Decorating & Design

December 25, 2020

The Lakehouse: Lynda Reeves On Choosing The Big-Ticket Items

This is my story of designing our renovation of a century-old lakehouse in Ontario. Each month, I’ll offer a new chapter on the challenges and solutions, and a peek at our progress. You’ll be able to see the actual house come together on new episodes of our video series The Lakehouse.

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada. We’re still semi–locked up, but the air is crisp and the sun is shining and our lakehouse is taking shape in a way that is truly thrilling to see. The new windows are in, the fabulous B.C. red cedar siding is complete, the new cedar roof is finished and the copper eaves and downspouts are almost complete. We have a front porch flanked by beautiful new fir columns and corbel brackets in the same design as the original ones, and the Phantom Screens are in production. The house is insulated and sealed up, and all plumbing, electrical and HVAC is complete. We’re ready for actual light fixtures! Sounds good so far, right?

Not quite…. It’s mid-October and we still have no heat. The gas company still hasn’t given us a date to run our new gas line from the street to our property, and we can’t afford to take a chance. It could get very cold, very soon…. Next week, our temporary job site heaters arrive. Plus, we have to install electric baseboard heaters for the crew to stay warm and for the paint to dry! Must focus on what I can control and not lose sleep over what I can’t, right?

Speaking of sleep, what do you do in the middle of the night? For me, it’s designer prime time! At about 2:30 a.m., I wake up, grab my iPad Pro waiting on my bedside table and tackle the endless lists of yet unresolved details for the renovation of our circa-1929 lakehouse. It’s become my nightly ritual, and I actually love it. It’s when I do my best thinking, and it’s the only time I can carve out for me.

You’d think that, with the resources of our design firm plus the best editorial team for design research in the country, I would have it all on demand. But in fact, every day, new products arrive on our favorite websites and in the stores and showrooms.

Author: Lynda Reeves

Courtesy of Lynda Reeves


House & Home December 2020


Lynda Reeves