Lakeside Living Design
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3 Simple Ways to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Entertaining

Let’s be honest… spring and early summer have felt a bit… strange (and that might be putting it nicely). It has been hard not to have drinks on the deck with friends, share evenings on the water with neighbors, and welcome extended family for weekend getaways at the lake. 

On the other hand, this time has brought so many blessings in disguise. Extra quality time with our immediate families. The chance to play around with new recipes on the grill. Even the opportunity to remodel the outdoor living spaces to our heart’s content.

Fortunately, thanks to all of our wonderful customers (like you), who have taken our showroom policies to heart and continued to care about the health and safety of others, our community is seeing a shift in the right direction. Which also means the possibility of small get-togethers with family and friends. Thank goodness!

Whether you’re preparing to host family at your cabin, reconvening the ladies’ monthly book club, or even planning an intimate dinner party for close friends, we hope that these simple suggestions will help make your outdoor entertaining just that much more special and enjoyable in the weeks to come…


1. Recipes your guests will rave about

We can’t be the only ones who adore trying new recipes when we have guests…right?! Whether it is a savory appetizer, a unique dessert, or the perfect make-ahead cocktail, we are always looking for innovative ideas that everyone can enjoy. Here are a few of our recent favorites…



Courtesy of Bon Appetit


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup tender herbs
  • 2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Pour boiling water over the cashews in a heat-proof bowl.
  3. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain cashews through a sieve into a medium bowl, reserving the liquid.
  5. Put cashews in a blender and add 1 cup of herbs, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 1 Tbsp salt, and ½ the reserved liquid.
  6. Blend until smooth and resembles the consistency of yogurt.
  7. Place in a serving bowl and serve with Crudités and sliced French bread.


DESSERT: Peanut Butter Cheese Ball

Courtesy of Karly Campbell


  • 8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
  • 3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup peanut butter chips


  1. Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a bowl.
  2. Spoon mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap.
  3. Pull up all 4 corners of wrap and twist tightly to form a ball.
  4. Freeze for 1 ½  hours or until firm enough to keep its shape.
  5. Pour both kinds of chips onto a plate and roll the ball in the chips to cover.
  6. Freeze again for no more than 2 hours
  7. Thaw at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with graham cracker sticks, apple slices, and Nilla Wafers for dipping.


COCKTAIL: Frozen, Make-Ahead Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned

Courtesy of WISCO Wheeler


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 ½ cup Old Fashioned mix
  • 2 cups brandy
  • 12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • Sweet and sour soda, for mixing


  1. Mix water, Old Fashioned mix, brandy, and orange Juice concentrate.
  2. Freeze 24 hours or until set.
  3. For each serving, scoop ¾ cup of slush into a rocks glass.
  4. Pour desired mixer (sweet and sour soda, lemon lime soda, etc.) into the glass and garnish.


2. Stunning, yet care-free serveware

While good food is a great start to your outdoor entertaining, how you serve those delicious dishes matters almost as much!

We don’t recommend that you pull out your best china to take onto the patio. And ceramic serveware can be risky as well (after all, nobody wants to excuse themselves from the party to clean up broken dishes on a hard surface…yikes!).

 The good news is that there are beautiful, elegant options in melamine serveware these days that are both pretty and practical for outdoor use. (The only drawback to this type of dishware – it can’t be microwaved. Other than that, it is perfect for al fresco dining.)


Don’t forget a selection of rocks glasses in beautiful summer patterns for your guests. (Pro tip – even though you might be tempted to put out a selection of glasses that match perfectly…you might consider glasses of similar styles, but varying patterns so that guests can easily track which drink belongs to them.)

Top off your place settings with fun, brightly-colored cocktail napkins. Whether you choose quality paper napkins for easy clean-up, or reusable cloth napkins that can be enjoyed time and time again, this little detail is the perfect way to add an extra splash of personality to your gathering.

Best of all, we carry all of this and more in our showroom…stop by anytime to take a peek and stock up for your next get-together.


3. Practical protection from the sun

Have you ever spent days looking forward to a meal out…one where you can sit on the patio and sip a fancy drink…only to have your dreams dashed by the fact that the patio of the restaurant is soaked by the sun without an inch of shade to break up those blistering UV rays? 

We know we have…and it’s the worst! Don’t let your outdoor living spaces pose the same problem for family and friends. 

An oversized umbrella to cover your dining table, a slim profile retractable awning over the deck, or any type of portable shade screen will provide welcome relief to your summertime guests. Trust us, any of these (or a combination thereof) make for a very wise investment.

If you’re looking for some additional inspiration for an upcoming event…

If you’re looking to upgrade your outdoor living spaces before entertaining this summer…

Or if you’re looking to take our suggestions to heart and stock up on outdoor-friendly serving ware and shade protection…

…then give us a call or stop by our showroom! We can’t wait to see you and meet all of your outdoor entertaining needs.

The Lakeside Living Team

indoor outdoor sofa table chairs ottoman lakeside living m|t furniture 54545 open

Introducing New Custom Furniture that will Wow You & Your Guests

Summer days are upon us. That hot, humid, sticky air of June in Wisconsin has arrived, and we don’t mind it one bit. 

After months of being cooped up during this pandemic (while the rainy, chilly days of spring passed through), we couldn’t be more grateful for warm weather and the chance to start living life outdoors. 

If you’re anything like us, you took time over the last couple of months to clean and freshen up your outdoor furniture for the season. (If you haven’t done so yet, check out our May blog post with helpful tips and tricks for preparing your patio.) 

Or maybe you took this time out to deep clean your home and in the process, realized that it is time for an upgrade to your living spaces. If so, you’ve come to the right place at just the right time, because we are excited to announce an addition to our showroom furniture line-up, M|T Furniture Company.

M|T Furniture Company, while new to Lakeside Living Design, has been around for quite some time, and features high-quality custom-built upholstered furniture handmade in High Point, North Carolina. 

We love a good American-made product, and we are obsessed with this line. Our guess is that you will be too!


M|T Furniture Company’s Unique Features

Each piece of furniture from M|T Furniture Company is not only built; it is hand-crafted. 

The frames are made of kiln-dried hardwood or hardwood laminate, the wood is meticulously sanded, and then finishes are hand-applied in the color and texture that matches your decor. 

To the frames, 8-way hand-tied springs (the best in seat quality and comfort) are added. While some manufacturers consider this method archaic, M|T Furniture Company knows that there is a reason this old-fashioned technique has stood the test of time… simply because it works!

All fabrics (including the Sunbrella, Crypton, and leather options available) are hand-cut by M|T’s artisans. With over 1200 selections in stock, they are certain to have a style that matches your personal taste, and will take their time cutting each individual piece to ensure that quality, custom look that you will adore. 

Because each piece of furniture is custom-made, no two have the exact same dimensions, and therefore, all seat cushions are carefully hand-cut to identically match the furniture they will be resting on. While the basic cushions are made of high-density polyurethane foam, several cushion upgrades are also available, such as the Millenium design shown here:

Back cushions are available on all pieces of M|T furniture, other than tight-back styles. These back cushions are made of Comfort Dream-Microdenier Fiber encased in channeled down-proof ticking to keep fibers from settling to the bottom. This unique design is created to cradle and support the user all at the same time. 

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that M|T Furniture Company warrants the majority of the product components for the life of the piece…how many companies can say that nowadays?

M|T Furniture Company firmly believes that quality takes time, and they are willing to put in as much time as necessary to ensure a top-notch product that will shine for years to come. (Can you see why we decided to start carrying their products??)

The Stunning Lineup Available Now in our Showroom

We know…even though we geek out about all of the product specifications that we mentioned above (and some of you probably did, too), lots of you are thinking “let’s see it already!” So here goes…

monica m|t swivel chair upholstered cream design lakeside living 54545 wi


1. Monica

This cozy, swivel bucket chair with a tight back is sure to be one of your favorite spots for curling up with a good book, lounging with a glass of wine, or relaxing with friends. As is the case with all M|T Furniture Company products, this chair is available in a wide variety of fabric colors, textures, and materials. Decorative pillow sold separately.

windwood cream plaid brown wood frame upholstered chair m|t lakeside living furniture store 54545


2. Windwood

This classy chair with a double wall caned back and arms can be hand-crafted in countless finishes and upholsteries to match the decor of any room in your home, even a screen porch or covered patio. Don’t you just love this updated traditional design?

red green cream striped upholstered chair fun lake cabin comfort upholstered chair m|t lakeside living furniture store 54545


3. Austin

This swivel chair with a track arm would make the perfect accent chair in any seating room. With it’s clean lines, it can be dressed up with formal upholstery, made more modern with a leather finish, or even designed for indoor/outdoor if made with Sunbrella or Crypton fabrics.

austin tweed upholstered chair light brown texture upholstered chair m|t lakeside living furniture store 54545


4. Kelton

This low-profile swivel chair with a track arm and tight back is extremely comfortable. It would be perfect in front of lake-facing windows because it’s lower back wouldn’t obstruct the view and it would provide a relaxing place to sit and enjoy the view on a chilly night. Decorative pillow sold separately.

upholstered chair m|t lakeside living furniture store 54545 red sofa seats 2 3 upholstered


5. Lincoln Sofa

This timeless sofa comfortably seats 3-4, comes with two decorative pillows, and is the perfect complement to any decor. With hand-cut cushions, hand-tied springs, and a hardwood frame, this sofa is sure to stand the test of time and maintain the same level of support and comfort throughout its life.

cork canto ottoman upholstered chair m|t lakeside living furniture store 54545 wood like perfect lake cabin


6. Cork Canto Ottoman

While designed as an ottoman, this piece can be used as either something to prop your feet up on or extra seating. With it’s cork-look finish, it is the perfect addition to any room and any style of lake home decor.

These pieces are just a small taste of what M|T Furniture Company has to offer, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to carry this line of custom furniture so that you can experience it yourself. The look, the options, the warranty, and the craftsmanship really can’t be beat. 

If you like what you see in the pictures, you’ll love it even more in person! Our showroom is now open (with safety precautions in place), and we would be delighted to welcome you and help you select the perfect furniture for your home. 

We look forward to outfitting your spaces with furniture and decor that will provide ample joy, peace, and comfort for your family and friends as you begin to gather together again. 

Call us with questions or come stop by our store! We can’t wait to see you.

The Lakeside Living Team

5 Simple Steps to Prepare Your Outdoor Patio Space

The snow and ice has (mostly) melted, the days are getting longer, and if you are like us, we are itching to enjoy the outdoors! 

We can’t deny that we are missing Friday night fish fry and Old Fashioneds at the local supper club, but we are ready to watch the sun set on the patio while firing up the grill. After all, summer in Wisconsin is what we all live for, right? 

Well, good news… even if we can’t invite our family, friends, and neighbors over just yet, now is the perfect time to start preparing your patio for the summer season ahead. We hope these 5 simple steps make your annual outdoor furniture maintenance and patio preparation a breeze!

white outdoor patio seating wisconsin living area dining lakeside living

1. Clean your floors

Before you move any of your furniture out of storage and onto the deck or patio, make sure you have a freshly cleaned surface, free of the dirt and debris that winter leaves behind. 

Hose down the wood or cement and make sure there is no damage from the cold. How terrible would it be to step on a nail that popped up just because you hadn’t completed your annual inspection? Ouch!

Once everything is as it should be, lay down your outdoor rugs. Whether they have been outside in the elements all winter, or rolled up and tucked away in the garage or basement, they are likely fairly dirty. Vacuum them, if that will do the trick, or hose those down if they are filthy. Then hang them to dry, if possible, in order to remove any excess moisture. 

After they are clean and dry, you are ready to lay them down and start hauling out your furniture. 

person washing hands with soap water outdoor furniture lakeside living maintenance

2. Prepare your furniture

No matter what material your outdoor furniture is made of, it will likely require a little bit of upkeep each spring in order to keep it looking fresh and inviting for your friends, family, and future guests. Here are a few tips and tricks specific to each material that will help you keep your chairs, tables, etc. in top shape:

  • Natural Wicker

  1. Always start by vacuuming natural wicker well. 
  2. Once you have removed the larger debris and any cobwebs, wipe it down with a damp rag. 
  3. Remember that detergents and soap don’t play nicely with natural wicker, so simply use water during your cleaning process for best results.
  • Weatherproof Wicker(Resin) and Recycled Plastic

  1. Start by hosing it down to remove dirt, dust, and water spots that may have appeared over the winter. 
  2. For tougher stains, use a little dishwashing soap on a wet rag. 
  3. Whatever you do, do NOT use a power washer. This will roughen up the surface of your furniture.
  • Aluminum Sling

  1. Just like weatherproof wicker and recycled plastic, start by hosing aluminum sling down to remove dirt, dust, and water spots.
  2. Again, for water spots, dirt, etc., use a little dishwashing soap on a wet rag. 
  3. If that doesn’t work for some reason, spot removers are available for aluminum furniture and slings, but always check with the manufacturer before using them to ensure that you don’t harm your furniture. 
  • Cast Iron

  1. Before you do anything, check for rust spots.
  2. If you find some, these areas should be cleaned thoroughly, sanded lightly, and repainted. 
  3. Once the paint is dry, wipe down the entire surface with a damp cloth.
  • Wood

  1. Start by checking for any loose screws and tightening them, as needed. 
  2. Clean your furniture according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  3. If your furniture has lost its luster, it may be time to re-stain it, which is something you can easily do yourself, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

how to clean outdoor table instructions care lakeside living

3. Take care of your tabletops

If you have tabletops of the same material as your chairs, you can use the steps listed above. If you have tables in other materials, natural stone, granite, or even mosaic tabletops… we have some tips for you too!

Start by cleaning your stone, granite, or mosaic surface. When you purchased the table, you were probably given instructions on how best to clean the surface…make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for best results. 

Once the surface is clean, we suggest re-sealing it annually to increase the longevity of your table. Again, you should have manufacturer instructions about how to complete the re-sealing process, but if you need help, don’t hesitate to call us or ask for help at your local home improvement store, when open. Any of us are willing to point you in the right direction!

Just make sure you give the sealant ample time to dry before using your table for the first time this season. Yes, we have heard of many people who learned that one the hard way. 

outdoor furniture wicker sofa chairs side tables living area lakeside living

4. Check your cushions

We don’t know about you, but our cushions start to get that musty smell when they sit in storage all winter. Now is a great time to get them smelling fresh and ready for lots of use this summer. 

Start by airing them out, checking for stains, and inspecting for critter damage. Spot clean them where you can and allow them to breathe in the fresh air for a while to relieve any odors.

If you are lucky enough to have the kind of cushions where the cases can be removed, machine wash them in cold water on a delicate cycle and air dry them (always following the manufacturer’s recommendations, of course… do we sound like broken records yet?).

If you remove the cases and airing them out doesn’t seem to do the trick, it might be a good year to replace those cushions. After all, everyone loves a little upgrade. This might be the perfect time to add some new colors or patterns to your outdoor living space. (We can help!)

outdoor seating wood table bench chairs lakeside living wisconsin 54545

5. Come visit us!

Whether you know that your current patio furniture has reached the end of its life or you are just curious to see what else is out there, we would love to help. We suggest making a list for May 26th (fingers crossed that date sticks!) when you can finally stop in to our store.  We have all your outdoor essentials, including Lloyd Flanders special order outdoor furniture!

We hope that this patio prepping guide helps you get your patio back into shape, and we can’t wait to help you prepare to host the best post-pandemic cookout of the summer. 🙂

Until next month,
The Lakeside Living Team

5 Simple Home & Decorating Tips for More Joy & Security

Well, aren’t we all going through some interesting times right now! If you’re near Northwoods, Wisconsin (or further south, just waiting for cabin season), you are probably doing exactly what we are and “sheltering in place.”

It’s… not the easiest time. But as hard as it is to hunker down at home and be away from our smiling clients, kids, and grandkids, we also know it’s the best way to protect our community. And we’re all in this together. 

However, that sure doesn’t mean we can’t “shelter at home” in style!

That’s why we’re dedicating this month’s blog post to helping you make the most of your home these days:

  • Organizing tips for bringing a sense of peace and control.
  • Simple decorating touches can inspire daily joy.
  • Design elements known to enhance feelings of security and comfort.

Whatever you could use a daily boost of, your home can help you do it! Without further ado, let us show you how….

modern farmhouse rustic wood table chandelier chairs 54545

1. Seize Control and Purge the Clutter

You may or may not like cleaning, but I bet you can agree that an organized and clutter-free space works wonders for one’s peace of mind. Not only is decluttering like lifting a weight off our spaces (and ourselves), it’s also a way to insert some control back into our lives. So much these days feels beyond our power to fix or change, but we can control the little things. Like our homes. And we’ll feel much better when we do!

To keep the exercise enjoyable and not overwhelming, I suggest starting with one room or space at a time. This could be a “junk drawer,” a closet, even your garage if you’re really feeling ambitious. Place items into “trash,” “donation,” or “storage” bins, so you can move them on to their new homes with little fuss.

By tackling small goals at a time, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and your home will transform before your eyes!

kitchen counter subway tile cabinets spatulas in red vase cutting boards wood

Clear space, ready for creativity and peace of mind.

2. Make Life Easier with Organization

Along with decluttering, it’s also a lovely idea to organize your space. In other words, once your unneeded items have exited the building, you can start focusing on the best places and arrangements for everything that’s left. A helpful strategy that we like to use is to go through the motions of using your home like you usually do and picture what you would need and where.

For example, when you’re cooking, where are the knives and utensils? Are they conveniently placed near your cutting board? And near the sink where you always wash fruits and vegetables?

We all use our homes differently, so take a walk through yours, get creative, and try organizing in new ways that just might stick for the next several years!

woven baskets tan white black chevron stripes organization 54545

Baskets are great for organizing.

3. Test Drive Some New Habits

Speaking of sticking, here’s a tip that we just love to give… habit forming! We know, old habits die hard, but if you have any goals you’d like to accomplish, design can help you do it. How, you ask?

Let’s say you have a goal to be more active and go for walks. Well, you could put your walking shoes in an impossible-to-miss place, such as right on top of your favorite sitting chair. Want to spend less time browsing the internet? Dedicate one room in your home as a technology-free zone. (Do this in your bedroom and you will sleep like a child!)

With all this free time we have, we encourage you to take a look around your space and see how IT can help YOU live how you really want to.

hiking boots brown tan leather jeans habits

4. Boost Your Mood with Color

If you’ve ever dropped by our store, you know we like color. From hand-painted accessories to checkered pillows, plaid upholstery to multi-colored rugs, a little color is good for the soul. In fact, they say color has many positive benefits on emotion.

For feelings of safety and security, embrace greens and deep, grounding blues. For feelings of calm and lightness, lighter blues, beiges, and white (but not all-white rooms, as they’ll feel sterile). For creativity, violets and purples; for sociability, oranges yellows or pinks.

But these are just general guidelines. The emotional impact of color is unique to each person. Only you know how they make you feel. So take a walk around your home, find some items in colors that make you feel great, and incorporate them into your favorite spaces. Or make a wishlist, and come see us when we’ve opened up shop again! 😉

burnt orange sofa button tufted pattern blanket draped coral books side table

5. Harness the Power of Design on Wellbeing

Last but not least, color isn’t the only design element that impacts how you feel — EVERY aspect of your home, from the flooring to the counters to the decor, contributes small (or big) character to the space. So how can you pick the right elements for you?

For coziness and security: soft textures, natural elements like wood, and a space that feels comfortably full

For freshness and ease: clean curves, greenery (faux or fresh), and open space

For joy and energy: saturated colors, patterns, and little surprises (such as mixed seating or a whimsical painting)

Again, these are general guidelines to help you start, but the choice is personal and completely your own. You can get creative and explore!

potted indoor plant inside woven basket coffee table 54545

And there ya go! 5 tips, from decluttering to decorating, that will help you seize control of your space, your time, and the way you feel at home.

We want nothing more than to support you during these unprecedented times, so if you have any questions at all about decorating or your space, call us at 715-543-8131 or reach out to us on Facebook!

To your safety, happiness and health,
The Lakeside Living Team


7 Lake House Decorating Tips for Spring in WI

As we start looking forward to mud season up in northern Wisconsin (hey, we can start dreaming now!), does your to-do list include opening up your lake cabin? You bet ours does!

A while back, we put together a great guide for bringing your lake house back to life after winter, so why reinvent the wheel this year? 

Instead, we’re going to share 7 decorating tips to get those creative juices fired up and your cabin looking fresh and new!

Lake House Decorating Tip 1: Use Patterns to Add Elegance

red white plaid bedspread pillows fresh spring cabin pillows 54545

We love the lake house/cabin vibe, but if you want to add a touch of elegance, some ornate, traditional patterns are the way to do it! 

You could easily incorporate patterns into bedding, window treatments, or upholstery, but we especially love these fancy pillows. Not only do they look like a million bucks (without costing it), but you can easily swap them out with the seasons. 

Plus, they’re small enough not to get too distressed with the daily come-and-go of lake life. Love it!

Lake House Decorating Tip 2: Mix Up Your Seating

fresh dining room table mixed seating fun wood 54545 northwoods wi

Here’s a designers’ trick to bring some visual interest into your living or dining room… mix up the seating! Here, we paired handcrafted wooden chairs with high-backed upholstered ones. 

The effect is casual but elegant, interesting but not overdone! 

Lake House Decorating Tip 3: Use Ladders as Decorative Storage

ladder draped with blankets lake cabin warm inviting fun decor

Have you ever thought of using a ladder as blanket or towel storage? It’s functional and decorative! 

If you have grandkids running around, just make sure to keep an eye on them. Those little rascals will see this ladder as an instant playground!

Lake House Decorating Tip 4: Ottoman or Coffee Table? Both!

lakehouse decor color red chair black white striped sofa classic spring decorating

We love extra-long ottomans, because they can double as coffee tables! Just get a nice tray for drinks or snacks, and you have a stylish, functional living room on your hands.

Lake House Decorating Tip 5: Change Your Life with a Cozy Porch

hanging porch swing lakeside living red plaid dalmatian print pillows woven siding wi

Imagine how different your lake house life would be with a porch swing like this?! Get lost in good books, watch your grandkids get up to mischief in the lake, and soak up some firefly-speckled sunsets… 

Whether your future includes a cozy swing or not is up to you, but if you haven’t thought about your porch yet, consider spicing it up for comfort. Your summer on the lake will be all the merrier for it.

Lake House Decorating Tip 6: Sometimes Simple is Best

brown grey upholstered armchair wide deep seat cozy 54545 wi

For your larger items, sometimes simple and functional is best. This armchair is sturdy, has great neutral upholstery for hiding years of use, and is a joy to sit in… that’s sounds like a perfect combination to us! You can always accessorize elsewhere to keep the space feeling lively.


Lake House Decorating Tip 7: Add Wisconsin Pride and Some Smiles!

cute wisconsin themed pillows 54545 and home clever funny

life is better in wisconsin pillow lake house decor gifts

There’s nothing like a little Sconnie pride to make you and your guests smile. Because life really IS better in Wisconsin. 😉

That’s it for today, but we’ll be back next month with more helpful advice. If you need a little decor for your space, or a team to redesign it, we’re ready to help!

Just stop by, give us a call, or sign up for our monthly lookbook.

Lakeside Living Design

5 Trends You’ll Love to Integrate into Your Lake Home Decor

Once again, we escaped the snowy, dreary Wisconsin weather in January (at least for a few days) to travel down to one of our favorite events in Atlanta, GA — the annual Accessories & Gifts Market! We spent several exciting days checking out this year’s trends in accessories and home decor. 

Did the warm weather and vibrant colors all over the market leave us yearning for summer days by the lake with a fruity drink in hand? You betcha!

While we wait for those days to arrive, we are excited to share our 5 favorite trends with you. Take a peek, and we bet you’ll begin to dream about fun updates to make to your lake home in 2020!

1. Gold is Everywhere

  lakeside living cabin trends gold accessories wall art shelves decor

Gold is everywhere! Every golden hue from brushed to antique brass is making an appearance in accessories for the home. We saw gold wall hangings, cabinet pulls, candle holders, and more. Gold may feel like a bold move if you are used to more subdued finishes, but we are taking the leap — and you should too!

2. Bright, Vibrant Colors

color lake home northwoods wi 54545 lakeside living

Bright blues, orange tones, grassy greens, and mustard yellows seemed to be popping up everywhere we turned… and we love it! An easy way to try bright, vibrant colors is to incorporate them into your home with accent pillows and floral arrangements. 

New pieces that are both functional and colorful, like the one pictured above, can also make for an exciting upgrade to your living space.

3. Brightly Colored Tableware

cabin decor contemporary rustic lake cabin 54545

Speaking of color, we noticed lots of fun patterns and combinations of textures for tableware. If you’re tired of the same old tablecloth, plates, napkins, and centerpiece, take this opportunity to mix things up on your table.  

For example, ceramic dishes were mixed with wooden chargers, heavily textured placemats, and runners. In addition to mixing and matching textures, try to incorporate natural elements like pine and branches in your centerpieces in order to tie the look together… and make it 100% Wisconsin!

4. Mixing Rustic Elements with Contemporary

rustic contemporary mixed style lake cabin trends 2020 54545

We often talk to clients who think they have to stick with a single style for a particular room. Not true! In fact, we encourage you to get inventive… don’t be afraid to mix silver or gold with birch branches, wood with ceramic, soft with hard, formal with casual. 

Combining elements makes your home more interesting, surprising, and engaging. This is your chance to get really creative!

5. Eco-Conscious Home Decor & Products

lakeside living design colorful accesories eco conscious sustainable

This is one trend we should all get behind! Items like plant-based, biodegradable dishes which were both microwaveable and dishwasher-safe were front and center. Eco-conscious candles, soaps, and personal products were heavily featured, as were sustainable woods, faux furs and eco-friendly fabrics. 

We loved seeing all of the different ways that brands are caring about sustainability while maintaining the classic, tasteful style we all want in our homes. 

lakeside living 54545 baskets decor home cabin decorations

It was difficult to pick just 5, but how did we do? Did any of these trends surprise you? Which would you be most excited to add to your home?

If you’re interested in incorporating any of these trends into your lake home decor, come stop by our store. We’d be thrilled to meet you and help you select something extra special! 

Until next month,
The Lakeside Living Team

lakeside living design 54545 northwoods wi behind the scenes workroom reupholstery process

How to Know if You Should Reupholster Furniture or Buy New

If you’re looking to refresh your space in the New Year, you might be weighing the pros and cons of reupholstering your existing furniture versus buying new. 

While it’s no secret that we love to give used furniture a fresh take on life, it’s also true that not every piece of furniture is a worthy candidate. 

So here’s the big question… how do you know whether to reupholster or buy new?

Today, we’re answering this question and taking you behind the scenes of our custom workroom!

54545 lakeside living before after reupholstery cushioned armchair blue red

When should you reupholster versus buy new?

The answer to this question depends on your answers to these:

  • Do you love this piece of furniture?
  • Does it fit your body and have comfortable proportions?
  • Does it fit well in your space?
  • Is the frame holding up well?
  • Is the piece from a reputable manufacturer?

If you mostly answered “No,” then it is time to invest in new furniture. We can help you make the best decision for your space, style, and comfort.

If you answered “Yes,” then you’ll be better off reupholstering your existing furniture. We can add new fabric and batting, re-web the foundation, re-tie springs, and replace worn-out cushions.

Note: The investment for reupholstering versus buying new is nearly equal for a piece of the same quality.

before and after reupholstered traditional armchairs wooden legs red

And now for the behind-the-scenes peek! Here are our 10 steps to reupholstering furniture to look brand new, refreshed, or ready to be loved… 

Step 1: Estimating Fabric & Labor

The first step is to understand how much fabric is needed, how many man-hours are needed, and create a plan for the project.

Insider Info: The larger the pattern on your fabric the more fabric will be required for matching it. This is true of any project, from a simple pillow to window treatments to complex upholstery.

schematic diagram reupholstering furniture fabric

Step 2: Mapping Cuts

Do we really draw a map of each piece and where on the fabric they should fall in order to correctly match the pattern on the project? You betcha!

Step 3: Deconstructing Upholstery

For upholstery projects, we have to tear down the piece, removing all fabric and filler right down to the frame. We’ll repair the frame and re-tie springs as needed before any updates to the upholstery.

lakeside living reupholstering furniture process cost

Step 4: Fabric Inspection & Cutting

We closely examine every inch of the fabric for defects and flaws. No one wants a flaw, and we’re adamant about perfection!! Once we’re sure the fabric is up to par, we’ll cut it along the lines we’ve drawn.

fabric cut for reupholstering furniture northwoods wi 54545 lakeside living design

Step 5: Sewing Fabric as Needed

Whether it’s upholstery, a custom window treatment, or pillows, the next step is sewing the fabric as needed for the item. This takes focus, care, and really is custom work!

lakeside living 54545 custom workroom pillows cushions reupholstery window treatments

Step 6: Prepare the Piece for Fabric

Next, we begin reconstructing the furniture by adding foam, batting, and preparing the frame for fabric.

Step 7: Apply Fabric to the Frame

When applying fabric to the frame, we have to be very careful about matching the repetitions of the pattern for a seamless, classy look!

lakeside living custom furnishings workroom reupholster sofas chairs

Step 8: Add Finishing Touches & Inspect

Finishing touches include things like stuffing pillows and cushions. Once we’re confident the work is complete, we’ll inspect the whole thing from top to bottom to make sure it’s spick, span, and ready for your home!

Step 9: Wrap for Storage or Delivery

Whether we’re storing it for pick-up or putting it on a truck for delivery, we wrap up your piece with care so it arrives to you in pristine condition.

Step 10: A Loving Home

The final step is less about us and all about you. We love knowing that the pieces we make will end up in happy Wisconsin homes, where you’re sure to love and use them for a long time!

before after sofa reupholstered custom navy blue lake cabin 54545 lakeside living

Workroom Special – 20% Off Fabric!

To celebrate the New Year, we’re offering 20% off of the fabric used in any custom commissioned piece. This special applies to reupholstery, window treatments, bedding, pillows and cushions, and is valid through the end of February. 

Questions? Have any furnishings that could use a little refresh? Give us a call or reach out here

We love what we do and can’t wait to see how we can support your happiest home in 2020!

Lakeside Living Design

lakeside living cabin gift ideas and decor christmas northwoods wi

Gift Ideas for a Wisconsin Christmas

Christmas in Wisconsin is always a special time of year. There’s the pretty white snow, the carols, the nativity plays starring our darling grandchildren, and of course, the Christmas lights that bring the whole season magically to life!

Whether you’re in your cabin for Christmas or celebrating elsewhere, we’ve come up with several gift ideas to help you bring smiles and good times to the people you love most.

So take a look, get inspired, stop by to see us, and start spreading the holiday magic!

A Cozy Christmas Curled Up by the Fire

lakeside living cabin gift ideas and decor christmas northwoods wi

When we think about a cozy Christmas, we immediately think of curling up by the fire! Give the special people in your life everything they need to do just that…

  • Soft, plaid throws for color and warmth
  • Faux fur blankets for warmth and the coziness factor
  • Candles that add sparkle, shine and the perfect soothing ambiance
  • Christmas pillows for warm, fuzzy feelings!

A Christmas for Entertaining Family & Friends

lakeside living design hostessing gifts christmas northwods wi

Christmas is about coming together with family and friends, appreciating each other, and making merry as only Wisconsinites know how! Pick out the perfect items for the person who loves to entertain and has everything… or maybe that’s you!

  • Stag’s head rustic wine bucket for chilling white wines or champagne
  • Etched wine glasses in various patterns, perfect for merry-making!
  • Reindeer wooden nut bowl for evenings cracking walnuts together
  • Row boat salt and pepper cellar
  • Wintery tidbit plates and appetizer forks
  • Rustic reclaimed beam candle holder
  • Festive napkins for stylishly clean hands 

A Christmas that Won’t Go Out of Style

lakeside living design christmas gifts servingware owls northwoods wi

We love our Christmas decor here in Wisconsin, but we also love to entertain all year round! Here are several gifts that will show the hostess in your life that you’re thinking of her… and eager to come back next month… and the month after… and the month after. 😉

  • Various bird-themed coffee mugs
  • Tea mug with strainer and lid
  • Fun cocktail napkins and napkin holder
  • Adorable acorn measuring spoons
  • Classic white squirrel jar with lid

A Christmas that’s Fun for the Kids

christmas gift ideas for kids basketball hoop games animals northwoods wi

We all love Christmas, but when it comes to kids — they really love it! Be the parent or grandparent of the year with these fun finds sure to keep them happily entertained. 

  • Indoor basketball hoop
  • Cute and cuddly stuffed animals
  • Games and toys to enjoy together

A Christmas that Gets You Ready for Summer! 

summer sale holiday season outdoor furniture northwoods wi 54545 summer sale holiday season outdoor furniture northwoods wi 54545

Who said we couldn’t enjoy Christmas and get ready for summer at the same time? No one! Even better? Outdoor furniture is sold at a deep discount this time of the year, making it easier than every to stock up for sunny days ahead. We can also hold on to your purchase until the weather is more cooperative.

  • Outdoor pillows with fun lake sayings
  • Outdoor padded and faux wood chairs
  • Tables and side tables for serving and enjoying beverages

A Christmas with Ornaments!

christmas ornament vintage handmade 54545 northwoods wi home decor

Last but not least, what’s the Christmas season without ornaments? Stop by to see our selection in unique handmade and vintage ornaments!

That’s it for now, but I hope this post has inspired you with ideas for all the special people on your list. You can come on in to the store to see these items or let us help you find anything else on your list. 

We can’t wait to help you spread the joy this season!

To you and your families,
The Lakeside Living Team

Stop by our Christmas Open House on December 7th and save 20% on all of your favorite Christmas décor, gifts, and more!

54545 lakeside living design northwoods layering rugs cowhide jute cozy winter

5 Big Reasons Your Lake Cabin Needs a Rug

In our post about making your home cozy for the fall (and for the WI winter!), we mentioned rugs as a great addition to your lake cabin. But rugs aren’t just for decoration, they can also do SO much for your home.

Today, let’s talk about some reasons to love rugs and how to use them in your space. When you’re done reading, you can take a picture of your space, bring it on into our store, and let us help you find the perfect one!

**Psst! We’re also having a rug clearance sale from now through the end of January!**

Are you ready? Then let’s talk rugs.

1. Area rugs anchor a room and define a space

Especially in living or family room, placing your furniture on an area rug makes the space feel grounded (no “floating” furniture). This defines the space by giving it a border and makes the furniture feel like one cohesive group. 

Imagine this living room without the layered rugs? How would the furniture look sitting on the hardwood floor? Probably like they’re wandering. 😉

54545 lakeside living design northwoods layering rugs cowhide jute cozy winter

2. Layer rugs to add dimension and interest

Speaking of layering, this living room is also a great example of the design power of layering rugs. The bottom rug is made of a sturdy jute while the cowhide layered over the top adds immediate interest. It also makes the coffee table stand out more. Look at that gorgeous wood!

Trending: Skins are the new neutrals these days.

3. Area rugs create a color story and add texture

When the world turns to frosty white and evergreen in the winter, we turn to our homes for color, coziness and excitement — and rugs can play a big role in this. Better yet, the natural wooden interior of most lake cabins match everything. Amen. 

Don’t be afraid to let your eyes lead you to the colors that will make you the happiest this winter. When it comes to your home, your intuition is never wrong!

54545 lakeside living design northwoods rug colorful cabin

4. Rugs help protect your floors!

You know us… we can’t leave you without design advice and practical advice. Here’s the thing. We all know that lake cabins come with their fair share of tracking in the outdoors. (Especially if those wily grandkids are running around!)

The added benefit of rugs is that they protect your floors from dirt and debris, heavy furniture, and high-traffic usage. 

Pro Tip: Outdoor is the new indoor. Don’t be afraid to use outdoor rugs inside. They are perfect for high traffic areas, kids, and pets, and they’re very easy to clean.

5. Area rugs absorb sound and add warmth

When you add an area rug to your home, you’ll notice something interesting… the sounds in the room will become quieter. You won’t hear any echoes (especially in larger rooms) and the space will instantly feel more intimate, cozy, and warm. 

Neat, right? You can also hang rugs from the walls for an even more interesting source of texture and sound-proofing. Here’s a fun example:

54545 lakeside living design northwoods rugs clearance sale

Well, have we convinced you? If you don’t have any rugs in your home yet, you could be missing out! Come on into our store to take a look at how we’re using rugs. Better yet, bring in a picture of your space so we can help you find the perfect rug!

And don’t forget to come take advantage of our rug clearance sale going on through January!

We want you to be your happiest, coziest self this holiday season — and all your special guests, too. 🙂

Lakeside Living


Outdoor Furniture Trends You’ll Be Seeing in 2020

Fall is here in Northwoods, Wisconsin, and right on time… because we’re are fresh out of this fall’s Outdoor Furniture Market! 

Going to market is always a treat for us ladies at Lakeside Living, but don’t be fooled… this furniture market wasn’t boasting trends for this colorful and leafy time of year. Instead, it gave us all a sneak peek at the furniture trends coming next year.

We got to glimpse into next spring, sat on all the furniture to test out its coziness, and best of all, we now get to share our findings with you!

Here are 7 of our top takeaways from this year’s market…

1. Gray as a feature color

Gray is like a blank canvas that you can spice up however you please. As a neutral, it complements any color scheme and adds depth to an outdoor space.

2. Blue is here to stay!

Blue is one of those colors we call “timeless” in the design world. Like gray, it complements nearly anything, and it instantly grounds your space with elegance. Outdoor rugs and accessories are an especially beautiful way to blend blue tones into your home effortlessly!


3. Bright fabrics for outdoor accessories

We saw lots of bright, new fabrics for umbrellas and outdoor pillows. Several were even machine washable — hello, innovation! If you’re looking for some color to spruce up your porch or patio, rugs and accessories are one way to do it.

4. Smaller furniture is back in style

In the past, some furniture lines have carried great, comfortable chairs that were lovable but… were simply too big for our lake houses and cabins. Now, they have scaled them down, and we couldn’t be happier! Same comfort we love, more bite-sized package. 😉


5. Functional sectional corners

I think we’ve all seen the square corner on a sectional scenario… no one can sit there! A side table is your solution. We love how this setup features a square one, fitting perfectly and offering function to both sides of the sofa. Waste not, want not!


6. Sustainable wood-like furniture

We spotted this outdoor furniture made in recycled plastic (happy planet), but it now has the look and feel of wood. Genius. We think these are the perfect find for someone who likes the convenience of plastic furniture, but without the bright “plasticky” look. Simple and beautiful!


7. Design is going nautical

Nautical was… everywhere. We saw roping and ship-inspired framing in all colors and variations! We can’t deny it… these pieces felt perfect for coastal areas AND for our beloved Northwood’s lakeside living. Sure, it might be autumn now, but we’re already dreaming. 😉


So, what do you think? Could you see any of these trends popping up in your lake home? Are there any you think you’d love all year long? Hopefully we’ve inspired you!

If you have any questions about these pieces (or similar styles), we’d be happy to point you in the right direction — whether it’s into the heart of our cozy retail store, as a custom piece made with love in our bustling workroom, or wherever we can find your dream furniture.

We want you to live at your happiest, no matter the season!

To you and yours,
Lakeside Living