December 4, 2023


Home living innovation

A home on the water (or the next best thing)


I have often desired a home on the water. I really do not have one particular. But through my stint as a live-in property stager, when I inhabited 6 homes in four many years, I lived in a property that was not mine on a lake. Every single morning I woke up to a lake view from my bed room — and it hardly ever bought outdated.

When DC and I bought our household five several years back, a water perspective wasn’t high on our precedence checklist. It wasn’t on our checklist at all. Other things — locale, number of bedrooms, price tag, a fenced lawn for the puppies — had been.

A couple of several years later, when we redid our landscaping, due to the fact I could not manifest a lake or ocean check out, I lobbied challenging for a pool. Our landscape designer drew up two plans, one particular with a pool, one without, and we seemed at not only the charge of putting in a pool (a good deal), but also the maintenance, which surveys say runs concerning $3,000 to $5,000 a 12 months for servicing, repairs, electric power and water.

We place in a water fountain as an alternative, and my husband made available to carry me an umbrella consume. Sigh.

Anyway, all this whining is to say that when I was presented the chance to critique a new book by Jaci Conroy, “At Home on the Water” (Gibbs-Smith, 2022), I jumped on it. If I cannot have a home with a drinking water perspective, at minimum I can live vicariously as a result of all those who do.

When the coffee-table e book arrived, I pored more than its 208 polished web pages. I vicariously  toured 12 coastal residences, ranging from a rustic cottage in Nantucket to a grand, present day revival residence in Palm Beach to a Spanish colonial in La Jolla.

“What inspired this e-book?” I requested Conroy, when I bought her on the mobile phone at her Boston dwelling, exactly where she lives with her spouse and children. She does not have a residence on the water, but her 2nd dwelling on Cape Cod is in strolling length of the seashore.

“The thought came in the course of the early days of the pandemic,” said Conroy, a writer and editor for house magazines and present-day editor of New England Modern-day journal. “We were all dwelling sitting with uncertainty and a lot of down time. I commenced inquiring myself, where would I want to be appropriate now? And I started out picturing the type of home I personally was craving at the time.”

Which is the sort of house I crave all the time.

Gibbs-Smith publisher; cover photo by Jessica Glynn
Gibbs-Smith publisher address image by Jessica Glynn 

She drew on her journal connections for candidates to characteristic, then did all her investigate, together with interviews with proprietors, architects and designers, remotely. “Each property in the e book represents an escape,” she explained.

Her preferred is a property in Hyannis Port, Mass., highlighted in a chapter identified as “Past Existence.” It speaks to her for the reason that “it’s not much too fancy, and it’s go-in ready for a household with children.”

For these lucky adequate to are living on the drinking water, as nicely as these who just want to include a waterfront vibe in their residences, Conroy features these structure recommendations:

Make the watch the star: Never obscure a h2o check out. A lot of the waterfront households don’t have any window treatment plans or the types they have are small.

Tone down décor: Keep away from any furnishings, material, paint or wallcoverings that contend with the look at. “I am a admirer of bold structure and taking danger,” Conroy reported, “but in a coastal house I think you ought to tone that down.” The identical holds legitimate for lake view homes. “Any time you can see a human body of water, improve it. Which is the motive for residing there.”

Capitalize on the colours: Pull the coastal shades inside of. Working with shades of white, off white, sand and blue is a very good rule, Conroy reported. Pale pastels like ballet-slipper pink or celery inexperienced can also function.

Don’t be far too kitschy: Resist themed equipment, this sort of as over-the-leading signals that examine “This way to the seaside.” While it is high-quality to select throw pillows in coastal tones, skip the kinds with anchor motifs. Furthermore, go forward and dangle artwork or shots of seascapes, but bypass the nautical props like ship wheels and fishing nets.

Do not underestimate the upkeep: Waterfront houses are not reduced servicing. Coastal homes consider a beating from salt, sunshine and storms. Owners of lakefront attributes typically require to dredge their shorelines, and swimming pools, of course, call for frequent upkeep. So be careful what you desire for.

Now, if you are going to justification me, I’m off to put my feet up on the fountain.

Marni Jameson is the author of 6 household and lifestyle publications, which includes “Downsizing the Spouse and children Property – What to Save, What to Allow Go” and “Downsizing the Blended Dwelling – When Two Homes Turn out to be 1.” Get to her at


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