Interior designer Meg Braff is the queen of making casual look chic. We asked her for a crash course in Lake House 101.
Great Room Space
Meg worked with the existing mid-century architecture in the main living area. She kept the original brick flooring, refinishing it in a glossy sheen for an updated look. A few coats of white paint transformed dark wood walls with olive green trim from drab to fab. "White paint gets you pretty far," she says. Source GuidePaint: White Dove (OC-17); cushion and pillow fabrics: 54" Canvas; similar item available from Franklin Cruise;
| Credit: Photo by: Lisa Romerein, Styling by: Rebecca Omweg

What are your top sources for laid-back living? Rattan and wicker play up that whole back-to-nature feel and work well in a lake house. Palecek ( and Atlanta-based Mainly Baskets ( are great sources.

Favorite online resource? Dash & Albert indoor-outdoor rugs ('re colorful, casual, durable, simple, and relatively inexpensive. I used them in nearly every room!

What are your best lake house design tips? Keep it simple and cheerful. You want the feeling that you can sit anywhere in a wet bathing suit and walk around barefoot.

Any thoughts on space planning? Don't overlook outdoor spaces. They are just as important as the interior. An outdoor fireplace or fire pit is always a bonus.

What's the one thing every lakeside retreat should have? Ceiling fans! Especially here in the South.

Do you have a choice paint color? White Dove (OC-17) by Benjamin Moore ( is my go-to shade for walls and trim.

Meg Braff Interiors; or 212/355-2482.