Designed Inside for a Grand View

It’s not often that you get the chance to design a 12,000-square-foot vacation home, especially one that calls for the creativity and ingenuity to accommodate four generations of a close-knit family.

Located in Bald Peak Colony Club on Lake Winnipesaukee, the Frizzell family retreat is the epitome of smart interior design and sophisticated elegance. A stunning shingle-style home with open, breezy gathering spaces, seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, an arcade, dormitory-style “bunk rooms” for the grandchildren and relaxing waterfront views, this retreat is both stylish and warm. Given the size of the Frizzell family — four children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild — practicality and comfort were priorities.

Fast Friends

“It was instinctual,” explains Violet Frizzell of her initial meeting with interior designer Lori Currier. “I knew the first time I met Lori that she was the right designer for our home. I needed someone I could trust to make the tough design decisions, and Lori was dedicated to our vision from the start.”

Having found Lori in the Yellow Pages, Violet didn’t realize the extent of her experience. With a background in commercial and residential interior design – and a showroom and design studio in Laconia — Currier’s career spans 16 years and includes several awards. She also makes annual sojourns to High Point, N.C., to view and source the latest trends in home furnishings for her clients. Working throughout New Hampshire, Lori’s eye for detail and color have won her respect within her industry and continued client referrals.

Jumping In

Lori chose everything, from the exterior stain and trim color to the plumbing and light fixtures. “We had fantastic chemistry,” comments Violet. “Given my work schedule, we’d sometimes only have one day a week to make decisions and we’d work late into the evening together, poring over fabric swatches, sharing ideas or hanging artwork and family photographs.”

“There is always a process in determining a client’s style,” explains Lori. “Mrs. Frizzell had seen a clothing line that she loved and the colors gave her an idea of the direction in which she wanted to head. Once we determined that she was drawn to the bright pinks, greens, creams and whites of the line, I knew how we’d build the color palette for her home.”

A Marvel in the Making

The Frizzells had owned the gently sloping lakefront property for more than 30 years before deciding to tear down the original cottage and build a vacation home.

The house went up over the next three years under the direction of architect and builder Fenton Varney of Melvin Village. “We were very fortunate to work with Fenton,” says Violet. “He has a great eye, taking into account the nuances of the land and its surroundings.”

Violet knew she wanted a large, lovely porch to take advantage of the stunning water views, and a big kitchen for family meals. She also wanted a house that was welcoming to the many members of her family. “I’m a big believer in instilling the strength and importance of family,” says Violet. “I wanted to create a retreat for the adults where they could have their own privacy and yet a place where my grandchildren could enjoy each other freely.”

Varney designed a grand Southern-style pillared porch that faces the water and wraps around the front of the house. It quickly became one of Violet’s favorite spots from which she could watch the grandchildren splash and swim, and enjoy her colorful perennial gardens.

Lori took over where Varney left off, designing the common rooms to showcase views of the lake. She also made Violet’s dream of a large, roomy kitchen come true by creating an expansive 12-foot round dining table and an island topped with Venetian gold granite and accented by pendant lighting. The entire family make themselves comfortable in window seats or bar stools as the meal is being prepared. Lori also selected laminated fabrics for the kitchen cushions in order to protect them from spills and stains.

Imagination Stations

With grandchildren of all ages, Lori was called upon to design creative spaces where the children could enjoy one another without being confined to close quarters. She devised several options, including a third floor “clubhouse” of wide open space, exposed rafters and wooden floors covered with soft throw rugs. Forts and dollhouses compete with homemade tents, easels and a special place for playing school.

The large, carpeted ground-level floor was another perfect spot. Lori designed it as the ultimate entertainment space with arcade games, ping pong and a pool table, as well as a fully stocked craft area for young artists.

If that weren’t enough to keep any child busy, Lori fashioned comfy dormitory-style “bunk rooms” for the grandkids. Boys in one, girls in the other — the rooms are complete with bunk beds and window seats, accented with durable quilts and pillows and resilient, looped carpet.

Family Reflections

Another one of Violet’s requests was that Lori work closely with each daughter-in-law to design family-specific bedrooms for the adult children. “It was important to me that each family had a comfortable space of their own in which to relax,” she explains. Lori sourced handmade quilts that were carefully chosen to match the interior design of each room, and followed the color choices and furniture preferences of each couple.

In celebration of the Frizzells’ dedication to family, Lori hung handprints of each grandchild, along with their artwork throughout the first floor. There is also a touching display of photographs and mementos dedicated to preserving the family history that is displayed in the lower level.

After two years of working together on every aspect of this charming lakeshore get-away, Violet and Lori have a renewed respect for the basics of a successful partnership. By understanding Violet’s vision for a comfortable, personalized family retreat and determining the structural elements most important to her, Lori was able to create a home where children and grandchildren of all shapes and sizes could find harmony, entertainment and the love of family. NH

Tips for Designing Your Own Retreat

A second home is for relaxing. Forget the high-wattage light bulbs and opt for softer lighting, adding comfort and warmth to each room.

Instead of choosing expensive artwork to adorn your walls, personalize your home with creative family drawings and photography.

You don’t need brand-new furniture to make your retreat feel complete. By choosing favorite pieces that you currently own and adding a slipcover or by re-upholstering, you’ll breathe new life into older pieces. Unique fabrics and comfortable cushions will give you an entirely new look.

Accentuate your view. Don’t forget to add mirrors to your interior walls to add depth and reflect the outside beauty.

Fresh flowers never fail to brighten up any interior. From your garden or the market, flowers add a soft, personal touch to any room.

For children: Be creative. Incorporate a bookcase in a child’s room to stash books, games or toys. By painting the shelving, sides and back of the bookcase in contrasting colors, you’ll immediately create a piece with depth and panache.

We all react differently to color. Talk with your child about colors they like. Keep in mind their personality when choosing their décor.

Rule of thumb: Pinks, romantic; yellows, happy; reds, exciting and energizing (in moderation); soft lavenders, creative; pale blues, peaceful.

Storage is a must. Keep clutter to a minimum so that your child isn’t overwhelmed. Use storage bins or built-in drawers to keep toys out of sight when not being used.

Remember, the more you love your space, the more you will love being in it. Your child’s room should be a sanctuary. Surround them with the things they love most. — by Lori Currier