This North Carolina Lake Home Is a Bright and Airy Sanctuary

Designer Lauren Nicole gave this stuffy vacation home a modern makeover. Now it's a luxurious lakeside oasis on Lake Norman. Check out the before and after shots with HGTV.com.

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

Photo By: Smith Hardy

A Lakeside Oasis

This Lake Norman, North Carolina family vacation home had great bones but needed an updated look. So, designer Lauren Nicole and her team transformed the beloved getaway into a cozy and modern lakeside villa with plenty of room for entertaining.

Formal Living Room Before

The biggest challenge for this room was the lack of space. "It is not a huge room but has huge responsibilities," explains Lauren, "so, fitting in all of the right pieces and addressing both focal areas was tricky."

Not So Formal Living Room

Lauren and her clients wanted to transform this dark, formal living room into a bright and modern space where friends and family could curl up and relax. The room features two focal points: the stone fireplace and a large window with an amazing lake view. Lauren opted to keep the fireplace intact to create to a rustic and homey feel, but she transformed the surrounding elements to match the new modern-coastal decor. She then added full extension accordion doors and swivel chairs, creating a cozy space where the homeowners could peacefully enjoy the view.

Kitchen Before

Kitchens are the perfect gathering space for hosting family and friends, but this one needed some work.

Casual, Beautiful and Functional Kitchen

Lauren and her team decided to sacrifice one of the kitchen’s two windows in order to gain more cabinets and surface space. “We did lose some light that way,” explains Lauren, “so material selections and overhead lighting were key elements to make up for the lack of natural light in the space.” Now, the island is the focal point of this fabulous kitchen. It features a beautifully veined quartz top and helps to anchor the Lucite pendants above.

Dining Room Before

"This dining room is one of the first things you see when you enter the house and it is very open to the main living space," says Lauren, "So creating a 'wow' first impression with flow to the main part of the house, keeping it functional and having plenty of storage all posed a challenge."

Everyday Dining Room

Lauren wanted to create a comfortable dining space that would be used often — not just for formal holiday dinners. The dining area features a shiplap wall that anchors the space, and keeps the room light, bright and informal. The sideboard offers plenty of storage and the abstract art piece creates an interesting focal point as well as adds a splash of vibrant color.

Master Bedroom Before

In their bedroom, the homeowners wanted a place to wake up and enjoy the beautiful view. “One of the challenges of this space was the two tiny windows on the bed wall,” says Lauren. “I had my carpenter build these boxes to help make the windows fit in better and disappear versus standing out.”

Lakefront Villa Master Bedroom

This room had great bones to begin with — a large window and a balcony with a breathtaking view — so transforming this space was easy. It only needed a few cosmetic upgrades to turn it into the light and airy lakeside retreat the homeowners were looking for. Lauren also added some interest to the space with a custom-built geometric wall behind the bed.

Master Bath Before

Beautiful and functional was the goal of this master bath. Luckily, Lauren was up to the challenge.

Resort Spa Master Bath

Her and the homeowners decided to take out the tub to create more space. "My clients knew they would never take a bath but would use a vanity/dressing station every day," Lauren says. With the extra room, she was able to create a smart vanity area for the couple. She maximized storage space by adding drawers instead of doors to the cabinets. As well, tall piers with outlets were added for charging bathroom appliances and offer linen storage.

Office Before

The layout and small square footage of this this office proved difficult. “Two French doors leading to the front porch posed a flow of traffic challenge, but we made it work,” says Lauren.

Warm, Cozy Office

Now, boasting warm, interesting and inviting vibes, this office is the perfect place to read a book, do a crossword or sneak in a bit of work. “We added built-ins to either side of the fireplace and a new mantel system that gives the room a focal point,” Lauren says. Scale is everything in a small space. Lauren found a comfy leather lounge chair and the right size and style desk that didn't overwhelm the rest of the furnishings.

Guest Room Before

“The biggest challenge in this space was including enough sleeping opportunities while keeping the room relatively open,” Lauren explains, “and, of course, making it appropriate for children as well as adults.” The room also had a clipped ceiling that she chose to work with versus against.

Age Neutral Guest Room

Now this space is used as a bedroom for the grandchildren of the family — however, Lauren purposely kept it age-neutral in case any adult guests needed a place to crash. It features white bunk beds and large open floor/play space that’s perfect for little ones. A painted shiplap wall (color: Aiken Park by Benjamin Moore) adds a pop of color.

Family Room Before

Nestled off the upstairs guest rooms, this space offers gorgeous lake views and a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the main living areas, but there were some issues. “This room had three sets of French doors on the back wall which made it really tricky to place furniture in here,” Lauren explains.

Family Room Retreat

To fix the problem, Lauren and her team removed the doors and added picture windows that let in tons of natural light (plus, shows off that awesome view). Now, the space features a large denim sectional where guests and family can lounge, a fireplace, a great beverage bar and a large screen TV.

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