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Design Ideas
Living That Lake Life
With the weather cooling down, fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy a bonfire and s’mores by the lake.
It’s easy to keep looking out to new horizons when it comes to house hunting, but if you’re like the Thomases, you realize the best place to be is where you came from. Christie and Rob Thomas grew up on Lake Wylie, on the border between North and South Carolina. “We knew we wanted to... Keep Scrolling
Written by Rebekah Wahlberg
Photography by Dustin Peck
Styling by Christie Thomas


Its easy to keep looking out to new horizons when it comes to house hunting, but if you’re like the Thomases, you realize the best place to be is where you came from. Christie and Rob Thomas grew up on Lake Wylie, on the border between North and South Carolina. “We knew we wanted to live on this same lake and create similar childhood memories for our kids,” Christie says. Their lake house is cozy and inviting on the inside but they wanted to achieve the same feeling with the grounds surrounding it. Here’s how they achieved that lake life vibe!

Exterior view of a cottage styled shed in the woods.
Cottage Man Cave. The Thomases’ lake house doesn’t have a garage, so they built this charming cottage shed to store yard tools, Christmas décor and other bulky items. It’s also a place for Christie’s husband and son to work on their projects.

In 2000, they bought a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, right near the lake they’d loved as children. Built in 1997, with four bedrooms and three and a half baths, it has everything they’ve needed to raise their three kids, now teenagers. The Thomas family has made the outdoor experience at their lake house match it’s cozy interior. The best vantage point to take in all the sights and sounds is by sailing around the lake at sunset.

Private kayak cozied up with a blanket and cooler set out on a lake at sunset.
Lake Life. Christie and Rob Thomas grew up on the shores of Lake Wylie, on the border of North and South Carolina. They wanted to raise their own children by the lake, where they enjoy all sorts of water sports together.

Fireside Chat

Gather around the fire pit and warm up with a cup of cocoa and a snuggly blanket. Craft a s’more to your liking and enjoy making memories with family and friends.

Ceramic, speckled camp mugs laid out with marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolates for a hot cocoa and s'mores station near the fire pit.
Prep before you head outside so that you can enjoy making memories with your friends and family.

Having blankets and all you’ll need already gathered outside allows you to fully absorb making memories around the fire without having to make constant trips to the house. Nothing is better than letting the time slip away under a moonlit night at the lake.

Adirondack chairs encircle a fire pit next to the lake, surrounded by trees and string lighting.
The Great Outdoors. With the weather cooling down, fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy a bonfire and s’mores by the lake. Piles of patterned blankets in warm colors help fend off any autumn chill in the air.

Want more simply beautiful outdoor ideas? Check out this post on How to Design the Best Backyard for Entertaining. 

Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of cottage inspiration! 

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