Lakeside Living Design
(715) 543-8131
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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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…

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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).

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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.)

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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.)

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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.

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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

 

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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…

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…

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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…

 

APPETIZER: Put it on EVERYTHING Cashew Dip

Courtesy of Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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.

Lakeside-Living-54545-WI_Outdoor-Entertaining_Melamine-Serveware_Cheese-Tray_Outdoor-Friendly-Platters

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.)

Lakeside-Living-54545-WI_Outdoor-Entertaining_Assorted-Rocks-Glasses-and-Pitcher

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.

Lakeside-Living-54545-WI_Outdoor-Entertaining_Sun-Protection_Shade_Patio-Umbrella

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.

Yours,
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.

Yours,
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….

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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!

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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.

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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! 😉

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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!

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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.

Warmly,
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