The charm, character and construction of old cottages are all qualities their owners cherish. But there’s another quality that makes them even more special: They each have a story to tell, and though it was built nearly a century ago, this cottage’s story continues to unfold. Take a look inside this beautiful lake house cottage filled with a treasure trove of vintage decor.
“I call it our ‘sophisti-cottage’ because the look is [based on] the fact that we love each thing, and the color palette is immense—as a designer, I love all colors!”
OLD HOLLYWOOD DIGS
The house is situated on Malibou Lake in a close-knit community established in 1922 as an enclave inhabited by Old Hollywood film stars. Rustic cottages dot the landscape surrounding the tranquil water, and it’s not unusual to see neighbors paddle by in their kayaks on a lazy afternoon. The cottage has been owned and loved for the past decade by Shannon Ggem, a veteran interior designer, and her husband, Andy, a contractor in the luxury real-estate sector, who share the home with their cat and two dogs.
PAST AND PRESENT COEXIST
The home’s current incarnation artfully combines many respectful nods to its history with vintage decor and some modern-lifestyle sensibilities. “I call it our ‘sophisti-cottage’ because the look is [based on] the fact that we love each thing, and the color palette is immense—as a designer, I love all colors!” Shannon says. A bright-red Dutch door welcomes guests as a portal to the old-cottage charm filled with lake house decor that awaits them inside. “Red is finally on the way back, but it was missing from the trends for years. I love my red rug and door so much; I had to have red in our home.”
The home’s current incarnation artfully combines many respectful nods to its history with some modern-lifestyle sensibilities.
AN INTENTIONAL DOWNSIZE
Vintage decor treasures are strategically placed throughout the rooms. “We scaled way back to fit our lives into a one-bedroom house, so we kept only our absolute treasures,” Shannon says. “The fold-out bar is a favorite; it honors the fact that there was a huge built-in bar in that spot when we moved in. It made sense for a vacation cottage, but for full-time living it took up too much precious square footage. I also love my vintage military globe, which I found at a yard sale.”
SMALL COTTAGE WITH BIG VINTAGE DECOR STYLE
The house may be small in size, but it is big on style, thanks to the creative couple’s design visions and execution. The cottage has 882 square feet, with one bedroom, one bathroom and 1,000 square feet of decks that wrap around to a waterfront dock. “The house was built sometime between 1922 and 1924. It appears in early photos, but there were no records back then,” Shannon explains. “It has been updated through the years through remodeling, painting, adjusting and maintaining constantly.”
Shannon carefully considered the way new finds would relate to the historic architecture and lake house décor as well as its natural surroundings.
Want more simply beautiful ideas? Check out this post on a Home Tour: Lakeside Charm & Industrial Inspiration.