…i’ve been working on a lake house

Hi Friends!

I am here, but I am a busy bee this summer. I am working on our little lake house and will be for most of the summer. I am going slowly because, well, I want to play in the lake!


Yes, there is a part of me that would just like to “fix”, update and redo everything around me, and there is another part that wants to experiment and try something a bit different. I don’t want to have the same exact decor here as I do at home if that makes sense. I want to create a feeling that will refresh my family, calm us and help us recharge. At first I had the idea that I was going to literally paint everything in eye sight white – including the floors, which I still want to do.

This is what I was envisioning.



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Can I get an amen?!

And I plan on doing many of these things as inspired by Pinterest. I will eventually paint the kitchen cabinets, a fireplace, some wood furniture. But, part of me wants to incorporate the shades of blue that I am noticing in every catalogs that comes in the door. Like this:


062016_BlueandWhite_Manuel Rodriguez

I think the risk is that with a lake or beach home, you don’t want to decorate too literally. Some blue and make one pillow referencing a lake is okay, maybe a few shells, but you don’t want to overdo it because I think it can be come a bit too much. I want it to be a subtle nod to the water around us.

I think when planning out a space you need to collect pictures that inspire you. You may not know why you feel moved by them, but that does not matter right away. What you want to get an idea of is the tone of the space. Pinterest is a great place to make a motivational board or even a three-ring binder with magazine clippings. I have at least two of these going at all times. If I see something in a catalog or magazine, I will tear it out and stuff it in the binder. It’s not very organzied in there, but it is all in one spot. I found myself really loving some of this gold, white and blues. Now, how to work it all together?

I keep going back to the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” with Jack Nickolson and Diane Keating (one of my fav movies!). The Hampton’s Beach home was literally to die for. I think I’ll start there. Oh – and she was a writer! Like she wrote her plays at the beach house – can you imagine? I can think of nothing better. Truly inspiring for this gal.


Something’s Gotta Give kitchen 5 2




PS – It wasn’t until I started looking up these images that I found out that this very beach house is an extremely popular search for its decor.


  1. Several years ago the Wash Post featured that very decor as an example of a most coveted look.

  2. Amen!!! that’s all I can say!!!

  3. Let me echo that Amen!

    Thank you for carving out some time from the lake house project to write the post. I needed my Christen Bensten fix 😉

    It’s so good to know there’s still someone out there collecting images in a binder.

    I hope you have a lovely time decorating your latest nest.

  4. Naomi S. says:

    I like all the light and white hues and the subtle variations in texture. However, for me this would all be totally impractical. At least, I think it would. I have young grandsons who spend a lot of time at my house and a big dog and two cats. Do you get my drift? I can’t imagine how often I would be washing those white slipcovers! I am not lucky enough to have a lake house in addition to my small ranch, but if I had one, I wouldn’t want to worry about keeping things clean while vacationing. BUT, if your circumstances are different than mine, then those rooms are beautiful, beautiful. And, I imagine very soothing to the soul.

    Anyway, I will look forward to being in on your decorating process and possibly learn some things that I can adapt to my own decor. Best wishes for a fun and satisfying project.

  5. Naomi S. says:

    Hi, again, Christin. I’ve been looking at your vintage finds and I’m really interested in purchasing the little metal double flower pot/planter. I don’t know where you are located but I live in Michigan, so how would I arrange for shipping and paying you? I haven’t been able to find anything on your blog site that gives instructions.

  6. Naomi S. says:

    Apologies for spelling your name incorrectly. I see now that it is Cristen.

  7. Annie Bloj says:

    When my dad was a kitchen designer in DC and that movie came out, literally every person through the door had pictures of that movie. Nancy Meyers gives good kitchen!!! FYI though there a painting that Andy liss (Liz’s) husband loaned for the set from his gallery. It’s of a swimmer, it’s above the mantel in her bedroom!

  8. Annie Bloj says:

    Bad grammar on my part, sorry about that!

  9. AMEN! And that is EXACTLY the movie house I thought of… That house was gorgeous. Best of luck…

  10. If you don’t mind? What is your technique for the washed table on your site? I have some stains pieces and want to wash them. Thanks

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