Lake Home Gets Great New Function and Flow


Metamodern Designs: Lake House

“Many houses are built to fill a functional need with not much consideration to interior or exterior views. That’s a shame when a particular house is located on a great lot by one of the Great Lakes.”

By Marcia Lyon
Image (above), Lake House example


Back in the 30’s and 40’s, the interior space of a seasonal lake home was not as important as spending time outside. Updates throughout the years often compound the issues of a floor plan that may not make sense today. This charming, diminutive cottage has an entrance porch (A) that leads directly into a living room (B) with a round stone fireplace (C) typical of the area.  This room has ample windows on two sides, and the view of the lake is inspiring. The next room, which I believe was an add-on, is used as a utility room (D) for the furnace and water heater. It’s a shame to have this space prevent a view from the kitchen (E).

Metamodern Designs: Lake House
Rendering by Marcia Lyon

The main bedroom (F) has the only closet in the house. A questionable second bedroom (G) could perhaps fit a twin bed, and has no closet. The only bathroom (H) is in the center of the house and has no window. This bathroom is as small as it could be.

Two rooms at the back (I & J) appear to have been added later. The third bedroom (I) also has no closet. The adjoining room (J) which I call lounge, has a questionable function, since you have to go through this room to reach the bedroom. There is a nice door with sidelights (K) to access a porch (L), with an invitation to the lake.

The floor plan was somewhat jumbled. The new homeowner wanted to improve the kitchen and bathroom spaces and somehow capitalize on the lake view.


The homeowner wanted to orient the entry more toward the street, so we moved the location of the steps and made them larger and deeper.  The porch (A) gave space for a small entry bump-out (N). This offers a transition into the house, and has a functional and decorative “To Go” shelf- the place for keys, purse, and other items that are coming or going.

Metamodern Designs: Lake House
Rendering by Marcia Lyon

The living room (B) stayed essentially the same, however, we removed the end walls (O), opening into the new kitchen (P).  This new kitchen is large, has a view, an island and a direct access door to a new lake side grill deck (Q). This is the primary lake access to the lake.

The bedroom (F) will now be used as an office/guest room.  The existing closet converted into a murphy bed.  To make this a convenient guest room, there is a barn door used for a private entrance to the new hall bathroom (R).  Where the old bathroom was (H), is now the location for the utility room (S).

For the new master suite (T), we enclosed the porch (L) and claimed the whole space across the back of the house.  A closet (U) is tucked into the space used for the hall bath (R).  The bedroom door and the door to the new master bath (V) are barn doors (W).  The homeowner didn’t feel a need for a lake view from the bedroom but wanted a view from the bathroom (V) while she would get ready in the mornings.  This bathroom is spacious and pleasant.  There are windows on two sides.  With the toilet in its own room, the bathroom door will likely be left open most of the time.

This home works well for living and entertaining and offers real comfort for the homeowners with the master bedroom.  The guest room/office and bathroom are tucked away and can be private in this small house.

Metamodern Designs. Creating Spaces by Marcia Lyon. Contributors Credit.Marcia Lyon is a professional architect, remodeling designer and freelance writer. She designs projects internationally and locally across the US and Canada. Visit Creating Spaces on Facebook! Contact Marcia via email:; or phone 515-991-1300.  Her website is

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