Lake House Luxury on a Budget

As the saying goes, “Time wasted at the lake is time well spent.” The same is true for a well-designed lake house.


Decorating Your Lake House on a Budget

A lake house is a casual space to relax and enjoy. Part of the fun of a casual home is being able to make it beautiful and inviting without breaking your bank.

Your home should bring all the peace and beauty of the lake indoors and give you the same feeling of time well spent.

Paint is a decorator’s best friend. Start with your favorite shade of white and make your home a blank canvas. This sets the foundation for a bright and airy home that mimics the outdoor surroundings.

Choose your color scheme. Blue lends itself perfectly to a beach or lakeside home. This watery palette provides plenty of fresh, calming colors to inspire your decor.

Or you may already have a favorite piece of furniture or a set of glassware to spark your creativity.

In addition to your color palette, it’s important to use the right elements. Your home should reflect the feeling of being on the water. Stay away from heavy colors and fabrics and dark wood overload.

Avoid obvious items like captain’s wheels and anchors and mounted fish. These will just make your home feel kitschy and cheap.

Opt instead for light or painted wood and subtle design elements that invite the feeling of living on the water. Keep things bright and airy, with lots of reflective elements.

Chances are you have many usable items already, so think about ways to repurpose them for your lake home! Things like:

Honeybear Lane
  • Glass vases, stemware, mirrors reflect light, helping your home feel airy and fluid.
  • Sand, rocks, driftwood, and grass – these earthy elements bring nature indoors.
  • Shabby chic painted furniture like this gorgeous table and a splash of color.
  • Ladders are reminiscent of climbing aboard a ship and can be used as a stand-alone accent against a wall or bunk bed. Ladders can be used as towel racks, tea light holders, ledges for pictures frames, and much more.
  • Striped canvas storage, sisal rugs, and throw pillows. Canvas is casual, durable and outdoorsy, and nothing screams nautical quite like big, bold stripes.

Using items like these will bring an outdoorsy feel into your cozy lake house without being too tacky

Fun Wall Decor

In addition to your color theme and furnishings, add some personality to your walls! Hopefully, your home has an abundance of windows to make the most of your view.

Don’t hide them behind blinds, and if you hang curtains, extend the rods well to either side of the windows for unobstructed daytime viewing.

For the rest of your walls, keep it simple. Pinpoint the wall spaces you want to make your attention-getters, and either choose a single large piece or a grouping of smaller objects. You might also consider:

Bower Power

Scour Pinterest and your favorite home decorating sites for ideas that speak to your taste, style, and budget.


Lake houses are intended for family and friends! A great way to add more sleeping space for guests is with bunk beds.

Kids love them, but adults can have fun sleeping in them too – especially when they look like these boat-inspired beds:

Fuel Economy Detroit
  • Suspended bunks are easy to make and fun to sleep on!
  • Super built-ins– the trendiest bunk beds ever! These can be custom-made for any size mattresses.
  • Converted closet– transform a closet anywhere in the house into a cozy sleeping berth, complete with a full privacy curtain.

Rustic Lake House Decorating Ideas

If your style is even more casual than most if you lean toward a rustic, down-home style, all you have to do is “tweak” the above design elements just a bit.

You still want to play up your windows and bring in those reflective elements for the light to bounce off. But a rustic design calls for deeper colors, more clutter, and less coordination of design. Consider the following:

  • Use minimal glass and more metal
  • Repurpose a canoe for a fun conversation piece
  • Use distressed wood stools and accent tables
  • Hang that ladder from the ceiling and drape it with lights, herbs, pots, and pans
  • Instead of a sisal rug, consider faux fur or an animal print

Regardless of your style, let your lake home show your personality. Fill it with things you love.

Try your hand at some DIY projects you can be proud of, and use the above ideas as a guideline to create the perfect lake house getaway.

Terri Crawley

No Comments

Post a Comment