Lakeside Living Design
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What it’s Really Like to Work with an Interior Designer

We’ve all seen the HGTV shows that depict the glamorous world of home renovations and interior design.

Unimaginably dated homes are transformed into luxury living spaces before our eyes, and we get to watch it all play out 30-60 minutes at a time, believing that the process is as simple as they make it seem.

But if you’re tv-watching skeptics like we are, you probably have questions. Is all of that real? What happens behind the scenes? How much did that really cost the clients? And what is it truly like to work with an interior design team?

Well, you’re in luck…because today we are diving into that very topic: what to expect during your design project. Let’s get started…


What Does HGTV Get Right and What Do They Get Wrong?

Wrong: Decorators Don’t Cost a Cent

While we are made to believe that the design budget is spent completely on the renovation aspect of things, and therefore the decorating component must be free, that is far from the truth.

Decorators charge for their design services, as they should. Meaning that your overall project budget needs to account for the decorating/design fees that you’ll be charged.

Wrong: Designer Furniture is Out of Reach

Certain shows depict homeowners having to make concessions on furniture quality in order to get everything they want in their finished space.

However, the truth is that designers have access to a whole world of affordable, quality furniture that stands the test of time and adds beauty to the home, all without breaking the bank.

Wrong: You Need to be a Design Expert

We tend to see homeowners who know their stuff on reality home television. They understand exactly what their personal aesthetic is. They have ideas about what will and will not work in their current space or the home they are in the market for. And they appear to have done copious amounts of research ahead of time.

The truth is that working with a design professional is liberating, and you don’t need to have any design knowledge before contacting us. In fact, it is our job to do the research for you, which means that the decisions you are asked to make are informed, and don’t require much time or effort on your part at all. Sounds great, right?

Right: The Process is Fun

We will give credit where credit is due…HGTV does a phenomenal job of depicting the fun and excitement of each and every home renovation or interior design project. After all, we wouldn’t watch if it was boring, would we?

When hiring an interior designer, you can expect that same level of camaraderie, fun, and elation at the reveal. The process is fun and your final result is even better!

Lakeside-Living_Manitowish-Waters_Northwoods-WI_What-it-is-Really-Like-to-Work-with-an-Interior-Designer_Rustic-Cabin-living room-with-Local-Throw-Pillow

What Does the Lakeside Living Design Process Look Like?

Great question! Here is a brief overview of the process we follow when working with each of our interior design clients…

Step 1: Our Complimentary Design Consultation

If you’re looking for professional interior design, or even just some inspiration, one of our experienced designers will sit down with you one-on-one and get a feel for your unique style. Once a contract is in place, we will move forward…

Step 2: A Plan Tailored to Your Home and Lifestyle

As your interior design guides, we’ll lead the way. We want to help make your space feel just like home, which means not only getting to know your space, but getting to know you: where you’re from, your likes and dislikes, the hopes and dreams you have for your home.

With a complete understanding of your needs, vision, and so much more, we will discuss the scope of the work, solidify your budget, organize and prioritize all aspects of your project, and then cultivate a custom design plan that brings it all to life…

Step 3: Presentations and Re-Design, if Necessary

Our team will spend time pulling together everything we have learned from you and creating a design that ties together your lifestyle needs, design wants, personal aesthetic, and project budget into a beautiful package all wrapped up with a bow (figuratively, of course).

We then present our plan and ideas to you, listen to your honest feedback, re-design components if necessary, and start specifying products for the space. Once we have all agreed on the final plan…

Step 4: Purchases, Installation, and the Reveal

Then we make it happen! Our team will purchase, receive, and inspect every component for your new space. We address shipping issues, deliver the items to your home, and install them for you, without requiring you to lift a finger.

Once everything is in place, we reveal the completed design and celebrate alongside you as you experience your dream home in real life for the very first time.


Who is the Design Team Behind this Whole Process?

At Lakeside Living, our core design team is a trio of phenomenal women, and equally incredible designers (and supported by a team of other invaluable women that we’ll introduce you to another time)…

Meet Veronica, Lakeside Living Owner and Design Consultant Extraordinaire…


At the age of 4, Veronica learned to sew on her grandmother’s lap, and that was the very first step toward the conception of her design business. She went on to Custom Home Furnishing Academy for certification in custom upholstery, window treatments, and bedding. Just a few years later in 1995, Veronica established Lakeside Living Design.

She has an eye for creating one-of-a-kind spaces that bring her clients’ visions to life, and a warm and welcoming demeanor that keeps customers returning year after year.

Meet Barbara, Design Consultant and Outdoor Furniture Expert…


Barb has worked in retail as a business owner and buyer for over 30 years. For the past 15, she has focused specifically on outdoor furniture, becoming our resident expert in all things deck, dock, and patio. Many homes in the Northwoods have benefited from her ability to create interesting, comfortable, and peaceful outdoor spaces.

And when she isn’t on the showroom floor or in her office working that furniture magic of hers, she can likely be found sipping a frozen margarita with dear friends.

Meet Tracy, Design Consultant and Color Connoisseur…


Tracy has 15 years of retail experience, having spent the last 8 focusing on outdoor furniture and helping customers create beautiful outdoor living spaces. With her knack for mixing colors and textures that are pleasing to the eye, she is our go-to gal for not only outdoor furniture, but all of the beautiful accessories that accompany it…throw pillows, rugs, and so much more.

She adores working with customers from concept to completion, delights at seeing any project brought to life, and has a lifelong passion for animals…especially hippos (you’ll have to ask her why).


When Should Clients Reach Out for an Interior Designer’s Help?

As soon as possible, no matter the project!

If you are building from the ground up, the sooner an interior designer is involved, the sooner space planning is addressed. By enlisting a designer’s help from day 1, that designer will be able to work hand-in-hand with your contractor to create a perfectly personalized home for you and your family.

If you are remodeling it is also a good idea to have a decorator or designer involved early in the process for the same reasons. Once a contractor has gotten so far into the project, there is only so much a designer can do to work within the parameters of the renovation that is already under way.

If you are reinventing/refreshing any room in your house, a decorator can pull all the details together for you from their rich selection of product lines. This streamlines your product search and planning process, freeing you up to do what you enjoy.

So, if Lakeside Living sounds like the perfect match for your project, whether that is a whole home remodel, a new build, or a quick room update, don’t wait. Give us a call right away and let’s get to know each other.


Other Common Lakeside Living FAQs, Answered…

How much does it cost to hire an interior designer?

We charge $75/hour for a designer’s time once your project is under contract all the way through to the completion of the space. Keep in mind that our initial consultation is always complementary, so feel free to explore the possibilities before you are locked into a commitment with our team.

What services does Lakeside Living provide?

We do interior space planning (inclusive of floor plans), furniture selection, fabric options, accessory specification, window treatment design, wall color/treatment specification, flooring options, and more.

Does Lakeside Living handle remodeling jobs?

We are not architects, so we do not remodel spaces, but we do work with your architect or design-build team during the planning process so that the final furniture layout is considered and space planning is addressed well before the final house plans are in place.

Does Lakeside Living design kitchens and bathrooms?

We do not design kitchens and baths, but again, we do work with kitchen and bath designers to optimize space and room efficiency early on in the renovation process. We also help with cabinet and hardware specification, countertop selection, flooring options, and wall covering or paint color specifications for those particular rooms of the home.

What is the biggest benefit to hiring a designer?

Designers and decorators often make suggestions and offer solutions to problems that the client does not even foresee. By having this critical role filled by a trustworthy professional, you can rest assured that your building, remodeling, or design team is complete…and will think of absolutely everything along the way.


If you’re ready to talk about the home project you’ve been dreaming up, please stop by or give us a call to make a safe, private appointment to visit our showroom.

We would be honored to get to know you, talk about your space, and get the ball rolling for a remodel or refresh this year that helps you fall in love with your Northwoods home all over again.

Until next month,
The Lakeside Living Team

manitowish waters winter cocktail

Fabulous & Easy Craft Cocktails for a Feel-Good Winter

The majesty of ice clinging to the evergreens…the blanket of thick snow covering the earth…the calm and simplicity that comes with frigid days. Winter up here in the Northwoods is breathtakingly beautiful and particularly peaceful. As blissful as that all sounds, however, we are well aware that by the time February rolls around, the days seem to drag on and on and on…

The festive spirit of the holiday season has long passed. The allure of snowy outdoor activities has faded. Cabin fever has set in as visions of summer days, boat rides, and warm sunshine surface.

While we, too, are daydreaming of resuming our favorite lakeside activities and looking forward to all that is to come in 2021, we also have a solution for those winter blues that will cheer you up right here, right now.

A brand new line of craft cocktails that will warm you from the inside out, add excitement to your cozy evenings in, and help you transform your current dreariness into a feel-good winter. (Yes, we now carry these in our showroom! Seriously…stop by anytime. You need at least one of these in your life.)

manitowish waters winter cocktail anise cinnamon

So, Who Are They?

A dynamic duo from northern Florida, Rhonda and Suzanah of Camp Craft Cocktails, set out to share the two things they are most passionate about…cocktails and community.

In order to do so, they’ve created a line of pre-made cocktail kits (in Mason jars, no less) that help instill cocktail confidence into any home bartender… and infuse a bit of fun along the way. The type of alcohol varies from cocktail to cocktail, and yes, there are non-alcoholic substitutes for all of these, making them perfect for anyone and everyone!

Each jar comes with 4 easy-to-follow instructions:

  1. Add 12 oz. of alcohol or other mixer of choice
  2. Refrigerate for 3 days.
  3. Shake before serving.
  4. Share this delicious and oh-so-easy-to-make cocktail with your family and friends.

Now, let’s meet the Lakeside Living Team’s favorites in the Camp Craft Cocktails lineup, shall we…

1. Sweet and Subtly Spicy: “Sweater Weather

winter cocktails in white mugs manitowish waters wi

Perfect For…

Chilly winter days when you’re craving both a hint of those beloved holiday flavors AND a taste of your favorite campfire treats.


An adorable glass jar filled with ginger root, vegan marshmallows, whole cinnamon, and citrus-infused non-GMO vegan cane sugar. (Alcohol not included.)

Winter cocktail kit in a mason jar

Directions For Our Favorite Recipe: Fuego y Amor

  1. Infuse the jar with 12 oz. of Reposado or Añejo Tequila. (For a non-alcoholic take on this, infuse with agave juice.)
  2. Refrigerate 3 days, then strain.
  3. Make your favorite hot chocolate, coffee, or tea and pour that into mugs.
  4. Add 1-2 oz. of the infused Camp Sweater Weather cocktail and stir.
  5. Top with whipped cream (plus a dash of cocoa and chili powder, if you like some spice).
  6. And as the website suggests: “Sip, snuggle, and enjoy!”

2. Cinnamon-y and Citrusy: “Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy kit in mason jar with two glass mugs Manitowish Waters WI

Perfect For…

Warming up next to the hearth with a roaring fire, ambient music, and the laughter of friends and family surrounding you.


A mason jar filled with dried apple slices, cinnamon, whole star anise, cloves, dried lemon slices, and bitters-infused non-GMO vegan cane sugar. (Alcohol not included.)

Northwoods WI Hot toddy made as a warm winter cocktail

Directions For Our Favorite Recipe: Hot Toddy

  1. Infuse the jar with 12 oz. of whiskey or bourbon. (For a non-alcoholic twist, infuse with vanilla extract and water…one part vanilla for every two parts water.)
  2. Refrigerate 3 days, then strain.
  3. Sip chilled, as-is, OR add the infusion to 4 oz. of your favorite hot tea or hot apple cider for extra warmth.

3. Fresh and Fruity: “Cranberry Martini

Winter Cranberry Martini cocktail kit Manitowish Waters WI

Perfect For…

Livening up an intimate dinner party or family game night with refreshing citrus flavors and an effervescent finish.


A ready-to-infuse glass jar filled with dried cranberries, dried lemon slices, dried orange slices, and citrus-infused non-GMO vegan cane sugar. (Alcohol not included.)

Easy Winter Cranberry Martini Manitowish Waters WI

Directions For Our Favorite Recipe: Cranberry Martini

  1. Infuse the jar with 12 oz. of gin, vodka, vermouth, or a combination of them. (For a non-alcoholic take on this, infuse with white grape juice.)
  2. Refrigerate 3 days, then strain.
  3. Shake well before pouring into serving glasses.
  4. Add 4 oz. of clear soda or tonic and enjoy!

4. Tangy with a Touch of Thyme: “Mountain Pass

Easy Winter Pass cocktail kit Manitowish Waters WI

Perfect For…

Cozying up with a good book in your favorite chair with that gorgeous chunky knit throw you were given for the holidays…savoring the snowy season.


A reusable glass jar filled with dried thyme, dried apple slices, dried orange slices, and bitters-infused non-GMO vegan cane sugar. (Alcohol not included.)

Mountain Pass cocktail kit in manitowish Waters WI

Directions For Our Favorite Recipe: The Mellow Season

  1. Infuse the jar with 12 oz. of gin. (For a non-alcoholic twist, infuse with apple juice.)
  2. Refrigerate 3 days, then strain.
  3. Combine 2 oz. of the infused gin, 2 oz. apple cider, 1 oz. lemon juice, and a dash of ground cinnamon in a shaker.
  4. Add ice and shake vigorously.
  5. Strain into an ice-filled glass.
  6. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick.
  7. Enjoy the inner warmth that washes over you!

If you’re ready to beat the winter blues with any of these craft cocktail kits, please stop by or give us a call to make a safe, private appointment to visit our showroom.

While you’re here, we’d also love to help you select some gorgeous serving glasses or cozy mugs that will further liven up these long, snowy, February days.

Let us help you say farewell to cabin fever and hello to a feel-good winter with great drinks, fun servingware, and lots of Northwoods living home inspiration.

Until next month,

The Lakeside Living Team


Manitowish Waters WI antique wood burning stove surrounded by stacks of wood

How to Reupholster Furnishings that Have Sentimental Value

In our line of work, we strive to find a balance between the old and the new. The just-manufactured and the well-loved. The newest technology and the techniques that stand the test of time. 

Sure, it is always exciting when we get shipments of accessories and artwork that can be added to our showroom floor. We love staying on top of the latest trends in cabin life furniture and decor. And it is our pleasure to share those items with you season after season. 

But there is nothing that feels quite as good to our team as when a customer brings a piece into our furniture upholstery workroom, one that has true, lasting, sentimental value. They come to us in the hopes that we can restore it to its former glory. It is those inquiries that bring us joy, give us purpose, and make us fall in love with this industry all over again. 

So today, we are going to share some of those stories with you…tales of cast-off upholstery that was given a new life…family heirlooms that were lovingly revived:

  • A Rocker Restoration
  • An Oak Chair Overhaul
  • New Life for Needlepoint
  • A Saved Settee

Come hear their stories…

A Rocker Restoration

One of our clients brought in this rocker that had seen better days…

Rocker before restoration in Manitowish Waters WI

It once belonged to his great-grandmother, whom he affectionately called Granny, a petite southern woman who loved her family well, worked hard every day of her life, and is remembered as a wonderful cook. 

While our client never had the chance to spend much time of his own with her, he was quick to recognize the role that Granny played in his father’s life, influencing his upbringing and helping him become the great man and loving father that he is. 

At some point along the line, this rocker surfaced, and while our client didn’t see any need to keep it, his wife instantly saw its beauty and potential. Her affection for the piece was all the motivation our client needed.

They brought the piece to us and our team reupholstered it to more than its original beauty…

Family Heirloom Rocker restored to its original beauty in Manitowish Waters WI

Our client and his wife were so grateful that this family heirloom was saved and preserved that their sentiments extended far beyond that of the rocker. 

He said, “In this throw-away world in which we live nowadays, I can say that I am truly grateful that my wife saw [the rocker’s] value, and because of her love for it, I chose to see its value also…I would encourage people to find the beauty in the old things of their life, whether it’s people and relationships or just some old piece of worn out furniture that needs some love and care and time spent on it!!”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Reupholstering a piece of well-worn furniture can preserve the past, inspire others, and change lives for the better. (Have we mentioned that we love what we do?!)

An Oak Chair Overhaul

It wasn’t long ago that another client brought in a pair of Viking oak chairs…

Sentimental oak chair before restoration in Manitowish Waters WI

They were hand-carved, no longer manufactured, and most significantly, once made by a company owned by our client’s family. But they needed some time and attention. 

So our team carefully replaced the worn-out, dated upholstery, and gave these chairs a second life…

In Manitowish Waters WI restored sentimental oak chairs

We like to think they look as good, if not better, than the day they were made. Our client agreed and was proud to bring them home to display and enjoy for years to come. 

A New Life for Needlepoint

When a client brought in a piece of needlepoint art with an 80+ year history, we had no choice but to do our part in rescuing it. Four generations of women had worked tirelessly to complete the stunning needlepoint canvas that you see here…

Sentimental restored floral needlepoint stool Manitowish Waters

In an effort to preserve the painstaking handiwork, we carefully upholstered the canvas onto this stool, not only displaying the beauty and history in a new way, but also giving purpose to this piece that so many women had spent years perfecting. 

The result is a gorgeous stool that we know will be cherished by the family for at least four generations more.

A Saved Settee

Yet another client brought in this unique settee…

Manitowish Waters WI sentimental settee before restoration

It had been in the family for decades and saw many makeovers during that time. But it needed another facelift, and our team was happy to oblige. 

With brand new upholstery, a restored seat cushion in a complementary pattern, and our team’s extreme attention to detail, we created a piece that preserves the piece’s history while elevating and modernizing the aesthetic.

After restoration of a settee with sentimental value in Manitowish Waters WI

It is the perfect vintage accessory for this client’s Northwoods home, don’t you think? You betcha!

How Do We Do It?

Great question! The answer? Two words… or names, rather: Jay and Ann.

Ann Koester upholsterer of sentimental furnishings in Manitowish Waters WI jay fawley

Jay Fawley and Ann Koester

This phenomenal upholstery duo specializes in window treatments, bedding, cushions, and pillows for your home. 

They inspect any piece that walks through our doors, outsource any finish and frame repairs that need to be completed first, add new padding, remove old cotton and fillers that have an odor, create brand new cushions, and update the fabric. 

Sound like a lot of work? Not for them. They are the best of the best and can take any sentimental piece and restore it to its original beauty without sacrificing the history or value in any way. Jay and Ann are amazing!

Now it’s Your Turn…

If you have an older piece that needs to be revived, give us a call! We would be delighted to inspect and measure your piece, assist you in choosing the perfect fabric, discuss options for new seat and back cushions, and provide you with a quote for the scope of work. 

If you choose to move forward, we require a 50% deposit along with the signed contract. (Disclaimer: Sometimes problems remain hidden until the fabric is removed, so there are occasionally extra charges when unanticipated repairs arise, but we promise to keep in communication with you so that you aren’t hit with unexpected charges on your final bill.)

After that, you drop off your piece, we work our magic, and a transformed piece of furniture is delivered to your door. Simple as that!

The best news for you, though? 

During the month of February, we are running a 20% off special for all fabric with a signed workroom contract on a new piece or reupholstery.


This applies to window treatments, cushions, bedding, pillows, and more. Just ask us for the full list when we chat. 

It is our distinct pleasure to do what we do. It is a great honor to be trusted with a family heirloom. And it is an absolute joy to be a part of the restoration process that rescues well-worn pieces, breathes new life into them, and blesses the owners in the process. 

If you like what you see in the pictures, you’ll love it even more when the transformation is on a piece of your own! Our showroom is open (with safety precautions in place), and we would be thrilled to welcome you and your sentimental furniture in for a quote. 

Let’s take that worn-out piece that you wouldn’t dream of parting with and give it a new lease on life…preserving it so that you and your family can enjoy it for generations to come.


The Lakeside Living Team


Blessings of Life at the Lake: This Crazy Year in Review

Winter is upon us. The hours of daylight are fleeting. The lakes are nearly frozen over. Snow flurries are making a regular appearance. And life seems to have slowed to a crawl. Ahhh…December in the Northwoods.

Normally, we’d be looking forward to this time of year, where our schedules ease up and give us a rest from the hustle and bustle of daily living. This year, the quiet seems an all-too-familiar reminder of the months past, in which life came to a halt…and never seemed to resume.

But in the stillness and calm of the low-key holiday season, it feels appropriate to pause, to reflect, and to count the many blessings we have experienced in the midst of this unexpected year.

So in lieu of that trip you may have been planning this December, I invite you to travel with us down Memory Lane as we recount some of the wonderful experiences, life seasons, and home advice we’ve shared with you, our beloved readers, this year…

The Blessing of Travel

2020 started off with a bang when our fun-loving group once again escaped the snowy, dreary Wisconsin January (little did we know that this would be the only trip we’d take all year) 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 and came back with inspiration galore. From gold accents to vibrant colors, rustic charm to eco-friendly home products, we were filled with anticipation at helping infuse these glorious trends into your lake homes this year.

While brief, we are so grateful for this girls’ getaway that provided not only professional inspiration, but also time to connect and make cheerful memories together.

The Blessing of the Outdoors


As the weather started to turn milder, we began dreaming of days by the lake.  We found ourselves ready to watch the sun set on the patio while firing up the grill. So, in that spirit, we got a jump start on summer in Wisconsin and shared our to-do list for preparing outdoor living spaces for the sweltering days and warm, starry nights ahead. From cleaning your deck floors to preparing your furniture, airing out those cushions, adding seasonal accessories, and more, we had you covered!


And then with the summer days came a glimmer of hope. Things were trending in the right direction pandemic-wise, and, at least here in Northern WI, our lives started to slowly return to some new sense of normal. We had the chance to host family at the cabin for a cookout, reconvene the ladies’ monthly book club on the patio, and plan an intimate lakeside dinner party for close friends, which meant preparing our outdoor living areas for hosting with recipes, servingware, and shade coverings that would delight and inspire each of our guests.

It may have been brief, but those outdoor months up north filled our souls, renewed our spirits, and blessed us with safe, sanity-saving connections. Sure, we missed the Friday night fish fry at our favorite local supper club, but Old Fashioneds on our own decks gave us a new appreciation for our outdoor living spaces…and made us extra grateful for this beautiful place we get to call home.

The Blessing of Home

Throughout the year, the themes of comfort, joy, and peace at home seemed to resonate with our team and our wonderful clients. And with the ups and downs, the unknowns and disappointments, we’ve tried to do our part in helping others to move forward…with optimistic spirits and contentment in their homes.


We started small, offering decorating tips that would help take the edge off the dullness of winter and rejuvenate the cabin, making it feel fresh and new again. Fun patterns, varied textures, mismatched furniture, and some good ole Sconnie pride topped our list for reinventing the lake home and bringing some zest for life back into your family’s everyday living.


Taking this a step further, we created a game plan for organizing, decluttering, and redesigning a space that inspired feelings of security and comfort during those days that felt so unsure. Our five tips, from decluttering to decorating, helped many of you seize control of your space, your time, and the way you felt at home.


When we all needed a bit of cheering up, we were able to feature some of the unique and Northwoods-inspired artwork that we carry year-round. After all, art isn’t just an accessory. It makes you feel. With that thought in mind, many of you came in to browse our collections and ask our advice in selecting the perfect additions to the decor of your lake home…and we are happy to report that you left inspired and eager to elevate your indoor living spaces.


And as fall set in, with the changing leaves and regular scent of campfires in the air, we decided to tackle the coziest room of all…the bedroom. We walked you through the basics of bedding and offered inspiration for a comfy retreat that melts the stress away the moment you walk in.

We are so grateful for our homes. Our sanctuaries. The places we can be ourselves, experience the emotions of life, and find ourselves comforted by the people we hold most dear.

Tending to our homes this year has been a blessing…reevaluating our decor, redecorating in a way that inspires peace, and falling in love with our spaces once again. Having the time and energy to focus on our biggest investment has been a tremendous gift.

The Blessing of Work


We were able to start carrying some new lines of custom furniture for all of you this year, and we heard time and time again that these new additions to your home sparked joy and infused some excitement into an otherwise uneventful 2020.

While we had to keep the showroom capacity limited, we loved seeing your happy faces (well, eyes, let’s be real…since the smiles were covered with masks) as you browsed this new lineup and selected the perfect pieces for your lake homes.

Everything looked different this year, but we are so blessed to have been able to stay open, serving you in-person and at a distance. Thank you for your continued support of our business and trust in us. We are so very thankful!

The Blessing of Family

If you’re anything like us, you wouldn’t have survived this year without family. The nightly meals together, the impromptu game nights, the closeness you’ve grown as you’ve sheltered in place together. No, it hasn’t always been a walk in the park, but overall, the family time this year has been an indescribable blessing.


Knowing our families could all use a bit of excitement, we shared a few creative ideas for livening up your kitchen table on those sometimes mundane weeknights with out-of-the-box dinner plans, inspiration for family activities, and a lot of crazy tabletop fun.


And as the holiday season approached without the promise of merry gatherings and large family get-togethers, we put on our thinking caps and shared some of the ways that we plan to show our loved ones how much they mean to us this year. From mailing a gift to sending a card, bringing them dinner, catching up virtually, and more, we brought ideas for closeness, even when you must be far away.

So, as we wrap up this year in review, we realize just how much we have to be grateful for. Our homes, our health, our livelihoods, our loved ones, and all of you — our lovely, loyal customers.

Despite the setbacks and disappointments, the frustrations and unknowns, we’ve persevered, endured, and even thrived…continuing to move forward with hope for the future, joy in the gifts we have been given, and peace with the season we are in.

May you find the time to reflect and rejoice this holiday season, no matter where you are.

With love and gratitude,
The Lakeside Living Team


5 Ways to Show Loved Ones You Care this Holiday Season

This is usually the time of year where we invite loved ones into our lake homes for a roaring fire, great food, and festive beverages (cue the brandy and eggnog). We reminisce about the events of the year gone by and laugh until it hurts. We play silly games (hello, holiday charades), sing carols around the baby grand piano, and make new memories together.

But not this year…

It is no secret that 2020 has been anything but conventional. From virtual school to working from home, shopping almost solely online, halting all activities, and cancelling vacations, it is easy to focus on all of the things that we missed out on this year.

But what about all of the good that has come from this year?!

The quiet evenings in with your spouse, filled with lively conversation and a glass of the best wine. The wide-open calendar that afforded you time to finally sit down by the lakeshore and read a page-turner this summer. The slower pace of life that let you truly live in the moment all year long.

You see, when you look at things that way, we do have so much to be thankful for this year. Our health. Our homes. Our free time. Our memories. And our loved ones.

Sure, we may not be gathering or hosting this year, but that isn’t the only way to show friends and family that we care. Whether near or far, here are 5 simple ways to express your love for others and gratitude for their place in your life this holiday season…


Idea #1: Send a Gift

During this season of giving, why not send something that reminds your loved ones of all the special times you’ve shared at the lake around the holidays. A gift that evokes memories. One that makes them feel they are part of your holiday celebration this year, even if they are hundreds of miles away.

A few local ideas…

  1. A holiday-scented candle from Cranberry Square Farm Market. Whether you opt for the intoxicating scent of pine or the lively notes of a cranberry blend, when your loved one lights this candle, they’ll be instantly transported to the Northwoods, feeling close to you in spirit.
  2. A gift certificate for a massage or mani/pedi at The Spa to be redeemed the next time your loved ones come to visit, they are sure to feel celebrated and cherished knowing that some well-deserved pampering is on the horizon.
  3. A cozy blanket or throw pillow from our team at Lakeside Living in a lake life or woodland pattern. When your friends and family wrap themselves in the warmth of your gift, they’ll feel your loving embrace, even when you’re not physically together.


Idea #2: Mail a Card

Even better than a gift to show your loved ones how much you care? Spelling it out for them in a handwritten letter. Although some might view this as old fashioned, we think that the best expression of your love is taking the time to put pen to paper. Tell friends and family just how much they mean to you and how much you miss their company this year.

If you’re looking for some unique holiday cards, pick up a set from Whimsies and fill them with your own sentiments for a joyful holiday season.


Idea #3: Video Chat

Nothing will ever replace giving your grandchildren a giant hug as they walk through the front door of your home, but you can still share in their joy this holiday season with a family video chat.

Some creative ideas…

  1. Exchange family recipes ahead of time so that everyone can make some of the same special dishes. Then, join a group Zoom call (have you heard of Zoom yet??) while you each eat your big holiday feast. It will be nearly as good as if you were all around the same table.
  2. Have your children and grandchildren Facetime you (the built-in iPhone video app) while they open their gifts so that you can experience the smiles on their faces when they look inside the box and see that toy they couldn’t live without.
  3. Want to have some extra fun together from a distance? Gift your loved ones a “Game Night In” that you can all enjoy together. Laughter…check! Fun…check! Quality time…check! We think this one is well worth the investment.


Idea #4: Order a Meal

Since you can’t gather for dinner together this December, why not gift your nearby friends and family with a delicious meal from a local restaurant? Order takeout, pick it up, leave it on your loved ones’ doorstep (along with a note from you, of course), and give them a call so they know to look outside.

It is like ding-dong-ditch, but so much better! Your gift of hospitality at a distance will speak volumes during this time of year where we are so busy baking that the last thing we want to do is make a full-blown meal.

Some great local ideas…

  1. Aberdeen Restaurant & Bar isn’t just well-known because of their waterfront dining…their casual Northwoods fare is like your favorite Wisconsin supper club…only better! You can’t go wrong with their carry-out menu.
  2. Aurora Borealis, specializing in contemporary, high-quality American cuisine, is sure to be a hit as well. On Friday nights, they even offer a take-out fish fry. And the best part?! You can get bottles of wine and 6-packs of beer to go. Talk about a celebration!
  3. Would you rather wait until you can dine together? Then how about a gift certificate to Little Bohemia Lodge…a delicious dinner at this establishment that has been open and adored for almost a century is well worth the wait!
  4. Or maybe a simple bottle of wine and a couple of fancy cheeses is more your loved one’s style? If so, visit The Wine Barn to select a varietal and some accompanying charcuterie staples that are sure to set the mood for a festive holiday evening.


Idea #5: Buy Flowers

One final way to show your family and friends you’re thinking of them this year? A beautiful, seasonal flower arrangement from Village Market Floral or  Lori’s Flower Cottage.

Whether they choose to put it in the kitchen to enjoy while they prepare their big holiday meal, or it is the dining table centerpiece that steals the show, your loved ones will grin from ear to ear each time they glance at that stunning, festive bouquet, hand-selected by YOU!


Of course we’d all prefer a traditional holiday season…full of big gatherings, an overabundance of sweets, and time spent in person with those we hold most dear. But since that isn’t in the cards this year, it is up to us to make this season extra special.

With a little creative planning, we can make this December one to remember for our family and friends. We guarantee your thoughtfulness will mean even more during this unpredictable time. So what are you waiting for?!

If you’re interested in shopping for that perfect gift in our store, give us a call to make a private appointment to visit our showroom. Or if you’d rather browse at a distance, we  would be glad to help you shop virtually through pictures and then have your packages ready for curbside pick-up.

No matter what, we’d be thrilled to help you select an item that your loved ones will cherish for years to come.

Until next month,
The Lakeside Living Team


Bedding Basics: What You Need to Know and Why It’s Important

Few things are better than crisp autumn nights in the Northwoods. You open the windows and smell the faint smokiness of a campfire in the distance. You hear the lapping of lake water along the rocky shoreline. You see millions of stars shining brilliantly in the clear, dark sky. And you climb into your cozy, warm bed… ahhh!

You’re instantly enveloped in soft, silky sheets… covered in the subtle weight of that beautiful quilted blanket and goose-down duvet. The contrast of the cool, fresh air on your face with the warmth of your bed is what sweet dreams are made of… and you drift off into a deep peaceful sleep.

Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?! As the temperature drops and the days shorten here in Wisconsin, what better time than to give your bedroom some much-needed attention, right?!

From the basics of bedding to the formula for making a perfectly luxurious bed, we’re covering everything you need to know to make the above daydream a reality this fall. Let’s dive in…


1.  Begin with the Bed Skirt

Whether it’s tailored with a box pleat at the corners and lays flush with the mattress, or it ruffles around the entirety of the bed for a more decorative effect, the purpose of the bed skirt is to hide your bed frame. Why, you ask?! Well, because bed frames aren’t always pretty. Depending on the style of bed you have, the bed skirt isn’t always necessary, however.

For example, if you have a platform bed with drawers for storage underneath, you obviously don’t want a bedskirt getting in your way. Or if your bed is built in such a way that the frame isn’t visible, you have nothing to cover up and therefore don’t need this handy bed accessory. This one is your call.

2.  Protect with a Mattress Pad

Your mattress is a sizable investment, and that is worth protecting. Which is exactly the purpose of the mattress pad. It creates a barrier between you and your mattress, saving it from oils, perspiration, dander, and dust mites… you know, all the yucky stuff we don’t like thinking about when it comes to our beds.

For this reason, mattress pads must be washable (and we recommend laundering them every 2-3 months).


3.  Select Soft and Beautiful Bed Sheets

Believe it or not, sheets actually exist for more than warmth. They provide comfort and breathability as well. And depending on your preferences, they come in a vast array of fabrics. (Although we prefer the long, strong, natural fibers of Egyptian or American Pima cotton.)

If you’ve ever been sheet shopping, you know the options are many in the bedding department. From the weave of the fibers to the thread count, the designs, decorative accents and more, there is much to consider. Here are a few tidbits that might come in handy next time you are considering a new bed sheet purchase:

Percale vs. Sateen

  • This refers to the weave of the fibers. A percale weave is one yarn over, one yarn under – forming a grid. A sateen weave is several yarns over, one yarn under.
  • What this means for you, however, is that percale sheets are typically described as crisp, cool, and soft. Sateen sheets are usually described as silky in nature. The choice is yours.

Thread Count

  • This refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch.
  • The higher the thread count, the more luxurious the feel of the sheets. For this reason, we suggest choosing sheets with a thread count somewhere between 200-400, depending on your preferred feel.
  • If you like sheets to feel crisp, opt for the lower thread count… and if you prefer silkier textures, 400 is the way to go. (Although sheets come in significantly higher thread counts, we generally feel that the price tag for those is not worth the very minimal increase in softness.)


4. Layer with a Blanket or Quilt

Sometimes this essential layer of bedding goes unnoticed, especially on those cold winter nights when you want all the warmth you can get, snuggling deep down into the covers. But it is another must-have for all fully-furnished beds.

Providing a lighter covering for the nights when a duvet is too warm, and another layer of warmth for the nights when a duvet just isn’t enough, this dual-purpose blanket sits between the bed sheets and duvet. Plus, it is decorative on the bed, adding texture (and sometimes color) to the overall aesthetic.

5. Don a Duvet (and Decorative Cover)

The duvet serves one purpose – warmth! Because of that, we always recommend duvets with goose-down fill to our clients. It insulates, but still breathes well, making it light and luxurious.

The duvet cover is what you actually see on beds, however. This is the decorative casing that protects the duvet from oils, perspiration, and dander.

Because the duvet itself is bulky and requires special care when washing, the duvet cover is not only beautiful and decorative, but also functional, since it is easy to wash. (We recommend laundering this portion of your bedding once a month.)


6. Polish Off with Plenty of Pillows

At the most basic level, beds should have two types of pillows: sleeping pillows for, well, sleeping and decorative pillows for visual appeal. But there are so many nuances within those categories that it is worth a quick overview:

Sleeping Pillows

These come in two common sizes, standard and king. Generally one standard pillow fits on a twin bed, two standard pillows fit nicely on a full-size or queen bed. And two king pillows fit perfectly on a king bed.

Within the sizes, there is a variety of firmness options as well. Whether you prefer soft, medium, firm, or even memory foam is a completely personal choice.

Because these are the pillows you put your head on night after night, we can’t stress enough the importance of quality pillow cases that match the sheet set and protect the pillows.

Decorative Pillows

  • These come in a wide variety of sizes, and are often layered together to create a cozy and luxurious look for a bed. Here are the most 4 most common decorative pillows:
    • The Dutch Euro pillow measures 36”w x 30”h and two fit nicely on a king bed as a backdrop for the rest of the throw pillows.
    • The Standard Euro pillow measures 26” square. The typical rule of thumb is three per king bed, two per queen or full, and one per twin.
    • Lumbar pillows vary in size, but are long and rectangular in shape, providing back support when needed as well as varying aesthetic appeal for the bed.
    • Square pillows also come in a variety of sizes and are usually the finishing touches on a complete bedding set.
  • No matter the size, decorative pillows should always be covered in pillow shams for beauty as well as washability, since these decorative pillows do get used on occasion.


Sequence for Making the Perfect Bed

Putting together everything we just discussed, the formula for making a lovely, luxurious bed is simple:

  1. Place the bed skirt over the box spring and under the mattress.
  2. Put the mattress pad on the mattress.
  3. Add the bed sheets. Fitted first, over the mattress pad, and then the flat sheet on top of that.
  4. Tuck the blanket or quilt around the sheets.
  5. Lay the duvet on top (or fold this at the end of the bed so the texture of the blanket or decorative quilt can be seen).
  6. Add the pillows.
    1. Sleeping pillows should lay flat on the bed with the case opening facing the outside of the bed.
    2. Dutch Euro pillows should be placed upright on top of the sleeping pillows.
    3. Standard Euro pillows are to be set upright in front of the Dutch Euros.
    4. Decorative pillows (in lumbar and square sizes) should be placed artistically in front of the Euro pillows for a beautiful finished look.
  7. Voila! A bed that looks as warm and welcoming as it feels for you and your guests.

If you’re ready to take your bedding to the next level, give us a call to make a private appointment to visit our showroom. We’d be thrilled to meet you and help you select all of the bedding basics that will transform your bedroom into the epitome of luxury and relaxation.

Until next month,
The Lakeside Living Team



5 Fun Ways to Transform Your Kitchen Table this Fall

As we drive the winding roads of the Northwoods, we can’t help but notice the hints of color that are peeking through the trees…indicating that fall is just around the corner and our warm summer days out on the lake are numbered (say it isn’t so!!!).

Yes, the boat has to be winterized and the outdoor decor stored for the season, but we still have wonderful things to look forward to inside our lake homes as the weather turns colder and the days get shorter.

Being indoors doesn’t have to be a dreary thought. Preparing for cozy days around the kitchen table with your loved ones should be exciting. In fact, with a little creativity, the best memories are yet to be made. Here are 5 surefire (and simple) ways to liven up the chilly autumn days to come…



1. Add some frivolity to your table

We know it can be difficult to say goodbye to dinners under the stars out on your beautiful patio, but just think of all the gorgeous dishware you haven’t used in a while. After all, don’t we all tend to default to our adorable melamine sets while living life outdoors?

That china and stunning glassware that has been sitting in the hutch is begging for some use! Why not jazz up a weeknight meal by pulling out all the stops. A full silverware layette, cups and saucers, assorted fabrics and finishes, glassware fit for royalty…a little frivolity never hurt anyone. In fact, it can make your indoor dinner oh-so-much fun!



2. Spice it up with a variety of salt and pepper shakers

A gorgeous nod to autumn in Wisconsin, these acorn salt and pepper shaker sets are just a few of the must-have options available in our showroom.

And if woodland decor isn’t your thing, maybe you’ll fall in love with this little lake-life-inspired rowboat…the perfect vessel for any spices. And those miniature oars…perfect for serving up just a pinch of flavor.

These seemingly simple accessories can go a long way in livening up any table setting. Trust us, the little details never go unnoticed!



3. Host an impromptu game night

What’s better than family time and lots of laughter? Well, we’d argue it doesn’t get much better than that. You don’t need a well-planned day trip on the pontoon to bring your loved ones together. Simply grab some casual dishware, pop some popcorn, pour everyone’s favorite drinks, and rally the troops around your kitchen table.

An impromptu game night (especially when the fire is roaring inside and the fall leaves are on full display out your windows) will add excitement to any run-of-the-mill evening or weekend at home.



4. Mix up the table

Who says that you have to match place settings? Nobody! Liven up your table by getting a little crazy with the decor.

Mix patterns with other patterns. Solids with other solids. Bring in a variety of chairs, glassware, silverware, dishes, placemats, and more. It might sound like a mess, but it will create a table full of visual interest that brings smiles to everyone you’re dining with. An easy way to brighten up a cool, dark fall night.

Maybe even try to create a place setting to match each family member’s personality. A fun challenge? We think so!



5. Host a formal family dinner

You are cordially invited to dinner with your family. Sounds pretty fancy, right?

If planning ahead is more your thing, forego the impromptu meals and get busy creating an elegant dinner for your loved ones.

Use your best dishware, find an interesting centerpiece, light some candles, and start making that 5-course meal. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to gather around a beautiful table with all of your favorite people. Any night can be a holiday with a little bit of planning and imagination.

If you’re ready to liven up your table in preparation for fall, stop by our showroom! We’d be thrilled to meet you and help you select something extra special that makes your indoor living just as memorable as your days in the great outdoors.

Until next month,
The Lakeside Living Team


northwoods wi 54545 lakeside living lake cabin decorating art ideas fish sculpture

How to Liven Up Your Lake Cabin with Beautiful Wall Art

It’s summertime in Northwoods, Wisconsin, everyone! Cabins are open and lively, the lake is calling, and our homes are the perfect spot to enjoy a cool break from the outdoors (or escape the occasional showers). Last month, we talked about sprucing up your outdoor entertaining areas. This month, let’s talk about livening up the interiors… with art!

We’ll start with the impact of art in your space, share some types of wall art you can choose from, and then inspire you with 8 of our favorite lake cabin art selections. Let’s go!

How does art change the way you live and feel in your home?

We love this question! Art is one of those highly underrated aspects of decorating a home, because the right piece, or pieces, can do SO much to create the ambiance you want.

Art can…

  • Create an emotional feeling in your space through color and composition
  • Revive warm memories each time you pass it
  • Invite lively movement or relaxing stillness into the room
  • Make a room feel as if it has more depth and spaciousness
  • Harmonize the other colors in the room for design cohesiveness
  • Start conversations with guests!

What is wall art?

Well now, that’s a great question. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we believe that applies to art, too! While  you could put anything you love on your wall, the most common types of decorative wall art we see are…

  • Paintings
  • Framed portraits or prints
  • Sculptures or mounted pieces, from artistic to functional (you’ll see what we mean in a bit!)
  • Rugs, hides, or other hung textiles

To help inspire you, we’ve selected 10 of our top favorites from our showroom. Come take a look…

Our Top 8 Picks for Wall Art

1. Decorative Statement Clock

decorative wall art clock northwoods wi 54545

This piece falls into the category of art that is also functional — a clock! Enjoy the beautiful artistry of Roman numerals and a vintage feel while always being able to check the time… you know, so you can count down the minutes until those delightful grandchildren arrive!

2. High Quality Nature Prints on Canvas

canvas print giclee northwoods wi 54545 lakeside living cabin art ideas

Bringing the outdoors into your home has been shown to increase feelings of health, restoration, and a positive mood. It’s also worth mentioning that art with depth, like many landscape scenes, can help your room feel bigger!

We love this canvas and ink print, created with the high quality Giclée printing method. It’s a very close replica of original artwork at affordable prices. And would you look at those colors? So cheerful!

3. One-of-a-Kind Original Artwork

northwoods wi 54545 lakeside living cabin art ideas loon painting oil canvas

If you’re looking for an original piece to add to your art collection (or start a new one!), this oil painting on canvas, called July Jewels by John McFaul, has your name all over it! Just kidding… it is actually signed by the artist and the only one of its kind.

4. Metal Wall Art, from Nature-Inspired to Abstract

northwoods wi 54545 lakeside living lake cabin decorating art ideas fish sculpture


northwoods wi 54545 lakeside living cabin art abstract sculpture wood

Another type of art that we love are metal installations, like this school of fish and intriguing abstract circle composed of a variety of metals in different glossy finishes. The first can add exciting movement to your space (great for conversations!), while the second is sure to have your guests inching in for a closer look!

5. Bringing the Wildlife Indoors

northwoods wi 54545 wall decor antlers lakeside living cabin

cowhide wall art ideas cabin living lakeside wi 54545

Proof that hides aren’t just for decorative flooring! Hang a hide on the wall and add other decor for a layered look that draws your eyes to beautiful colors and textures. Or, add another touch of wildlife with our collection of antler mounts. The perfect touch of rustic decor and a nod to the nature that lives around us here in beautiful Wisconsin.

6. Whimsical Prints for a Daily Smile

whimsical lake cabin living ink prints canoing camping 54545

Capture the joy of Northwoods living with these simple yet delightfully whimsical ink prints. From canoeing on the lake to memories of camping in the backwoods, these prints are sure to bring a smile to your day each time you pass them.

7. Canvas-wrapped Prints

canvas wrapped print bear sleeping sunshine white flowers art ideas lake cabin 54545

Canvas-wrapped prints are another beautiful way to liven up your walls and lake cabin. Unlike the framed Giclée nature prints, these wrap around the edges of the canvas for a more dimensional look. We particularly love this one, a sleeping bear surrounded by sunlight and basing in the aroma of forest flowers. Certainly creates an ambiance, doesn’t it? 🙂

8. Oversized Mirrors

oversized mirror natural wood frame cabin rustic decor lakeside living 54545

Last but not least, mirrors can definitely fall into the category of art! They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles, and the best part? They add light to a room and make it feel bigger! We love this wood-framed, oversized mirror, perfect for bringing a touch of the outdoors into your cabin.

And there you have it, 8 ways to bring art into your lake cabin, and all of them guaranteed to bring a smile to your face or little liveliness to your space. 🙂

If any of these caught your eye, we invite you to come see them in person… Better yet, bring photos of your space — and we’ll help you pick the perfect piece for your home!

See you then,
The Lakeside Living Team


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.

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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.

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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.

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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