The quintessential Wisconsin lake house kitchen usually depends upon how far north you go. If you envision pine logs, birch bark cabinets, antique fixtures, and antler accents, you’re likely in the Northwoods. Follow the river down I-39 and lake house décor turns more modern, even beachy.
We have customers on lakes throughout northern and central Wisconsin who have created some amazing spaces for gathering with family and entertaining friends. Common to all of them is their love of the open water. Bringing that serene feeling inside is central to their design mission.
Open-concept kitchens with their bright, airy vibes are great for bridging the outside with the inside, while providing a multifunctional and interesting space.
Last year, one of our customers did major reconstruction on an 80’s style Lake DuBay home by replacing everything that got in the way of creating a soothing coastal retreat. Interior walls came down and woodwork went from stale brown oak to fresh mission white. They wanted light flowing freely throughout the living room and kitchen without any limitations.
Another way to eliminate visual barriers is to add glass inserts in doors and cabinet frames for unobstructed views. Pantries with glass doors, or even lightly frosted glass, seemingly tie the separate area to the kitchen. Glass inserts around entire upper cabinet boxes and doors lighten spaces and offer soft transitions to the next workspace or room.
Versatile White Cabinetry
The surest way to freshen a room and add light is with white cabinets. Bright white nicely complements coastal, traditional, cottage and farmhouse looks, while off-white and antiqued white work well in rustic settings. One Northwoods customer chose stained wormy maple cabinets for her Adirondack style kitchen and strategically placed a distressed ivory island in the center of the workspace. The simplicity of mission style and flat panel doors fit nicely with most décor.
Big Bold Islands
If you like being part of the action while cooking and conversing, islands are among the kitchen essentials. The size, of course, is relative to available space, but as of late, bigger seems to be better. Two of our Lake DuBay customers added impressive islands to gain massive workspace, an extra sink, seating and storage. Being that they could work from several angles and still see outside also made islands the right choice. Both loved the clean and classic look of marble so they opted for the beauty and low maintenance of Cambria Quartz Countertops. Yet, rustic settings that like to reflect a little wear and tear do well with reclaimed wood tops, butcher blocks and unpolished stone.
Decorative Range Hoods
Range hoods also reflect what’s happening in the room. If your goal is to weave nature throughout the kitchen, then bring in raw elements. Our Lake DuBay customer loved the natural simplicity of reclaimed wood so she accented the range hood with it and coordinated wooden plank open shelving on a corner wall. Hammered metal, copper, barn wood and stone range hoods are good choices for rustic settings.
Spacious Farmhouse Sinks
Whether stainless steel or porcelain, apron sinks are deeper and wider than traditional kitchen sinks and for homeowners who love to entertain, that’s a big plus. Washing large pots and pans after the summer barbeque bash is easier. And if you’d rather let dishes pile up than turn down an after dinner pontoon ride, this type of sink is for you.
Pops of Color
Green has long been a Northwoods staple. Now, blue is showing up everywhere; in wainscoting, islands, cabinets, backsplashes, you name it. The color has joined the ranks of today’s other popular neutrals including white, beige and gray. One of our favorite “painted” kitchens is a Lake DuBay gray. The homeowner displayed her flair for contemporary design in sophisticated gray cabinetry with an island that’s almost as attractive as her view of the lake.
The perfect lake house kitchen is one that fits the homeowner’s vision. If it’s a cozy cabin that’s reminiscent of simpler times growing up around grandma’s place, then use elements that help tell your story. Craftsmen like ours at Swita Cabinetry are the key to turning these dreams spaces into reality. Call us for an appointment at 715-693-2670.
BY KARLA SWITA
Karla is married to Pete and together they own and operate Swita Cabinetry.