The Lake Residence: Design Insights

This new family home is located on a beautiful wooded lot that slopes down in two directions to wide, sunset views over the lake. An early exploration into the siting and massing of the home considered public and private spaces, views, daylight, garage access, and lake level storage. As various schemes were considered and discarded or refined, the house began to fit more and more into the site, taking advantage of its slopes and views. The home appears from the street as a low, private residence, yet the deep wood overhang at the entry and the matching low ceiling inside quickly open to wide, expansive lake views from the interior. A striking roof overhang, visible from the lake, extends this view to the sky and allows for high southern light to flood the home.

The family wanted a primary living space on the main or street level that still felt connected to the lake. While decks are a simple solution to adding main-level exterior space on lake-front homes, they often feel like an after-thought, creating a damp shadowy space below, and block daylight to the lower level. This large patio is over lower level living space, so it feels integral to the home and still allows for unhindered light and views at the lower level. The kitchen, sitting, and dining room open directly to the patio with a wide lift-slide door. A gracious stair leads straight to the lakefront below, creating an easy pathway for guests from the entry down and out to the lake.

This entry-lake path also divides the main level between public living space and private bedrooms and bathrooms, all of which offer lake views thanks to the wide lot.  Space is further differentiated through a carefully curated material palette- cut limestone, cedar, walnut, glass, blackened steel. The family loves to gather in the kitchen and also around a fireplace, so focus was placed on those two elements using specific material selections. A wood box and a stone box, the kitchen and the hearth, are perpendicular to each other and visible from the street and the lake. A cedar trellis creates a lower ceiling plane over the walnut kitchen, lending a more intimate feel and defining it as separate from the living and dining room, although the spaces all share the same walls and high roof line. The stone and cedar are carried through to the exterior, along with brick and cement board siding, and additional trellises on the exterior help shade afternoon sun.

The lower level of the home contains compact bedrooms and additional space created specifically for lake-side living: a large storage room with an overhead door gives easy access for short and long term storage of lake gear and equipment, a mud room with a separate bath opens to the exterior for easy de-sanding and rinsing off, a convenient kitchenette offers amenity to overnight guests and outdoor users. While the home is comfortably lived in and connected to its site and the lake shore on the main level, the house easily expands to accommodate children, grandchildren, extended family, and guests.

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