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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Knight

Going "Up North" without Going Dark and Drear

Here in Wisconsin it's part of the culture to go "up north" to a cottage in the summer months. I wanted to take a closer look at bright and refreshing lake homes, cabins and cottages. Here are a few beautiful, light and airy interior designs that deliver high end decor in warm and cozy packages.

Camp Wandawega may be one of the first places you think of when someone mentions Northern Wisconsin; and though it may be the blueprint, Camp Wandawega is far from your typical log cabin experience. While still delivering the authentic look and feel of an up north cottage, the interiors at Camp Wandawega have many hints of modern style that bring a fresh and contemporary feel to the traditional notion of “camp style”.

These two cottages are reminiscent of your traditional northern cabin, but have been approached with a more contemporary eye. Some familiar cabin elements have found their way into these homes, such as the vaulted ceiling with its exposed framework, these elements working with the more contemporary selections in the room to create a cozy space that is perfect for looking out at the incredible views (designers unknown).

This white washed cabin, designed by Jessica Jubelirer, is another example of a traditional log cabin with a fresh feel. A decision as simple as finishing the wood log walls in distressed white created an entirely different atmosphere in the space, brightening the color palette and making every other color in the room pop. This decision also emphasizes the views out the window, which is the perfect focal point of any lake house.

This beautiful St. Croix River home, designed by Brian Hammel, brings high end design to the lake home. The sophisticated color palette and natural materials selected for the space perfectly compliment the view beyond the room while the folding glass doors open up the space entirely to take in – and be a part of – the outdoors. Though the style of this home may be brighter and more clean-lined than what you’d expect from a lake house, the design principles used are quite similar, and the space is still as cozy as any log cabin in the woods.

And finally, this gorgeous home in Pine Lake, designed by my friend Andrea Goldman, is a great example of how a lake house can be designed to fit any style. Andrea brought this old, dark lake house up to date with beautiful touches of neutrals against bright whites. Pairing the more modern style of furnishings and finishes with natural materials, alongside the impressive outdoor views has resulted in a bright and simple lake house that is at the same time warm and inviting.

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