Lake Cottage Living Room Design Plans

LAST UPDATED: Feb 14, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Apr 03, 2018 | By: Julie Blanner

Our lake living room design plans, revealed.

pencil and paper co one room challenge

Nothing inspires me quite like spring. Or maybe it’s the anxious feeling you get when it’s cold and rainy outside and you spend more time indoors. Either way, it motivates me to get a few things done. This beautiful room from Pencil and Paper Co doesn’t hurt, either! In fact, it’s my inspiration to update an awkward space.

When we purchased the lake cottage, we purchased a little furniture to pair with a few things the previous owners so graciously left behind for us to enjoy. Now that we’re getting settled in, we look forward to making the lake cottage our own.


We were unsure how we would design it, what color we would paint it and whether we’d take a rustic or modern approach.

The living room quickly became a hodge podge of blue chairs we had intended to use in the lower level living room, weathered side tables that we purchased, but never really fit, a tan sofa, white ceiling fan and a coffee table. A few iPhone photos will show you the work in progress.

The living room, kitchen, hall and stairs are all open with vaulted ceilings, which makes it feel spacious, but also requires a lot of consideration for overall design.

We refreshed the kitchen and guest bedroom just off the entryway, removed wallpaper, dated blinds and painted the room in a soft but bright cream paint color.

I also decided that it was worth the risk to update the sconces without knowing what lighting we’d use for the eat-in kitchen and living room, and still love them.

Finally, we’re ready to focus on the living room design. A few easy tweaks and a few new purchases will complete the design and take this space in the right direction. We ultimately decided to lean a little more fresh and modern!

modern living room design

We decided to add 2 more chairs and pull the living room furniture in to leave a walkway near the stairs and by both sets of windows. This will make the large, open room feel more intimate while focusing on the views. We’re dismissing the fireplace {though we frequently enjoy it} because nothing in this room is centered, so we just want to embrace the selling point – the view.

We replaced the slipcovers on the sofa and existing chairs and immediately, it felt more up to date since the existing were competing with the carpet.

We loved the square shape of the existing coffee table, but have opted for a larger more modern raffia covered coffee table. It’s a foot longer each direction, which will allow all guests the opportunity to kick their feet up and relax, have a place to set a drink, etc.

We’re also adding 2 stools that won’t block the lake view, but offer impromptu seating should we have additional company. These inexpensive stools {available in my shop} will be recovered in leather for additional color and texture.

At this time I plan to retain the bar cart {which matches the stair railings} that I purchased for just $60 at Target on clearance a couple years ago {a similar one is being released Sunday!} and the pillows I had made. A few accessories both old and new will complete the space.

A few additional throw pillows and an obsession with configuring them {see how I do it here} that I can’t wait to see in person this weekend. how to arrange pillows

I am SO excited to replace the ceiling fan with a chandelier. A chandelier makes a statement, but it can also be positioned to make a room feel warmer and more intimate, something you lose with vaulted ceilings. It’s the best of both worlds.

Again, because nothing in this room is centered, we’ll use a hook to create a swag for the time being. While not ideal, having a light positioned over the seating area will make it feel more intimate.

Eventually, we’d love to add hardwood floors and a rug to transition each room seamlessly, but for now, I’m beyond thankful to have this peaceful retreat!

Oh, and that chimney, you’ll see! I also found a fix for the hunter green tile in the entryway. I can’t wait to show you more!

Follow along on Instagram stories to see how this room progresses!

Want to see more about the lake cottage living room? You can check it out here.