Joan & Keith's Lake House

June 04, 2014
Joan & Keith's Lake House

It’s no surprise that after raising five children in a three-bedroom family home that Joan and Keith were looking for somewhere quieter and more spacious once the kids moved out.

A keen eye for stylish design, Joan had been gathering ideas for literally years, and still to this day has many of the magazines that fuelled her inspiration for the ‘new’ home, located in regional Victoria.

In fact, at the risk of sounding like a cliché, Joan and Keith’s beautiful home is prime magazine front cover real estate.

Firstly there’s the location – above a small cliff overlooking a lake.

Then there’s the garden – both Keith and Joan have the greenest of green thumbs and it was in fact the garden’s potential that initially led them to the block (itself probably only two blocks from their original family home).

Standing tall and at pride of place to one side of the garden are three incredible oak trees, at least 90 years old, which give the setting a lush and almost English countryside feel.

Then there’s the quiet – down a slope away from the road, hugged by manicured shrubs and garden beds, the only sound one hears are the birds and Joan’s opera music wafting from inside.

Lake House Garden

The much loved and cared for garden.

Moving inside and the home is every bit as thoughtful, well-maintained and charming.

Joan and Keith were after space; and space they certainly created.

Lake House Open Plan Living

Open plan living at its best.

A generous open kitchen, dining and living room spill into a cosy lounge to one side, and to the other an indoor/outdoor space perfect for alfresco entertainment.

Billowing curtains spill from one side of this outdoor area, keeping the (sky roof) covered area somewhat protected from the elements.

Lake House Alfresco Living

Alfresco living, perfect for the large family visits.

Pull these aside however, and you’re instantly in the trees – one full side of the space looking immediately into a canopy of treetops – so close that some of the limbs are almost teasing their way ‘inside’.

Lake House Lush Greenery Balcony

The balcony, lovingly invaded by lush green foliage.

Lake House Lush Green Foilage

More stunning foliage hugging the home's balcony.

There’s a wonderful seamlessness between outside and in, much of it attributed to Joan’s attention to detail.

French doors and windows, for instance, remain bare.

The lack of pelmets and window accessories not only maximise the sense of space (also accentuated by high ceilings in every room), but create a clean view into the garden and beyond to the lake.

Indeed, each room in the home has a virtual gallery – framed shots straight out to the garden, the treetops, the lake.

A generous veranda wraps its way around the house, a wonderfully Australian nod to an otherwise very contemporary, beautifully rendered finish (Boncote Cement, Porter Paints ‘Sand’).

It’s evident that Joan loves a lamp.

The home features beautiful vignette nooks and crannies worthy of their own photo shoot – a stylish desk lamp and vase of fresh blooms here, a mother-of-pearl floor lamp and low-lying (so as not to interrupt the clean lines and views to other parts of the room) glass coffee table there.

Lake House with beautiful Lamp

A picture perfect vignette.

But it is her Italian limestone fireplace that is an incredible stand-out feature, and something Keith (not into delicate ‘pretty’ furniture by any stretch!) was happy to encourage.

Visible right through to the back of the kitchen, the fireplace has an almost translucent sheen to it.

Lake House Country Kitchen

The gorgeous kitchen looking towards the stunning Italian limestone fireplace.

It’s an incredibly simple and bold design – a handsome addition to the room that pulls you in, whether it has a roaring fire in the middle of winter, or looking cool and clean in the thick of summer.

A powder room, an extra-large bathroom with a toilet, and floor-to-ceiling robes reaching at least 10-feet high in each bedroom help make this home adapt to holidays.

It might be a picture of tranquillity during family ‘off-season’, but when the kids and grandkids are in town, functionality moves to the top of the list and the house performs brilliantly, something the two were adamant about when working with their local architect.

Beautiful Lake Sunset

The tranquil Lake at sunset, bliss.

As a boat sails over the lake and Joan turns the CD down a little and thinks about pouring a glass of local Prosecco, it’s almost impossible to imagine this home full to the brim with family, but you get the feeling that’s just the way these grandparents love it.

Joan’s Building Tips:

  • Research thoroughly to get an idea of the look you are trying to achieve.
  • Magazines and TV are great sources but so too is travelling around and keeping a keen eye open as you go.
  • Build up a good rapport with everyone involved in the process. This really can help alleviate stress.