Fall weather has us thinking about leisurely weekends with friends — watching football or sitting on a porch enjoying cooler weather. This new lake house on Lake Oconee (about an hour east of Atlanta) looks like just the place, thanks to the charming interior design by Gainesville-based Maggie Griffin. We got the backstory from Maggie on the house.
“The shingles, stonework, millwork and those big lanterns out front really elevate this house and keep it from looking so brand-new,” says Maggie. “It’s very welcoming from the street, and as you can see, has ample parking for tons of friends and family.”
This is the back “friend’s entry,” explains Maggie, the sort of entryway that actually gets the most use. The gray chest serves as a place to drop your keys, or place a purse, she says — but the round window is the focal point. “We also included the fun, colorful art pieces by Dorothy Shain from Julie Wynne Jones Art consulting,” says the designer.
The living room includes two custom sofas from LeeIndustries.com, paired with four swivel chairs that can face the kitchen or television for versatility. A large coffee table, sturdy enough for feet to be propped on, anchors the room. “The homeowner and I share a love for blue-and-white porcelain, so we added the heavy garden stools for an additional place to sit a phone or glass,” says Maggie.
A neutral color palette on the first floor ensures that views of the lake get the most attention, with blue accents on the interior picking up the lakeside vibe.
What was the starting point for this project?
The homeowners live full-time in Suwanee, GA, but they wanted a place where they could enjoy friends and family on Lake Oconee, in Eatonton, GA. They loved the lot they found to build on, and the house plan worked perfectly on the land, particularly with the rustic vibe of Reynolds Plantation. The homeowners are custom homebuilders, so this whole process suited them to a tee! Boating, being near the water, hanging out by the pool and spending time with friends is all a part of their fun lifestyle.
What was your role with the house?
I met this awesome couple through a mutual friend. Being homebuilders, they naturally have amazing taste and love the whole building process, so it made my job easier. Working with the wife on this project was just like hanging out with a girlfriend, having fun choosing finishes, fabrics and furnishings.
The breakfast room table and chairs are from Scott’s Antique Market, and seat 10 people comfortably. Shiplap on surrounding walls cozies up the tall ceilings.
The custom oyster watercolors were painted by Maggie’s artist friend Leigh-Anne O’Brien, from Gainesville.
“The kitchen is truly a cook’s kitchen,” says Maggie. “We made the island as large as possible for the space so they can seat a lot of people on bar stools.” A pantry is hidden behind the large range wall, and serves as a spot to drop groceries when you arrive for a holiday weekend. The look is clean with white quartz counters, white cabinets and white backsplash, with woven barstools added for a little texture.
This little bar area is equipped with two fridge drawers, a wine cooler and bar sink. Its location off the pool deck allows guests to grab a drink without getting kitchen floors wet.
What are some of the cool architectural features?
When you work with a custom homebuilder on their own weekend home, my little dreams can become a reality. For instance, we decided to shiplap all of the main living spaces … the entry, living room, kitchen and back hallway, all the way up the staircase and onto the upper level landing. It’s very cohesive. The beam work in the living room is a nod to the rustic vibe, and the shingles used on the façade as well. I love the stonework around the front steps and the pool area too.
What are some things people need to take into account when building/furnishing a lake house?
I think it’s helpful to have the main living spaces all connected; here, the loggia/porch naturally extends from the living room so nicely, and of course, the kitchen and breakfast room also come off the living room. Having ample bedrooms was also important so that their family could all be under one roof together. And of course we can’t forget about durability. We chose high-performing finishes that are also attractive, and Scotchgard is a must! I recommend it to all of my clients.
A Serena & Lily wallpaper adds a little playfulness in the bunkroom. All of the bedding in the house is by Pine Cone Hill by Annie Selke, with colorful custom throw pillows.
“On the chance that a heavy rain rolls in, this game room space gives everyone a fantastic alternative to stay inside,” says Maggie. “We outfitted it with a custom shuffle board table, a giant sectional, pool table and gaming station, with grass-cloth on the walls for both the texture and the sound absorption.”
A guest suite includes a comfortable seating area and a trio of mirrors above the bed.
A subtle lattice pattern on the wall is contrasted with grey-green paint on cabinets and millwork in this charming bathroom.
“Ninety percent of this house is painted a gorgeous shade of white, so in the master bedroom we went with a beautiful shade of lavender-grey that changes throughout the day depending on the sunlight,” says the designer. The bed is crowned with the lively Lulie Wallace lily pad painting. Classic blue and white lamps add a touch of traditional.
A Chinoiserie-patterned wallpaper from Schumacher livens up the powder room.
An enticing infinity pool offers peaceful views of Lake Oconee. The homeowners enjoy wakeboarding, water-skiing and taking sunset cruises around the lake.
“This big outdoor table was a custom piece from Scott’s Antique Market, too,” says Maggie. “It’s got a wood base with a zinc top that will patina with time and wear well in the outdoors. The comfy woven chairs serve a lingering environment — who would want to leave this comfy dinner table?”
A spacious covered porch and pool area is designed for large family and friend gatherings.
“We kept the furnishings neutral but made sure they weren’t boring. Interesting textures like linen sheers, jute rugs, flaxen fabrics, velvet pillows and gorgeous tones picked up from the woods deliver a lot of interest. We felt this was particularly important in the all-white spaces, especially for this lake house nestled in the woods,” Maggie explains.
We couldn’t agree more! Thank you, Maggie, for sharing your work with us today!
Thanks to brianbieder.com for lovely photography!
See more amazing Southern spaces in our Homes section.