Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lake House Style

Now that fall has begun I have had my thoughts on home ideas for my renovation and finding inspiration. I was lucky to catch up with my cool friend Bonnie over lunch who spent the summer at her lake house she renovated in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Since 1929, five generations of her family have owned homes on this lake and they all love spending time there together. I loved hearing all the relaxing days spent on the lake and things like paddle boarding, sunset cruises, family cribbage competitions and Friday night fish fries that are unique to Wisconsin lake living. Bonnie is a artist and a local mom who has a great eye for design and I flipped when I saw how pretty her lake home is!

Bonnie's mom and brother own homes on this lake and when the opportunity came to buy one of her own she grabbed it. Bonnie and her husband Dean worked with a local design and build contractor spending one full year redesigning and renovating every inch of the house. The house design focuses on the west facing beauty of the natural views and the peace and serenity drawn from the water.  Being an artist as well as super creative, it has been a design lab of sorts for Bonnie.

What is so inspiring is that Bonnie used finds from thrifting along with a few newly bought things to pull it all together.  She has a way of finding treasures and putting her own tweaks on them. I was so charmed by what she has done I asked if I could share some photos along with stories of what she's done on the blog and she kindly agreed. How fun would it be to have such a spot to get away to and put your own spin on? I've included some of Bonnie's own words here telling how she did it. Enjoy!

This wrought iron sign was made by Bonnie's father-in-law for them!

Just look at that gorgeous sunset! I like the open feel of this home.

Bonnie's art in her kitchen. I love her light palette with blues in this waterside home.

A gorgeous old frame is its own art above the bed.

'Last summer I found this Venus (Goddess of Love) statue at a local thrift store and fell in love with her. I sent this pic to my sister from the store. My sister also loved her and wanted her. I said, "Too bad because I had to have her for my kitchen windowsill." Funny thing, this summer I found a larger version at another shop so we bought it and now we both have one!'

 More cute finds-fish platters...

'Dean had a stamp collector’s book when he was little. His parents gave me the book when we were first married in 1983. The book has been carried around to 8 different houses in five different cities over the past 34 years. I finally decided to make some art with the stamps because they are so beautiful. They are now hanging in my daughter’s bedroom at the lake house. I love the way they turned out!

What a great way to enjoy these everyday and so special that they were Deans as a child! I think they are so pretty with all the graphics and colors. I know many of us have those books gathering dust somewhere and how nice to see them like this instead?

'I bought this 1940s wooden frame for 65 cents, spray painted it gray and had ACE hardware cut the new glass. The print is from the National Gallery in Washington DC (went for spring break). Just love it in my kitchen above Starbucks mug collection! In almost all other cases, I love to paint things white. My whole family laughs about it. They say that if I’m not in the lake swimming or paddle boarding, I am painting something white.'

I love art in the kitchen and this small ledge is a great idea too for her mugs.

Bonnie's views from her windows.

I could sit there forever and take in the view.

 Bonnie in blue, with her family!

 It is wonderful to see what one can do using a mix of family treasures, travel mementos and gems found through thrifting. Thank you Bonnie for sharing your ideas and beautiful home with us. You have inspired us to think out of the box and make our homes uniquely personal!


Pictures and art, except where noted courtesy of Bonnie Westman.


  1. I loved reading this post Kim. I grew up on a lake in Indiana and have many fond memories of my time there. Bonnie has a great eye. I love how she decorated this darling house.

    1. Cindy, Thanks I love Bonnie's style too. Just love this home. I didn't know you grew up on a lake! That must have been a wonderful childhood. :)

  2. LOVED THIS................and love how the FAMILY dressed in RED,white and BLUE!

    1. Contessa cute idea for the family picture wasn't it?