Text by Bethany Adams
When Margaret and Jeff Rickard set out to build a vacation home that would perfectly suit their family’s needs, they didn’t want it to be a typical lake house. “I wanted it to have more of a rustic elegance,” Margaret says, noting that she tends toward a French flair in her designs. To accomplish that, she crafted a space that is perfect for curling up and enjoying the water views—no matter the time of year.
“I just wanted it to be warm yet airy and light,” Margaret says, adding that she opted for on-trend, lighter finishes. In the upstairs living area, the vaulted ceiling is planked with natural wood, which provides a glowing contrast to the crisp shiplap throughout the space. The stone fireplace at the center of abundant comfy seating exudes rustic warmth, and notes of wood on each side provide extra textural style.
Margaret carried the airy feeling into the kitchen, where open shelving and expanses of white-on-white surfaces give the area an uncluttered farmhouse vibe. Balancing dark tones are introduced in the stove hood and the ceiling beams, which contrast with the white planking overhead. Slipcovers on the island stools and curtains backing the glass cabinet are softening touches among the sleek lines in the space. “The kitchen’s not too small, and it’s not too large, and it works well when there are several people in there prepping and getting things ready,” Margaret says. “I just kind of wanted it to stay open and light.”
Because the home is often the location of gatherings with friends and family, the Rickards wanted to make sure that there was plenty of room to come together. “We have a lot of friends on the lake, and we entertain with our church a lot at the lake with our teens,” Margaret says. In addition to the upstairs living area, the Rickards included an extra living space, bar prep area, and dining table on the downstairs level. “I feel like, when people come in, they feel comfortable and warm and welcomed,” Margaret says. “It’s not a place where they feel intimidated and can’t sit down.”
The warm and welcoming style of the home is seen nowhere more than in the bedrooms, which Margaret carefully created to be as cozy as possible. Warm woods, plush textures, and rustic motifs fill the five bedrooms and bunk room with layers of comfy design choices. “With the wood and the shiplap that we did and the fabrics we chose, which are more on the linen side, I think it helped to cozy things up,” Margaret says. She notes that the use of warmer whites in place of cool gray tones also contributed to the coziness.
Although the home’s living areas are ideal for enjoying the winter months from the comfort of the indoors, the Rickards can also be found on their screened porch year-round. “I love to wake up in the mornings and have coffee out there,” Margaret says. “Especially if there’s a little chill in the air. We’ll just wrap up in blankets and have a little fire, and we’ll sit out there, even in the cold, and drink our coffee.” With its plush cushions, warm tones, and rustic elements, the space perfectly represents the spirit of the home, welcoming friends and family alike to curl up and stay awhile.