Interior Designer and Decorator, Stacye Clark, walks us through designing the perfect lake home with modern yet timeless details.
Tucked away on the northern edges of Fawn Lake sits a beautiful custom lake home that incorporates our natural landscape into even the smallest details. After living in various states throughout America’s South such as Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, the Clark family fell for Fawn Lake after seeing the incredible variety of homes and amazing diversity of neighbors. They contracted with Signature Builder Simply Home to create their dream lake home.
As a travel enthusiast, Stacye Clark, of Vignette A La Mode and Stacye Clark Designs, discovered that certain home elements work better in specific regions than others. Stacye spent countless hours scouring Pinterest for lake house ideas. The design brings in elements from the glorious lake homes on Lake Michigan and the Netherlands, lending a nod to the Clark family’s own Danish heritage. She credits Patrick Gay of Simply Home for his ability to bring her ideas to life seamlessly.
The final product at 10512 Ridge Cove Lane is truly a gorgeous home that takes advantage of every lake view the property has to offer.
Stacye believes a “perfect” lake house needs to have all the views—the lake, the grass, the landscaping. The home should reflect the natural beauty of the landscape with the opportunities to see the lush landscape evolve throughout the seasons. “It’s like seeing a different type of artwork every day,” Stacye says. “When we designed our house with Simply Home, I wanted to make sure every room in the home had a view of the lake. The only exception to this rule is our guest room, which still provides a view of the side garden.”
Ridge Cove Lane’s open floor plan is a big change from the Clark’s previous homes where they traditionally lived in historic homes. The open floor plan allows them to take advantage of the lake views, with a screened porch to the rear as an extension of their main living space.
The porch bridges the indoor and outdoor space while providing protection from the outside elements. One of the most noticeable features, the stone fireplace, is both wood and gas burning, serving as a wonderful focal point for the porch itself. The patio offers a comfortable seating area with a fire pit for both entertaining and relaxation.
The Clark home also features en suite bathrooms for each bedroom to ensure their guests’ privacy. Each bedroom suite feels like its own private retreat with its own special flair. The home even has a secret “bunk bed” room that radiates a youthful “glamping” energy with wooden shiplap walls hidden behind a built-in bookcase. Luxurious extras added to the home’s structure helps family and friends enjoy the peace and quiet that’s expected of life on the lake. Heated bathroom floors keep toes cozy and warm after a plunge into the water.
State of the art foam insulation prevents outside noise from penetrating the walls, leaving the home tranquil and serene. Finally, the Clarks installed a special air filtration system due to their family’s history with asthma and severe allergies. According to Stacye, this addition has made a huge difference in their daughter’s health, especially when one takes into account how dense Virginia’s allergy season can be.
When incorporating the landscape into a lake home, Stacye recommends choosing colors accordingly. Ridge Cove Lane uses many various shades of blues and greens, using inspiration from the lush green landscaping and the blue hues found in water and sky views. She then used pastel shades and whites to brighten the space and play with the home’s natural light. This neutral palette also allows her to change art and accent decor with the seasons.
A professional interior decorator, Stacye has a plethora of advice for those looking to incorporate the latest “lake home” motif into their decor. For instance, natural wood kitchen cabinets with white quartz or granite counters are making a trendy comeback.
“As much as it pains me to admit, shades of gray are starting to date itself as a trend,” Stacye confesses. “Those looking to incorporate grays into their decor should lean toward warmer tones.”
She advises to utilize as much natural light in the home as possible. Darker shades will naturally weigh down the feel of a room, so choosing lighter finishes will help avoid that “heavy” feeling. Furthermore, lake houses are perfect for those now working from home, paving the way for home offices to become more like personal retreats than the traditional, less inviting spaces of home offices past. Another post-Covid focus for many homeowners is their outdoor living areas. These spaces have become much more important to the average homeowner as people start to incorporate water features, courtyards and patios into their own back yard paradises.
Earth-conscious additions are also becoming common requests for home amenities. As green energy becomes more efficient and accessible to homeowners, solar panels could be a part of future home designs as well as electric car chargers installed in garages.
When asked for no fail decorating advice—those tried and true tips that stand the test of time—Stacye decidedly declared that “using the natural landscape surrounding the home and symmetry always works.” Additionally, wall to wall hardwood floors, instead of carpeting, is a nice touch that can last forever. Similarly, arched doorways throughout home adds instant character while crown moulding is the perfect way to give a room a “finished” appearance.
Because so many homeowners end up moving more frequently throughout their lives than in years past, Stacye advises carrying a piece of each home with you, such as stained glass or light fixtures. The Clarks keep a light fixture from each of their previous homes to include in their new one, adding a little history and character into even the newest of homes.