Greg Baudoin and Greg Campbell share a weekend retreat on Snow Lake in Mississippi where time stands still. Both are creative professionals based in Memphis. Baudoin is an interior designer and owner of the Ray & Baudoin firm, and Campbell is a floral designer and co-owner of the Garden District. With combined artistry, they turned this wooded, lakefront canvas into a gracious home where they escape the fast pace of their careers in the city.
Baudoin and Campbell were introduced to Snow Lake Shores two years ago by a friend. The year-round population of this small Mississippi town is around 300, and the central Big Snow Lake is a spring-fed, no-wake lake created in 1957 when residential developers built a dam on the local stream.
The Snow Lake cabin is less than an hour from Baudoin and Campbell’s front door in Memphis. In response to their friend’s description of this hidden respite, Greg Baudoin says, “We immediately went online and found a house. We drove down to meet the realtor and arrived early so we could drive around the entire lake to check it out. Our home was the first house on the list to view, and we knew this was the one without even seeing the interior.”
Both realized early on that their weekend fixer-upper was going to be a total gut and redo. When asked if there was anything they didn’t touch on the house, Baudoin answered, “Yes, the stone chimney!” They were able to spend last Christmas in the new lake house, but continued renovations after that, adding a second bathroom, a screened-in porch and landscaping.
The cabin is small in size, but lives large. The great room’s vaulted ceiling adds volume, and the sun room has windows on three sides, allowing the pair to enjoy the lake view. It is a cozy room, but ample enough for two Gregs and two dogs to relax. Baudoin, an early riser, says this is where he begins the day with coffee and a picturesque sunrise over the water. The sun room features a daybed from France with indoor-outdoor fabric by Perennials, an ideal, durable choice, since this is a favorite lounging place for one of their dogs, Renard.
All comforts of this home continue in the great room, where a collection of tramp art frames and reliquaries add multifaceted charm. The photograph above the mantel is by Ian Lemmonds, represented by the L Ross Gallery. The coffee table is an antique Spanish door with an iron base made by David Doss of Twisted Dimensions, and hanging candleholders flanking the fireplace are actually antique coal miner lockers. There is also a basket for easy storage of miscellany, and there are plenty of hooks above for hanging clothes.
The dining furniture, purchased along with the house, was originally a lightly stained wood. The pair had it finished with a black lacquer to complement a dominant Michael Crespo (1947-2010) painting of the “Ibis.” The David Lusk Gallery represents Crespo’s work. “We knew Michael,” says Campbell, “and he was such a nice guy. The painting has hung in several homes along the way, but here is where it belongs.” On the opposite wall, there is a drawing by Memphis artist Pam McDonnell, titled “Houses of Helen.”
The kitchen was reconfigured to accommodate the homeowners’ appreciation of gourmet dining and fondness for entertaining. Space was borrowed from a closet to allow a recess for the refrigerator and to create a pantry. Hardwood flooring was added to match flooring in the great room. A clever vertical rack mounted to the wall next to the fridge is a wine rack that doubles as a pot rack.
Their grand display of artwork throughout the cabin is a testimony to their appreciation for fine, often Southern, contemporary artists. Even in a small bedroom, they found space for Brantly Ellzey, Anne Siems, Nancy Cheairs and Maysey Craddock to be represented, and the bedside swing-arm sconces are bronze by Objet Insolite.
The original back porch obstructed the view of the lake from the great room. Instead of renovating that porch, they removed it and created a lower-elevation terrace. This allowed them to furnish the terrace, which functions as an outdoor room, without obstructing visibility of the lake from interior rooms.
At one point, they struggled with the decision whether to build a boathouse, which would also challenge their panoramic view. In turn, they acquired the two lots next door, and that is where they put the boathouse, complete with a serpentine nature path from cabin to lake.
A Lake-Inspired Dinner Party
Recently, we had the pleasure of attending a soirée on Snow Lake hosted by Baudoin and Campbell. The event was part of ArtsMemphis’ Culinary Series 2015. A lake-inspired menu, prepared by Chef Jason Dallas of Interim, was served to guests in a luminous setting created by Campbell, with grand lanterns hanging in a spontaneous arrangement from tall trees and candlelit tables.
Clusters of rare, yellow peonies were the centerpieces of the evening, and to finish the table arrangements, Campbell added a whimsical name card made with small fishing buoys. In the background, we savored the musical mastery of Jim Spake, and a high point of the evening was the posh pontoon tour of Snow Lake.
Here are a few candid shots from the evening:
Drifting along Snow Lake on our cocktail hour, posh pontoon tour, I realized that this area attracts artistic spirits. Several of the cabins we passed by are second homes to notable Memphis-based artists: sculptors, painters and designers who appreciate the rejuvenating tranquility of this quiet Southern retreat.
Thank you to artists Greg Baudoin and Greg Campbell for an exclusive tour of Snow Lake—your ArtsMemphis soirée was a highlight of summer 2015!
Lake house renovation:
Renovation, interior design and furnishings: Greg Baudoin, Ray & Baudoin
Renovation and landscaping: Greg Campbell, the Garden District
Ironwork: David Doss, Twisted Dimensions
Cabinetry: Old City Millwork
Indoor-outdoor fabric in the sun room: Perennials
Swing-arm bronze sconces in bedroom: Objet Insolite
Photography: Julie Wage Ross
ArtsMemphis Culinary Series event:
Featured organization: ArtsMemphis
Floral design and lighting: Greg Campbell, the Garden District
ArtsMemphis dinner: Chef Jason Dallas, Interim
Musical trio: Jim Spake