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Lake houses, surrounded by glassy, blue-green water and lush, wooded settings, often have a richer color palette than their counterparts at the beach. This second home at Lake Martin, which was designed by David Frazier, an Alabama native and owner of his eponymous architectural and interior design firm, feels like it’s been there for decades, layered with timeless antiques and warm fabrics.

The homeowners gave the designer directions to keep the look low-maintenance and comfortable for guests, but otherwise, they left the design in his hands. “The beauty of being at the lake is indoor-outdoor living, a stocked bar and lots of great meals,” says David. “I wanted to make sure it was a comfortable, warm space without feeling stuffy or dark, so I layered tailored slip-covered upholstery (in outdoor fabrics) with English antiques and interesting, unexpected art.”

lake martin home- wingback chairs

Four wingback chairs from Bungalow Classic in Atlanta are upholstered in a Perennials weather-resistant fabric for elegant durability. Interior designer David Frazier artfully placed art and accessories with history around the room, including the 19th-century English pedestal table, which was purchased through Steven Postan Antiques.

living room rustic

“There is something about being at the lake that feels American, and I wanted to create an interesting vignette at the bar without doing a painting. Hence, the flag,” says David. “It’s a vintage flag that we had mounted and custom framed.” Leather chairs from Holland Macrae fit the comfortable, masculine vibe.

living room details- Lake Martin home

David created layers of interest in this living room vignette, with a framed, salvaged mural depicting a scene from Brazil behind a piece of modern art by Alabama artist, Buffy Walters. Urns are from Bungalow Classic.

Coffee table with details at the Alabama lake house

David combines objects of nature with old books, on the grass-cloth lacquered coffee table in the living room.

English leather chairs- dining room- Lake Martin Lake House

Leather chairs from England surround a live-edge table in the dining room. The plate rack was painted a custom blue. The pendant is by Circa Lighting.

RELATED: How the Perfect Light Fixture Can Make A Room

master bedroom lake martin

This sultry guest bedroom benefits from layers of goodness: antique wallpaper, handsome window treatments made with Zak & Fox fabric, a bed from Serena & Lily and bedside tables from Holland Macrae.

alabama lake house bedroom details

The stunning Zuber wallpaper panel was salvaged from a house in Lanett, Alabama. It depicts a scene in Brazil. David paired it with a vintage chair by Mario Bellini and traditional Chinoiserie nesting tables.

bedroom vignette- Lake Martin home

A bedroom vignette includes an antique chest with a German Black Forest mount above it.

RELATED: High-Style Living on Lake Tuscaloosa

guest bedroom- Alabama Lake House

“I love the light and airy feeling of this lakeside master bedroom,” says David. It has traditional elements, but they look refreshed. The Persian rug, rattan chair and walnut bedside tables all feel classic and timeless without being stuffy.”

guest room details- Lake Martin home

Lamps by Christopher Spitzmiller work in any setting.

The house had a great lake view, but not a lot of architectural character. David’s strategy: keep the walls light, but add interesting focal points through furnishings and art. The living room, for instance, mixes a 19th-century pedestal table and antique chest with a modern mirror, large-scale urns and a vintage flag. Every room has several things with a story — which is what the designer is all about.

“I like to use good antiques,” says David. “To me, they help give the room a nuance and collected feel that can’t be achieved with all new furniture. I wanted this place to feel like it had been curated over time.”

To see more of David’s work, visit All photography by Sarah Dorio.

david frazier lake martin home

MEET THE DESIGNER: David Frazier received a degree in architecture from Auburn University but now lives in New York, where he worked at Meyer Davis before starting his own firm.


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