Outdoor Spaces

Lakeside Living

By: Ettie Berneking, Erin Gregory, Rose Marthis and Savannah Waszczuk | Photos by Jeremy Mason Mcgraw

Mar 2015

Live at the Lake: Interested in buying a lake home? You can find a few homes for sale at Grand Cru Landing at the Lake on Table Rock Lake. 

If you live in southwest Missouri, you know that nothing says relaxation more than a trip to the lake. While people on the coasts spend their summer weekends fighting for spots on crowded beaches, us 417-landers create our own sunny days in paradise floating around in lazy coves on roomy pontoon boats. Days at the lake mean early-morning boat rides, afternoon water sports and, if you’re lucky enough, evenings cozying up with the family in a gorgeous lakeside retreat. Whether you already have the privilege of calling a lake property your own, you’re planning to build a lakeside escape or you simply like to dream, this water-drenched feature has something for you. You’ll explore three local lake homes filled with designs to aspire to, and you’ll find helpful hints from expert 417-land builders on building your own space. You’ll also learn how to transform your own exterior living space into a dreamy outdoor haven, and you’ll even find a few houses on the market now, just in case you’re ready to take the plunge. Ready to learn all about lakeside living in 417-land? Turn the page, and dive in.—S.W.


Picture Worthy

With dramatic angles, sharp lines and a design inspired by a vintage Polaroid camera, Chad and Kelly Morgan’s lake house is a dreamy weekend retreat.

Room With a View The simple but stunning deck at Chad and Kelly Morgan's lake home is the perfect spot to soak in the sun, enjoy a meal and take in the views of Table Rock Lake.

Instead of a tree-lined view, Chad and Kelly Morgan’s lake home looks right out onto a peaceful strip of Table Rock Lake. The view is spectacular, but the lake house is the real star of the show.

This five-bedroom edifice is a stunning nod to modern architecture, and if the bare-bone, eco-friendly style looks familiar, that’s probably because you’re already familiar with the architect, Matthew Hufft. Hufft is responsible for other Springfield mainstays, including Farmers Park and Dynamic Earth. 

His distinct modern edge and focus on sustainable building practices were just what the Morgans were looking for. And Hufft delivered flawlessly. The end product is dubbed the “Postcard House,” but it’s not the nearly panoramic views of the lake that are the cause for the nickname. Hufft designed the home after a vintage Polaroid camera. The angles are dramatic, and the lines sharp. And almost every spot in the home delivers a fantastic view of the sparkling water below.

“We’re there pretty much every weekend from May to September,” Chad says. In fact, the family was at the lake even while the home was under construction. The original property was in shambles when the Morgans took it on. The house had to be razed, and the in-ground pool that had caved in was filled in. During construction, the family cozied up in the small two-bedroom guest house, which was eventually renovated.

Little by little, the main home came to life. Expansive decks wrapped around the side of the house. Industrial windows were installed. Walnut cabinets were put in, and walls were painted bright white. A wood-burning stove was hauled into the main living area to give the home a touch of classic ambience. 

It all came together, and the finished product is truly a sight to behold. The Morgans have a dream lake home with all the modern features and waterfront charm they could want. —E.B.

Made to be Mobile: The basement of the Morgan home opens to a grassy area that leads to the lakes edge. All of the home’s furniture was designed on wheels so it is easily moved from inside to the outdoor living area.


White Washed: To play off the bright sunlight that comes in through the large windows, the walls and the Caesarstone countertops are white, and the kitchen cabinets are made of walnut. “When it’s hot and sweaty outside, you come in and you’re in a serene, white spa-like atmosphere,” Chad says. “It’s a way to feel clean after a hot day on the lake.”

Dream Deck: The Morgan lake home is made from Western red cedar, and the deck shows off brown Ipe hardwood decking and a galvanized metal railing. “It has a nice nautical look,” Chad says. “It doesn’t obstruct your view, and everything is low-maintenance.” Keeping everything simple was a big point for the Morgans. The deck has no screws. Each piece is clamped into place and waxed, which means the family won’t have to worry about re-finishing the wood every few years. “You just show up and enjoy it,” Chad says.

Young at Heart: The kids’ living area located upstairs is a fun and relaxing spot for them to hang out and watch movies. To play off of the natural colors outside the window, the room features bright green furniture and pops of orange. But aesthetics weren’t the only consideration when choosing the furniture. “Every piece is low to the ground,” Chad says. “This way it’s easy for the kids to get on to and off.”

Wide Open Spaces: To give the home just a dash of traditional ambience, a wood-burning stove was brought into the main living area. The stereo cabinet under the television was designed and built by Matthew Hufft. “All the furniture is mid-century modern,” Chad says. “That’s our style.”

Gray Scale: In order to devote more space to the main living areas, all the bedrooms in the home are small. The two master bedrooms are identical. “It’s all very simple,” Chad says. “We wanted a great view of the lake.”

Modern Edge: The hand-carved mahogany sink in the powder bath was a gift from Hufft. “It’s representative of an old wooden boat,” Chad says. “It’s carved, waxed and sealed, just like a boat.”

Resource Listing

Architect, Landscape Design, Cabinetry
Hufft Projects, Kansas City, 816-531-0200, hufft.com

Kenson Goff Homes, Springfield, 417-861-2248, kensongoffhomes.com

Efco,  Monett, 417-235-3193, efcocorp.com


5 Steps to Building a Lake Home

Are you ready to build a dreamy lakeside retreat? We talked to a handful of local builders to help walk you through the process.


1. Talk to your lender

Before you get too deep into planning your dream home on the shores of Table Rock Lake, be sure to have a talk with your lender. If your lake home will be a second home, it will likely require 20 percent down. And while it’s always nice to dream big, really take time to think about planning to include things you’ll use the most. “Understanding what you want versus what you can afford is always an important part of the planning process,” says Mike Nixon of MBN Construction. 

2. Find your property

“When preparing to build a lake home, buyers should choose the property carefully as to the topography of the land and the boundaries of the Corps of Engineers property,” says Jay Krause of Krause Construction Company. “This can make or break your budget when trying to calculate excavation and foundation costs in relation to that majestic lake view.” If you are going big and purchasing a lake-front property, keep this in mind: Table Rock Lake is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (usace.army.mil, 501-340-1947), and a portion of the property that touches the shoreline belongs to the Corps. To mow, trim trees or disrupt any other natural vegetation, you have to apply for a vegetation management permit. 

3. Budget accordingly

Proper planning and budgeting will determine how close your home is to the lake. Lots that are located directly around the lake, especially lake-front lots, are often pricey. As you’re budgeting, be sure to consider the price of your lot within the total cost of your build. Many builders say your lot should be 25 percent of the final cost of your home, which is a great rule of thumb for making sure you plan and build the appropriate house on the appropriate lot.

4. Design and build

Make sure to take plenty of time to design. “A good architect and builder team that can capture your vision is very important,” says Kenson Goff of Kenson Goff Homes. “Take your time with your team before construction begins to work out the details. Important decisions will be made early on, and many of them will dictate how you are able to use each space to its maximum potential.” Also, consider investing in things that will help both your enjoyment of the home and its future resale value. “One of the biggest things we encounter is customers want to be able to have an outdoor living area,” says Travis Miller of Travis Miller Homes. “When I build lake homes, we are always building screened in porches and fire pits outside, so they can view the lake.” 

5. Take in the view

We know that steps 1 through 4 will be a long, stressful process, so when they’re finally done, you need to celebrate. When you’re going to visit your new lake home for the first time, make a stop at Vino Cellars at the Lake (15038 Business Highway 13, Branson West, 417-739-1985) and pick up a bottle of vino and a few gourmet cheeses. Then, camp out on the porch, pour a glass (or three) and enjoy the view. At last, it’s yours to keep. —E.G. and S.W.



Building a Dream

The Petersons teamed up with local pros to renovate, remodel and expand their custom Lindal Cedar home into the summer space of their dreams.

Different hardwoods and large wooden beams reflect the nature surrounding the Peterson home. Kathy takes homemade meals straight from the handcrafted Table Rock Pizza Co. pizza oven in the living area to the patio dining area through folding glass doors that extend the space. David Cunningham of Eureka Ironworks, Inc. added custom iron leaves to the great room fireplace to match the pine cones in the hearth room. 

John and Kathy Peterson’s lake home in Kimberling City has been a never-ending project since the early 90s. Their first home was an 800-square-foot space on a plot with so many trees the lake was invisible from 100 feet away. They cleared the trees and sold the first home after five years to upgrade to a 4,200-square-foot space in 1997. Today, they entertain friends and family in their 7,000-square-foot house that they worked so hard to get. The 2013 expansion and remodel added a four-season room, a hearth room, a dining room and an additional bath, and expanded the deck, kitchen, mudroom and wine cellar. 

Situated on Ants Creek, the home is built for easy movement between the indoors and outdoors. One of Kathy’s favorite features is the Marvin folding glass door that opens the entire wall between the living room and the deck to create a simulated covered porch. When visiting from St. Louis, she and John entertain family and friends between frequent trips to the nearby dock with the help of their custom outdoor kitchen. 

“We designed it so that you can be barefoot and put your feet on all the furniture,” Kathy says. “It’s just a very casual but nice home where everything allows you to walk in wet and put your feet up.” 

Kathy says the expansion was challenging because the addition was to be built on trusses while the original home is post and beam construction, but Mike Nixon and Tom Nixon at MBN Construction found a solution to integrate the new with the old. 

Waiting more than a decade to get their dream space convinced Kathy that anyone can have a lake home if they’re willing to persevere. “When it was first being built, we worked on the house every weekend,” she says. “You have to have some imagination to get started. If you can just get started, then you can grow and add to it and make it a lifelong place.” —R.M.

Lodge living: The Petersons wanted a large dining area to fulfill their love of entertaining, and they requested a large table and bar area to seat all their friends. In the kitchen, they loved the integration of rustic lake house with modern appliances for an upscale living feel. Kathy loves the expansive freezers and full refrigerator because she never runs out of storage. “We typically don’t go out to eat down there,” she says. “We’re always cooking for large groups of people.”  

Bright Updates: he downstairs rooms for the kids add color to the home. Kathy’s daughter was 3 years old when they built the home, so she picked out a bright pink for her original room color. That has since been updated to coral and paired with chocolate brown. Kathy fell in love with a giant birch branch she found online, so her painter put the decoration together for this home. 

Displaying Adventure: Kathy wanted to add family history to the décor in this room, which was originally their son’s room but is now the grandchildren’s room. The canvas prints are a series of photos of the kids learning to ski and wakeboard, and the wooden skis are her husband’s from his teenage years in the 1970s. The post-and-beam structure of the home created the challenge of varying ceiling angles that Kathy balanced with angled and asymmetrical art.

Wine Tasting: The original wine cellar was vamped up to include a wine tasting room and seating area for ultimate relaxation after a long day on the lake. The
Petersons preferred glass doors and windows to be able to see their collection in the cellar. The heavy iron doors were both fashionable and functional, adding to the rustic outdoor design while maintaining humidity and temperature. Kathy wanted the whole area to look like a wine cave.

Ultimate Relaxation: The master bathroom has a freestanding therapeutic BainUltra tub with a whirlpool, jets and heated backrest for when the Petersons need somewhere to escape. Kathy continued the stone and wood details and added a skylight for even more natural light. Using decoration as function, the back nook area has lights that look like real candles, and the cabinet behind the tub hides the controls for the jets. 

Cooking for Everyone: Kathy felt like the kitchen had enough granite details already with the countertop and backsplash, so she added a copper island top that matches the copper ventilation hood that goes all the way to the ceiling and vents out the roof. The copper hood by David Cunningham of Eureka Ironworks and copper island top by Advanced Metal Fabricators add another earth tone to the home. 

Outdoor Entertaining 

During the renovation and expansion, the Petersons added more to the deck and included an outdoor kitchen. To further up their entertaining game, they worked with Mike Miller of Polyfab Plastics and Supply to get a custom setup for their grill and burners. Furniture and a fire pit from Maschino’s rounded out the outdoor living area for hosting friends and family. Kathy loves how the deck brings people together. “I’ve never cooked for less than 15 people or so,” she says. 

Great ViewsKathy made it easy to connect to the outdoors with giant panoramic windows and natural colors and materials in the common areas. Kim Taylor Design Group brought the interior design together in the living room and kitchen with coppers, browns, oranges, greens, hardwood and leather elements. The Petersons made sure to provide ample seating for everyone to feel comfortable at the home away from home. 

Resource Listings

MBN Construction
Mike and Tom Nixon
2386 S. County Lane 124, Carthage, 417-388-0333

Hardwoods and Deck 
MBN Construction and Artisan Floors 
Eric Perry 
1153 S. Maple St., Carthage, 417-593-6100

Interior Designer and Furniture
K. Taylor Design Group
Kim Taylor
11622 Page Service Drive, Suite 101, St. Louis, 314-610-7288, ktaylordesigngroup.com

Architectural Design
David W. Dial Architects, P.C.
Dave Dial
14368 Manchester Road, Ballwin, Missouri
636-230-0400, dialarchitects.com

Landscape Design
Wickman Gardens 
Greg Hatley
1345 S. Fort Ave., Springfield, 417-862-3707, wickmans.com

Outdoor Kitchen
Polyfab Plastics & Supply
Mike Miller
820 N. Cedarbrook, Springfield, 417-862-6512, polyfabplastics.com

Outdoor Furniture and Fire Pit
1715 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield
800-658-1377, maschinos.com

Iron and Copper 
Eureka Ironworks, Inc.
David Cunningham
455 County Road 99, Eureka Springs, Arkansas 
479-253-1242, eurekaironworks.com

Stone and Masonry 
Baucom Masonry Construction, Inc. 
Steve Akhurst
2309 Missouri Avenue, Carthage
417-358-8663, baucommasonry.com

Wine Cellar
Lamp Wine Cellars
Cory Lamp
16781 Benton Taylor Dr., Chesterfield, Missouri
314-495-3383, lampwinecellars.com


All About Location

When you’re finally ready to buy a lake property, make sure you find a location that’s right for you and your family. Janet Bezzerides, a local realtor with Boeker Group Real Estate (Branson West, 417-338-2100, boekergroup.com), shares spots to shop according to your desired needs.

You Want: In on the action

Your Spot: Indian Point at Table Rock Lake

Located on the main body of Table Rock, Indian Point is among the most frequented spots at the lake. With hundreds of properties occupied and plenty more on the market, Indian Point offers everything from a huge variety of condos to a plethora of homes. It’s also home to two bustling full-service marinas and plenty of fun spots to enjoy a drink, including the Parrots Pavillion & Tiki Bar at Rocklane Resort (pictured). 

You Want: Lock-and-go

Your Spot: Kimberling City at Table Rock Lake

So you dream of having a lake property, but you’re not up for keeping up with an entire second home. We get it. If a lock-and-go property is more your style, check out Kimberling City on Table Rock Lake. While the small lake community is filled with homes, there are also a handful of condos (including Pointe Seven, pictured), up for grabs here. 

You Want: New construction

Your Spot: Blue Eye and surrounding areas

If you want something brand new or close to it, look into the developments popping up in the Blue Eye area of Table Rock Lake south of the Hwy. 86 bridge. The spot has seen a little action from new developers within the last 10 years (and it’s still growing), and it offers many high-end homes in Grand Cru Landing at the Lake (pictured), The Provence and more. 

You Want: Seclusion

Your Spot: Bull Shoals Lake

Much less popular than Table Rock, Bull Shoals Lake (pictured) is home to plenty of equally gorgeous shoreline and sparkling deep blue waters. If you’re on the hunt for a relaxed, quiet lakeside retreat and don’t like dealing with boat traffic when you’re out on the water, consider buying or building here. The entire lake is peaceful.

You Want: Family-friendly

Your Spot: Anywhere!

Lucky for us 417-landers, Table Rock Lake (pictured), Bull Shoals Lake and Lake Taneycomo are all family-friendly. Unlike that lake located a bit north that gets overrun by giant yachts and partying college kids, our 417-land lakes stay calm and mostly quiet, with the perfect amount of fun mixed in. —S.W.


Get the Look

When local builder Jay Krause of Krause Construction teamed up with custom home designer Ron Hill of Euro World Design to build a gorgeous 17,000-square-foot home overlooking Table Rock Lake, they made sure that the space was just as pretty on the outside as it is inside. Interior designer Emily McKee, also of Euro World Design, led the design on the dream-worthy space, and she gives some tips on transforming your own outdoor area into a little slice of heaven. 

1. Get Floored
“I started the design with a travertine-inspired porcelain tile,” McKee says. The stone-like texture provides safety for traction when wet, which is crucial for an outdoor seating area, but the floor still has the appearance of natural stone. “I also like using porcelain for an outdoor area because it’s maintenance free.” 


2. Make it Pop
“A great way to add some color to your outdoor space without breaking the bank is by recovering your outdoor pillows with a fun fabric,” McKee says. Originally, the furniture pillows in the space were the same color as the cushions, but McKee had them covered with vibrantly colored tropical print fabrics. The cushions are made from Sunbrella fabric that is easy to keep clean and strong enough to withstand weather. When recovering pillows, make sure the fabric is labeled for indoor/outdoor use. 


3. Remember the View
When choosing must-have features, like railings, remember not to distract from your surroundings. McKee says the antique copper finish on this space’s iron railing provides safety without hindering the real focus: a great view of Table Rock Lake.


4. Find the Right Furnishings
While this space’s wicker furniture looks pretty, it also withstands the elements. “It’s all-weather wicker furniture that is hand woven and resistant to UV, fading, stains, mildew and stretching,” McKee says. 


5. Bring the Inside Out
When you’re designing your outdoor space, don’t hesitate to add typically indoor elements. “Rugs can be for the outdoors, too, and they make the space that much more cozy,” McKee says. “You can use the same colors that are in your furniture or something that complements.” And Hill agrees. “We always try to treat the outside area as if it’s a room itself,” he says. If you’re preparing for an outdoor party or event, dress the furniture with fresh florals or other seasonal centerpieces, just as you would a dining table.—S.W.


Going Mod

Looking for something far different than their traditional Springfield home, Cory and Kerry Watts worked with a handful of local experts to build their custom modern lake house.

Lake Home Look: The home’s exterior is finished with cedar siding, giving it the true look of a lake home, and gravel adds an edgy finish to the look. Rocks used for the retaining wall and other walking areas all came from the property during the excavation.

Cory and Kerry Watts were visiting friends at Table Rock Lake when they noticed a nearby property for sale. “It seemed like it would be a good fit for us,” Kerry says. The two turned to Dake Wells Architecture, the same firm that designed their Springfield office building, and asked them if they would like to build their lake house. 

A team of the firm’s architects got to work in creating the two-level, 3,600-square-foot house located at the apex of a sloped peninsula on Table Rock Lake. In order to be sensitive to the neighborhood, the team constructed the home with traditional materials often used to build lake homes, but they used the supplies in innovative ways. They also focused on maximizing lake views, placing the windows and glass to see out to the lake but limiting them to smaller openings around the rest of the perimeter of the home. 

The result is a house that is breathtaking both inside and out. On the interior, the custom design lends to two main living sections—one filled with bedrooms for Cory, Kerry and their three children and the other that’s home to the kitchen, dining and living area. The free-flowing space on the one side and the master bedroom on the other side both open to a large deck that faces the lake. The design is clean and open, with straight lines and minimal décor setting the tone. “We were going for a modern look,” Kerry says. “Our house in Springfield is very traditional, and we were looking for something else. We liked the idea of going to the lake and feeling like we were going somewhere really different.” 

The exterior has an equally modern design. To enter the house, guests walk along a narrow, elevated wood walkway that’s bordered by gravel, which was designed to mimic the idea of stepping from the gravel lake shore to a nearby boat dock. On the opposite side of the home, the upper level decks shadow a lower level patio, outdoor shower and bench. The fabulous views are paired with easy lake access, as the Watts can simply walk out of their door and down the hill to be at the water’s edge. It’s truly everything they wanted in a lake home, and a favorite spot for them to make memories with their children for years to come.—S.W.

Spot by the Water: The home’s deck is complete with the essentials; a dining area, a seating area and a couple of Adirondack rocking chairs to take in the view. While the family often eats meals at the area just outside of the living room, there’s another cozy spot to sit just outside the master bedroom.

Living Luxe: Located closest to the patio, the living room provides one of the home’s best views of the lake. The dark wood cabinetry along the wall helps the space flow with the kitchen and hides an array of electronics, and the quartz around the fireplace helps further tie the space to the adjacent kitchen and dining areas. 

Dine in Style: The dining room sits adjacent to the kitchen and provides five of the eight guests a view of the lake. A long window runs perpendicular to the cabinetry and is outfitted with wooden slats that help direct the view toward the water. “We didn’t want our neighbors to feel like they had to look at us while we were eating, and vice versa,” Kerry says.

Clean Kitchen: While most of the walls in the home are white, the wall above the sink was painted a light shade of blue to provide a pop of color. The dark wood cabinetry is contrasted with light quartz countertops that wrap around the free-standing pieces and stretch to the floor.

First Look: Once you walk through the home’s front door, your view is directed through the home and to the large windows that look to Table Rock Lake. Additional skylights and windows help fill the space with natural light, and glass and aluminum framing that came from the Watts’ business, KLF Architectural Systems, helps provide a contemporary feel.

Suite Dreams: During the design process, Cory was very adamant about having lots of glass in the home, especially in the master bedroom. The space’s glass walls provide plenty of light and fabulous lake views, but there are also blinds that can be lowered if the couple wants a bit of privacy. The room opens to a large deck, which is a great spot to wind down after a day on the water. Dark wood cabinetry is continued in the bathroom, which is also complete with quartz countertops and a large walk-in shower.


Resource Listing

Kenson Goff Homes
Rogersville, 417-861-2248, kensongoffhomes.com

Architect, interior design
Dake Wells Architecture
134 Park Central Square #300, Springfield, 417-831-9904, dake-wells.com

Windows, Metal Frame Work
KLF Architectural Systems
1440 W. Republic, Springfield, 417-890-5906