Inside the finished Lake House, post #6


Dunzo.  The Lake House is finished.  For the full update check all the Lake House posts, HERE for the full progression.  

Well, technically there are like 3 little things to follow up on, but its 99% finished – enough for me to take photos on sunday when i was there.  Naturally i want to get it published in a magazine so sadly i can’t show big pulled back shots here or no magazines will want to publish it.  Rude. i know. But then we’ll get a dope photographer to shoot it, with amazing lenses that can really capture how great it is and then i’ll blog the Heck out of it.  I’m pretty sure the sentence ‘i’ll blog the heck out of it’ is the dorkiest thing i’ve ever said in my life and i just lost any street cred i might have tallied up. 

So here is just a taste, just a tease

….just the tip….. 

For the record – i took these pictures and didn’t really style them, – once we get a professional in there and i style it out for reals….forget about it.  I am the disclaimer queen, i know.  

 It’s such a happy calm room, for such a happy family.  I love this room very, very, very, very much.  It’s the perfect mix of casual but pulled together – intentional, but effortless….If i do say so myself.   A lot of the budget was spent on the renovation (those beautiful floors, the kitchen and bathrooms, and the master bedroom tub), so i kept the furnishings pretty budget friendly – splurging here and there to elevate everythiing, but otherwise mixing tasteful big box pieces with quirky and interesting vintage pieces.   (we are waiting on the fireplaces screen and a club chair from Dwell – being delivered today).


Blue navy velvet sofa: ABC, Carpet and Home.  We are still shopping for the perfect coffee table (anyone have an awesome huge wood slab table they want to sell for under $600?), but meanwhile we have this great mid-century benchy-table from etsy, $250. 

Rattan stools – $109 from Pfiefer Studios, HERE.  

Rattan hanging chair -  Two’s company via Amazon $329  

Rug – West Elm, 8×10 $279 HERE.  

Gold pretzel – John Derian. $99 which seems crazy for a piece that small, but i’m obsessed with it (I actually bought it for me, but then it kinda seemed like ‘them’, too). 

Art – all flea market, except the paper butterflies.

Elephant wicker table – thrift store find then painted grey. 

Wicker basket -West elm and white side table – West Elm.

Across the room is the dining table.  Seats 8 comfortably with the most massive beautiful mirror behind it. Oh the power of a mirror. 

The dining table is Crate and Barrel. ‘Dakota’, $1399 HERE. 

Chairs are from Overstock, 4 for $169 (yeah, i know, super cheap and kinda awesome.)  HERE. 

Cushions are from Ikea, $4 each.  

Mirror is from Calypso home

Nelson lights are from Room and Board


Welcome to the happiest bathroom in all of happy bathroomland.  

Wallpaper is from Hygge and West,  I couldn’t love this wallpaper more.  Julie Rothman designed it, it comes in a few other colorways and its screams happy and playful, without screaming ‘kid’. 

Sink/toilet from Toto, faucet and towel ring is from Martha Stewart, Seal Harbor collection from Home Depot.  Blue penny tile from Nemo Tile.  

Light and mirror – Vintage, of course.  


All this needs is a bottle of wine, some bath salts (that i won’t be taking as a drug…i mean have you seen that shit????) and an addictive teen para-romance series preferably with a love triangle and you have my version of paradise right there.  

Tub from Victoria and Albert

Gold stump from ABC, by Phillips Collection. 

Morrocan screen, morrocan table and mini anchor lamp – all vintage, from thrift store or flea market.  

Drapes – Pottery Barn

Twin boys room.

Sofa – CB2 – crazy crazy comfortable….i need. 

Rug – Dwell Studio, persimmon and white stripe 6×9.  The kids (and I) love this rug. 

Bed – they were hand me downs from their friends, but i think originally from Pottery Barn.

Rocket Bedding – Garnet Hill 

Sconce – ikea, but we painted it orange. 

‘Tent’ drapes – grey lines linen, 7$ a yard, made at a tailor for $25 a panel, then attached with ikea hospital tracks.

Blackout roman shades - Country curtains

Lands End Adirondack chairs are in the meadow on the way down to the lake.  Romantic sunset much?

And thats about all i can show you. The kitchen was the biggest transformation…or maybe the bathrooms… It’s a totally new house.  It’s been a awesome project that i would do again in a second.  

I have a pretty annoying mantra about work: the perfect job would be these three things:  Portfolio building (the clients want you to do your thing and they have good taste and a good imagination), Fun (they have to be easy to work with where you are psyched for meetings) and lucrative (where when you count up the hours at the end of the job you are making at least minimum wage).

My goal is to only do jobs that are at least 2 of these three things, but luckily this was all three.  The main challenge was that the house is in upstate New York and i live in Los Angeles, but Lana was the project manager and worked incredibly hard keeping it organized, on schedule and coordinating the hell out of every piece of tile and pillowcase.  Those of you who have renovated before know the amount of work it takes – the timing, the accuracy, the budget, etc….its hard. So kudos to Lana for making it happen while i was in L.A. on other projects.  Many, many thanks. 

Now, to get this published….. 

  1. Can I just say that I love your style of writing! Sometimes when I read through blogs that have been meticulously edited, I think, "Do they really talk that way?! because I probably wouldn't be their friend because clearly their bff is a thesaurus." But I just love your style of writing. It's hilarious and so conversational. I try to emulate the same style on my blog but I'm not exactly sure I'm nailing it.

    oh and if we weren't in the middle of getting ready to renovate our bathroom I would buy that happy-incredibly-amazing bathroom wallpaper in a second!

  2. Julie Powell

    Happy Day! The lake house! I've been so excited to see it, and there it was this morning! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work!

  3. I love the wall paper and yellow light.. The elephant is so cool and the idea of the ginormous mirror is awesome..

  4. Katy

    Oh my gosh! It's just so gorgeous. I think my favorite part is the bathroom– I love how the birdies are reflected in the mirror! Also, at first I thought that the elephant was somehow made out of yarn. It seriously looks so cuddly and cozy painted gray like that. Bang up job! I can't wait to see it all in a magazine.

  5. KimT

    Did I totally miss the source for the mudroom shoe thingy? I'm a scanner, it's possible. I love that!

  6. Jessi

    AMAZING. Needs to be published in a magazine for sure. (and possibly your book?) those pictures are great too, you are getting good!

  7. I've been SEARCHING for one of those rattan hanging chairs. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. And Style Shmile. It's great! ;}

  8. Kristen

    Holy moly, that is basically my ideal house. Seriously, IDEAL. I hope it gets published soon, because I want to see every single view and angle of this beauty!

    Anyway, amazing job, Emily! All you're hard work definitely paid off :)

  9. Kimberly

    The blue stairs for me are still the coolest, most amazing thing. I hope when this space is published we get to see the landing etc… I was so happy to devour all the images. I've been waiting what seems an eternity for the final pics. Beautiful and inspiring. I want to live in the places you design. That tree stump next to the bath tub, something I'd never thing about yet absolute perfection! Great job!!

  10. I've been so looking forward to seeing that birdie bathroom, and it did not disappoint. Gorgeous and fun! The whole place is amazing – can't wait to see more pictures!

  11. Sophia

    AHHHHH! Finally we get to see the Lake House. I am in love.
    I have been obsessively checking your blog every morning, (and evening) in the hopes that today would be the day we get to see it. i even checked on weekends and tried to think about you being three hours behind East Coast time so surely I should check again…surely Emily has posted now…surely…sad but true.

    It's beautiful and I wanna live there. I have three boys ages six and under and when you said that one of the goals of the Lake House was to be livable and indestructible you truly won my heart. I will wait excitedly once again to see the full post, or magazine article, or book whenever it shall come.
    Thank you for inspiring me!

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! Its so great when a designer has a style that you can recognize instantly, I think thats what we all strive for as designers, and you have it mama!! SO beautiful! COngrats to Lana too :) it looks great! cant wait to see the published version!!

  13. Raya

    I loves it! That powder room is amazing. Cannot wait to see more (in a national magazine) : )

  14. Stacey

    So fab! Mid Century mixed with comfort and coziness!!! Awesome inspiration!

  15. Crissy

    Love EVERYTHING! It's fantastic and so well put together. Been loving that wallpaper for EVAH! Thanks for the teaser…"just the tip"…HAHAHA!

  16. it looks fantastic! And, like most other commenters, my fave room is the bathroom … but I'm wondering, how does wallpaper hold up to steam (is there a shower/bath?) and is it easy to clean?

  17. anon

    Well done as usual Emily. I'm sure it will get published.

    I was bookmarking stuff on craigslist for a project here in NY and saw a few tables that might work for you…

    Perhaps too much of a farmhouse look, but seems indestructible and could look great sanded down and waxed or oiled.

    A more modern version w/a shelf that might come in handy storing kid's stuff

    A slab on hairpins, long, but not very wide.

    p.s. I love that blue and white print above the fireplace. What a great flea market find.

  18. I love it!!!!! When can I move in?????

  19. Totally my idea of the perfect house. Bookmarking the hell out of those chairs on overstock – great and so flexible. Totally going to recommend to my commercial clients!

  20. Michelle

    amazing!! Thank you for the sneak peak. I cannot wait til we get full pictures! Love it!

  21. Chrystal

    'just the tip' bahahaha…hilarious. thank you for being funny

  22. Eagle Eye

    Goodness, it's beautiful! I cannot wait for you to get it published so that I can buy the magazine and pour over all of it!

  23. Cheryl

    I could move right in — really love the choices here. The gold pretzel, oh, yeah. Noticed the Elephant Ceramics vase in last photo from West Elm. Love that color and the bannister color — would these colors be close to your very own office's color? I ask because I am toying with painting my front door that same color in your office!

  24. robyn

    i just have to say this is perfection
    especially love the banister and the bathroom.

  25. Rae

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this house. They are a very lucky family. The wall papered bathroom is my favorite.

  26. sibeski

    Oh my gosh! Totes amazing :)

  27. Bridget

    So serene, crisp and fresh with quirks and splashes of fun. Totally enjoy the sharing, and totally jonesing for more photos. Best wishes on publishing and kudos for getting this done from thousands of miles away.

  28. Mary

    Looks amazing. I've been following along and can't wait to see your hard work published so we can see the whole thing! LOVE IT!!!

  29. Christal

    WHere did you get that shoe thing at the bottom of the stairs. I want one in my house

  30. Abigayle

    Oh my goodness, your "just the tip" comment just about killed me. Amazing. Also amazing…this house! You did an awesome job and I'm so jealous of the homeowners. That bathtub…sigh.

    Also thought you might want to check this table out – it might look cool in the living room:

  31. nice job emily – i just finished a long distance renovation too, and now know how difficult it is. i'm pretty sure yours went more smoothly. kudos to a job well done!

  32. SO. EXCITING! I want to go back!

  33. It's all beautiful, but that bathroom is my favorite! So amazing!

  34. Kate

    This is beautiful! So pretty, so serene, so perfect for a lake house. I love how it looks comfortable and homey but polished and refined. This is truly rockin' and totally livable. Love it!

  35. So beautiful, love your work! I too, would love to know where you picked up that shoe cubby at the bottom of the stairs? …or any tips on where to find something similar.

  36. I almost spat my lunch out when I read "….just the tip….. "

    And OMG Emily, that bathroom is so pretty I want to throw up.

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  38. We totally had that elephant table when I was a kid. We painted it white, and gave it away at a 'white elephant' gift exchange. My mom even named it 'Hannibal'. #completelyRandomFact

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