September 28, 2022


Residential infrastructure

A home on the water (or the next best thing)


I’ve normally wanted a household on the water. I never have 1. But throughout my stint as a live-in residence stager, when I inhabited six homes in 4 yrs, I lived in a dwelling that wasn’t mine on a lake. Just about every early morning I woke up to a lake perspective from my bed room — and it by no means acquired old.

When DC and I bought our dwelling 5 years back, a drinking water view was not substantial on our priority listing. It was not on our checklist at all. Other aspects — location, amount of bedrooms, price tag, a fenced lawn for the canine — were being.

A number of decades later on, when we redid our landscaping, because I couldn’t manifest a lake or ocean watch, I lobbied tough for a pool. Our landscape designer drew up two programs, a single with a pool, a single devoid of, and we looked at not only the expense of placing in a pool (a whole lot), but also the repairs, which surveys say runs among $3,000 to $5,000 a 12 months for routine maintenance, repairs, electrical energy and h2o.

We put in a drinking water fountain as an alternative, and my husband provided to provide me an umbrella consume. Sigh.

In any case, all this whining is to say that when I was made available the prospect to evaluation a new ebook by Jaci Conroy, “At Property on the Water” (Gibbs-Smith, 2022), I jumped on it. If I can not have a dwelling with a h2o look at, at the very least I can are living vicariously as a result of those people who do.

When the espresso-table ebook arrived, I pored about its 208 polished web pages. I vicariously  toured 12 coastal households, ranging from a rustic cottage in Nantucket to a grand, contemporary revival dwelling in Palm Seashore to a Spanish colonial in La Jolla.

“What encouraged this ebook?” I questioned Conroy, when I bought her on the cellular phone at her Boston residence, where by she life with her spouse and children. She does not have a property on the h2o, but her next household on Cape Cod is within just strolling length of the beach front.

“The strategy arrived in the course of the early times of the pandemic,” reported Conroy, a writer and editor for property publications and present-day editor of New England Modern-day journal. “We have been all dwelling sitting with uncertainty and a large amount of down time. I began asking myself, wherever would I want to be correct now? And I commenced picturing the form of household I personally was craving at the time.”

Which is the sort of property I crave all the time.

Gibbs-Smith publisher; cover photo by Jessica Glynn
Gibbs-Smith publisher cover image by Jessica Glynn 

She drew on her magazine connections for candidates to feature, then did all her investigate, together with interviews with house owners, architects and designers, remotely. “Each home in the guide represents an escape,” she claimed.

Her favorite is a house in Hyannis Port, Mass., showcased in a chapter named “Past Presence.” It speaks to her simply because “it’s not far too fancy, and it is shift-in completely ready for a relatives with children.”

For all those fortunate more than enough to stay on the drinking water, as effectively as people who just want to incorporate a waterfront vibe in their houses, Conroy delivers these design tips:

Make the look at the star: In no way obscure a h2o look at. A whole lot of the waterfront residences do not have any window treatments or the types they have are nominal.

Tone down décor: Prevent any furnishings, fabric, paint or wallcoverings that contend with the perspective. “I am a admirer of daring layout and getting threat,” Conroy explained, “but in a coastal house I imagine you ought to tone that down.” The exact same holds correct for lake perspective attributes. “Any time you can see a system of water, increase it. Which is the rationale for residing there.”

Capitalize on the colours: Pull the coastal colours inside of. Employing shades of white, off white, sand and blue is a superior rule, Conroy stated. Pale pastels like ballet-slipper pink or celery environmentally friendly can also operate.

Never be way too kitschy: Resist themed equipment, these kinds of as more than-the-top rated indications that browse “This way to the seashore.” Though it is high-quality to select throw pillows in coastal tones, skip the ones with anchor motifs. Also, go forward and cling artwork or shots of seascapes, but bypass the nautical props like ship wheels and fishing nets.

Really don’t underestimate the upkeep: Waterfront homes are not reduced servicing. Coastal residences choose a beating from salt, solar and storms. Proprietors of lakefront qualities typically want to dredge their shorelines, and swimming pools, of system, require standard maintenance. So be watchful what you want for.

Now, if you will justification me, I’m off to put my toes up on the fountain.

Marni Jameson is the author of 6 household and life-style textbooks, which include “Downsizing the Family Home – What to Help save, What to Enable Go” and “Downsizing the Blended Home – When Two Homes Grow to be A single.” Reach her at


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