A Michigan Lake House by Alan Design Studio

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Say “house on the lake,” and many people might imagine one like this, with its interior designed by Alan Design Studio. Without a doubt, the great room of this home is a central gathering place around a majestic stone fireplace. Warm wood paneling gives you a “cabin” feel even in this expansive space; note the doors that open to an outdoor deck and the high windows that catch every bit of natural light available through the trees. Behind one set of doors are bookshelves as high as you can see, no doubt full of great leisure-time reads. Behind another lies a corridor that leads to more wonderful rooms. The open plan gives you one unbroken space, great room to dining table — and, in turn, to a breakfast bar with an open pass-through from the cheery kitchen.

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The great room fireplace is not the only one in this plan, either. A living room boasts its own, as does the master bedroom — with its porch, through French doors, open to the sunlight and air and holding a handy seating area for early-morning reads or evening stargazing. Colors are soft — pinks, peaches, and greens — and creature comforts abound: note the deep soaking tub in its own ceramic tiled alcove, with skylights above and windows discreetly curtained with gossamer white. Tucked upstairs are more bedrooms, one with high windows and a four-poster bed plus ensuite bathroom, the other with twin guest beds covered in colorful quilts. Yes, this is a house that brings back memories of summers by the lake — or enables you to make brand-new ones, in a light, airy space that invites relaxation.

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