Lake House Complete Makeover

The gorgeous view of the lake just 50 feet from the backdoor was the inspiration for this lake house complete makeover.  We recommended a light, bright, almost beachy approach to the color scheme with a touch of browns for warmth.

As you look through the ‘before’ images you’ll note the prior look was dark, a bit choppy, and rather masculine–cherry cabinetry, black counters, tile/carpet/wood floors mixed throughout the main level.  As well, the bathrooms hadn’t been renovated (or even painted) since this home was originally built.

The Kitchen

Lake House Kitchen Before | Marlton NJ | Distinctive Interior DesignsLake House Kitchen After | Marlton NJ | Distinctive Interior Designs

The homeowner told Distinctive Interior Designs that she had seen this home first when she was searching for a waterfront property, but, because the kitchen was so dark, she immediately said, ‘Let’s keep looking.’   Bottomline, the bones of this space really were excellent–great quality cabinetry, and a lot of them, plus this kitchen had a pantry as well.

One key negative beyond the overall masculine look:  since there is no basement, the tile floors were laid on concrete.  The client knew from past experience that the tile would be like walking on ice cubes in the winter.  As a result, new wood floors were top on the list of decisions made, not just for the kitchen, but for the entire main level to create a more spacious/ cohesive look.  But, she wanted mid-tone wood, so the cabinets needed to be lightened since layers of contrast are one of the keys to creating a beautifully designed space.

Two options were considered to lighten the cabinetry:  refacing or painting.   Because there were so many things the homeowner wanted to have done and we needed to help her manage the budget, painting the cabinets ended up being the ultimate decision.  She has heard again and again from people who have seen the newly done space that they can’t believe the cabinets are the same cherry ones–the finish looks impeccable with not a brush stroke showing anywhere!

Beyond the above,  we helped her replace the granite with a lighter / more interesting versions and she donated the black appliances and purchased stainless steel.  As well, we suggested the massive wall of cabinets in the dinette area be removed, as there was more than enough storage in this kitchen.  Those cabinets were repurposed in the garage.  A series of floating shelves and her grandmother’s art now fill that previous space.

The final piece that was modified in the kitchen was the pantry.  As you can see, the prior wire racked one had cream color paint and left anyone who entered feeling rather un-inspired.  Our painter applied a Tiffany blue on the walls to create a happy backdrop to the newly installed custom shelves.

End result–light, bright, and happy throughout!  And just wait until you see how beautifully the newly done kitchen connects with the Family Room!

Family Room

Lake House Family Room Before | Marlton NJ | Distinctive Interior DesignsWhite Sectional Spa Blue Paint | Marlton NJ | Distinctive Interior Design

Every room has an inspiration piece, and sometimes that inspiration piece creates the springboard for many rooms.  The art above the sofa and the blue/ cream/ green ikat fabric you see on the two pillows on the sectional in the Family Room actually created the heartbeat of this entire home!

Distinctive Interior Designs created a custom paint color for the walls in this space to make the creamy sectional truly ‘pop’, and the diamond patterned shag rug helps reiterate the ikat pattern.  The brown leather ottoman and woven wood elements help to add a touch of relaxed texture and warmth.

Entry, Living & Dining Room

Lake House Living & Dining | Marlton NJ | Distinctive Interior DesignsLake House Dining & Living | Marlton NJ | Distinctive Interior Designs

It’s easy to see that the blue/ cream/ green theme extends throughout this home into the entry way, living and dining room.  Distinctive Interior Designs reworked a few pieces the homeowner loved (the desk and the buffet) by having our specialty painter do a dark wood rustic technique on previously orange/ yellow pine items.  Finishing touches throughout–art that shows trees reflecting on a lake, a chandelier that looks like a crystal version of a willow tree, succulants that connect to the lovely woods surrounding the lake–all create a serene space for the new homeowner to work every day.


Since nothing much had been done to the bathrooms in this house in 25 years, they were in need.  Sometimes it’s just as simple as fresh paint and accessories (in the powder room), other times paint/ a new vanity/ new lighting and  uniquely embroidered shower curtain are enough (in the 2nd bathroom).

But other times it takes ripping everything out and starting with an entirely reorganized footprint and new everything–like in this master bath.  We swapped out a huge soaking tub for an elegnat claw foot one, and flipped the tiny shower into the location where the old tub was.  Now the homeowner has a big, spacious, shower room to enjoy under the skylight in this space.

End result…WOW!


Nothing dramatic was done to improve upon the bedrooms other than fresh paint, new bedding and fresh window treatments.

The homeowner is thrilled with the end result and absolutely loves her new town and her new home!

Want to Get Started?

If you are interested in any of our services that we offer, please feel free to contact us today to get started on your design journey with us!