House Tour: Lake House Effect | Midwest Living

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House Tour: Lake House Effect

Even if you don’t have this Michigan cottage’s view, its details can bring relaxed vacation style to your home.
  • Nautical punch

    The quickest way to set sail toward a lake theme is on a breezy scheme of blues and white. Then clear the deck with ample storage like this 14-foot window seat’s cubby baskets customized with graphic numbers from the hardware store.

  • Channeling the lake spirit

    Sparkling water, sunshine and kids splashing set the tone for the Michigan home of Kelly and Dan Rinzema and their two children. Kelly, who spent every summer vacationing nearby as a child, uses DIY, flea-market finds and water-inspired colors to pull the lake spirit indoors. “With how fast-paced and busy today’s world is, it’s nice that we have our own little place where we can slow things down a bit,” Kelly says.

    Designer Kelly Rinzema 


  • Salute to the flea

    Lake houses and Old Glory go together like kids and vacation. “This flag was a $10 flea-market find that I had to have, even though I wasn’t sure where it would go at first,” Kelly says. She eventually framed it with stained 1x4s held together with corner brackets—a vintage-style touch to relax a new home’s perfect sheen.

  • Carefree kitchen

    Open shelving reflects the home’s informal style. Warm wood accents—most notably, the dark floor and vent hood—ground the all-white palette. To cover the stainless-steel hood, an uncle cheated the look of pricey walnut panels by cutting grooves in walnut plywood with a router then sealing it with satin water-based clear polyurethane. 

  • Buoys will be …

    Maritime signal flags, boat illustrations and life buoys add bold color and shapes to this boy's room. Neutral whitewash floors stay open to change as he grows. A hardware store cut 4x8-foot underlayment boards into 6-inch-wide strips for the shiplap-style accent wall. 

  • Shipshape

    A peg rack and wire shelving conveniently organize outdoor gear.  “Our little command station on the back patio holds sunscreen, bug spray, goggles, balls, towels and more, so we can grab what we need instead of having to run back in the house,” Kelly says.

  • Weather report

    To balance modern finishes, Kelly adds weathered decor, echoing beach finds worn by the rhythm of the waves. She painted the mudroom’s oars with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: “I like that chalk paint can make something look like it has a story.”

  • DIY headboard

    Kelly nailed molding to the wall to create a faux headboard in the master bedroom. Baskets under the bed add stylish storage.

  • Calming bath

    A shell chandelier hangs over a soaking tub in the master bathroom, where calming colors evoke the serenity of the nearby lake.

  • Wallpaper-inspired

    Kelly’s obsession with a wallpaper pattern inspired the latest makeover of her daughter’s room, which also got a princess canopy and a craft desk (repurposed from an old school desk Kelly bought for $10).

  • Double duty

    A cover designed to keep her kids out of the backyard fire pit inspired one of Kelly’s most popular blog posts. “I connected the wood with brackets and used string with a pencil to draw a circle, cut it and stained it,” she says. “Now it doubles as a kids table that they sit around when we have friends over.”

  • Living room accents

    Pillows and a throw can be easily changed out for seasonal accents.

  • Petal pusher

    Kelly says she’s learned to ignore the advice to give flowers space and instead, she packs her window boxes full. This ensures a big mass of color that’s highly visible.

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