Home design ideas: Adding a modern edge to a nautical lake house

Designer Vanessa Helmick updates the classic beach theme in the guest room of this Maine lake house.Sean Litchfield

Vanessa Helmick’s clients weren’t kidding when they asked for a strict blue and white palette in the Maine lake house that is a gathering place for their extended family. “I wanted to incorporate other colors, but they had always dreamed of blue and white,” says the owner of Fiore Home. So, the interiors of the Sebago Lake home lean heavily nautical. To keep the lofty guest room from seeming kitschy, Helmick chose a modern platform bed as the centerpiece and popped in a graphic block-print pillow with a dash of terra cotta.

1 Helmick used Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace paint for the millwork and Oxford White for the walls. “Accentuating the architectural details helps a high-ceilinged space not feel cavernous,” she says.

2 Blackout roller shades made from navy blue fabric with a cross-hatch texture create a color-block effect behind the bed. “They’re not the vinyl roller shades of our childhood,” the designer says. However, they’re still cost-effective.

3 The hand-painted paddles are from New England Canoe Co., via Etsy. “It’s a lake house so you have to have oars somewhere,” Helmick laughs. That said, she played with the arrangement, flipping the center one in the opposite direction.

4 The CB2 bed has an upholstered headboard that is comfortable but doesn’t block the windows. The low-slung, platform style is also ideal. “This is where couples with little ones sleep,” Helmick says. “It’s king-size and easy to climb onto.”

5 The wool herringbone rug has the look of sea grass but is softer, more durable, and easier to clean. Braided jute ottomans make great seats for toddlers and can be pulled over to the glider as footstools.

6 Helmick chose two distinctly different nightstands—a side table with rope accents and a steamer trunk from Pottery Barn Teen that holds extra blankets. “I wanted symmetry to ground the room but not be matchy-matchy,” she says.

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to [email protected].