NH Lake House with a Focus on Nature

The NH Lakes Region architecture firm of Samyn-D’Elia Architects proudly accepted the People’s Choice Award from the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2009 for their design of this lake house.  This custom home  design exceeds Energy Star certification standards and incorporates numerous sustainable design elements.

The entry to the house incorporates a small bridge over a stone filled stream.  Cedar posts with a rough hewn finish hint at the owners’ love of nature and the surrounding NH landscape.  This love of nature became the focus of the project.  The siting of the house honors the unspoiled nature of Squam Lake by ensuring the home had as little impact as possible on the lake and site. 




The architects chose to work around natural features such as the stream shown on the left.  The “bridge” over the stream goes to the entry from the driveway.   Carefully chosen plantings are not just indigenous to the area in general, but are specifically found on the nearby natural shores of Squam Lake.




A touch of whimsy greets anyone entering this house with two carved bears climbing and hiding in a post by the screened porch.





 Upon entering the house, the great room opens up to the view of the lake and the stone fireplace.  The owners liked the architect’s suggestion of  incorporating natural details in the interior finishes.  Note the branch sticks on the cabinet doors.  The interior stone chimney is aesthetically appealing, as well as acting as an energy efficient feature by utilizing the thermal mass to store and radiate heat into the home.



Moving from the living room, you enter the dining area and then the kitchen.  Lovely details chosen by the owner are displayed in the full sized canoe on the wall and little canoes in the lamp bases.



The dining area shares the magnificent view of the lake and the warmth of the fireplace.




 The kitchen has all the most modern and Energy Star appliances, but also a soapstone sink and hand made tiles for the back splash.  The architect  developed  silhouettes from natural icons of New Hampshire that were used for the tiles.




 The second level balcony overlooks the great room showcasing the fantastic chandeliers.  Here again, the love of the outdoors is displayed with evergreen trees on the lights and rough hewn posts for the railings.


   This is the ultimate man-cave.  Though the term has been overused, the  amenities in this room fit the bill.  The pool table on rough hewn legs, the span of windows giving a bird’s eye view of the lake make it a haven that both any man or woman would enjoy.   



Using natural materials was carried through to the master bath.  Using glass blocks looks good during the day with natural daylight and glows at night with electric lighting. 




A view of the house from the water.

The sensitive siting along with the highly insulated building envelope, energy efficient windows, Energy Star appliances and careful construction are sustainable design elements that are incorporated into this home.


Photos by Joe St. Pierre

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