Modern Architecture

Decorating a Lakeside Home

A lakeside house is a beautiful home to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. If your house is a lakeside home (or if you have one as a vacation home) you can enjoy the water view on your porch in a hammock swaying gently with the breeze anytime you want. It brings a laid back atmosphere that a lot of people wants to have, and if you have it, seize all the opportunity to make the best out of that home. Lakeside home décor is rustic and casual, and here are some of the ways to pull it off:

1. Pick a neutral or nature-inspired color scheme

Homes built near bodies of water, like the lake and the beach, are best colored in neutrals or nature-inspired hues. It must not compete with the views and it should help emphasize the beautiful outdoors. And like cottage-style houses, a lakeside house is best accessorized with white beadboard paneling, white wooden planks and white wainscoting to add texture and dimension to the room. Paint the walls with a color inspired by the hues of water and the sky. Light blue, sky blue, aquamarine, pastel blue and robin’s egg blue are your perfect colors, but darker blues like navy are great too. Besides these blue hues, you can stick to neutrals like stone gray, latte tan, chocolate brown or cloud white. You may also use the green shades of trees and shrubbery; the autumn colors like yellows, oranges, reds, golds and russets; as well as the sunset colors of pale pink and lavender – but use these hues only for accents.

2. Choose durable flooring

When it comes to flooring, choose a durable material since it is often exposed to water. Weathered wood floors, and light distressed woods like pine and oak are also common to lakeside houses. If left untreated, these woods will wear quickly, giving that rustic look that complements the informal cottage vibe of the home. But if you want a more finished appearance, paint or stain the floor. You may also bring warmth to the floors by using hooked, braided or Oriental area rugs. Natural fiber rugs like sisal are a great choice also.

3. Use distressed, casual or rustic furniture

Furniture pieces in a lakeside home should either be casual, distressed, rustic or a combination of any of these. Slightly worn items from your main home can be brought to your lakeside home for that cottage style. Put slipcovers made of cotton duck or nubby linen on your old upholstered pieces. Use a rustic table and pair it with metal chairs for a worn-out look. However, to avoid making your home look like a dumping space of assorted used items, group pieces that can be painted and paint them with the same color. Then, choose fabrics like slipcovers and curtains that has a color that blends or complements.

If you want to make it look casual, choose whitewashed shelving, cabinetry, end tables and coffee tables. The distressed finish gives it the ultimate cottage look. Use comfy chairs made of rattan or wicker. Then add some rustic pieces like a vintage trunk used as a coffee table for interest. You can mix and match styles in a lakeside house – just always make sure it still looks tasteful. And for your porch, don’t forget to put comfortable chairs like wooden rocking chairs, Adirondack chairs, or wicker chairs with vibrant upholstery, and position them toward the lake view.

4. Add texture and patterns through fabrics

For your upholstery, choose fabrics like leather, chenille, tapestries and other tactile-friendly types. Place curtains in floral, plaid or striped patterns. Add texture through using grass cloth rugs, linen beddings, crochet blankets, chenille throws, and embroidered table runners. You can also layer rugs for a warmer and more comfortable look.

5. Install brick or stone for your fireplace hearth

Blur the lines between interior and the exterior by adding natural elements like fire and brick or stone. The fire element can be achieved through a fireplace, and decorate its hearth with a chic yet unpretentious materials like brick or stone paneling. These elements also add warmth (literal and visual) to your home.

6. Use shutters or blinds for your windows

Windows for lakeside homes are simple and big so the view of the outside scenery can be given more importance. Window treatments that are used often include wood slat or panel shutters, Roman blinds, vintage-style roller blinds and bamboo shades. These window treatments are rolled up during daytime to let air enter and the view visible, and are only let down at night.

7. Decorate with natural elements, nautical and fishing accessories, or vintage pieces


When it comes to accessories, you have a lot of choices to use that can establish the lakeside theme. You can choose to decorate with natural materials and items, nautical and fishing-themed accessories or vintage items. Here are some decorative ideas:

  • Install open shelving and use wicker baskets as storage and organizers.
  • Display casual flower bouquets.
  • Use dried wild flowers and press them under glass, and frame them to hang on the wall or place at a tabletop.
  • Display baskets filled with pine cones or colorful fruits.
  • Use throw pillows with nautical striping.
  • Display two antique fishing rods or two oak boat oars in a criss-cross position on a wall.
  • Hang a painting that features sailboats, sunsets or fishes.
  • Place end table lamps with parchment shades that feature fish images or silhouettes.
  • Frame a vintage maritime map and hang it on the wall.
  • Display your collection of vintage postcards in simple wood frames.
  • Showcase a weathered metal sculpture or boat figurine on the fireplace mantel.
  • Mount antique plank signage or old window frames or reclaimed barn doors on the wall.