Project Spotlight: Archer Lakes

Here at Studio M, we don’t have a signature style. But if there is one thing that separates us from the rest, it’s the use of contrast: the ability to blend modern with vintage touches, moody elements with a little bit of whimsy, and an entertaining haven with a quiet respite.


After looking through the plans for Archer Lakes, we were intrigued by the thoughtfulness and intentionality of the architect’s plans. Our client had a vision for blending a cabin-like feel with elevated modern and industrial elements, with a mix of unique materials.


Needless to say, we were excited to get to work.


Mixing It Up

When briefing us on the living room, the architect noted that it should be “earthy yet industrial.” We used this phrase as our inspiration and started piecing together the natural elements we knew we wanted to include, like glass, steel, wood flooring, stone, and even accents of reclaimed barn wood. These substrates would merge to make a unique and totally custom space. Anyone can have wood and steel in their home, but to make it uniquely “you” is the thoughtfulness that goes into picking the wood finish and the color of the steel.


The blend of steel beam with some natural textures in the warm wood, complemented by the detail of the stone fireplace? That’s Archer Lakes.


Wine Brings Us Together
Our client loved to travel to Napa and go wine tasting with friends, and they wanted a special place to celebrate that –– and capture the feeling you get sharing stories over a great glass of wine. So, why not put it at the heart of the home?

The wine cellar became the focal point of the home, because of its location and how different it was. As the center of the main floor, its design was going to feed into everything else, including the industrial floating stairway.


Lighting and finishes were ultra-important to make this space fit in with the rest of the home’s modern-industrial feel. CAD came in very handy during this part of the process, so that we could collaborate with the homeowners on the engineering process – something they enjoyed. We spent hours together planning out everything down to the smallest detail.


And we did this because we truly had to consider everything. The wine cellar was similar to a walk-in cooler, but because it is encased in glass, it had to look great from the inside-out. This meant we had to be ultra-thoughtful about the material selection. Does the glass need a sweep? What about hardware on the wine racks? What happens with condensation? How does the lighting reflect on the glass?


From concept to completion, we had to consider everything to make sure that the wine cooler was a standout for all the right reasons.


Capturing That Coffeehouse Feeling

The wine cellar also functioned as a walk-through to the kitchen. But before you arrive in the kitchen, there is a unique private room for discussion. This room was inspired by the cozy coffeehouse-feeling of Starbucks, which their daughter dubbed “Maybucks” after their family. This is a special space with four chairs where the family can sit and chat over a great glass of wine or cup of coffee.

And that’s really the heart of Archer Lakes, those family discussions where our client can go to check in with one another and chat like they would with friends at a coffee shop.


Lighting is Jewelry for the Home
Light fixtures can truly make or break a home’s design. The true crown jewel of Archer Lakes is the stairwell light fixture. Because of the hard, industrial edges of the architecture, we wanted to include something more organic feeling. And after lots of searching – from almost twenty different vendors – we found the perfect thing.

Hanging above their floating stairway is a beautiful chandelier with smoked gray-glass globes. This delicate fixture took on a unique shape that complimented the space flawlessly.

Adding the nuances of amazing organic see-through fixtures was intentional. Because Archer Lakes is, well, on a lake, we didn’t want to block those gorgeous views.

Archer Lakes Project Highlights 

This unique property was more than just a wine cellar and a chandelier. We were able to design the home from top-to-bottom to create a unique home for our client. Here are some other custom designs we created for them:

  • Although they loved to spend time with their immediate family, our client loved to entertain. So, they needed a driveway that considered traffic flow. We designed the driveway to be long and wide with a circle drive, so that friends and relatives can get by each other if they needed to leave. (But, really, who would want to?)
  • Since our clients’ children are grown, they wanted to make sure to have a spacious guest bedroom for overnight stays with the (eventual) grandchildren. Their guest suite features a walk-in closet, a large bathroom with a roll-in shower, his and hers vanities, and custom built-in bureaus under the window spaces.
  • The kitchen features two fridge-freezers. We wanted the pantry to be hidden, so it was panelized like cabinetry. This adds a fun little element, like a secret little library door – it can be pushed open from the wall.
  • Working alongside the engineering mind of our Project Manager, we created a natural patina look on the deck. This was a work-in-progress, as we had to figure out how to do this sort of thing in the four seasons of the Midwest.
  • Who doesn’t love dining on the deck in the summer? But the bugs? Not so much. The Archer Lakes sun porch features electric screens to keep the bugs out even when the sliders are open.
  • It’s about the views. Our client really wanted to highlight the views of the woods and the lake. The house really needed to fit in with the natural setting. And this is something we considered with every single detail.

We’re more than interior designers. From the slope of the property and where the sun sets, Studio M is taking the steps to see well beyond the interior. Your home is truly a full property to be enjoyed, inside and out.


Studio M is here to make your project easy, elevated, and most importantly – true to you. Send us an email here to get started.


Read more about Archer Lakes, published in Northern Home & Cottage magazine here. [LINK:]