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  • Angie Lane

5 Reasons You Should Build a Modern Lake House

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

When you live in a land-locked state, there is nothing better than a trip to a lake house. Here in the Midwest, we are lucky to have so many beautiful inland lakes. I mean, Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 lakes. Here in Michigan we have The Great Lakes, which are more like seas with beautiful stretches of white sand beaches. And of course we also have a ton of really cool inland lakes.

When you live around so many fantastic lakes, you might as well have a modern lake house. There are so many fantastic modern lake house designs, of course the possibilities are endless. When I think of how to design a lake house, the overriding factor is the site. The site determines the occupants relation to the water and to the land. Sometimes the house is right on the water, sometimes the house is more distant. Sometimes the site has a large slope, sometimes it's flat.

Keep reading for why you should build a modern lake house. Why to build a lake house is one thing, how to design one is another. If you're interested in updating an existing lake house or building a new modern lake house- let me know! Or keep reading if you need more convincing :)

1) A Modern Lake House is a Vacation Home That Becomes a Forever Home

Some people start off renting lake houses. Many people own a lake house, sometimes with multiple family members, that serves a familial vacation house. Who doesn't want a vacation home?? The glorious thing about a modern lake house is that it can function as a vacation home while careers and kids might keep you tied to more urban areas. Then, when some of those ties are loosened, the modern lake house becomes a forever home.

Lake house by MNy Arkitekter

Some of the older lake houses, especially many lake house in Michigan, were only meant as summer vacation homes and were built as such. Read: no insulation, not ready for year round use. Some of the older lake homes will need an update to get them ready to be forever homes.

Villa on the Lake by Mecanoo

Smaller lake homes might need expansions to accommodate extended family. Additions or other modifications can get tricky on older lake homes as waterfront districts often have strict zoning. Zoning may also have changed since the house was first built making it even more complicated. Many lake houses also have site issues that present certain design challenges.

Douglas House by Richard Meier

Whether you're building a new modern lake house or updating an older lake house, be sure to contact an architect to get the best design and ensure feasibility.

2) A Modern Lake House Provides Passive Income Opportunities

The highest number of Google searches related to lake houses is "lake house rentals". There is a big ol' market for lake house rentals.

A-Frame Island - New Hampshire

If a modern lake house isn't your forever home, it's a great way to make money while you sleep. Modern lake house rentals are especially desirable. Many have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. Modern lake houses tend to be very Instagram-worthy. And there's no better way to make something beautiful and super Instagrammable than to put an architect's stamp on it.

Lake House Visualization by Paulo Quartilho

A modern lake house, one that is suitable for all seasons, that means year-round income with premium rates to be had during peak seasons. Putting your lake house out there as a rental is a great way to offset the costs of a second home.

3) A Modern Lake House Connects You with Nature

Connecting with nature is a bigger deal than we might think. Besides the common sense and the inherent human instinct to relax when surrounded by nature, several studies have come out touting the benefits of being immersed in nature, even for short periods of time.

Douglas House by Richard Meier

I recently read an article that suggested that barefoot/bare hand contact with the earth actually creates an exchange of electrons between a person and the earth that helps achieve molecular balance. So touching the ground and being in nature is literally has a grounding effect on us.

Lake House by YH2

I mean, nature sounds are used as white noise to encourage relaxation and sleep. And, if you're a parent, you know the sleep benefits of getting kids outdoors. It's kind of miraculous. A well designed modern lake house takes full advantage of the site and this proximity to nature. Besides being relaxing, the proximity to a body of water encourages all sorts of water sports.

Lake house by Lake Flato

4) A Modern Lake House Connects You with Friends and Family

Let's face it, when you have a modern lake house you get to be the hot spot. Everyone wants to hang out at the lake.

Lake House rendering by @tilaaa108

When you have a home on a lake with spaces, indoor and outdoor, that are conducive to gathering, it's the best! It's relaxing as well as fun. Even if the weather doesn't cooperate or if it's a winter gathering, a modern lake house is the main ingredient to making memories.

Blue Lake House By Lake Flato

Well designed exterior spaces are key. Nothing draws people together more than a welcoming space. An outdoor space at a lake is no exception. In fact, I would argue that some kind of outdoor entertaining space is mandatory.

Lake House by David Salmela

My favorite modern lake house exterior spaces are the ones that are a combination of functions: entertainment and relaxation. And obviously a relationship to the water is absolutely necessary.

Lake House, interiors by Andrew Brown

5) A Modern Lake House Is a Year-Round Vacation Spot

I mentioned before that some older lake houses might not be suitable for year-round use. This is a where an update or a brand new modern lake house comes in.

Great Lakes hut by Leckie Studio

Year-round usage is such an advantage. Year-round usage extends passive income opportunities, allows it to become a forever home, extends the time you get to spend in nature and with friends & family. And does fall get any more lovely than it is when it's lakeside?

Modern Black Winter House

Ok, winter is a close second. But you definitely need to update any of those traditional summer homes to be able to enjoy this time of year next to the lake.

Lake House by MIN DAY

And obviously there is summer. *sigh*

It's really not a tough sell. Who doesn't want a modern lake house? So many advantages to them! So now you know why you should build a lake house, but if you're interested in how, let me know!