Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Country Inns: Lakehouse

East of Rhinebeck, New York, the Lakehouse enchants guests with its Hudson Valley setting, waterside tranquility, and cottage-style decor.

In addition to its beautiful woodlands, lakes, and farms, the Hudson Valley in upstate New York offers a rich selection of antiques and collectibles. For Judy Kohler -- an innkeeper and avid collector -- the area's natural beauty and abundance of antiques shops, auctions, and fairs prompted her to construct The Lakehouse four years ago.

Today the inn is a reflection of the treasures found by Kohler during many happy hours scouting local sources for antique furnishings and unusual collectibles. A good number of the pieces displayed in the Inn have some local historical significance, which she is only too glad to share with interested guests.

The inn's inviting decor draws visitors from near and far. Because of its location on a private lake, the retreat has come to be known as the "Lakehouse on Golden Pond."

A Room with a View

The master suite's expansive windows offer soothing views of the lake and woods. Since antique beds are often smaller in scale than today's varieties, Kohler designed a king-size canopy bed for this room and had it crafted from oak by a local cabinetmaker.

Kohler's mother, Julia Medeiros, sewed the bed linens and the graceful lace curtains that drape from the canopy and four corner posts. A large pine chest, c. 1870, sits at the foot of the bed.

Comforts of Home

The warmth of a wood-burning fire, the simple charm of country style, and the special comforts of home make this room -- the "Prince's Chambers" -- a Lakehouse favorite.

The colors of the patchwork coverlet on the wicker sleigh bed provide a perfect complement to those found in the floorcovering. The scalloped lace panel on the fireplace mantel is a decorative treatment popularized during Victorian times. To the left is an Eastlake chair.

Dining Pleasures

The kitchen's newly crafted pine hutch, with its simple plank back design and raised panel doors, provides the perfect display for a collection of century-old majolica. To the right, an Early American pot stand displays another prized collection; pottery handthrown by the innkeeper's son, John.

The door frames an inviting view of the dining room, elegant with its Sheraton-style dining chairs and an oversized stone hearth.

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