Interesting Lake Houses

I have a little something different to share with you today. It isn’t a DIY, but it is all about houses.

On Mother’s Day, the weather was so nice in South Carolina that Ed and I spent the day out on the lake. We took a picnic lunch out on the boat and just went cruising around the lake, slowing down to look at nature and a closer look at many waterfront houses that line the lake.  It is one of my favorite pastimes, not only to enjoy being outdoors on the lake, but to pick up some ideas and inspiration on what I can do to the exterior of my house.

I have always loved looking at houses since I was a little kid when my mom would gather the family for a ride in the family station wagon to go on as she used to call them “a dream drive”.  She did this when she needed ideas and sometimes just a reason to get out of the house. Most of these “dream drives” ended up at the local ice cream place which my siblings and I enjoyed even more.

A Few Unique Houses on the Lake

Lake Murray is a big lake, not as big as one of the Great Lakes, but a pretty big lake with about 600 miles of shoreline. The eastern part of the lake is very developed and the western sections, rural. It has been in existence since 1930.

I get to see a wide variety of houses. All are inspiring. Many of the houses around the lake are typical homes you would see in any suburban neighborhood.

I thought I would show you a few that really stand out to me – some are right near my house and others are at a distance. I give many of them names just for fun. I sometimes like to travel by car to see what the street side of the houses look like, too.  Not to be nosy, just to get color and style inspiration.  If you are a house lover, then I know you understand this. :-)

Houses on Lake Murray

This house is out on the big part of the lake. I call it the “Lake Como Villa”.

Since it looks like it would be on a postcard sent from a vacation taken in Italy.

I call this house the “Turn House”.  The name has nothing to do with the house, but when we are out on the big section of the lake it is our navigational point as to where we need to turn northward to get to our part of the lake.

This house was recently renovated.

It sits out further than any house on Lake Murray.  It is on its own point of land with big water views on all 3 sides.  I call it the “Location…Location…Location house.”

This one is an older home that sits out on a point of water, too.  I actually met the owner at a fund-raiser for a nearby Opera House.

She told me it has been in her family for generations. It is small, but the water views are huge.

Lake Houses

I have shown you this house before. It is “my favorite house on the lake” house. I love it because I love both the architecture of the house itself and the fact…

…that it sits out on point lot all by itself….. dreamy!  It even has a boathouse. Not many houses on the lake have them.

The “Plantation House”.

Trees right along the shore are owned by the power company that manages the lake. You can’t remove them as they want to keep the shore line natural.  If you do remove them you get a big fine. You can have the limbs removed to open a view, but the trees have to stay.  These look like they are dead or dying.  To add a dock, you need to get permission first and the power company has to approve your plans before you build.

This small house is near mine. It is old, but well-cared for.

It has big water views. If they ever sold this land, I am sure someone would tear this house down and build a big huge house in its place. It would make me a little sad as I like the “old lake” feel that the house adds to the lake and surrounding area.

Lake Houses in My Hood

As I mentioned Lake Murray is a large lake that incorporates different towns and counties around it. Some of the towns are more developed while many are very rural. I live right in-between the two.  It is a rural area, but you can see houses going up all the time.

Like this one that was just built. I am guessing that someone bought it and will be moving in soon. It has a wonderful water view.

Lake house view

I watched it being built from my house that is across the water from it. See it in the distance…the house on the farthest left?  They cut down trees to build it. It is a pretty house, but does not have any shade which will make it one hot house in the summer months.

This is another one of my favorite houses. Not too big with a classic presence and huge water views. The land far across the water from it is a state park that will never be developed.  I call it the “Swimming Hole House” since the water is deep in front of it and out of the way of boat traffic. When we are out on the boat and want to go swimming, this is one of many places we go.

You can guess what I call this house…”The Blue Roof House”. 

This one is simply the “white house” that stands out against the woodsy background.

This house I call the “Littlest House on the Lake”.  It is more like a fishing shack and has probably been on the lake for decades

Literally right around the curve of land from the “littlest house” sits the exact opposite… one of the largest houses on the lake.

club med house

I call it “Club Med”.  I assume to the left of the main house where the roof line is lower, is a guest house.  When I am out on my  Mirage Eclipse, I can get close and can see all the details of the architecture and that there is a pool in the front behind the low wall.

Here is what it looks like from the street side.  Club Med, right?

Right across from the “Club Med” house is the “Mountain House” which is probably just as big.

It looks much smaller from the street side, but you can see why I call it the “Mountain House”. 

There are many other styles of houses around the lake, quite a few are red brick.

Or charming smaller homes…

…set among the trees.

This house we actually looked at when searching for houses two and half years ago. It has a great water view, but just didn’t feel right to us.

Almost every house has a dock, some with boat lifts.

So many houses, all of them loved and cared for with owners…

…who love living on the shores of a lake as much as I do.

Do you like going for dream drives in towns around you to get ideas and inspiration for your home? Have you done any of the ideas you saw on your drive to your own home?

Tour of lake homes. #lakehomes #tourofhomes #houses #waterhomes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. franki parde says:

    That was SO fun!! We, too, live on a “Power Plant” Lake Anna in VA…half the size of your lake. We built (ALL ourselves, electric, plumbing, landscape, etc etc) a log cabin..38 years…and it continues. I adore looking at all the “different” homes from “Big Bertha” our pontoon. Every day “something” new…the eaglets flew the nest in one of our pines today. franki

  2. Aileen Johnson says:

    The lake houses are breathtaking. I hope to live in one in my lifetime. Thanks for sharing it Diane.

  3. Gail Vernali says:

    Diane, what a really wonderful idea for a post! This was really fun, I know some of these homes but now can’t wait to pack a lunch and go out and find the others.

  4. Thanks Diane, That was fun!
    I think it’s s a universal lake thing… we have a vacation home on a small (300 acre) lake in Northern Wisconsin – we don’t ever get tired of our evening cocktail cruise, looking at the houses. (Your loons have reappeared on our lake ;o) )

  5. TerriC/HoustonLady says:

    Hi Diane,

    Love it “Dream drive ” : ) Thanks for taking us along!

  6. Lake Como! So true.
    By the way, do you need a quiet clean person to live in a tiny house that I can bring to your property? LOL.
    Kidding, but it’s all so gorgeous. Sigh.

  7. Oooh I love that term “dream drives”! I’ve loved them too since I was a kid and now my husband indulges my wishes to do them. My favorite areas to do dream drives in, are the historic sections of town but we also have many gorgeous homes on the river….all of them completely out of our price range but exciting to look at from both the boat and the street sides. Because of the business we have, we often get access to the inside of these homes and surprisingly (maybe not?) the interiors often are not the picture perfect interiors one would expect of homes in that high,high-end price range! which furthers the saying ‘Money doesn’t always equal class”. ;-)

    Yes, dream drives offer me lots of ideas for landscaping and if we take ‘dream walks’ we’ll often get to talk to the home owners and ask about their pretty yards and the history of the home–especially in the historic areas. It’s a wonderful way to get inspiration first hand. :-)

    1. Diane, I think you’ve touched a nerve here – your readers love houses – this is one of your best posts! I particularly keyed in on what Connie says, “Money doesn’t always equal class” in her comment on the interiors of some very high end houses. I went from being a single mom living in an old mobile home to remarrying a man of means and we built our dream house. Now that we’ve been here a few years, I’ve been inside quite a few of my neighbors’ homes and I can echo that sentiment. It’s amazing how people focus on the exterior and then the interior is very ordinary. From someone who has lived in want and in plenty I would say, wherever you live it’s your home – love it and decorate it from the heart! The “grass may be greener” but it’s not better! If you have a good eye and talent in decorating, ANY house can become a beautiful home!

  8. Vritika| Independent villas in OMR says:

    WOW!!!! It looks just like those vacation houses on postcards! Love it :)

  9. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    Diane—I loved this tour!!! My sister lives in a beautiful lake house in VA and when i visit, we love to do this!! I’ll be going there this summer and it’ll be a highlight for me as usual!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. This was wonderful & so much fun!! I can’t believe how big some of the homes are. My favourite is the blue house that was recently built. Your names for the houses are cute too.

  11. Diane, I like the “blue house”. Although not that large it seems cozy and I like the blue roof! When my husband was living we would travel with friends and we would take a ride around the area we were visiting, away from all the tourist attractions. We like seeing how the “real people” lived. I do miss that. A little different than what you are talking about, but I get the idea.
    FYI, I received the paint from Beyond Paint and I chose the Bright White. I like the paint and I’m using a brush instead of roller because like you said about wanting a smoother finish. I will be posting on my blog once I get it all completed.
    P.S. I loved looking at all the homes and I can see why you chose to live on the lake it is beautiful.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi MaryJean – It is fun to go off the beaten path when on vacation like you said to see how the real people live. Now with GPS it makes it even easier, no more getting lost. :-) I look forward to your review about using a brush with the Beyond Paint. I do like the paint – it for sure is durable!!!!

  12. Kathy Chastain says:

    Thought maybe I would see my Uncle’s house. It is a small house that has been there many years. We love having family reunions there.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – What town does your Uncle live in? I may be passing it every time I go out on the lake.

      1. Kathy Chastain says:

        prosperity…by water across from Buffalo Creek.

  13. Lisa Robinson says:

    We just relocated to SC from Texas about 6 months ago. We live on the NE side of Columbia now. Our jaws dropped the first time we drove by Lake Murray. It’s beautiful….and you’re right, HUGE! Loved the tour of Lake Houses!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Lisa – We have friends who live by you in Forest Acres. I do get up that way when I want to shop at stores we don’t have around the lake. When it gets super hot in the summer, just sitting by the lake will cool you down. One of my favorite restaurants on the lake (there aren’t many) is Liberty on the Lake. Have you eaten there yet. It is a fun place to go in the warmer months of the year since they have quite a lot of outdoor seating.

      1. Lisa Robinson says:

        Yes, my daughter takes dance in Forest Acres! We stayed in Lexington the first month we were here until we found a house closer to my kids school, Cardinal Newman. We did discover Liberty on the Lake….we were craving a good cheeseburger, and the view was amazing!!! Thank you so much for responding….I love following your blog!

  14. Carolyn A. Newman says:

    What a fun post. I have a vacation lake house and nothing better than driving in the boat looking at homes I have seen hundreds of times before. If you email me I will show you mine! Best Carolyn

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I just sent you an email. :-)

  15. This was such fun! You live in such a beautiful area. I do wonder, some of those homes look like they could easily become flooded should the water rise. Is that a concern there? Especially those homes with 3-sided water views.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Teri – There isn’t any worry of flooding, but as with anything it could happen. Two years ago there was major rain and flooding in SC – all through the state. The lake level went up and when it gets to a certain point, they let out the flood gates. If they don’t time it right and there is tons of rain, the homes on the river beyond the lake can and have been flooded in the past. It happened 2 years ago and once back in 1969. The rules in place say the dam comes first since it can’t fail(total disaster for everyone down stream) and it is a major power generator for the entire region.

  16. Elizabeth Murray says:

    We live on a small lake in NJ, Lake Mohawk. Love springtime when we can see all the building that happened during the fall and winter.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elizabeth – One of my college roommates lived in the Lake Mohawk region of NJ. It was really nice. I was there a long time ago. I am sure things have been built up and changed since I was there. Does the lake freeze over in places during the winter?

  17. Laura at Duke manor farm says:

    What a fun post. Love all those houses but location location location had me at location.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – The photos of the house and the land it is on do not truly show just how spectacular the location is. It is fun to dream. :-)

  18. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    When we go to the lake this is my favorite thing to do! I just love seeing all the homes and I do the same thing at the beach. I love where you live.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Julia – Do you still go to Smith Mountain Lake for vacation? That is such a pretty lake with quite a lot of amazing homes.

  19. alda ellis says:

    this was just delightful. We live on a private lake too and the only house….that turned 100 years old this year! Nice to take your tour and just wanted to say I love your blog!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Alda – How wonderful to live in an 100 year old house and on a lake. :-) It must be filled with character and cool features and details that homes today just don’t have.

  20. That was so much fun! Thank you! I love looking at homes and these were so great! I would love to live on a lake.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Arell – I have always wanted to live on the shores of a lake or ocean since I was a little kid, same for my husband. Two and a half years ago, we decided it was time to stop dreaming and make it a reality. We are so happy that we did. I am happy to know that you enjoyed the tour.

  21. DonnaMarie says:

    Thanks for the mini-vacation around the lake! It was refreshing! The trip reminded me of my mother’s love of looking at houses. In the 1950’s she subscribed to a magazine called “American Home”. She dreamed of a big ranch house. Our family of 6 lived in a 2 bedroom bungalow. It was much better than the log cabin with a dirt floor she was raised in that her father built on the Canadian prairie. When the magazine came, we would all look at it and dream together and more often than not, Mom would tell us more about life on the prairie. She finally got her ranch house and lived in it the last 10 years of her life. It wasn’t huge, but had the dreamed of 2 bathrooms, a large kitchen and 3 bedrooms. Thanks for jogging my memory in a good way, Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi DonnaMarie – I am so happy that my post brought back fond memories for you. I am also happy to hear that your mom got her dream house and though her love of looking at the magazine you learned a lot about her life. Thanks for reading my blog. XO

  22. Missi Baker says:

    I love to look at homes, too, from all sides and even from above on Google Earth after I’ve “snooped” around neighborhoods in towns I’m visiting. I always like to see what’s available in the area: Houston, Vegas, Seattle, Florida—anywhere I’m visiting. I love to see what others have done to make their house a home. Geeeez, I even look at the insides sometimes on Zillow if it has recently listed or sold! Guess I’m a Peeping Tomasina! ?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Missi – I love Google Earth and Zillow too. :-) It is so interesting to get a bird’s eye look at things and Zillow allows you to see the decor. I love the 3D feature on Google Earth so you can get a feel for what surrounds the house, too.

  23. Thank you Diane, loved the tour of homes. We are looking at moving to a lake in South Carolina and this sure gave us an idea of what to expect. Many sure are “dream homes”, but way too big for someone who is looking to downsize. Others seem just right. Love looking at homes and neighborhoods. Where we use to live in Florida, they had a “Parade of Homes” twice a year and we always loved to go to every house and get ideas. Many of our favorite ideas we did try to incorporate in our remodels. Sure do get a different perspective travelling by water. It’s fun to Dream!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lynn – There are so many different style and sizes of homes on the lake. More modest ones, then big ones. I love going on home tours. There is a Parade of Homes here, but I don’t think they are decorated homes, just ones for sale. Have fun looking and searching for just the right lake and house.

  24. I love that you like to cruise around and look at houses. I could drive around all day looking at houses. I like to walk in the evening, because then you can sometimes see inside!! I often think for a second career, I should be a real estate agent!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Becky – I try to walk around the streets around my neighborhood everyday to get my 10,000 steps in. I see different houses on these walks since they are not on the lake. I have often thought I would enjoy a career as a real estate agent, too. :-)