Vacation Lake House

These lovely clients bought a little cottage on the lake as a vacation home. They felt that they could handle the major renovation of this whole home on their own, but quickly realized they needed to hire us to design and manage the project.

Location: Lac La Belle, WI

Designer Credits: Suzan Wemlinger

Project Overview:

This is a classic example of a home being the worst house in the best location. This little cottage on the lake hadn’t been updated since the 70s, but it had the potential to be a great little getaway for this couple – a place to go for a long weekend, and have friends over to go boating and skiing.


Every single room in this home needed to be renovated, along with all of the mechanicals and exterior finishes. A small weekend getaway still deserves to be fresh and inviting, and have snippets of luxury intermingled within the casual vibe of a vacation home.

Vacation Lake House

The clients did not want a TV in this room. It would be used for visiting and socializing. A mid-size room, it was a challenge to determine the best way to lay out the furniture. It also led to the dining area, which was open to the kitchen. There was also a walk-out deck overlooking the beautiful lake.

Suzan J Designs decided to create a grouping of seating for this space. This allowed for both the clients and guests to relax, visit and enjoy the view, while still being able to be close to the kitchen and dining areas, as is needed with small children.

We selected fresh turquoise, blues, creams and whites for the colors, and brought in a casual cotton paisley fabric for two of the chairs. The other two chairs were a contrast – one with a blue geometrical pattern to offset the paisley, and the other a solid sand-colored heavy weave, with contrasting cording in a cream.

We had a custom ottoman made for this room – a 4 piece pie-shaped ottoman, which allowed for additional guests to sit and visit, or could be used for individual footrests. When pushed together, a tray could sit on top – this could be used for drinks and snacks. We put a large etagére on the main wall, and filled it selectively with accents that brought the lake vibe into the home.