Saturday
Dec282013

Winter scenes from the lakehouse

Winter is proving to be just as beautiful as summer in the Poconos. We had a guest today at the lake house. Isn't she sweet? Her mama was ahead of her grazing. She let me take 30 plus photos before moving on.

Harper bolting through fresh snow. She looks like a wolf.


View of the frozen lake from the dock during a snow storm.

A look inside our lakehouse...it's starting to feel more like a cabin. A view of our entryway from the living room. Soon the spiral staircase will have wood treads wrapped in jute for traction. We ripped up the carpet and installed slate tile in the main living area. We plan to install double doors in the laundry closet. We made the side table from cut logs on our property. There's a lot more painting to do, but I'll tackle that in the spring before summer guests arrive.

 

Saturday
Nov232013

Naming the Lakehouse

Have you read David Sedaris' book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim? I love this book, and specifically, the story, "The Ship Shape". When we began considering names for our lakehouse, I thought of this bitter-sweet story, where David and his mother overhear a woman talking about getting back to 'one' of her homes.  Here's the quote: 

“I’d love to stay awhile longer and explore, but my home, well, one of my homes is on the garden tour, so I’ve got to get back to Williamsburg.”
David and his mother continue to repeat and mock the woman's phrase trying to mimic her exact tone eventually realizing they wanted to be able to say the phase to others without making them feel jealous. The rest of the story takes place at the beach where the Sedaris family spend their summer vacations. David's father announces that they should own a beach house. So they spend a lot of time enthusiastically considering the name of their future vacation home. The beach cottage names they come up with are silly, and very entertaining, as you would expect.
 
Most of the houses in our community have signs. One of our favorite house names down the road is, "Oh no we did'n't." Every time we drive by we say it aloud (in the urban dictionary way) and laugh and laugh. This is how we entertain ourselves. Should we try to be clever? Descriptive? Go for a pun? I'm not a huge fan of obvious humor, so I preferred to stick to something more personal, but not just our last name. Then it came to me - a special place with a fine name...Kodai. It's a lake in the mountains of southern India where my husband went to boarding school. AND I've been there too! We visited Kodai on our honeymoon after our wedding in Chennai. "Kodai" was the perfect name for our lakehouse in the mountains. 

 

Once we figured out the name, I turned to Etsy to find a custom sign maker. I already had Bold Mfg in my long list of favorite shops, so I went right into customizing the sign with the help of Dave, the owner. A few weeks later, our new steel sign arrived. I think it's perfect. We plan to hang it from a tree in the spring. So that's that.

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Nov172013

Weekends at the Lakehouse

Last spring we bought a lakehouse in the Pocono mountains. Since then, we've spent nearly every weekend at the house with our dogs. Back and forth...Monday through Friday {well, sometimes Thursday} in my Philly studio covered in ink and lint. Then escaping the center city for a weekend at the lake in the trees.

The project list for the house was long, but not urgent, making it a little more fun to tackle the updates. Once all of the mechanical and efficiency updates were complete, I started working on the good stuff...new slate floors, leather sofa, painting, guest rooms, and, just last week, adding a sandy beach front to our lake front. The new sandy beach is going to make launching the canoe and kayaks so much easier next spring -no more scraping on the rocks. Can't wait! 

Autumn colors arrived in late September. It was spectacular. It made leaving the Poconos to go back to the city more and more difficult. Now all the trees are bare and the lake is threatening to freeze. It's still beautiful. And we still love to be there. 

 Cool morning steam rising from the lake + Autumn color on September 28Cool mornings in the den with views of the lake through the trees

 

I shared a summer and fall's worth of photos on Instagram if you want to see more. http://instagram.com/chaneevijay

 

 

Friday
May242013

kitchen renovation before + after {one}

Happy Friday! I'm finally ready to share one perspective of our kitchen renovation - before, during and a little peek of the after. The after photos are bit fuzzy - taken with my iphone- but hopefully you can still enjoy the transformation. More to come!


After: The new location of the kitchen sink looks out onto the courtyard. Waterworks faucet in unlacquered brass

 

After: White tiled walls with dark grey grout. Brass and glass pendant from Schoolhouse Electric

 

Friday
May172013

our poconos lake cottage

Happy Friday! I know it's been a very long time since my last blog post. The main reason? I've been super busy making beautiful pillows for my wonderful clients. I've also been renovating our historic row house {well...not me, but highly talented contractors}. The final reason I've been holding back blog posts is because I'm waiting for the Better Homes and Gardens magazine feature of our home in Charlotte to be published - it was a year ago this month they did the photoshoot. I stopped sharing renovation photos of our Philly house because once again there are plans for a photoshoot and magazine feature. I do plan to share many progress photos in the coming weeks of our row house renovation {if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen the pics}.

After living in Philadelphia for one year, a few weeks ago we loaded up the dogs and drove two hours from center city to the Pocono Mountains..."The Poconos" to spend our first night at our new lake side cottage. Just as I finished our complex kitchen and master suite renovations at our historic row house, I find myself invigorated with the idea of simple DIY projects at our 1980s lake house

For now, let me introduce you to our lake house!

It was built in the 80s with a fabulous open floor plan. The first level has a large entryway, half bath, coat and laundry closet, eat-in kitchen, dining room and living room - a great room. The back of the house is all windows with views of the mature birch, cherry and spruce trees, and of course, the lake. The spiral staircase leads to the second floor with two small guest bedrooms, a full guest bath with a vaulted ceiling and skylight, and the master suite. The master bedroom is huge with a vaulted ceiling and the same wall of windows the living space below enjoys. The kitchen and entryway have pegwood floors, bathrooms have white tile, and the rest of the house has Berber carpet. The one downside to this house? It's very 1980s in its style and decor. The house came furnished, so I am living with what we have for the most part.  I plan to slowly introduce a more functional 'modern cabin' aesthetic to our home. I've already updated the entryway with cedar trim, paint and lots of hooks {a before and after post coming soon}! I've painted the spiral staircase black from white. Actually, the whole house is light beige with white trim, so there will be many rooms to paint. Here's a photo of the back of the house at dusk.

 

morning steam rising from the lake