I’ve at all times wished a home on the water. I don’t have one. However throughout my stint as a live-in house stager, once I inhabited six homes in 4 years, I lived in a home that wasn’t mine on a lake. Each morning I woke as much as a lake view from my bed room — and it by no means received previous.
When DC and I purchased our house 5 years in the past, a water view wasn’t excessive on our precedence listing. It wasn’t on our listing in any respect. Different components — location, variety of bedrooms, worth, a fenced yard for the canine — have been.
A couple of years later, after we redid our landscaping, since I couldn’t manifest a lake or ocean view, I lobbied arduous for a pool. Our panorama designer drew up two plans, one with a pool, one with out, and we checked out not solely the price of placing in a pool (so much), but in addition the maintenance, which surveys say runs between $3,000 to $5,000 a 12 months for upkeep, repairs, electrical energy and water.
We put in a water fountain as an alternative, and my husband provided to deliver me an umbrella drink. Sigh.
Anyway, all this whining is to say that once I was provided the prospect to overview a brand new guide by Jaci Conroy, “At Dwelling on the Water” (Gibbs-Smith, 2022), I jumped on it. If I can’t have a home with a water view, at the least I can reside vicariously via those that do.
When the coffee-table guide arrived, I pored over its 208 polished pages. I vicariously toured 12 coastal houses, starting from a country cottage in Nantucket to a grand, trendy revival home in Palm Seaside to a Spanish colonial in La Jolla.
“What impressed this guide?” I requested Conroy, once I received her on the telephone at her Boston house, the place she lives together with her household. She doesn’t have a house on the water, however her second house on Cape Cod is inside strolling distance of the seaside.
“The concept got here through the early days of the pandemic,” mentioned Conroy, a author and editor for house magazines and present editor of New England Fashionable journal. “We have been all house sitting with uncertainty and numerous down time. I began asking myself, the place would I need to be proper now? And I began picturing the sort of house I personally was craving on the time.”
Which is the sort of house I crave on a regular basis.
She drew on her journal connections for candidates to function, then did all her analysis, together with interviews with homeowners, architects and designers, remotely. “Every house within the guide represents an escape,” she mentioned.
Her favourite is a house in Hyannis Port, Mass., featured in a chapter known as “Previous Presence.” It speaks to her as a result of “it’s not too fancy, and it’s move-in prepared for a household with youngsters.”
For these lucky sufficient to reside on the water, in addition to those that simply need to incorporate a waterfront vibe of their houses, Conroy presents these design suggestions:
Make the view the star: By no means obscure a water view. A number of the waterfront houses don’t have any window therapies or those they’ve are minimal.
Tone down décor: Keep away from any furnishings, cloth, paint or wallcoverings that compete with the view. “I’m a fan of daring design and taking danger,” Conroy mentioned, “however in a coastal house I believe you must tone that down.” The identical holds true for lake view properties. “Any time you’ll be able to see a physique of water, maximize it. That’s the explanation for residing there.”
Capitalize on the colours: Pull the coastal colours inside. Utilizing shades of white, off white, sand and blue is an effective rule, Conroy mentioned. Pale pastels like ballet-slipper pink or celery inexperienced also can work.
Don’t be too kitschy: Resist themed equipment, resembling over-the-top indicators that learn “This technique to the seaside.” Whereas it’s superb to decide on throw pillows in coastal tones, skip those with anchor motifs. Likewise, go forward and dangle paintings or images of seascapes, however bypass the nautical props like ship wheels and fishing nets.
Don’t underestimate the maintenance: Waterfront houses aren’t low upkeep. Coastal houses take a beating from salt, solar and storms. Homeowners of lakefront properties typically must dredge their shorelines, and swimming pools, in fact, require common maintenance. So watch out what you would like for.
Now, in case you’ll excuse me, I’m off to place my toes up on the fountain.
Marni Jameson is the writer of six house and life-style books, together with “Downsizing the Household Dwelling – What to Save, What to Let Go” and “Downsizing the Blended Dwelling – When Two Households Grow to be One.” Attain her at www.marnijameson.com.