Lake House - The Heart of the Home

I recently read somewhere that “life is more beautiful because things end”, and I couldn’t agree more. I find myself savoring each season of life a little more knowing that it’s temporary and ever-changing. I’m not going to lie. It was a bit bittersweet to see this project come to an end; part of me was thrilled for my clients that they were finally moving into their dream home and part of me was sad to let the house (and the clients!) go.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, quite literally every detail in this home has been carefully designed, selected, and placed by myself and my team; every trim molding, outlet color, HVAC grill style, cabinet layout, material selection, furniture piece, paint color, door style and finish… the list goes on and on. In most projects, you have about 15% creative freedom and 85% constraints. Whether it be the architecture, existing pieces, client taste, budget, or schedule, there are always challenges that prevent a designer from truly being able to design a space in the way their heart sees it.  However, this project had so few constraints and limitations, and we were able to truly design and create something that I am so proud to put Fuchsia Design’s name on.

I can’t continue this post without writing a little praise about my clients who were so kind and trusting of all my designs and ideas. It was such a joy to work with two people who were excited about design and eager to invest in unique features that make their house stand out. None of this would be possible without the trust they put in Fuchsia Design, and I am eternally grateful to them.

I know I’ve shared a few photos of the project I’ve been referring to as ‘the lakehouse’ (including this full blog post revealing the Kids Media Room), but I consider this to be the first big glimpse into the heart of the home which has consumed a better portion of my design commitment for the past 15 months.

Recently, someone asked me if it was so cool seeing the house all come together in the end, and while it certainly was, it was a little surreal because the end result is exactly how I’ve been seeing it in my head for over a year. Even though it was fun to see furniture go in, and final details get installed, it didn’t feel like I was seeing something new. It felt familiar.

The first time I walked into the heart of this home, it looked like this:

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But I immediately saw it as this:

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I recognize what a beautiful gift I have been given to see a space so differently than how it is in front of me, and I’m constantly reminded how wonderful that ability is when I realize that others can’t see it that way. I like to joke that if everyone could visualize, I wouldn’t have a job. Fuchsia Design 3D renderings make it so much easier for clients to really see how their home is going to look and feel confident in the decisions they are making. Let’s take a look back at some progress pictures and initial concept renderings that got us to where we are today.

So, a bit of funny side information as to why there's a moose in the living room. The homeowner is an avid hunter. When the architect originally designed this space, those platforms were intended to house wildlife scenes with taxidermy animals on top of them. After the wife described her style to me as light, bright, and comfortable, I knew these animals weren't going to feel right in the space, but rather than say that, I showed them. This is another beauty of 3D renderings. After seeing the vision for the space and the style come together, the clients ultimately agreed that the platforms should be left empty, and the animals should be contained to the man cave in the home. 

Ready to look at some more 'after' photos? 

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Just off of the great room and dining room is the powder bath. The 6" marble countertop, floating vanity, glass vessel sink, paneled walls, and vinyl grasscloth wallpaper make this room so elegant. The printed marble flooring is one of my favorite details in the entire home. Stunning.

Next to the powder bath is the main staircase. This staircase spans three stories and was quite the challenge. When we joined the project, the builder informed me that the architect assigned a spot for the staircase, but had never done any of the math to figure out how the stairs would fit in the space. Additionally, we could not attach the stairs to the walls due to the floor to ceiling windows, and no steel had been factored into the project. They looked to our team to determine how to make stairs float in this space. After working through construction drawings like the one shown below, we were able to determine how to get the stairs to work in the space provided. 

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The next step was to get the clients on board, so we developed some 3D renderings to illustrate how it would look. 

Sketch up view from second level 

Sketch up view from second level 

Sketch up view from the third level looking down

Sketch up view from the third level looking down

I love the photo above and the photo below side-by-side. The one above is the sketch up concept rendering. The one below is the real life photo. 

Third level looking down on the main staircase 

Third level looking down on the main staircase 

Lower level view of the main staircase 

Lower level view of the main staircase 

I'm quite certain the trim carpenter and painter were ready to kill me by the end of this project. They spent months on scaffolding in this staircase trimming all the walls, calking every seam, and painting. The painter liked to joke that he took up permanent residence and would sleep in the staircase at night. It turned out beautifully, though, and while it's easy for me to say, it was worth all the hard work. In fact, the project wouldn't have possible without Paradise Builders and all of their incredible subs that put up with my detail oriented nit picking, spec sheets, and site visits. I may be 'particular', but it all pays off in the end. 

So, there you have it! The heart of this lake home. The kitchen will be revealed next. Then, on to the master suite, craft room, kids bedrooms, guest suite, and other fun spaces. There's still so much to share. Stay tuned, friend. 

**All 'After' Photos are Compliments of Ashley Avila Photography