When the Mette family purchased a modern lake house on Walled Lake that could accommodate their extended family, a decision was made to add a second story. As a result, the master bedroom wound up with a “bump out” that would limit their living and storage space.
“It was a big triangle that impeded our ability for a good layout, but we were able to take that eyesore and embrace it,” Rachel Nelson says. In the end, the CEO and principal of Detroit-based Concetti saved the day with an impressive custom built-in to complement existing features like vaulted ceilings and wood beams.
Function is a top priority for the designer, who incorporated niches that can double as nightstands in the sophisticated built-in and sconces that can be controlled from the bed.
The rich nautical blue finish makes the headboard, closets, and drawers a focal point. A chic seating area was added for the couple and their two children, who also enjoy a balcony that faces the lake.
When Nelson studied design for a semester in Italy, a seasoned professor who worked for Gucci and Ferragamo told her that concepts (concetti in Italian) were her strength, because she knew how to weave them through her work without being too literal — as she did here.
“We wanted to extrapolate the essence of water without literally putting anchors on the wall,” Nelson says. “They loved the idea of cognac, which looked like the sun setting.” That set the palette for the organic shade that pairs beautifully with the blues and other neutrals in the room.
Her clients also love their location on one of the largest lakes in Oakland County. “They have a plethora of water goodies — a boat, jet skis, and water skis,” Nelson says. “They spend all day on the lake and have bonfires on the water side at night. They use it all year round. They ice fish in the winter, have bonfires in the fall, and they’re on the water all summer long, entertaining family and friends.”
DESIGN STAR’S SECRET
On the water, interior designer Rachel Nelson believes in embracing the views and making design selections that help blur the lines between inside and out. “Lakefront home or not, we get to know the client and what makes them tick, then embrace the surroundings and merge the two ideas,” she says. “They were in love with this cognac color, which repeats itself in the design and brings the outdoors in.”
LAKE LIFE LOWDOWN
Rachel Nelson doesn’t have to go far to find her seasonal sweet spot. “I love going to Kensington Metropark in the summer with my family, to enjoy the lakes out there,” she says. “We love to have beach days. We barbecue and hang out, making beautiful memories, making s’mores, and hanging out in the water all day.”