Jane’s Lakehouse Before & After
We are lake people 😊. I also LOVE the beach and ocean but since I was about 11 (parents divorce) I spent all summer with my Dad and brother in Sunapee, New Hampshire. We had a farm up from the lake that was breathtakingly beautiful, but every morning I would leave the farm for our boathouse, take the boat to our little Yacht Club and spend ALL DAY hanging out with my friend. Tennis lessons, swimming, lunch from the snack bar, sailing (when I didn’t skip to lay out). My best friends to this day are my ‘summer friends’ that I have hung out with every – single – year since then. In NH I have my aunt and cousins, and especially since my Dad died I treasure my relationships with them more. We have all married, had kids and now our kids have grown-up together doing the same things that I did (like, exactly).
When my Dad died, we sold the farm, which was so sad but honestly just too much for us to handle not living there all year round. We kept the boat house which was perfect for just Doug and me, and we rented a bigger house when we came up with our kids. It was critically important to me that my girls have the same connection to the lake that I do. The most wonderful thing has happened, where we all – my kids and step kids and my wonderful husband, we all adore the lake. Drew wants to wake-up early to go wake-boarding. We all sit on the green dock of the yacht club and have BLT’s for lunch…it is special. I am very aware that this is a summer life of privilege and that it sounds fancy – but it is so simple.
Two years ago just as I quit my job at Lilly Pulitzer we decided to sell the boat house and buy a house for the family. As I was just starting JW it was scary to spend the money on a second house so we bought the coolest cottage on the lake that was – well, it was a dump. It wasn’t even winterized. Built in 1900 with what felt like an original kitchen (not quite but it may as well have been). We had a blast redoing it, removing 10 layers of wallpaper for a fresh coat of white paint, a new kitchen, simple furniture and the most prized possession, a nice dock on the lake with a lift for our boat.
As Covid hit and we were home as a family of 7 I literally thought, shit (!) we need a bigger house. And we decided on a whim to list our cute NH cottage and try and buy the house 2 doors down…and that all happened seamlessly! Three weeks ago we closed and we have had a contractor living in the house because it too…was a dump. You may have seen my post on Instagram but there was linoleum – a different pattern – in every room. Yellow, brown, blue, hideous patterns. The walls were painted a gray/purple color and it was just, yuck.
We were not able to do a complete gut job but redid the floors, the trim, and painted. The kitchen isn’t great but I don’t plan on spending much time there. The bathrooms are STRAIGHT out of the 70’s and I just don’t care. We concentrated on the DECK (with the best view ever) and the living and sleeping spaces. We were designing on a dime, so I had to do lots and lots of internet scanning for the right ‘look’ that fit into our budget. Colors: Blue and White. And who does that best? Serena and Lily! I had a spread of their catalog open to a chic blue, white and rattan living room and held everything I bought up to that image.
The fun? We have shots of blue everywhere and knowing I would have a rattan chair and sisal in the living room, I wanted summary blue tie dye pillows in the chains. Everything I found was too expensive or sold out so my daughter Tiki made them. It was so fun!