Photos by Hillary Ehlen, Tara Scherling, Kayleigh Omang
Warm weather and wet toes…ladies and gentlemen, it’s lake season! Whether you’re packing up for the family cabin or staying home to create a Pinterest board for your future lake home, I’m here to provide my must-have lake home selections. Longing for lake vibes year-round? These picks are also perfect should you love the fresh, clean look for your permanent residence.
WHITE CABINETRY: TIMELESS AND GREAT FOR PLAYING WITH ACCENT COLORS
Whether the cabin is smaller in size or is large enough to host friends and family, storage is key. At Christen Joy we love utilizing white cabinetry. White is a great neutral that allows you the flexibility to play with color throughout the room. Being classic and timeless, the color white allows you to change room furnishings and accents without being tied to one specific color palette. And don’t forget, white has many different shades that can lean brighter, cooler or warmer. Before picking up your paintbrush, be sure to try different shades of white with the existing woodwork. This will ensure your chosen shade doesn’t pull in tones you don’t prefer. For instance, a cooler white won’t feel right with wood that leans to more of an orange hue – the white will lean yellow which isn’t ideal for most homeowners.
I also love using a polished metal for the hardware on white cabinets. I typically lead with polished nickel, as I prefer the warmer undertones to the cooler tones that polished chrome provides. Hardware is truly jewelry for the room and should have a bit of sparkle!
TREAT YOUR WALLS: SIMPLE, FUNCTIONAL AND OH, SO PRETTY!
I love wainscoting, and specifically, board and batten for lake homes. Simply put, board and batten are wide boards with narrow strips called “batten” placed on your walls and painted. I love that you can play with color with them or keep them white with the option to do an accent color or wallpaper above. It also adds something extra to the home’s character, especially when added to smaller spaces such as a mudroom or powder room.
FURNITURE & UPHOLSTERED SELECTIONS: BRING IN THE EARTHY TONES
A lake home is meant to be soothing. It’s the place you relax your shoulders and you let go of that sigh after a long week. Allow earth- toned furniture to support that relaxing feeling.
Whitewashed furniture is a style we love to pull for clients at Christen Joy. The whitewash we prefer is more gray and warm-toned than a typical ‘farmhouse’ whitewash, which pulls from the colors you see when you take a walk and enjoy nature. These furniture pieces are relaxed and calming. Such pieces are ones you’ll see many furniture companies adding fantastic hardware, beautiful details to drawers and soft-close features to make the pieces perfection.
You’ll see similar colors being pulled into upholstery as well. Using what is typically referred to as an “oatmeal” color, it can range in tone depending on your manufacturer of choice. These neutral, spa-like colors are a perfect backdrop for crisp linens, cozy blankets and colorful pillows.
ART AND ACCESSORIES: TIME TO PLAY
After you’ve made the above selections or enlisted an expert to help you curate a home unique to you, you’re ready to add the final pieces: art and accessories.
As you probably well know if you follow Christen Joy, we love art and we love fresh, vibrant pieces! Whether it’s aerial beach photos, Barbies sipping cocktails or talented local artists, adding artwork to your lake home creates a space that feels truly like a second home. Looking to build a collection slowly in your lake home? Opt for one-of-a-kind originals in spaces of the home that will be used often, such as a breakfast nook or the kitchen. This way, they’ll be sure to be appreciated appropriately. An added tip, framing pieces under UV-protected glass is essential, as they might be in direct sunlight.
Though we always suggest layering texture in a home, with lake homes it is a non-negotiable. The place that must have oodles of texture! When I think of a chic Hampton home, I dream of thick boat ropes, imperfect glass jars, grass-woven baskets, soft linens and cozy cashmere. I could daydream about these things for days; can’t you just picture it?
Every space in your home can embrace some texture, so bring it in! From linens to shower curtains to fresh sponges in your bathroom. As far as textiles go, consider linen drapes or wool rugs in your living room or bedrooms. For accessories, opt for natural canisters or baskets in your mudroom to add depth. And you can never go wrong with some extra cushion, so include ample pillows in your outdoor spaces. Simple as that!
Though we’ve been going through some very unusual times as of late, it’s lake season and when it comes to the Midwest, we’re anything but salty. We wish you nothing but joy this lake season and we hope it makes for a great, calming escape.
Anderson is a Minnesota native with an eye for decor and design. Christen Joy specializes in new-construction commercial projects, exceptional remodels, furnishing high-end living spaces and creating memorable special events. Anderson is also a passionate art collector, world traveler and home cook who frequently entertains for friends.