Tour a Gorgeous Canandaigua Lake House

· A 1900 square foot lake house charmer gets a makeover with all the bells and whistles ·

Feb, 26, 2022

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!

open floor plan lake house with kitchen ,dining and living room all in one big space with cathedral ceiling and wall of black windows

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. ”

before and after picture of a lake house cottage on Canandaigua Lake in upstate NY. This is the before and after a new wall of black windows. 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.

before picture of cottage on the East lake Rad of Canandaigua Lake just before a renovation

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.

demo day at a lake house cottage on Canandaigua Lake in NY finger lakes. The house is completely gutted down to the studs and now you can see the water

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!

a collage of four images that share the progression of a lake house renovation on Canandaigua Lake . The new windows open up the space and allow much more light to flow in. Black windows are installed

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.

Designer tip:

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.

a collection of paint, flooring, tile and cabinetry that will go in the newly remodeled lake house cottage

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!

Welborn Aspire cabinets in gray wood washed frameless cabinets. White quartz countertops and large black iron pendant lights from Savoy House hang over the island.

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 .

details and up close look at a gray wood wash stained kitchen by Welborn Cabinets. There is a massive 10 foot island with 8 upholstered chairs from Bassett.

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! the dining area of a brand new construction lake house. There is a 60 inch round white washed table surrounded by upholstered chairs by Bassett. The entire wall is black framed windows that looks out over the lake

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. 
the living room area of an open floor plan cottage. There is a u shaped sectional from Bassett furniture and a navy blue tiled fireplace with a reclaimed wood mantel and navy blue wet bar

Fireplace Magic

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.

the before and after of a lake hosue cottage renovation fireplace.

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.
a cozy coffee table is nestled in between the sectional. There is a collection of nautical and coastal decor on the table. In the background is the navy blue wet bar

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.

unclose of the nautical striped fabric on the chairs and gray sectional from Bassett. There is a basket with navy blue striped blankets

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.
a navy blue painted wet bar with a shiplap background . There is pitted glass in the cabinet doors and a refrigerator and white quartz countertop

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.

the great room of a blue gray and white cottage on Canandaigua Lake

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.

a gray painted sliding barn door opens up to a large gray cabinet laundry room with commercial grade washer and dryer

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.

a primary bedroom with black iron bed and a canvas art of a large lake trout hanging on the wall

The Amelia bedroom collection from Urban Outfitters was purchased for this room. girls room with a wood platform Anthropologie bed, bedding and decor.

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.

the master bathroom has the same wood grained cabinets from Welborn Cabinetry with black faucets, mirrors, lighting, and glass door hardware

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.

a turquoise custom Welborn Cabinet vanity is the centerpiece of this bathroom with a while quartz countertop, black hardware, plumbing, lighting, floating shelves, There is a gray parkay flooring and a white tub


Mudroom Envy

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. gray built in shiplap mudroom with cubbies, hooks, wicker baskets and accent pillows.

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. a collage of all the decor and furniture that was used in the coastal lake house.

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!



  1. Reply

    Swanda Reddington

    February 27, 2022

    Ami, your choice of fabrics, color and design are exquisite! Thanks for sharing. You are my modivation for change. ❤️Swanda

    • Reply


      February 27, 2022

      You are the absolute best Swanda! I am here to help you. Thinking of you sweet friend and sending a great big virtual hug.

  2. Reply

    Stacey Sutter

    March 10, 2022

    Amie is the best! She has a way of looking at a a space, that few people can! She is not afraid to mix what you have with new pieces. I love to see her work her “Amie magic.” Plus she is a wonderful friend.

    • Reply


      March 10, 2022

      Ahhh Thank you so much Stacey! I hope we can get something on the calendar soon! Sending you a big hug! Amie

  3. Reply


    September 27, 2022

    Amie! I can’t believe how you transformed this space. I love it. True lake house GOALS!

  4. Reply


    October 25, 2023

    Great looking space! Possible you can share what the roof pitch is?

    • Reply


      December 7, 2023

      Hi Chris- Would be happy to share the roof details with you in another email. Look for it in your inbox. Thank you Amie

Leave a comment

Related Posts

Never Miss a Post

Never Miss A Post

Sign up for new post notifications