Text: Lydia Somerville
Photos: Jeff Herr

When a couple from New York decided to build a Southern getaway in Georgia’s Reynolds Lake Oconee, they sought out the talents of residential designer William T. Baker to design the retreat for gathering with their grown children and grandchildren. Baker, whose projects at the luxury property are numerous, took on the enviable site, a peninsula encompassing three lots with 180-degrees of lakefront.

Lakeside Deluxe

Lakeside Deluxe

Lakeside Deluxe

Lakeside Deluxe

The clients, being native New Englanders, desired a house in their familiar vernacular, like a Nantucket house in a more hospitable climate. “They had a wonderful vision for a house where their children and grandchildren could enjoy the outdoors, with a pool overlooking the lake and two docks for boats and jet skis,” says Baker.

The house immediately announces itself as a Dutch Colonial with its front-facing gambrel roof and pillared front porch. To the side, a garage is cleverly disguised as an outbuilding. “That’s where we brought the magic,” he says. “We try to make garages an enhancement to the house, with the cars entering through a concealed motor court.” Inside, Baker sought to make the rooms warm and personal. “I try to design interesting spaces so that as you move throughout the house, each room is a discovery.”

Interior designer Susan Bozeman used a concoction of the client’s existing furniture with new additions to make the large spaces comfortable and inviting. “The wife loves blue and wears it frequently,” she says. “Some rooms have a strong blue-and-white color scheme, while others have more subtle accents of blue. It’s a common thread.” Throughout the house, the blue palette varies in intensity but always reflects the changing hues of the lake and sky. White shiplap paneling unifies the main rooms of the house, with accents of blue in upholstery and window treatments. A breakfast room set in a bay window overlooks the lake and displays the New England vibe Bozeman brought to the house. A circular braided rug under the table and tiered iron chandelier subtly evoke the timelessness of Colonial style.

In the bedrooms, the ratio flips to predominantly blue with wallpapers, rugs, and fabrics giving the private spaces a cocooned atmosphere. Baker designed an octagonal hall in the primary suite, where a dressing room, bath, and closets converge on a jewel box of a space bathed in light from the cupola above. “The wife requested a small sitting room of her own,” says Baker. He wrapped the room with walls of windows to give her a quiet, private view of the water.

The one room the husband felt strongly about was the study, a two-story gleaming mahogany-paneled space where he can work. He specifically requested a balcony off it so that he could step out and survey activity on the lake. “He let his wife make most of the decisions,” says Baker, “so when he requested a room tailored to his taste, we wanted to make it really special.” A door from the upper balcony opens onto a second-story terrace with stunning views. Spread out between the house and the shore, terraces offer varying degrees of shade and lead down past a pond-shaped pool to the lake. At any given time, there’s a group on the water, a group in the pool, and family members scattered on chairs, just as a summer day should be enjoyed, no matter the latitude.

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