24 Lake House Decorating Ideas

There’s something so nostalgic about lake houses—memories of hot summers spent by the lake, autumn getaways to see the rich fall foliage.

Lake houses are the de facto settings for big family gatherings, girlfriend getaways, and celebratory weekends. So shouldn’t a lake house be a place that draws people in, wraps them up, and invites them to stay a while? Over the years we’ve seen a variety of lake house décor—some is stunning, some is serene, some functional, and some opulent.

But no matter your style (or need) we’ve gathered more than a few tips and ideas for lake house decorating. Whether you want a fresh and sophisticated update, need to brighten up old ceilings, or want to create a rustic oasis, these lake house decorating ideas will help expertly blend the beauty of nature all around.

Give your lake house decor a fresh and sophisticated look with a white palette. Add simple curtains to help soften the room. Make the most of waterfront views by keeping windows and sliding doors free of draperies. Sliding pocket doors will help connect the indoors and out. Keep the beautiful views the primary focus. A neutral palette devoid of area rugs or window treatments camouflage this lake house living room with its surroundings.

Choose durable seating for minimal worry and upkeep. Keep the color palette in tune with the surroundings to blur the distinction between indoors and out. For effortless style keep the color scheme simple. Here, blue and green accent pillows channel the outdoors. Don’t be afraid to make your lake house style a hybrid. Pair your favorite elements against the crisp background of white walls for a comfortable look that is all your own.

In her Arkansas lake house dining room, Style Director Heather Chadduck removed ceiling beams to bring in more light from above. For a quick fix, paint dark-stained ceilings pale gray to open up the space. Add furniture or accessories that can double as extra seating to accommodate a crowd. This deep fireplace hearth is outfitted with custom cushions and added portable woven cubes for seating in a pinch.

Work with the existing architecture to give your lake house an easier update. Here, the original brick flooring is refinished with a sheen for an updated look. A few coats of white paint transformed dark wood walls with olive green trim from drab to fab. Mix motifs and styles without reservation for an informal look. Grass cloth wallcovering keeps in line with this lake house family room’s coastal look.

Keep the paint on your walls, trim, and paneling monochromatic for cohesion. For color relief, leave the ceiling white. Give your lake house a rustic feel with dark, woodsy hues. Here, walls and trim are given a bark brown stain and cabinets a driftwood gray. If you’re remodeling or building, consider designing a bump-out bay of windows. It creates a cozy sitting room with a 180-degree view.

In the kitchen, back framed family photos with thin plywood and hinges to act as cabinet doors. Connect the outdoor living area to the main house with a walkway or dogtrot like this vine-covered portico. Keep the master bedroom a serene oasis with a calming palette like this grey and white scheme.

For privacy, while being minduful of beautiful views and light filtration, opt for soft linen draperies. Pair a wood table with iron chairs for rustic lakeside dining. Fill hurricanes with river rocks and pillar candles of varying height for a touch of elegance.

For more sleeping space, build bunk beds into the wall. Here, three bunk beds stack all the way up to the nearly 20-foot ceiling. The designer and homeowner of this lake hose added black to deeper paint colors, making the hues on the walls more intense. Open shelving in the kitchen will help confine your lake house dishware to the essentials.

Designer Richard Tubb advises, “Surround yourself with nature indoors by filling vases with things you’ve cut from the yard.” Create a cozy bedroom nook by hanging curtains. If you’re not comfortable mixing patterns, try using varying textures instead, as the designer did here. “I always design floor plans to pull visitors toward the daylight,” says Bill. Here, the elevated entry and foyer give guests a straight view to the lake upon entering the front door. There are also three outdoor living spaces: a rear terrace, a screened side porch, and an open-air porch.