"tree house" deck adjacent to the dining room is about
25 feet off the ground and offers great views of the bay on Lake
Keesus. The towering oaks provide plenty of shade from the
You might say
fate led Gwen Adair-Strangohr and her husband, Jim Strangohr, to the
doorstep of their Lake Keesus home in 2007.
After the tragic
death of their friend, the couple purchased the home where their
friend had lived. "I think she always wanted me to have this
house," Adair-Strangohr says.
went to work, turning a summer cottage into a cozy and inviting space.
(Adair-Strangohr is the owner of Cabinet Supreme by Adair.)
beadboard to the interior walls, wallpaper and updated the kitchen
with new cabinets. Refinished wood floors with cherry and maple tones
complement the white-painted trim. "You can use splashes of color
in a nice way when you have white millwork in the house," Adair-Strangohr
But the work did
not stop at the interior. The couple spent endless hours in the yard
planting new gardens, creating an outdoor seating area with a
fountain, and removing numerous railroad ties from the hill and
replacing them with stones leading to the lake. "We wanted to get
a more natural effect. We also planted some native and decorative
plantings to hold the soil," Adair-Strangohr says. "That was
our first big project here."
green and white damask print wallpaper adds a splash of color in
the living room. "I have an overall green and yellow theme,
not to be Packerish, but I was going for a more cottage feel to
the house," explains homeowner and designer Gwen Adair-Strangohr.
Three black-and-white framed photos of Gwen and husband Jim
Strangohr that were taken on their wedding day in Jamaica add a
personal touch to the space.
quaint cottage on the property is the perfect place for
overnight guests during the summer months. "It was a
two-room cottage built in the 1930s or early 1940s," Adair-Strangohr
says. "We wanted to keep it as original as possible."
It doesn’t have running water — they pulled out the plumbing
and kitchen sink — but it does have electricity. The couple
refinished the windows and interior walls, installed a new wood
floor and painted the exterior. The next step was to install
bunk beds and curtains. "The kids have really enjoyed it,
having sleepovers and such," she says. The extra table
space inside provides a bug-free atmosphere to enjoy a lake-side
homeowners chose bisque-colored appliances instead of stainless
steel to blend with the cabinetry. "I wanted it to feel
like the cabinets were more of a furniture style," Adair-Strangohr
says. "I was going for a shabby chic meets Pottery Barn
look, a soft romantic feel." The island can seat up to five
people. "We move chairs around to meet the needs of the
day." The green and white colors carry into the kitchen
from the living room. The corner windows give a nice view of the
trees and lake beyond.