An Oconomowoc, WI couple nearing retirement contacted us to refresh their lake home for better entertaining family and friends. The casual lake living design flows throughout, with navy hues, gold hardware, detailed woodwork, shiplap and beautiful tile. The kitchen was opened and enhanced with a large island and beverage station. The guest bath was remodeled to look like an outdoor shower, yet treats guests to a dual showerhead and heated floors. An old closet was converted into a nautical-themed powder bath. The master suite was overhauled with a pretty tiled fireplace, oversized shower and clawfoot tub overlooking the lake.
This lake home in Oconomowoc was built in 2001. The house had a good layout but the rooms were closed off, making it difficult to entertain large groups. It also didn’t take advantage of the lake view. The top priority was remodeling the kitchen and creating a great room where they could cook, eat and relax with guests. They loved hosting parties and needed more gathering space in the kitchen. Since this is a lake home, they wanted to use shades of blue in the design and take advantage of the gorgeous lake view and the sunsets wherever possible. The goal was to create a cohesively designed first floor that flowed from room to room.
Open & Inviting Entryway
The entryway of this lake home is open, inviting and welcoming. Before the remodel, there was a small doorway into the kitchen followed by a large wall of closets that created the back of the old bar. Opening that wall brings more light into the space and guests immediately see a glimpse of the lake and feel welcomed into the heart of the home.
With the new layout, the music room also becomes part of the flow of the home, visible from the kitchen and living room. The homeowners love that they can now see the piano that they inherited. With most of the home exuding casual lake vibes, the music room was designed to be more formal with traditional wainscotting and wallpaper. The room is an elegant use of the home’s main floor color scheme of white, navy, and gold.
Remodeling the first floor, especially the kitchen, was the main focus in this project. The biggest issue was a large bar that sat in the middle of this kitchen. The homeowners found it awkward. They wanted a large island where everyone could gather and sit. The new island has seating for six and plenty of gathering space around it. The clients also asked for a beverage station, a 48” Wolf range and statement hood.
With the new layout, guests sitting at the island can have a better view of the lake. We widened the narrow doorway into the front hallway and into the living room to better connect the three spaces. More light now floods the main entertaining space. A smaller beverage station is convenient, yet tucked in the corner of the kitchen.
Unique Kitchen Features
- The beverage station has a smaller footprint than the old bar, yet conveniently located in the kitchen. Two drawers below the wine cooler open to reveal drinks.
- The Mr. in the house requested a “sandwich fridge” in the island for his favorite lunch items – meats, cheese, pickles and condiments.
- A prep sink features a cup rinsing station and a reverse osmosis water tap doubling as a prep sink and bar sink.
Living Room Refresh
The entire first floor had white woodwork except the living room with maple cabinets and trim. The homeowners wanted a more cohesive design on the first floor with all white trim. We painted the builtins, replaced the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and applied new panels to the fireplace surround. We also changed the panels around the fireplace to a simpler, more contemporary layout that could accommodate a TV over the fireplace in the future.
The homeowners wanted a bathroom that would pamper guests after a day on the lake. The guest bath might look like an outdoor shower, but this one treats guests to high-end amenities like a dual shower head and heated floors.
The clients have a close family friend in a wheelchair who often visits, so they wanted to provide a zero barrier shower for his use. They wanted the space to be wheelchair accessible, while at the same time feeling like the perfect retreat.
The inspiration for this space was an old-school camp shower with wood partitions. As this is the main bath for friends coming in from the lake, we wanted it to be casual with lots of space for towels and easy to clean. The simple design is accomplished with shiplap walls, black and white tile, a penny tile shower floor, a navy linen cabinet, chrome fixtures, and a nautical rope towel ring.
The wall-mounted cast iron sink with the goose-neck faucets helps to add to the camp vibes. We included a linen cabinet for all of the lake towels, replacing one of the closets removed from the foyer area.
Guests are treated to a zero-entry shower with a black hex tile floor, heated floors, rain head shower head and a handheld shower. Inside the shower, guests have hooks and cubbies for towels, swimsuits, clothes and shower items.
New Powder Bath
Because the homeowners have an extra guest sleeping area above the garage, they wanted to add another bathroom to the main floor. We converted a closet into a new powder bath, complete with a nautical porthole window. Storage includes a new linen cabinet with antique/mercury mirror glass X mullion doors.
Keeping with the lake theme and the white, gold and navy used throughout the main floor, we incorporated several unique items:
- Fun concrete tile is reminiscent of signaling flags
- The console sink has substantial brass fittings and exposed plumbing
Laundry Room Makeover
The laundry room was brown and boring. The Mrs. wanted a more cheerful and inviting space where she could do laundry and work at the desk. We painted the walls a pale blue and updated the countertops, faucet and sink. The floor was replaced with a textural plaid tile that is very warm and inviting. A large open wall was the perfect spot to display her hat collection.
Second Floor Remodel
Serene Master Suite
The homeowners wanted a peaceful master suite. The abundant windows draw the eye to the gorgeous view of the trees and lake. A soft, beige and white color palette is the foundation of this entire space.
The original master bathroom was dark and felt very closed off. The homeowners wanted to have a space that felt more open, airy, kept separate vanities, and included a larger shower. We kept the basic footprint of the existing bathroom, but were able to give them the larger, luxurious shower they asked for by relocating linen storage to under the stairs inside the master suite.
Using a herringbone pattern in the tile floor really emphasizes the new clawfoot tub as a true focal point in the bathroom. His and hers vanities are stained alder. Heated floors keep the space warm during the colder months.
Open & Airy Shower
The old shower was dark and dated. To let in more natural light, we installed a glass enclosure. We made the shower larger and added a quartz bench that matches the countertops. Numerous showering options include a handheld shower spray, a rain head, and a wall mounted showerhead for the ultimate showering experience! The best part is that you can see the lake while showering!
Summary: Entertaining Lake Home
The clients desired a beautiful home for entertaining family and friends at the lake. The old layout and style did not work for hosting large gatherings.
We remodeled the kitchen to create their dream space. Some of the kitchen highlights include a beverage station, a huge island with seating, and a refrigerator drawer for sandwich items. The new guest bathroom pampers guests and is wheelchair accessible. The master suite was updated into a luxurious oasis.