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How to Turn Your Lake House into an Atlantic Haven

This lakeside home elegantly combines the spirit of Cape Cod with the beauty of southwest Missouri.

By Lucie Amberg

Jun 2021

Cape Cod style lake house dining room, kitchen and living area in grays and whites
Photo by Brandon AlmsThere are three separate finishes in the main room: a weathered finish on the floor, whitewash on the ceiling and custom-stained shiplap near the fireplace. These texture differences make the monochromatic look work well. Purchase Photo

Like many people, Sherri Mocker wanted her home to feel like a soothing retreat, the kind of environment that greets you like a beloved grandparent’s hug. For her, these feelings are most associated with the East Coast seashores where she spent her childhood. When she and her husband Jeff built their lakeside home, they infused their piece of Ozarks paradise with Cape Cod style. The end result speaks to the couple’s shared love of sailing and the understated serenity of iconic Atlantic towns like Nantucket and Kennebunkport. 

Achieving this vision meant maximizing the property’s prime location on a secluded cove, which provides stunning views of the lake, hills and sunset. As Mocker says, “When I grew up in New England, even when it was cold we had places where we could look out at the water. We could snuggle in with blankets and still enjoy [the view].” So the structure features many windows, which illuminate the home with natural light and keep the outdoor beauty front and center. And it offers intimate, “niche-y” spaces where someone can cozy up on their own, a common feature in New England. 

The Mockers collaborated with Cindy Love of Cindy Love Interiors to outfit their dream home in beach-inspired furnishings and designs. On the main level, Love focused on nautical elements, such as weathered wood, along with navy accents and clever touches, like a ceiling fan with blades made from sailcloth. Upstairs, Love doubled down on the energy of a shore-side stroll, bringing soft blues and greens—the colors of sea glass—into peaceful living spaces. 

And it worked. “When I come home, it truly feels like my home,” Mocker says. “It makes me feel like I’m back home with my grandparents.”

How to Style It 

1. Think texture

Intentional fabric and fixture choices can give your space an Atlantic makeover. First, Love recommends forgoing brushed nickel or bronze fixtures in favor of polished chrome. You know the kind she means — something shiny enough to earn you shore leave. Then, contrast it with weathered finishes, like the custom stains in the main room of the Mocker home, and seaworthy fabrics, like crisp linen. If you need a starting point for classic upholstery, she suggests checking out the brand most closely associated with East Coast style: Ralph Lauren.  

2. Take cues from your own surroundings

For the Mockers’ lakeside home, Love avoided patterns with lobsters, starfish or anything that felt closer to Bar Harbor than Branson. Instead, she zeroed in on design elements like anchors and stripes, which easily adapt to either fresh- or saltwater settings. Love placed lanterns throughout the house as both lighting fixtures and accents. As she says, “You want it to feel like it belongs at the lake.”

3. Bring green inside

Anyone who visits the Mocker home will be awed by its lake view. Love underscored this indoor/outdoor energy by placing plants throughout the house. One of her favorite tricks? Using high-quality artificial versions, especially succulents. “They look incredibly real,” she says. And thanks to their low maintenance, they’re an especially good choice for vacation homes and weekend retreats. 

Bay window overlooks lake
Photo by Brandon AlmsThis cozy bench, just outside the guest room, is Mocker’s favorite place to sip coffee and enjoy a book, all while taking in the picture (window)-perfect view of the cove. Purchase Photo
Table with blue vases and beach painting
Photo by Brandon AlmsThroughout the home, sandy hues and rugged-looking surfaces evoke the feeling of sand beneath your feet. Purchase Photo
Teal tile in bathroom with two sinks
Photo by Brandon AlmsMocker and Love both adore these picket-shaped tiles in sea glass blue. Thanks to their textured surface, this accent wall subtly shimmers and changes in the light — just like water. Purchase Photo
Bedroom with blue and white bedding
Photo by Brandon AlmsThe bedroom is just as beachy as the rest of the property, with a slightly warmer color palette to make things more cozy. Purchase Photo
Bathroom with white tiling and background and blue cabinets
Photo by Brandon AlmsThis porthole window doesn’t just reference the Mockers’ deep love for sailing; Love says it also helps “flood the room with soft, diffused natural light.” Purchase Photo