When it comes to decorating a lake house for the holidays, nature knows best! Lush greenery, fresh berries, and a stunning woodland-inspired tree create a wonderfully festive setting for wintertime family getaways.
When Betty and Sam Franklin purchased their beloved lake home in the 1990s, they embraced their forest setting and opted for a traditional mountain-house style. But after a time, they wanted a lighter and more airy escape with a neutral palette and natural textures. So four years ago, the Franklins began a full-scale remodel, resulting in a sophisticated rustic retreat that’s ideal for entertaining in every season—especially the holidays.
Betty was no newbie when it came to designing her ideal getaway. As the owner of Village Firefly, a Mountain Brook, Alabama, antiques shop specializing in unique lighting, this well-traveled homeowner had grand plans for playing off the lake home’s location as she freshened its style.
“The house sits high on a hill, and with a panoramic view of nature, we often say it feels like a tree house,” Betty reveals. To bring the rustic feel of the outdoors in, the Franklins selected plank boards for walls and an antique restaurant ice chest for an island.
Elsewhere in the home, the couple opted to accent their collections, displaying Victorian shell boxes, works from local artists, and even lamps handcrafted from worn balustrades.
When the holiday season arrives, the mantle is aglow as candles and finials mix and mingle with simple yet classic clusters of wintertime greenery. In the family’s cozy living room, a perfect panorama needn’t hide behind heavy window treatments. Simple natural-material shades such as grass cloth or bamboo can offer necessary privacy without a lot of fuss, ensuring the great outdoors is in easy sight.
When Christmas comes, the tree steals the show amid the creamy neutral canvas. A simple scheme of classic colors combines red, green, and glittering gold with rustic berries, pinecones, feathers, and wooden globes. In the branches, sweet birds play peekaboo while star-shaped ornaments sparkle like snowflakes.
When the Franklins began their big renovation, Betty decided to keep the study more masculine for Sam. Here, details such as deer antler sconces, warm mocha wallpaper, and bold drapes and pillows make the space welcoming, especially in the winter. Holiday guests can indulge in a cup of cocoa, grab a great book, and kick off their heels. The mix of textures— wicker, wood, leather, and wool—adds warmth and casual comfort to this well-used and well-loved escape.