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When Jenni Kayne first walked into the laundry room of the woodsy Lake Arrowhead, California, hideaway she helped design for her clothing and home brand’s president, Julia Hunter, it was the worst room in the house. It’s now her favorite. “It’s where you leave every day to go to the beach and bring all your stuff in and out, so I wanted it to really feel functional,” says Kayne of the lower-floor entryway that’s now the main thoroughfare between the inside and lakeside.

The pokey space (now a large, storage-packed mudroom) wasn’t the only one to get the Kayne treatment. These days the whole property, which once boasted linoleum floors, dark wood paneling, and musty carpeting, is awash in white, with light oak floors, breezy linens, and fresh, marshmallow-hued walls that frame million-dollar vistas of the glistening turquoise lake below, almost like a hyperrealistic painting. “I just saw the potential to open it up and make it feel really organic, natural, and calming,” she says.

Tessa Neustadt for Jenni Kayne

Only the stone fireplace remains in the master bedroom, located on the same floor. To add privacy, she sealed off one of the doorways, while the rest of the room got a makeover to create space for a large claw-foot tub and a spacious closet. “We were able to redo that lower area so that the master became this really beautiful, generous spot with views of the lake,” explains Kayne.

Courtesy of Jenni Kayne

Tessa Neustadt for Jenni Kayne

The fashion designer took inspiration from her own portfolio, using a house she remodeled for her family in Lake Tahoe a few years back as the framework for this quiet waterfront escape. In the kitchen, muddy green Shaker cabinets with chicken-wire insets and reclaimed wood shelves are a nod to that weekend home and a purposeful break from the airy scheme that flows through the rest of the residence. 

Tessa Neustadt for Jenni Kayne

Upstairs, Kayne ripped up the dark, grimy tiles and replaced them with a simple subway style from Heath Ceramics (plus aged brass fixtures and marble vanities). She gave the remaining bedrooms a facelift with a fresh coat of paint and outfitted them with bunk beds for extended family and friends. “I wanted it to feel like an easy lake house,” Kayne explains. “So nothing is precious. It’s really meant to be lived in.” 

Sandy feet and walks in the woods take precedence over any kind of fussiness. This is laid-back weekend living at its best.

Browse more before-and-after projects that blew us away: A $1,000 Shiplap Ceiling Transformed This Dated ’70s Home A Daring Bathroom Makeover Where Bold Paint Choices Pay Off This Tiny Bathroom Before and After Is Truly Jaw-Dropping