Lake House | Landscaping | Exterior Inspiration

But first, this is our house now…



Click to see more: how our property looks now | 2 Above: Front | 2 Below: Back

lake house property "now"

lake house property "now"

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but one of the things that turned me off to the house we ended up buying, was the way it looked from the outside. It had zero curb appeal {see it before here}, and sort of felt like a big compound rather than a house. What we did love about it was that it was nestled at the end and in between two lanes and because of that, was on a rather large piece of flat land, something you don’t see too often in the mountains where everything is built into a hillside and looks like a cute & quaint tree house.

Coming from LA, where we all grew up in fenced in backyards and front yards too, I feel sort of vulnerable in a home without a fenced yard. You can see that there is an old wooden fence around part of the property, but it doesn’t give us any kind of privacy.

I’d really love to surround our entire property with a partial stone or brick/partial wrought iron type of fence, with a gate to pull our car in and out of and lush greenery interspersed throughout. I’m not sure if that is exactly what we are going to do, but it’s still high on my list of likes not only for the feeling of safety, and giving our dogs a place to actually play outside, it will also give our house a sense of feeling finished, and that’s what I’m mostly after. Because right now it’s a mix of mountain dirt, large random tree stumps, some concrete slabs, bricks, some other blocks, a rickety wood fence, and random stone planter area in the front. There is no cohesion. There is no flow… there is no, nothing.

When we moved in last year, we had the house painted and had the random 1950’s playground equipment removed and it helped a great deal. But I vowed that this spring I would start working on the landscaping and since our winter has been so dry, now is that time.

But as I have a list of things I’d like to do to the property, it’s too big of a project for me to feel comfortable doing it myself, or you know I would. I grew up in much smaller lots of land, so creating a cute patio or planting grass, trees, a little garden, etc., was much easier and I have no idea where to start here. So we’re bringing in the pros and we’ve got a few landscapers coming out to hopefully help us create a beautiful space and give our property a finished touch with a nice flow that we want to spend time in but that is also environmentally friendly.

Below are a few {or a lot} of my favorite exterior spaces I’m using as inspiration… Since we have an old red brick chimney, I’d like to incorporate more brick into our landscape to tie in the classic look with the black/white and red as well as some slate or concrete slabs. We’d like an area for a hot tub, adding a few more decks off the back, a safe place for the dogs to play and hang out, lush greenery that stays green year-round without watering, possibly some artificial turf in between rocks and pavers, a fire pit and fun gathering area may, and really just a finishing touch.

Photos pulled from my Pinterest: Lake House & Backyard Patio Garden boards

lansdsaping - patio - outside fireplace living area

I chose this photo because it has a similar feel to our house… white with black trim and an old brick chimney {we don’t have an outdoor fireplace, but it may be nice by the hot tub ;}

decks - rustic color q-1_12 001

Love the washed gray deck and the gray slate as well…

fire pit with sitting area

A fire pit may be essential…

landscaping - step down sitting area

But maybe with a step down seating circle like this tree circle…

Photo by Darren Ankenman landscaping - brick with greenery in between steps

I love the brick stairs with the greenery peeking through…

patio - herringbone brick

And the herringbone brick layout here is pretty…

landscaping - patios - brick

Is this too much brick? It’s so pretty though…

landscaping - decks

And I like the option of more decks leading down to the main area… since we won’t be planting real grass {because the seasons will kill it AND I don’t want anything where I have to use unnecessary watering} the more decks, the merrier {maybe?}

landscaping - patio decks with stone and brick

And maybe in a mix of wood and stone? This stone patio is so clean…

landscaping - stone walkways lush gardens

But I just love the romantic feeling of these slate/stone steps with all this greenery… it’s so dreamy.

When we do finally begin the process, I’ll be excited to share all the before and afters for all the specific areas. My hope is to get a large drawing and scope of the what the final project will look like and spend the next year or so slowly knocking out one area at a time. But I’m excited 😉


LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • Bre & Ree

    February 27, 2014 |

    All the options are absolutely beautiful! You have the perfect home for each of these and I know you’ll make it stunning. I can’t wait to see the transformation!

  • Always So Sweet

    February 27, 2014 |

    Love them al!. My first thought (before viewing the photos) was wrought iron fencing, as long as puppy and Bebop won’t be able to get through it. Then, I’m thinking that a higher fence (including wrought iron) might keep the bears out during the evenings. Well, anyway, whatever you choose will be beautiful and very practical. I’ll have to take a better and longer look through your inspirational photos again.

  • MA

    February 28, 2014 |

    Looking forward to the step by step renovation. 🙂 xo

  • Olivia Marie

    February 28, 2014 |

    Wow! I love all of those. I think that the step down circle with the tree in the middle is the once of the best! It is super cute. 🙂

    New blog post up! Learn about some of my nightly favorites, and I’ll have a new post up soon too! 🙂

  • Amanda

    February 28, 2014 |

    Those pictures look great! So jealous of all the space and trees you have. As for grass, I live in Canada, and the varieties we plant here turn brown for the winter, but green up again in the spring. I’ve seen turf, but it looks strange to have a bright green lawn in the middle of winter and it gets super dusty. Plus, you can’t beat the softness of a real lawn.
    Can’t wait to see what you guys end up doing!

  • Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984

    March 6, 2014 |

    Excited to ride along for this process (as I have with so many other revamps & decorating you’ve done in the past).

    I looove the photo you called dreamy, and the idea of decks leading to decks.

    Also, we have grass here (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) and HOT summers and BITTER winters (I’m talking a 80 degree C swing), and the grass is fine on our lawns every year. That said, yes you do need to water it in the Spring to rejuvenate it, and keep it moist in the summer if it gets too hot, so it’s a bit of a maintenence, but sprinklers work wonders 😉

  • Beatriz

    May 11, 2014 |

    Hi Megan!! i love your house and the outside!! the pictures you have chosen are very cute, i am personally in love of brick because is clean and you don´t have to worry about how it´s ageing (the oposite of wood, which need a continuous care) and also brick allow you to paint it in white and so you can mix the appearance and let brick in some parts in it natural color and others in white for example. The decks are a great idea, usually they keep the temperature very well and are so confortable for lunch and very romantic for dinner, surrounded of candles…a lot of plants to see green everywhere and your house will look very beautiful!!! i´m dying for seeing the final result!!!

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