Wednesday, July 25, 2012

At the lake house

Via Pinterest.
AS some of you may have noticed, I am totally in love with my family's lake house in Michigan.  It was built when I was a newborn and has been my family's summer retreat since 1987, when I was 9 months old.  The lake itself has been my family's summer vacation spot since 1932, when my grandfather was just a young boy.  

His sister, who was much older, was seeing a man whose family spent summers at the lake.  After their marriage, my grandfather's family started to go and rented old cottages or camped.  My grandfather loved the lake and even took my grandmother there when they first started dating.  (In a story that no one will ever forget, she famously fell into the lake in her Easter dress during a row boat trip with my grandpa.  She married him anyway:-)  

Later, when they had children of their own, they bought a cottage on the lake so that their daughters could grow up having the same simple summer experiences.  My mother, too, has spent almost every summer of her life there.  After moving to California in the 70s, my grandparents sold their cottage on the lake and spent several summers renting.  Until I came along, that is.  That year, they built the cottage that we stay in now.  

Every single summer since, except one--last year and I was miserable and will never do it again--I have been to our lake house in Michigan.  It is my favorite place in the whole world, the one spot where I feel like I am complete.   It is a trip I require every year to get in touch with myself, who I am, where I am and where I want to go.  

Via S.F. Girl by Bay

I leave for my trip this year in 18 days and I have Michigan on my mind.  Perhaps that's why everything I am being drawn to in the way of interiors lately has been lake-house themed.  

I am loving the rustic and the cottagey lately, the simple looks of summer:  bare feet, peaches, fireflies, hot nights, thunderstorms,  piers and fireworks.  That's what all these looks embody to me. 

I think there are a few things to keep in mind these days when decorating in a "cottage" or "cabin" style.  Both styles can be really hard to pull off without looking right out of a very bad 1990s decorating show.  The trick is not to stick too faithfully to the "cottage" or "cabin" theme.  Variation is key.  

Go for a bit of a minimalist look.  Mix old and new.  Add some elements that don't belong.  Do something unexpected or be dramatic.  Mix bright floral wallpaper with crisp white bedding.  Add some mid-century or modern pieces to an otherwise rustic room.  Keep things simple and clutter-free. Most importantly, don't compete with the nature around the space.  The focus should be on blending in and accentuating it, not taking away from it.  

So, I'll get back to dreaming of my week in Michigan now...

Via The Little House in the City.   A mix of old and new. 
Via The Little House in the City.  Chic and rustic.
Via Pinterest.  Super simple, to best enjoy nature.  Would love to sleep here.
Via Pinterest.  What I am dreaming of.
Via Pinterest.  This is great and simple, like summer camp.  Nature takes center stage. 
Via Nest Pretty Things.  Love the unexpected look of the crystal chandelier. 
Via Dust Jacket Attic.  Simple yet cottage-y. 
Via Dust Jacket Attic.
Via Pinterest.  Rustic sleeping porch with some mid-century touches.
Via Design Sponge.  Love the driftwood and rustic coffee table with the sleek couch.
Via Design Sponge.  A quiet space with a rustic yet modern table. 
Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest.  Simple.
Via Inspired by Tamar.  Pretty wallpaper but not too much else. 
Via Pinterest.  Bright colors against a white wall.

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