel sink were just a few of the must haves. 5- inch black handles and matte black knobs compliment the two Savoy House Townsend black iron lantern chandeliers .
The Captain’s Table
Just to the left of the kitchen we carved out a space for smaller family gathering of 6 or less. A round white vintage oak table with black iron base is surround by the Alice Slope Arm Chair. We matched the leg finish to the wood top and the view from the dining area cannot be beat!
Timeless Sectional with Chaise
A super cozy sectional was top on this family’s wish list and this custom sectional also in a silver heavy duty Sunbrella fabric fit the bill to a “T.” There is enough room for the whole family to lounge. I layered striped custom pillows with store bought down filled and made sure there was plenty of throw blankets for those chilly nights by the fire. My favorite is the Classic Captain’s Dark Blue ChappyWrap Blanket.
Bringing in visual height and heat during the Winter months is a sleek modern fireplace. Modern Fabric Art 12 by 24 porcelain tiles in midnight blue surround the wood burning box. A stained reclaimed wood mantel adds rustic charm and shiplap above was painted in Sherwin Williams SW 7665 Wall Street. Flanking the fireplace are two Elk Williamson 2-Light sconce in black.
Tucked perfectly in the center of the sectional is the Midtown large square coffee table with matching vintage white Oak top and black nickel metal base. A simply vignette of a navy wooden sailboat, faux succulent terrarium, and a tray batik bottom tray that holds candles and remotes is close at hand.
Sucker For A Striped Fabric
There is rarely a project that I work on that doesn’t include a stripe. Stripes are timeless and pair wonderfully with this neutral palette. Two American Living swivel gliders upholstered in a novel stripe denim are the perfect spot for morning coffee or a cozy spot to read a book. The kid comes out in you once you sit on one of these chairs. Our swivel gliders at our last lake house were the two chairs everyone fought over.
Designer tip: Choose a solid, stripe and a floral or pattern for a visual balanced look.
Dry Bar Must Haves
“You are never without friends when you own a Lakehouse” Weekends are made for entertaining and there is nothing better than a designated bar and snack area. A wallflower it is NOT. We brought attention to this dry bar with tall backlit rainglass cabinets that sit on a navy blue base equipped with wine fridge, ice maker, beverage cooler, and humidor. A simple black sconce illuminated this popular station once the sun sets.
The entire lake house was painted in Sherwin Williams Eider White SW7014 with trim in Snowbound SW7004. Anchoring the sectional is an 8 by 11 braided rug. It’s durability and simplicity let the accent pillows and throw blankets take center stage. Speaking of center stage…. The piece de resistance is the duo of custom wooden carved fish commissioned from an Etsy Artist.
Sliding Barn Doors
The mechanicals are housed in closets in the large laundry room. A commercial washer and dryer handle the all beach towels and guest sheets. Opposite of the laundry room is a walk-in pantry. Although this lake home’s kitchen is well equipped with ample cabinetry there is still a need to store entertain essentials like clam pots, large serving platters, ice buckets, and other appliances that don’t clutter up the counter. Two painted X sliding barn doors eliminate swing clearance.
I carried the beige, navy cream, cobalt color scheme into all three bedrooms. At just 25 feet wide the bedrooms needed to be compact and functional because these homeowners are not into clutter and would much prefer spending time out on the boat over cleaning.
The Amelia bedroom collection from Urban Outfitters was purchased for this room.
Lake House Bathrooms
For the primary bathroom the same driftwood cabinets were used. An entire wall of cabinets seen in the pivoting black metal mirror reflection holds towels, t-shirt, shorts and all bathroom supplies. Glass knobs and a Dal-tile Raine linked ring natural marble backsplash gives a subtle nod to a boat lifesaver. The parquet tile floor runs throughout the bathroom, water closet, and walk-in closet. To see more of my bathroom renovations favorites you can head to my Idea List.
I snuck in a pop of turquoise with the painted vanity in the main bath. An open shelf allows easy access to hand and bath towels. Three wooden and iron floating shelves keep bath items off the counter. A bright white cotton and blue ombre weave shower curtain adds my striped element.
Coming in from the street you enter into a large mudroom. Upper cabinets house boat gear and each member gets their own woven storage basket for shoes, sneakers and flip flops. A custom seat cushion is on its way and as soon at it arrives I will update the photo. Shiplap walls painted in semi gloss to match the cabinetry avoids scuff marks from bringing in weekend bags and groceries.
Sourcing Decor Online
As like most projects during the pandemic products and services took longer than normal. After 26 months of construction this family is now ready for warmer days. The great room furniture was purchased at Bassett Furniture and the bedrooms and decorative accessories below were purchased entirely online! After it all arrived, I came in and filled in the blanks with locally store bought goodies balancing out my shopping online and shopping local.
Over the past few years, assisting clients with lake house remodels and new builds has become my niche. If you follow along on my Meme Hill Instagram account you can go behind the scenes and discover my latest projects including our very own Cayuga Lake renovation slated to start this year. Stay tuned for more nautical inspiration!