IDCO Lake House Design Plan: Exterior

It’s (almost) official – the IDCO Lake House is coming and the design plans are here. We have been shopping for a vacation/rental property for nearly three years. It’s been a year of serious shopping, and about six months of aggressively shopping. It’s been a long time dream of ours to have a property we could host friends, family and followers at. Quinn’s background is in luxury hospitality and the chance to welcome guests is super exciting to us! The IDCO Lake House won’t be listed on AirBnb, but will be available to rent to our amazing IDCO community. We know you love houses as much as we do, so we don’t worry about our house being cared for.

Before we dig in, a little backstory is in order on how we settled on “the one”. This house is the 7th house we’ve tried to buy. It’s also not on the lake we thought we were settled on. After going under contract four times on other houses and them falling through, I was really starting to lose hope, so we expanded our search to nearby lakes.

We ended up finding our home on Lake Palestine in East Texas. It’s about an hour closer than the other lake we were hoping for – 3 hours from Austin, 1.5 hours to Dallas. The lake is huge – just under 30,000 acres and surrounded by large deciduous and pine trees. Additionally, we allowed to rent on this lake, which obviously makes us feel a bit more comfortable with such a signifiant investment.

House Facts

2,500 SF (including the walk out basement)

165 feet of water frontage

2 en-suite bedrooms

3 full bathrooms

large bunk room

2 car garage

1 boat dock with 2 slips

1 fishing dock

wrap around deck

additional attached storage building



There’s a lot of work to be done and a lot to show you, so we figured we’d begin with a tour of the IDCO Lake House exterior design plan. Below, find photos of what the house currently looks like, my inspiration, and my final selections. We still have two weeks before closing (title companies are so backed up right now). The wait is killing me, so obviously I used this time to plan every inch of the home.

We have every intention of utilizing the IDCO Lake House this summer, which means work begins immediately on closing day. We have amazing friends and family who will be helping us, which will make the process go quickly. If you aren’t already following our Art Director at IDCO Studio, Riley Campbell, you must! She is an incredible designer, has the best taste, and is a DIY queen. Her blog Campbell House is a must read. She and her engineer husband can build anything and we’re so grateful to have their help for a few weekends to bring this dream to life.


The exterior design plan for the IDCO Lake House is elevated camp. Simple, refined, and unfussy. As you’ll see in the photos below, there is a lot of existing curb appeal from the lake side. A walk out stone basement, metal roof, wrap around deck, and tons of patio space. The lot is beautifully sprinkled with trees and rolling lawns and 165 feet of shoreline. I don’t think I could have drawn up a better starting point, it just needs some polishing.


Here is our running check list of what needs to happen on the exterior of the house:




The house will be a white on white paint color combination, with the doors being a deep green with yellow undertones. Because the ceilings are standard 8 feet, I didn’t want to make the house feel shorter by highlighting trim. We’ll start by prepping the exterior: power washing everything, removing random nails or obsolete wiring, filling holes or cracks, sanding and priming the Hardie Board with Sherwin Williams LOXON® Concrete & Masonry Primer. Then, we’ll paint the siding and trim the same bright white (color options below!) using the Sherwin Williams Emerald® Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint using this paint sprayer that Chris Loves Julia recommend.


IDCO Lake House Color Options

The best green and white exterior paint colors by Sherwin Williams

Option 1: Inverness  + White Flour by Sherwin Williams
Option 2: House Plant + Alabaster by Sherwin Williams
Option 3: Basque + High Reflective White by Sherwin Williams


I really love the muddy golden tones of Basque for the doors and it’s high contrast to the High Reflective White. However, White Flour and Inverness feel like a timeless, Scandinavian combination which I love. Houseplant has that true camp vibe to it, which I’m eager to carry throughout the home. Which combination is your favorite? I need help deciding!


Replace the Doors


Unfortunately, the existing French doors will all need to be replaced, which really means all the exterior doors will be replaced. I knew I wanted Dutch doors in this house, but with Texas heat and Texas bugs, I had to be very strategic with where they were going. We decided to go with these beautiful classic Dutch doors from Rustica. We could get the exact measurements we needed, ordered them in paint ready poplar, and were available for quick ship. I’ll be using the Rustica Dutch Door for the front door (to add some much needed curb appeal) and in the mud room that opens out to the lake. I went ahead and mocked up a quick version to help get the visual.


Green Dutch Door white siding


In addition to swapping out those two doors, we’ll be replacing the French doors and adding in another set! Currently, the primary suite and living room open to the large deck. We’ll be removing the windows that open to the smaller lakeside porch and swapping them out for French doors. Once we screen in that portion of the porch (see next section), it will allow us to keep doors wide open, lake breezes flowing, bug free.


Rendering for white lakehouse with green doors and copper lighting


Add Two Windows

The primary bedroom currently has a set of French doors to the deck that faces the lake. We plan to add a window on either side of the doors to maximize that amazing view! The bedroom is quite spacious and waking up to all those views (and being able to open the windows without getting bugs in the house) will be so dreamy!


Screen in the Back Porch

You can see in the image below, there is a small covered porch off the living room, that sits above the stone walk out basement. This is the portion that we’ll screen in and add the French doors to! I’m so excited for this space because when we make our semi-annual trips to The Lakeshore House, we spend 90% of our time on that screened porch. It will be a (hopefully) quick and easy project to really increase our usable outdoor space.


*can you believe there is no filter on this? This property is SO green and lush!


Stain the Deck


I have gone back and forth on staining vs. painting the deck. Any and all recommendations welcome. We will begin with power washing it to understand it’s condition, replace the boards that need replacing, and tighten any areas that have become loose. Once she’s all tidied up, I’m thinking a dark stain like Sherwin Williams 3542 Charwood would give great contrast will standing out against the stone masonry below. My sweet mama has volunteered to come out to the lake and tackle this project, and I will graciously step aside and let her. Finally, we’ll replace the white lattice below the deck with a horizontal board fence, stained to match the deck above.



In what appears to be the world’s worst Photoshop job, you can see I started playing with deck stain combos. Additionally, you can start to see the change a bright white with matching trim would do to unify the home. Since this is the part I’m MOST stuck on – what would you guys do to the deck? Stain? Paint? Light? Dark? Help!

Create All Season, Comfy Seating


mood board for a white and green lake house with Serena and Lily wicker furniture


Because we don’t get (much) snow (usually), we plan to be able to utilize the lake year round. That means all outdoor furniture and seating areas need to withstand the elements and be out most of the year. The house has amazing storage, so we’ll be sure to put cushions away as we head back to Austin for a while, but it will be so nice to be able to just toss the cushions out and be patio ready any time!

The house will be fairly monochromatic, so I’ll lean heavily on texture to make the outdoor spaces feel cozy and inviting. We’ll pull natural elements like rattan and wood to accent the home while still blending into the beautiful East Texas landscape. The home has lots of texture already, with the metal roof, stone foundation and clapboard siding. By focusing on tightly woven rattan, teak woods and performance outdoor fabrics, I envision these outdoor spaces to feel just as comfy as the indoors.

A few concerns for the outdoor spaces: water, heat and sun. Just like everyone else, we’re up against the elements, but just remember everything is bigger in Texas. After extensive research, tons of swatch tests, and a very specific aesthetic, I settled on Serena & Lily’s outdoor collection. While they are known for their coastal design, I knew that their furniture collection could withstand the extreme elements. Lake life is much less erosive than beach living, so I’m confident their all-weather resin on powder coated aluminum frames will withstand our mildew loving, green slime growing, sun beating lake house. I will update in 6 months after the furniture has weathered a few seasons!




I’ll be taking you room by room through the full design plans, so leave your questions below and follow along on Instagram. Looking for sources? Find everything I’m eyeing on my Pinterest board. Itt goes without saying how wildly excited we are for this project. To say it’s a dream come true, wouldn’t do it justice. Purchasing a home right now is a particularly emotional experience and we’ve been through the ringer. The privilege of looking for a second home is not lost on me, which is why I’m so excited to make the IDCO Lake House an open destination for the entire IDCO Studio team and their families, and a beautiful, affordable vacation retreat for yours.


Featured Image via Southern Living



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  1. Taylor says:

    Please, please, please stain the deck instead of paint! Previous owners painted our deck and you end up with paint chips all over the place no matter what fancy outdoor paint you use. We sanded and stained it and life has been 1000x better!

  2. Melissa says:

    Agree with the above comment concerning paint vs stain! Our home’s previous owner painted the wood deck, and after one year the paint bubbled and pulled up in sheets. Perhaps it was a cleaning/prepping error? We tried sanding, but quickly realized it was easier to replace alllll the boards and start fresh again with stain. The stain has held up beautifully!

  3. Michelle Allen says:

    The Pinterest link didn’t work for me, and I can’t seem to find you there by searching (tried seemingly all the options!) – any advice?







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