The peak of summer has us dreaming of weekend getaways near and far, from breezy beach houses to charming country homes. Right now in particular, we’re craving the quiet comforts of a lake house. And not just any lake house style. Rather than the typical log cabin home that might come to mind, we’re envisioning a light, bright, airy retreat that’s anything but woodsy.
For us, the perfect lake house is a little rustic, a touch industrial, and boldly modern. The interiors blend together striking design, high-contrast accents, and inviting earth tones. The rooms have a sense of ease and warmth to them that is all anchored by a feeling of livable comfort. It all adds up to a modern lake house style that’s captivating and cozy all at once.
With all that as inspiration, our team of Modsy Designers dreamed up this modern lake house to bring the look to life. Come along for a room-by-room tour of the home and get our tips for working the style into your own home!
Set a High-Contrast Tone
What makes this modern lake house, well, modern? A bold contrast of styles. The entry sets the tone from the moment you walk through the door with a mash-up of rustic, industrial, and modern elements.
And the key is to choose a few large, eye-catching pieces. The faded rug, the large black-and-white artwork, and the wood-and-metal console all help to balance out the scale and impact of each other. The result is a space has visual impact without appearing overwhelming.
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The Key Entryway Elements
Open with statement lighting. A large antler chandelier is practically synonymous with the rustic lake house look. But rather than hanging it in the living room, add one to the entry so it gets the spotlight it deserves.
Layer bold graphic accents. A scene-stealing graphic black-and-white artwork isn’t what you’d expect to find in a typical lake house. As such, it adds a fresh, visual counterpoint that sets the stage for a distinctly modern home. For a graphic touch that also adds color, try blue-and-white accents, which will have a unifying effect.
Choose light rustic pieces. As a way to maintain the airy vibe in the entry, light wood pieces will do the trick nicely while playing up a rustic and industrial note. They’ll also play well with the boldness of the graphic art and light fixture. Take the same approach with a rustic patterned rug that has soft earth tones.
The Living Room
Balance Modern With Cozy
For the living room, we mixed big city style with country cabin comforts. You can achieve this look by first establishing a layout that feels sophisticated but also cozy. Try grouping together clean-lined sofas and chairs alongside an industrial coffee table in front of a fireplace to establish a cozy conversation pit with eclectic appeal.
Above eye level, we opted for sleek modern touches, like a brass pendant light and graphic artwork, which reiterates our design approach in the entry and ties together the spaces.
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The Key Living Room Elements
Pick designs with simple forms. A modern lake house doesn’t mean skipping rustic designs all together, it just means combining rustic pieces that have more streamlined shapes. A deep sink-in sofa makes for a great foundational piece alongside slatted wood chairs with sloped arms and a rectilinear industrial table. It’s all about keeping the focus on clean, simple lines.
Vary wood types. An elevated way to add warmth is to bring together different wood textures, from polished to pale to perforated. These are often rustic-industrial pieces that, when grouped together, can add loads of visual texture and depth.
Mix blue, brown, and black tones. It might not sound like a modern palette at first, but we opted for this overarching color scheme in the home because it strikes that happy medium of contemporary and cozy. Black and white often feel less stark when paired with earth tones, and browns feel less heavy alongside blue and white.
The Office Corner
Work In Industrial Ease
A multi-use work space isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find in a lake house, so we updated ours with an office nook that also features useful storage. We carried through the high-contrast color palette and tried to continue that balance of boldness and airiness with a mix of industrial and edgy pieces that have open bases and slender forms.
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The Key Office Elements
Try a dark foundation. Black glossy legs and metal bases are a running theme throughout the space, and here they help to add impact from the ground up. Dark foundations also have an anchoring effect in this office nook. With modern designs, this is a great way to create focus in a small, one-off space.
Think modern finishes. Just as you would with different wood textures, mix different black finishes to temper the intensity. Here, we have a black metal cabinet that’s mixed with a painted chair, a dark table base, and a matte black desk lamp. The effect is city sleek but warm, and the rustic wood table top further adds to that warmth.
Group pieces with airy appeal. Opt for open-base designs that are in keeping with the rest of the home’s aesthetic. Because there is such a strong industrial mix of furnishings here, we kept to pieces with slender silhouettes and airy bases to keep with the light and modern lake house style.
The Dining Area
Play Up Tailored Mid-Century Warmth
Classic lake houses favor a more communal dining space with long wooden tables and lots of textures. Instead, we opted for a modern take here with a dining space that emphasizes tailored mid-century style and comfort. Just like all the other spaces in the home, there’s a varied mix, from a luxe cowhide foundation to the wishbone chairs with woven seats and a table that has both rustic (cane base) and modern components (stone top).
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The Key Dining Room Elements
Juxtapose curvy designs. Round forms and sinuous silhouettes have a way of bringing a sense of ease and levity to a space. Layer a circular pendant above a round table to set the stage, then pull in a free-form cowhide and shapely mid-century chairs to unify the look.
Layer in a luxe touch. We wanted to usher in a touch of luxe style without taking away from the overall cozy appeal. And to bring that to the dining space, we chose a cowhide rug as the foundation that lends warmth and a hint of luxury without feeling overly glam.
Embrace smooth stone. Similar to a cowhide rug, stone surfaces have a way of adding both industrial style and warmth all at once. As a centerpiece in the dining space, it ties back to the urban chic vibe of the living space and provides the touch of “sleek” that sets the dining space apart.
Try Cabin With a Twist
Lake house style bedrooms can often go overboard on the cabin theme, so we wanted to switch it up in our rustic-industrial modern take. There are still plenty of warm wood tones and layers of cozy bedding, but we kept to graphic motifs and contemporary art and accents. What you won’t find here? Rustic textures, such as weathered woods and lake-themed paddles or antlers.
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The Key Bedroom Elements
Choose hefty furniture. One thing that distinguishes lake house bedroom furniture is that they all convey visual heft, meaning they have big presence. Pick a bed with a polished metal frame and wooden headboard to center the focus and mix in an industrial metal bench to round out the look. A wooden storage nightstand will also add to the look while providing function and warmth.
Accent with contemporary motifs. Take from the patterns and palette of the rest of the home to inform your accents in the bedroom, which will reiterate the modern lake house appeal. Graphic black-and-white pillows, blue-and-white art, and an intricately patterned rug in varying earth tones is the win-win-win formula.
Let metal details shine. In keeping with our office nook approach, a few industrial metal pieces can make for bold counterpoints to really polish the modern lake house look. We added a high-hanging metal sconce and leaning bookcase to anchor the sides of the bed and draw the eye up. But don’t forget the smaller details – metal hardware and drawer pulls can instantly add eye-catching polish in a bedroom.
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