Interior Design for Your Lake Home
As a “flatlander” from Connecticut, my introduction to Lake Winnipesaukee came in 1984. Up until then, my concept of what constituted a lake was confined to bodies of water so small my husband referred to them as “ponds.” I was immediately impressed by the vastness and majesty of Lake Winnipesaukee, but never dreamed I would one day live and work in the area.
After moving to N.H. in 1985, we formed Bartlett Design Associates. Since then, we’ve worked all over the state and beyond, but weren’t introduced to Meredith Bay until the 2009 Designer Showhouse event. The empty space of that show home, The Stonedam, came to life with the incredible vistas visible from the kitchen and family room.
Two years later, we refurnished that house for a new owner, who planned to use it as a corporate retreat for his company’s employees and their friends. He had specific tastes; the house had some rusticity like the stone fireplace and antler chandelier, but he did not want cabin kitsch. Subtle colors were used, except for the Great Room, which was painted a vibrant terra cotta. Layers of tweeds and herringbones were added for a haberdashery flair. Rugs with abstract organic motifs and tribal geometrics provided color. Books, artwork, and objects provided by the owner personalized the space.
Local artwork was combined with late-1800’s maps of Belknap County, scenes of Weirs Beach, and of downtown Laconia. I found four sepia etchings representing classic composers’ countries, complete with passages of their music to accompany a baby grand piano.
One challenge was finding a place for a sculpture of a life-size butler. He eventually ended up in the lower level entertainment area, where he startles every guest. Planning a bedroom around a large rug en route from Florida with photos as our only tool was another task.
Overall, this corporate retreat turned out to be comfortable and welcoming, casual yet sophisticated. Many, many guests have enjoyed it and there are very few days when it’s not being enjoyed.
Two years later, the same client purchased a Townhome at Meredith Bay, again for the use of his employees. Thinking I knew his style, we painted all the walls in organic neutral tones. But to my surprise, he let me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted lots of color and a Caribbean/Palm Beach/spa theme. After several unsuccessful attempts, we got to the same page. The result is decidedly more clean and urban. Bright nautical blues, rich yolk yellows, and intense chartreuse punctuate the interiors. Modern furnishings with espresso frames and oatmeal upholstery create a backdrop for the bold colors. No birch bark or antlers here!
We’ve gone on to work on other townhomes, all different. One scheme employs bold, high contrast colors…tomato red, jade, merlot, black…..and eclectic furnishings. Another is more formal with Tuscan patterns, scrolls, deep chocolates and salmons. Architectural details make the spaces more than empty boxes, which can turn in many different design directions.
In Meredith Bay’s second Designer Showhouse, our assignment was the high-volume Great Room in The Timber, one of Meredith Bay’s wonderful Arts & Crafts-style homes. The shrimp bisque and pewter walls complemented an enormous stone fireplace. Pumpkin, olives, and paprika reds were used for our clients, who embrace bold color. Large-scale furniture in antiqued woods and beautiful textures, paisleys, and plaids fill the space. It’s informal, but not a cabin!
We always look to give each of our clients’ homes the special touches that make the home truly theirs – and this is one reason why we have always enjoyed working at Meredith Bay. It’s a one-of-a-kind place in the Lakes Region, with home designs that are as unique as the sites they sit upon. Great amenities, natural beauty and its unmatched lakeside location have made Meredith Bay a destination for people from all over the world, and we enjoy working with all of them.