A SoCal Lakeside Cabin Gets a Total Remodel for Multi-Generational Vacations
This waterfront home was completely reimagined as a family escape for three generations
Designer Mindy Gayer’s client was looking for something completely new after buying a waterfront cabin in Lake Arrowhead. “The client was a talented contractor and tradesman himself, and bought this Lake Arrowhead waterfront property with his wife after wanting to start a personal project of his own to keep him busy creatively,” says Gayer, “while equally wanting to build something that he and his family could enjoy as a home away from home. Their kids are grown, married, and now having babies of their own, and he wanted a place they could all gather and spend time outdoors.”
The vision was a completely open book, with an open timeline to match. The three-story home was completely remodeled in a unique fashion—one level at a time—to allow the homeowners to still enjoy the space while the renovation took place.
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On the first floor are the kitchen and living space. “The kitchen footprint itself is quite small, and we really wanted to give our clients a full functioning kitchen where they could cook big family meals, with all the modern amenities a newly remodeled home should have,” says Gayer. A counter-depth fridge and custom white-oak island helps make the cozy kitchen feel much larger.
The height of the kitchen also gives it some breathing room. “I love the high ceiling lines in this space,” says Gayer. “It allowed us to make the hood wall such a fun focal point. It showcases the custom kitchen cabinetry, plaster hood, stairwell, and lighting all so beautifully.”
Opposite from the kitchen sits the living room. White tongue-and-groove walls contrast with the charred matte black ceilings, once again playing with height. Under the window sits the corner of the L-shaped couch, made for reading with a view.
Lakefront living was a big priority for the homeowner. “Our client also lovingly restored a Chris-Craft boat before they purchased this home, and that was one of the main draws for pulling the trigger on this lakefront property—because it meant he could keep his boat at the lake, and take it out anytime they wanted,” says Gayer. “He and his wife go up there nearly every weekend now, and take full advantage.”
On the opposite side of the stone fireplace sits a built-in bench with storage, an ideal landing spot after coming in from the great outdoors.
The first floor also includes a guest bedroom and bathroom. “I love how the natural light pours into the bedroom, and that the room itself is somehow both tranquil and playful with the mix of patterns and materials we selected,” says Gayer.
In the first floor bath, the alternating gray and white tiles were chosen by Gayer to create a modern stripe detail.
Upstairs, on the top floor, lies the homeowner’s master suite. While the other bedrooms and spaces are designed for hosting a variety of family members, this soothing space was created for the main couple.
While the room is neutral, there’s still plenty of design play happening. “I love the knotty pine ceiling we added, juxtaposed with the crisp, white wall millwork tucked behind the bed wall,” says Gayer. “Both serve as the perfect backdrop for suspended leather bedside pendants, and the custom rust-colored linen headboard.”
While the bedroom is open and airy, the master bathroom has an edgier touch to it. “We opted to keep this bathroom a bit more understated and moody,” says Gayer. She chose wall-to-wall tile for the room, along with an offset pendant over the vanity.
On the final and lowest level is what Gayer calls the “family suite,” with a bedroom, bathroom, living area, and even its own small kitchen, perfect for hosting larger parts of the family who need a little more space.
This lower level also hosts the laundry area, easily hidden by a barn door. The color choices of black wood and Benjamin Moore’s Millstone Gray paint define the final floor of the home.
“This space feels altogether different from its sister spaces throughout the cabin, but still ties in so well to the overall design of the home,” says Gayer. “We had a lot of fun with the collage wall here, sourcing pieces that reflected the mountain-inspired surroundings and popped against the black wall paneling. I love how cozy this space is.”
The family suite bedroom ties into the living areas with black wall paneling, and black and white textiles to emphasize the different vibe of the space.