Naturally Inspired Georgia Lake House
When Leo and Kay Berard decided to relocate to their Georgia lake house permanently, they set out to build a year-round summer camp.
When Leo and Kay Berard decided to relocate to their Georgia lake house permanently, they set out to build a year-round summer camp. With the help of Charlotte, North Carolina, architect Ken Pursley, the couple was able to build a no-fuss, family-friendly house for living year-round on Lake Harding.
After tearing down their prior (smaller) cabin on the same property, they set out to build a space that worked for them, with a few factors in mind: One, they wanted the house to be a place that would draw visitors in, particularly their nine grandchildren. And two, they also wanted the house to reflect the nature around it. “We felt that the house should be only a part of the overall lake experience—not pop off the knoll like ‘ta-da!’” says Kay. Thanks to some thoughtful lake house décor, (like a built-in banquette and a screened-in living and dining area) the couple now calls the crowd-friendly house by the lake home. For even more lake house decorating ideas, check out some of our favorites here.
Year Round Lake House
For twenty years, the Berard family spent carefree summers at their small vacation cabin on a breezy knoll on Georgia’s Lake Harding. But with the kids grown and the careers winding down, Kay and Leo were ready to consolidate. When the lakeshore beat out the suburbs as their permanent nesting place, the two wanted to hang on to the cabin feeling but give it year-round function.
Years before they started building their dream house, Kay began clipping magazine pictures of lake houses she liked. She was drawn to natural, no-worry decorating materials and a design that would blur the distinction between indoors and out. The couple’s main goal was to build a gathering place to draw their three grown children and nine grandchildren (all ages 10 and under!) like a magnet.
Planning a Family Home
Through her magazine research, Kay found the work of Charlotte, North Carolina, architect Ken Pursley. In his projects, she saw the rustic yet sophisticated style she and Leo were after. In Ken, Kay found a visionary partner who could translate her ideas into a home beyond her imagination. Here, Kay and Ken describe how Camp Berard came together.
Leo and Kay Berard with Cavalier King Charles spaniel Oliver stand in their home’s dramatic 91⁄2-foot-tall front door.
Hanging lantern: Copper Hanging Onion Lantern (HRG12); hammerworks.com.
Lake House Layout
Built in sections, the lakeside home has wings angled out to embrace visitors.
Heart-pine floors milled from beams salvaged from Goldens’ Foundry and Machine Co. in Columbus, Georgia, are stripped down to their natural gleam to lighten and brighten the rooms.
A banquette offers maximum seating and visually links the furniture and architecture.
Wall wash: Urbane Bronze (SW7048), cut 50% with water; sherwin-williams.com.
Chandelier: Gothic Chandelier (DL-CD06); dennisandleen.com.
Dining table: Trestle Table in Dark Oak; tablesofdistinction.com.
Dining chairs: antique. For a similar look, try Tuscany Side and Arm Chairs; hickorychair.com.
Painting: by Camille Owens; 706/505-4371.
Floors: reclaimed heart pine.
Floor stain: custom mix of 1 part Beechwood (SW3132) and 1 part Culinary Cream (SW3127); sherwin-williams.com.
Dark, woodsy hues, such as the bark brown stain on interior walls and trim and driftwood gray on the cabinetry, set the mood.
Well-chosen accents of red, chartreuse, and turquoise stand out from the subdued backdrop without interrupting the calm.
Topped with poured concrete, the extra-large island has ample bench seating.
Ceiling paint: Mindful Gray (SW7016), satin finish; sherwin-williams.com.
Countertops: custom copper; cottoncustommetals.com.
Island paint: Anonymous (SW7046); sherwin-williams.com.
Island countertop: poured concrete; dexindustries.com.
Benches: Custom by Frankie Tice; 706/888-3242.
Bench fabric: Fantasia Terracotta (5732014); peachtreefabrics.com.
Family Friendly Furniture
Furnishings dressed mostly in mushroom-hued fabrics allow the architecture of the rooms to play the starring role.
A bump-out bay of windows creates a cozy sitting room with a 180-degree view.
Sophisticated Camp Style: Woodsy Colors
Durable wicker seating, sisal rugs, and cotton fabrics mean minimal worry and upkeep.
Brown wicker furniture: For a similar look, try Anacara Mariner All-Weather Wicker Patio Conversation Set; hayneedle.com.
White rattan armchair: For a similar look, try President’s Chair (776505) by Palecek; palecek.com for retailers.
The outdoor dining table’s pedestal is made from crating material.
Dining benches: custom by Century Upholstery, Atlanta; newcenturyupholstery.com.
Dining bench fabric: 54" Canvas; sunbrella.com.
Dinnerware: Woodland (spode.com), available through St Elmo @ Home; stelmoathome.com.
Chandelier: Large Garden Chandelier by Jeremie, available through BA Evans Home House, LaGrange, GA; 706/882-1184
The screened living area connects to the main house via a vine-covered portico.
Down by the water, the boat house is playground central, complete with the kid-favorite diving board.