Our 20 Best Lake House Plans for Your Vacation Home

Captain’s Watch, Plan #1426
Photo: Southern Living

A weekend at the lake can make all the difference for the rest of your week. Finding a refresh and taking it to work until you can once again escape to your lakeside eden is life affirming. Those times when you can share the experience with friends and family only enriches the experience.

Perhaps it's the laid back "schedule" that aids most in making the lake house your special retreat. Floating on the perfectly still water is penciled in every afternoon, ice-cold sweet tea is always ready to be sipped on the dock, and bare feet are a given. If you like the slow speed of life on the lake, a lake house just might be the ticket to the peaceful oasis you've been dreaming of.

These lake house plans give you the natural, porch-wrapped abodes that embody the no-fuss lake spirit. Whether traditionally rustic or freshly modern, we've got the lake house inspiration you need to get going on your build.

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Plan #1375: Tideland Haven

SL1375 Tideland Haven
Southern Living

2,418 square feet
2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

Sheltered by deep overhangs and a wraparound porch, Tideland Haven is detailed in comfort. Maximizing natural light, French doors with transoms above allow sunlight to enter the interiors for an open and spacious feeling. The outdoors beckon with a porch that is simply to die for.

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Plan #1408: Tucker Bayou

Tucker Bayou
Southern Living

3,554 square feet
5 bedrooms and 4 baths

Inspired by historic architecture, this bungalow-style home combines the comfort of a vacation home with thoughtful features that make everyday life easier for today's busy families. Ample space within these walls feels luxurious and allows for privacy when needed.

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Plan #1454: Pine Island Retreat

Pine Island
Southern Living

2,123 square feet
4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

The influence here leans toward a craftsman cottage, with just enough space to accommodate your family or visiting friends. Imagine a full day on the lake, followed by a peaceful snooze. Throw up a hammock to go along with this laidback cottage that has wood shutter siding along the sleeping porch.

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Plan #1959: River Place Cottage

River Place Cottage, Plan #1959
Southern Living

2,420 square feet
3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

This plan feels fresh, especially for lakeside living. We like infusing the lake style with lighter colors, but keeping close to the laidback feel of the lake. The open plan great room and outdoor fireplace are positioned perfectly for entertaining. Classic comfort is found throughout the dwelling.

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Plan #1393: Harborside Hideaway

Harborside Hideaway
Southern Living

2,288 square feet
4 bedrooms and 3 baths

This stacked, modern lake house gives plenty of storage space for all of your water sport and boating equipment. A wraparound porch provides full lake views for those beautiful sunsets. Is this a weekend getaway, or a plan for seasonal living all summer long? You decide.

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Plan #1426: Captain's Watch

Captain’s Watch, Plan #1426
Southern Living

4,920 square feet
5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths

This stately lakeside retreat has something for everyone, but the most impressive feature is the large open great room that leads to a cozy screened porch complete with a fireplace. This is the best combination of classic Cape Cod and Southern Coastal architecture that we've seen.

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Plan #1420: Tidewater Cottage

Tidewater Cottage
Southern Living

2,196 square feet
3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

If you desire a more country-style cottage, this plan gives that traditional coziness with a low-key lake feel. The welcoming porch deserves a fleet of rocking chairs for each member of your family. We dare you to unplug as often as possible at this charming lake house.

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Plan #224: Nautical Cottage

Nautical Cottage, Plan #224
Southern Living

3 bedrooms and 2 baths
1,315 square feet

This home is warm, spacious, relaxed, and friendly. Inspired by small summer cottages built along the East Coast, this plan is adaptable in a variety of climates and locations. Cedar shakes for the exterior and the Nantucket star design for the porch detailing add to the authentic look and feel.

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Plan #1809: Rustic Lake Cabin

Rustic Lake Cabin
Southern Living

1,426 square feet
2 bedrooms and 1 bath

This cabin features stone accents and clean lines to give a rustic vibe without going too log cabin-esque. The true heart of the home here is the kitchen. Equipped with a central island, you will find friends and family gathered here as you plan your day at the lake.

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Plan #1873: This Old House Cottage

This Old House Cottage, Plan #1873
Southern Living

2,011 square feet
3 bedrooms and 3 baths

This storybook cottage with a steeply pitched roof combines historical architectural details with modern amenities. An open floor plan, a flexible layout, and a wraparound porch maximize space indoors and out for a lake house that's functional, adaptable, and full of appeal.

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Plan #1381: Shad Shack

Shad Shack
Southern Living

1,826 square feet
3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths

Designed in our collection for The Landing at Reynolds Lake Oconee, this home captures the country-style feel of many Southern vacation homes at the lake. The two fireplaces make sure you'll feel cozy all year-around. Designated space for activity includes the play room and the game room.

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Plan #1824: New Tideland Haven

New Tideland Haven
Southern Living

2,622 square feet
3 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths

This slightly larger design of the original Tideland Haven plan still features the same cozy details like deep overhangs and a wraparound porch. Soaring nine-foot vaulted ceilings create a sense of light, air, and space. Large windows and French doors strive to let as much of the natural sunlight in as possible.

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Plan #1799: White Plains

White Plains
Southern Living

2,942 square feet
4 bedrooms and 4 ½ baths

We just don't think you can go wrong with this Carpenter Gothic style home just about anywhere. If you want a fresher color palette and design for your lake home, this is definitely an intriguing way to go. It's inherently Southern, but out-of-the-box.

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Plan #749: Silverhill

Silverhill
Southern Living

1,771 square feet
3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

Cedar shake exterior gives this home a relaxed, natural appearance that's perfect for the lake. Symmetrical shape takes advantage of every usable space, allowing for a recessed laundry closet and spacious living and dining areas. The primary bedroom opens to a screened porch, allowing for the perfect mix of indoor/outdoor living.

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Plan #1936: Gilliam

southern living house plans

3,208 square feet
4 bedrooms and 3 baths

Within these walls are 10-foot ceilings that make this home feel expansive and open. You will play the role of super host when your family and friends take in not just the interior, but the welcoming porch that greets all visitors. Remind yourself that you're here to play in the lake, as leaving this comfortable abode will not be top of mind.

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Plan #745: Bay Harbor Cottage

southern living house plans

2,305 square feet
3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

This farmhouse influenced beach getaway impresses with two stories of porch space, and more than enough room for relaxation and play. The second story shares 3 bedrooms, and includes a balcony adjacent to the primary bedroom. While solace can be found here, you may be drawn to the main floor great room to spend time with family and cozy down.

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Plan #1976: Bayou Cottage

southern living house plans

2,513 square feet
4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths

This lowcountry design speaks to Southern roots and lakeside living. Featuring both a main porch and screened rear porch, there are no excuses good enough to stay inside. Unless, of course, you are snuggling down by the fire after a long day of water play.

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Plan #1211: Turtle Lake Cottage

southern living house plans

1,871 square feet
3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

The charm of the Turtle Lake Cottage's wraparound porch is irresistible. A porch swing or hammock will be a necessity. Inside this home, you will find a spacious living room with a cozy hearth, and the added bonus of the owner's suite being located in the back of the home. Privacy is all yours.

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Plan #609: Lake Haven

southern living house plans

915 square feet
2 bedrooms and 1 baths

Not every lake getaway needs to be large. For some, a retreat means a cabin sized dwelling that still features just the right amount of amenities. With this design, you still have a fireplace to enjoy along with a bonus loft space that can accommodate guests.

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Plan #283: Summer Lake

southern living house plans

5,378 square feet
4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths

The traditional look of this design includes a wraparound porch, lap siding, and a metal roof. The family room features a fireplace that is flanked by built-in bookshelves as well as three sets of French doors that open to a covered porch. Once you and your guests have settled in, it will feel like a never ending vacation.

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