How to Achieve Lake House Decor in a Landlocked Setting

June 21, 2024



Hannah Haber

Ah, the lake house. The very name conjures images of tranquil mornings spent with a steaming cup of coffee on a screened porch, the gentle lapping of water against the shore, and long, lazy afternoons spent swimming or kayaking. But what if you don’t have the luxury of a waterfront property? Worry no more, landlocked dreamer! The magic of lake house decor isn’t confined to lakeside abodes. This guide will help you bring the serenity and beauty of living near a body of water no matter where you live.

Lake House Decor at Its Core

A modern bahay kubo with a pitched roof sitting above a small lake on concrete stilts.
Photo courtesy of Arch. Jerwin Garcia

You can capture the essence of a relaxing lakeside escape by bringing that feeling into your own home, regardless of location. It centers around the heavy use of natural materials, and calming colors, fostering a sense of organic comfort and a connection to nature. 

As lake houses are commonly associated with summertime vacation, this trend blurs the line between indoors and outdoors. Large windows, natural textures, and earthy tones further define the space’s interior. 

While inspired by waterside living, lake house decor isn’t limited to a specific style. It can be adapted to your personal aesthetic, whether it be modern, rustic, or minimalist. In fact, you don’t need expensive furniture or extravagant decor to achieve the look. The beauty of this trend lies in its focus on natural and simple elements that equally promote peace and relaxation. 

Defining Lake House Details

According to IDr. Kristen Rivoli, the lake house decor trend has a different styling approach than your primary residence. Since lake houses are primarily summer or weekend getaways, prioritizing enjoyment and comfort should be at the forefront when adopting this in your home. This means giving your primary residence a break from electronic devices and providing more room to relax. 

Natural Lakeside Elements

How to Achieve Lake House Decor in A Landlocked Living.
Photo from k59 Atelier

The cornerstone of lake house decor lies in incorporating natural elements. It’s meant to imitate the ambiance and setting of simple cottage living. 

Begin by integrating warm wood furniture. Chunky wooden tables, cozy armchairs, and classic bookshelves add a dash of rustic charm and invite relaxation. Opt for lighter woods like pine for a more airy feel, or darker tones like walnut for a hint of sophistication.

Stone accents in coasters, trays, and candle holders add a touch of earthy elegance to your coffee or side tables. You can also put river rocks or pebbles in vases and decorative bowls, or install a slate backsplash in the kitchen to elevate everyday items. Repurpose leftover stones or bricks to create decorative edging for planters or stepping stones for your entryway or patio. Details like these bring a sense of permanence and grounding to the space, connecting it to the natural world outside.

Woven elements additionally infuse another layer of visual interest in a lake house interior. Wicker and rattan furniture, woven baskets, and hand-woven, rope style rugs exhibit craftsmanship, reminiscent of handcrafted lakeside furniture.

Furthermore, natural fibers perfectly embody the feeling of relaxing days spent by the lake. Linen and cotton fabrics used for throw pillows, curtains, and upholstery evoke breathability and comfort. 

Nature-Inspired Hues

How to Achieve Lake House Decor in A Landlocked Living.

Lake house decor is mainly composed of these three nature-inspired tones: soft blues, lush greens, and earthy browns. 

Soft blues like pale cerulean and dusty turquoise represent the lake reflecting the soft hues of the sky. They act as the foundation of the color scheme, creating a sense of calmness and spaciousness in your lake house retreat.

Greens, ranging from soft sage to richer forest tones, resonate  life and energy to the space, while still maintaining a sense of harmony with the calming blues. 

Meanwhile, earthy browns, like warm taupe or deep chocolate, echo the sturdy branches of trees and the rich, dark soil. They prevent the room from feeling too airy or washed out with the blues and greens.

While the overall color scheme should be serene and inviting, there’s room for a touch of personality. Consider adding pops of bright, nature-inspired, muted, and neutral colors through accent pieces.

Simple and Essential Items

How to Achieve Lake House Decor in A Landlocked Living.
Photo by Phu Dao

A lake house should be a temporary escape from the daily grind. Include only the essentials to allow the natural beauty of the outdoors and the intentional design elements to take center stage.

Start by investing in a few high-quality, functional pieces that will be the backbone of your lake house. Opt for comfy sofas you can sink into after a day spent outdoors, a sturdy bed for restful nights, and a dining table large enough for family gatherings.

Additionally, prioritize furniture that serves multiple purposes to maximize functionally and reduce clutter. Better if they have clean lines and straightforward designs to avoid visual noise. 

You can also incorporate a few well-chosen vintage pieces into your home to add character and timeless appeal. 

Personal Touches

vacation home, filipino homes, vacation home philippines

Although simplicity and natural elements create a tranquil foundation, it’s the personal touches that truly make the space your own.

Display cherished family photos from past trips. They’ll evoke happy memories and inject warmth and connection into the space. Opt for simple frames made from natural materials like wood or woven fibers to maintain the overall serenity.

You can also fill your walls, shelves, and countertops with artwork, heirlooms, and trinkets that resonate with your soul.  Let these little details speak to you and set the mood for your personal escape.

Carefully chosen scented candles enhance this relaxing indoor experience. Opt for natural scents that can evoke memories and further personalize your space.

Lake house decor isn’t just about replicating a physical location; it’s about capturing a feeling. Be it a city apartment or a suburban home, this trend’s natural and calming charm lets you experience a connection with nature and escape from the everyday hustle even if the closest body of water is miles away. 

Read more: How to Create a Unified Design with the Red Thread Theory

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