Favorite Lake House Must-Haves For Summer
Summer Home Ideas
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Guest post by my Mom!
We are lucky enough to have a family getaway home on a lake, and I love how it’s such a great place to kick back and just have fun! Here are my top ten things - some big, some small - that I enjoy at our lake house!
1) New Fire Pit
Our old fire pits consisted of garage-sale metal ones, which we would use for a year or two until they rusted out. I always wanted a nice brick fire pit, and last weekend we made it happen! This is 48” in diameter and by lugging our own bricks from the local home improvement store, it was only about $80 in materials. It’s the envy of the beach!
Click for this Gorgeous Copper Colored Fire Pit
2) LED Lanterns
I’m noticing a lot of cute lanterns out there that have LED “candles” that even flicker like a real one. These are truly a great option if you have curious little kids around, like we do. Super safe and really darling, like this pineapple number.
These aren’t just for pathways anymore! The great thing about this type of light is you can literally stick them anywhere! We placed some at the end of our dock and in some large flower planters. These lights are rated in terms of lumens. The higher the number, the brighter the light. These here are 8 and 10 lumens which is pretty bright. Anything below a 3 is probably going to be a little dim, which may be what you are looking for if you are using multiples. The super-cheap lights (less than about $3) are not going to be very bright. Look for the lumen rating if you can find it!
The living area of the home had room for a large table, and we wanted it to make a statement. Stephanie and I agreed that a reclaimed barnwood table would be perfect. To get what we wanted size-wise, we had to find someone to custom make it for us. Enter Peter, who took our vision and made it a reality. This table is 8 feet long and the bench is also 8 feet in length. Peter was not just creative, he was also a mechanical engineer so he know how to put it all together so it would be sturdy but still relatively lightweight. This table is pretty much always the first thing people notice when they come to our home. Peter eventually ran out of barnwood, but this type of item has become much more readily available if you are looking for a similar look.
5) Our Semi-Private Loft
A little while ago, Stephanie wrote a blog post about our newly-converted open loft space. We had taken a large wide-open third floor area and divided it up into cozy individual sleeping nooks using shutters and curtains. This improvement offered our guests some privacy which wasn’t there before. I’m happy to report that the loft conversion has been a HUGE HIT with our guests. It’s the best of both worlds – openness plus privacy when you want it. You can read all about this conversion HERE.
6) Room-Darkening Drapes
Speaking of sleeping, I finally purchased some room-darkening drapes for our own bedroom. Can you ever have too many windows in a room? The answer is YES and our bedroom has six large windows. The blinds that I had previously purchased didn’t do much to keep the light out, so I finally installed some drapery rods and room-darkening curtains. One of the challenges is that our room has a 6’ x 8’ bump-out area in front that had three huge windows on its own. So rather than buy three rods and drape sets just for this area, I simply put ONE rod and a single set of drapes across the opening of the area. Overall, I was able to achieve cave-like darkness using just three sets of rods. You might think it was a shame to have to cover up the window behind the headboard. This window was actually one of the smaller ones and it was not even centered in the wall. So the drape behind the headboard is MUCH wider than it needed to be, but it provides a nice background contrast on the white beadboard wall.
If you ever shopped for room-darkening drapes, you may have noticed that they don’t come in a huge variety of attractive designs. You’ll see a lot of solid colors and not much more. I decided to add a little nautical flair to my plain grey drapes by using these too-cute knotted tie-backs. They even came in a four-pack which was just what I needed!
For a bit of outdoor fun, cornhole beanbag toss is somewhat of a go-to around here. But since many of us are now golfers, here is a fun alternative. The GoSports Battle Chip chipping game is a blast and you would not believe how competitive it gets around here! You’ll need to provide your own 9 iron or chipping wedge here! Comes with a carrying case (I didn’t picture it) so you can easily disassemble it for portability.
9) Vacuum Tumble Marinader
Often, we are so busy having fun outside that nobody thinks about dinner until 8 pm. Enter the Marinade Express! This is a vacuum marinade kitchen device that helps you prepare delicious grill meats in just minutes.
10) Shade, please!
Finally, even though we are usually seeking Fun in the Sun, the sun gets to be a bit much at times and we seek Fun in the Shade instead. Unfortunately, we lost our one tree to Emerald Ash Borer disease several years ago and it’s tough to replace a 50 year old tree overnight. The next best thing for us is a collection of umbrellas of which we currently have five. We started with one, and as we craved shade, we just kept adding them. Can you ever have too many umbrellas? The answer is NO! It seemed a little silly at first but I think they look really cute, adding a very festive touch to the functionality. And of course, these come in a huge variety of designs and colors.