Three Important Tips for Shopping for a Lakefront Cottage

Here are 3 important tips for you when you're ready to start shopping for your dream waterfront getaway or lake cottage.

1). The house matters. Even if the first criteria on your list is that it's on a lake you love, you want to make sure you find a house you love, too. Is it built to take advantage of the views, and provide easy access for your favorite activities? Or do the deck & windows face other properties? Your dreams may revolve around time spent on the lake, but remember, you'll be spending a lot of your vacation time in the house, too.

And don't forget that many waterfront lots are sloping lots, so it's always a good idea to have the land inspected for dangers or risk on the property – especially if you're thinking of building on the land later.

One last catch – many lakefront properties have a septic tank or public sewer system, which might be different from what you are used to. Make sure you're familiar with the waste system and how often it needs repairs or upkeep. Septic systems aren't anything to worry about, but you'll want to understand them before you buy a property with one.

2). The frontage matters. It's easy to say "I just want to be somewhere near the water!", But you need to understand the unique risks that come along with living on a body of water. Research the typical rise and fall of water levels through the year, typical flood risks, and typical winter conditions on the lake.
Make sure you have a full understanding of the lake itself, too. Know if there are lake rules, what types of water crafts are permitted for use, who governs the lake, how deep it is, and how busy it is throughout the year. It might be a beautiful lake, but make sure living there will be the beautiful experience you are looking for as well.

3). Privacy matters. Depending on the lake population, sometimes cottages can come with limited privacy. Properties often face each other directly across the water, or have smaller lot sizes, and that can compromise your privacy. Be sure you're comfortable with who you can see (and who can see you), and take note of property boundaries and any visual barriers (like trees) between you and your potential neighbors. You might have a great view of a lake by day, but a great view of the neighbors living room by night.

When you're ready to start looking for your waterfront getaway home, find a Realtor that specializes in lakefront homes, and knows the lakes you're looking at. They'll be able to help you gain a better understanding of the unique properties of the lake homes you're looking at.

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Rustic Country Decor – How to Decorate Cottage Style Homes

Rustic country decor and how to decorate cottage style homes are extensions of American country style decorating. In addition, traditions are borrowed from French, English and some Swedish country looks. Rustic country decor can be defined as coarse, charmingly simple, unfussy, unfinished and yet with endearing qualities. Rustic country decorating includes the use of natural woods, aged surfaces, rough finishes and simple lines. Cottage style homes are comfortable, modest, quaint homes that can be made of thick stone or log wood.

Floors in rustic country decor and cottage style homes are made with stone or wood materials. Wooden floors were traditionally constructed with boards that were bare and simply waxed and hand-polished (high-gloss varnishes did not exist). Sometimes the boards were painted with light colors. If you like floor coverings, use oriental rugs and throws for visual warmth and color. Rustic country decor is about handcrafted objects, simplicity, furnishings that you enjoy and connecting back to nature.

Rustic cottage furniture is commonly made with pine and perhaps painted with hand-painted designs such as flowers, birds, animals, country scenery or leaves. Use ladderback chairs, rocking chairs, benches, wicker furniture and Windsor chairs. A large rectangular table made of pine is a good option for your kitchen or dining room table. To give your furniture a rustic look, brush a coat of paint on the furniture piece, then rub most of the paint off. After it dries, apply wood stain unevenly for an older weathered appearance. It will be perfect and rustic looking!

Baskets can be used to store wood, pine cones, flowers, plants and needlework. Brass candle holders, oil or kerosene lamps, sconces, hurricane lamps, tin lanterns, recessed ceiling fixtures or a vintage wrought-iron or metal chandelier provide successful lighting for rustic country decor and cottage style homes. Colors used in rustic country decor or cottage style homes are neutral tones ranging from white to bone, earth tones, red barn, blues and greens.

For rustic country decor in the kitchen, use open shelves, hutches, buffets, plate racks and cupboards for storage. Often, country kitchen storage is crammed with stoneware pots, plain glazed earthenware and glass jars. Kitchen pots should be made of copper, steel or cast iron – cookware tends to be large and plain. Use open shelving in the rustic country kitchen to display plates, dishes and dinnerware collections. Natural woods, light colors and bright fabrics work great for window treatments. Adding a rustic butcher block island creates a wonderful visual effect as well as provides useful functionality.

A rustic country decor bathroom has neutral tones or soft colored walls, antique-looking lighting, and wooden antiques or antique reproduction cabinets and vanity. Knowing how to decorate cottage style homes and bathrooms can result in creating a calm and elegant atmosphere. Clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, country style antique brass faucets and old-fashioned country cabinets provide the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to spend time there. Plain white towels are recommended instead of patterned or bright modern patterns. Use wicker or …