Picture this: Christmas morning at the lake, three generations of two families gathered in a single room, all in matching pajamas, either red or green stripes with contrasting piping. A happy chaos fills the room—toddlers tearing open presents, Christmas tunes playing on the speakers, and the savory aroma of a warm breakfast cooking in the kitchen. Outside, the sunlight dances on the lake. When he and his parents imagined what holidays and gatherings might be like at their Lake Lure house, says homeowner Keith Marshall, this is what they hoped for. This dream came true last holiday season. Getting to that point with the renovated lakeside retreat required the help of a team of professionals who could imagine how multiple generations of the family might use the space for years to come.
Talli Roberts of Allard + Roberts Interior Design got involved in the project through a chance encounter with Bradford Marshall (Keith’s mother) while at an American Society of Interior Designers event in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. The two became fast friends. That connection proved serendipitous when Marshall, her husband, son, and daughter-in-law purchased the Lake Lure house with the goal of turning it into a place where their expanding family could comfortably spend time together. The house has irresistible views of the lake, which offers new delights in each season of the year. It’s right on the water, with decks on each floor. But the original features of the house, built in 2000, hadn’t been refreshed. When the project began, the family was looking primarily for cosmetic changes. They pictured a lake house with “laid-back modern” sensibility. According to Roberts, that required “peeling back” the outdated layers.
The light wood on the living room ceiling was a feature the family wanted to keep and it informed many of the interior changes. “We took that tone and found flooring to match,” says Roberts, installing white oak floors, beams, and timbers. The stone in the fireplace was replaced with natural-tone plaster and a custom built-in bookcase with a more contemporary look. The custom rift-cut oak cabinets in the kitchen (made by Keystone Kitchen & Bath) unifies the adjacent rooms and the bookmatched quartzite solid slab backsplash wall brings a quiet drama. Most of the home’s windows and all the exterior railings were replaced and a custom door was made. While the original siding remained, it was painted a dark grey for a more contemporary feel. But as the project progressed, it became obvious that “the house needed more than a facelift,” says Roberts. It needed a better use of space.
“The house already had the size to accommodate multiple generations of my wife’s and my family,” says Marshall. “But the layout, particularly downstairs, needed substantial reworking to be functional.” As it was, one bedroom could only be accessed by walking through another and the bathrooms weren’t designed with multiple families in mind. “The key to gathering people, family or not, in a place like Lake Lure is recognizing that everyone needs space,” he adds. Along with architect Eric Daffron and builder Steve Hammett, Roberts says the renovation team “showed the family what was possible” within the existing footprint of the house. The formal dining room wasn’t needed, so it became a bedroom with its own bathroom. Downstairs, the lower-level floor plan changed, adding a “bunk room” with custom bunk beds built to accommodate parents on the bottom bunk and a child or children on the top.
The family’s anticipated use of the home inspired not only the floor plan changes, but the furniture selection. “Not everyone wants to do the exact same thing at the same time, especially when you throw kids of different ages into the mix,” says Marshall. Roberts came up with a solution for the living room that allows family members to gaze out at the incredible view of the lake, the fireplace, or the TV from the same spot: a large, curved sectional made in North Carolina. “We like to keep furniture as local as possible,” she says. That includes the custom dining room table, made and delivered by a South Carolina furniture maker. “Quality regional furniture will serve generations of the family for years to come,” says Roberts. Choosing local first proved especially wise as the renovation took place during the height of supply chain delays during COVID. Also during the renovation, the younger Marshalls welcomed their first child.
Knowing that family and friends would be staying at the house with little ones for the foreseeable future, Roberts says she looked for performance fabrics that could withstand spills and stains and keep the house carefree. The deck railings, too, were chosen to ensure an unimpeded view of the lake while ensuring safety. But adult needs were not overlooked, either. Marshall credits Crowne Audio for creating a “seamless” A/V system that connects the house and the boathouse.
He says the finished lake house provides “multiple indoor and outdoor living spaces that can comfortably accommodate a housefull” whether it’s during a weekend break or a holiday gathering. “The house also just feels super nice,”he says. “There’s no way to describe that, it’s something you have to experience. Everything makes sense together.” Now having enjoyed the home for some time, with different combinations of family and friends at the home, the changes have proven to meet their intended purpose, even during that multi-family Christmas celebration. Even with three families in one place “everyone was comfortable and happy,” says Marshall. “That’s why you have a house like this.”
Allard + Roberts Interior Design
59 Charlotte St., Asheville
(828) 271-4350; allardandroberts.com
M.S. Hammett Construction
163 N. Trade St., Tryon
(828) 817-2108; mshammett.com
Eric Daffron Architect
473 Kimberly Ave., Asheville
(828) 545-0416; ericdaffron.com
Keystone Kitchen & Bath
479 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville
15 Old Cashiers Sq., Cashiers
(828) 743-6895; keystonekb.com
Hardwoods by Design
Granite Falls; (828) 640-6015
Facebook: Hardwoods by Design
Asheville; (914) 907-6281
670 Weaverville Rd., Suite 3, Asheville
(828) 519-9066; texturarugs.com
Blue Spiral 1
38 Biltmore Ave., Asheville
(828) 251-0202; bluespiral1.com