Using texture, contrast and plenty of white, Beth Webb transforms a lake house into a light and bright retreat.
Perhaps it’s her background as an art dealer that informs Beth Webb’s innate ability to discover beauty in unexpected places. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. But when her clients settled on a lakefront property on Lake Chatuge in dire need of a makeover, ultimately they trusted the interior designer—and her inviting, multilayered aesthetic—to transform the home’s overwhelmingly brown architectural envelope into a fresh-faced beauty in which their family of five could find respite.
The first order of business: to limewash nearly every mahogany-covered surface of the 10,000-square-foot house, from the floors, stone and beams to the home’s pre-existing antler chandeliers. “It was a Montana application that we took the Western out of to make more contemporary,” Webb explains.
While time was not on her side—after closing, the family needed to be in the house in less than six months—labor was in Webb’s favor, thanks to a commercial contractor who was enlisted by the hospitality-industry husband “to do the unthinkable in an amazing time frame,” Webb says.
And while the designer maintains that, philosophically speaking, second homes are no different than primary residences when it comes to decorating, Webb allows that she adopted a “no muss, no fuss” attitude with this one, which needed to be durable enough for an active young family but also stylish enough to entertain the couple’s frequent guests—all while keeping the expansive lake views center stage.
Coincidentally, it was a Lake Keowee house, a former Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles showhouse, that initially drew these particular clients to Webb’s clean-lined, artful approach. While the result is not your typical lake house, the aesthetic is exactly what the family was after—a comfortably elegant space in which luxurious textures, from rough-hewn woods to natural hide rugs, mix with low-maintenance materials, such as slipcovered dining chairs and upholstered pieces in acrylic-blend fabrics.
Against a calming, monochromatic palette, these contrasts both evoke a Zen-like feeling and reveal a collected sense of style—no easy feat for such a turnkey project. It’s a testament to Webb’s unflinching eye for beauty; the home’s light and bright new bones are a deceivingly subtle reflection of the interior designer’s complex approach.