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Suite 280
Charlotte, NC 28217
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Billing & Deliveries: 3421-M St. Vardell Lane Charlotte, NC 28217

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Denver Mid-Century Modern Lake House Remodel

Denver Mid-Century Modern Lake House Remodel

When they bought this 1975 waterfront lake house in Denver, NC, this couple had a grand vision for bringing it back to life. Several updates and a disjointed addition by previous owners left it an architectural hodge-podge that felt like two separate houses connected by a maze of inefficient hallways and a living room. They had a clear vision of how to rebuild the structure from the inside out to create a more cohesive and efficient layout. Their goal was to restore the aesthetic back to its mid-century modern roots while injecting their own personality into the design along the way. Though they knew it would take several years to tackle the project over multiple phases, the property was one they were willing to invest in to create the lake house of their dreams.

Spaces Included:

Bathrooms, Other Spaces, Whole Homes


Denver, NC

Project Scope:

Custom Redesign


Phase one involved completely redesigning the primary suite, the central staircase to the walk-out basement, relocating the laundry room, and eliminating a full bath in favor of a more appropriate powder room. When planning to remodel an entire home in phases without moving out, having a personal refuge to escape to during the construction of the other areas can help minimize stress levels. For this reason we often start with the primary suite as phase one, although in this specific case it was also necessary to prepare for the reconfigurations planned for phase two. 

High on their list of primary suite must-have features included all new (and much larger) windows in intentional locations to maximize their Lake Norman views; doubling the size of the walk-in closet; a large, two-person shower, a double vanity, and the simple, clean lines and mixed materials popular in mid-century modern design. 

modern stair design
Viewable from the front entryway, the staircase leading to the walk-out basement immediately sets the aesthetic tone for the whole house. Traditional iron spindles were replaced with more period appropriate horizontal metal bars and a mitered wood hand rail.
mid-century modern laundry room
Laundry rooms are a great place to play with scale and color. Here, oversized hexagon floor tiles and a brightly colored backsplash infuse a sense of whimsy into the new laundry room. Natural wood tones, bright pops of color and geometric accents were hallmarks of mid-century modern design.
mooresville home remodeling
Neutral, natural colors and textures with pops of geometric motifs and/or accent colors were staples of mid-century modern design. Here, soft beige and sage green tiles installed vertically draw they eye up while pale pink metallic glass penny tile acts as an unexpected, complimentary accent.
open closet design
With the new laundry room right across the hall from the bedroom, laundry has never been easier for this couple. Geometric navy and gold wallpaper greets them from the hallway.
modern powder room
Textured, metallic wallpaper gives this simple, monochromatic powder room just enough sparkle to keep it from feeling flat. Matte black fixtures are consistent with the rest of the redesigned spaces.
modern primary bath
Contemporary mirrors with dimmable, integrated LED lights prevent the need for wall sconces, keeping the emphasis on the windows and the lake views beyond. Frosting on the shower window provides privacy from any boats idling past.
modern vanity design
To give the illusion of a floating cabinet between the water fall edge countertop, the toe kick was recessed significantly and covered with mirror. Keeping a toe kick base provides extra support for the weight of the vanity to promote structural integrity.
recessed shower niche
While long, linear lines were the majority in this primary bathroom, the pink metallic penny tile repeats the circles found in the matte black plumbing fixtures.
cornelius home remodeling
By stopping the wallpapered wall short of the ceiling, the space appears larger as your eye can see beyond the wall. The entry to the bedroom and closet houses a custom display of watch winders, each attached to its own power source and battery back up in the case of a power outtage
modern primary bath idea
Not wanting to sacrifice storage space or privacy, a tall linen cabinet was used as a functional divider between the water closet and the rest of bathroom space. Mirrored toe kick gives the illusion that the cabinet is floating, while a subtly textured wall covering defines this area as a separate space.

Phase two began when we removed an old kitchenette that was part of an attached mother-in-law suite. In its place a new bedroom with en suite bathroom was added, and the existing guest bedrooms and remaining hall bathroom were redesigned to create better traffic flow throughout.

The walk-out basement, clad in painted 70s paneling was far from the lounge space they desired. New tile flooring, accent wallpaper and custom cabinetry created a unique wet bar and entertainment space fit for weekend gatherings. The basic bathroom was brought back to mid-century life with a colorful wall mural, and blush cabinets. A utility alcove at the end of the dark hall was converted into a home office, complete with a clerestory window to enjoy lake views at the standing desk. Opening the staircase created an opportunity to make it an architectural feature, while recessed cubbies below offer convenient shoe storage. 

By repeating various design elements throughout each space, the renovated areas in this mid-century modern lake house remodel feel more cohesive and intentional. Continuing this theme throughout each phase ensures that once complete, the whole house will feel like it was designed and executed at one time. 

An additional bedroom with en suite bathroom now reside where a kitchenette once stood. Skylights and frosted glass French doors to the bathroom maximize natural light.
Not to be forgotten, the water closet continues the mid-century tropical theme via a palm leaf wall covering.
Simple built-ins against a chartreuse accent wall adds flair to this guest bedroom and home office space.
A sunshine yellow vanity, playful floor tile and green and gold palm leaf accent tile infuse this ensuite bathroom with cheery personality.
Repeating the vertical oak accent slats from phase I creates continuity between the spaces. Backed with frosted glass, this architectural feature is actually a hidden door to the hall bathroom.
A soft turquoise vanity that appears to float over the wood floors is accented by a retro-inspired medicine cabinet. A full height quartz backsplash that mimics terrazzo, complete with wall mounted faucet offer functionality.
The stairs got a glow-up as part of phase II, including a rich new accent color that contrasts against the light wood railings.
A gold palm leaf grass cloth wall covering, oversized hexagonal tile flooring and a custom wet bar make this finished basement the ultimate weekend hangout spot.
To cover a drain line from the adjacent powder room, a ledge was created to house decorative accessories in this small home office. A clerestory window provides lake views from the adjustable standing desk below, while keeping mechanical systems outside from view.
A small bump-out was added to fill in extra space beyond the alcove tub. It was capped with a black quartz slab to tie it seamlessly with the recessed niche and provide an additional space for products. A ceiling mounted shower curtain helps draw the eye upward. The turquoise ceiling ties the whole color scheme together.
An oak structural post, new railings, step lighting and recessed cubbies for shoes elevate the once enclosed stairway to a functional focal point in the center of the walk-out basement.
Shallow storage cabinets hide games, and backstock mixers so this couple is always prepared for guests.

Before & After

Before - Basement Phase II (3) Large walk-out-basement-bar-design