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Breezy lakeshore retreat in harmony with nature on Lake Winnipesaukee

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This family lakeshore retreat was designed by Whitten Architects, nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. The Boston-based homeowners are a young and active family of four who was seeking a lakefront summer home they could use as a seasonal escape from the city.

Where they landed was a wooded site with ideal southerly views of Lake Winnipesaukee, situated perfectly for New England, affording the opportunity to arrive from the North and then move towards the South as you walk through the home towards both the primary view and the sun. A blend of rustic and modern details, the family refers to their cozy retreat as ​“Treehouse Time.”

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT Whitten Architects BUILDER Beckwith Builders INTERIOR DESIGNER Belhaakon LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Richardson & Associates STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING Albert Putnam Associates PERMITTING Folsom Design Group of Wolfeboro

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At the beginning of this lakeshore retreat project, there were existing structures that had to be removed on both lots — a circa 60’s ranch that had long since reached its lifespan (and was in violation of state shoreland zoning requirements) on the guest house/​boat house lot and a poorly sited and configured circa 90’s house on the main house lot. Neither of the structures was in tune with their surroundings, missing the opportunity to connect with the views, sun, and outdoor spaces.

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The architects devised a site-specific design that focused on defining a tangible, sensory and cohesive bond between the two properties, drawing a throughline from the outside, in.

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The homeowners dreamed of a place where they could regularly entertain visiting friends and family from around the world, offering a home away from home that was warm and welcoming. At the same time, they didn’t want the home to feel cavernous when it was only the four of them.

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The design solution was to create a series of interconnected and open spaces — a dining room, lakeside terrace, family room, west-facing courtyard, living room, and recreation room — that organically pinwheel around the kitchen on the main level.

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The architects ensured that each of these spaces, while connected to the whole, felt entirely different in character from scale, amenities, and furnishings to materials, quality of light, connection to the outdoors, and views.

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Above: The material palette on the interiors is a combination of white oak, blackened steel and ebony stains.

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The rec room with games galore is audibly connected to the kitchen via an open-air stair to the lower level while private family bedrooms are quietly tucked away on the upper level.

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What We Love: This lakeshore retreat provides a wonderful family getaway home that communes with mother nature. The project team did a fantastic job of blurring indoor-outdoor boundaries with expansive walls of glazing throughout. Living spaces are designed to be high-quality and functional, with nothing too fancy for a place where you want to relax and feel comfortable. Overall, this home provides majestic views that will leave one feeling at peace.

Tell Us: Would this be your idea of the ultimate family lake house to escape city living? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below!

Note: Check out a couple of other fascinating home tours that we have highlighted here on One Kindesign in the state of New Hampshire: Tour this spectacular lakeside dream home in New Hampshire and Delightful barn style home in New Hampshire with a cottage-inspired feel.

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With cozy home entertaining in mind, the kitchen was designed with a commanding view of both the rest of the home and the site. While standing at the kitchen sink you can see visitors arriving via car, or by boat, and from the path connecting the main house to the guest house, with a full view of the dining room, family rooms, and fireplace.

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Above: The kitchen features board and batten millwork. A translucent stain allows you to see the grain of the white oak. The lower cabinets have an ebony stain.

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Natural stone walls and reclaimed granite pavers were used to join the structure with the landscape, a standing-seam metal roof promises long-lasting durability, and high-performance windows advocate for light, ventilation, connection to the outdoors, and energy efficiency.

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Above: A pathway from the courtyard leads to the guest house. This is where the family living while their main house was being constructed.

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The boathouse was an integral component of the overall design as the homeowners are avid boaters and water skiers. This aspect of the project required significant effort relative to permitting and design coordination with local regulatory authorities.

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Further linking the building to its organic surroundings — the waterfront with a wood dock stretching into the water and toward the lake, mountains, and visible ski trails — our design featured an abundance of natural materials that serve as a welcome contrast to urban life.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Trent Bell Photography

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