January 25, 2021

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Finger Lakes hotel The Lake House on Canandaigua designed like “a beloved family home”

The founders of design house The Brooklyn Home Company have created a hotel in New York’s Finger Lakes region that draws on their summers growing up on Canandaigua Lake.



a living room filled with furniture and a fire place sitting in a chair: Lake House on Canandaigua hotel by Studio Tack and the Brooklyn Home Company


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Lake House on Canandaigua hotel by Studio Tack and the Brooklyn Home Company

The Lake House on Canandaigua is named after its location on one of the 11 long and narrow lakes that form the region aptly named the Finger Lakes.



a room with a fireplace: Above: a monolithic wood reception desk anchors the hotel lobby. Top image: The Lake House on Canandaigua is designed with an ambiguous style


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Above: a monolithic wood reception desk anchors the hotel lobby. Top image: The Lake House on Canandaigua is designed with an ambiguous style

The brother and sister founders of The Brooklyn Home Company, whose family previously owned a motor-lodge on the same plot, enlisted New York-based Studio Tack to work on a new project to reinvigorate the site.

“We wanted to create something special for the community and also something that would put the Finger Lakes on the map as a destination,” said The Brooklyn Home Company founder William Caleo, who runs the firm with his sister, designer Lyndsay Caleo Karol and her artist husband Fitzhugh Karol.



a living room filled with furniture and a large window: The lounge-style lobby has an eclectic mix of furniture and baskets filled with rugs


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The lounge-style lobby has an eclectic mix of furniture and baskets filled with rugs

“We grew up in this place, one of the greatest natural environments in this country, with the best crystal clear lakes and rolling, green hills,” Caleo explained.

“But, the Finger Lakes, with all its natural beauty, was relatively geographically unknown as a place,” he said. “We wanted to change that. Guests from around the world deserved to see this place.”



a living room filled with furniture and a lamp: The decor includes muted textiles, leather and wood


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The decor includes muted textiles, leather and wood

Built from the ground up, The Lake House on Canandaigua contains a number of buildings, including the main hotel with 125 guest rooms and suites, a timber frame events space for weddings and daily yoga classes, the casual Sand Bar, The Rose Tavern Restaurant and The Lake House Spa by Soveral.

There is also a swimming pool and an outdoor hot tub where guests can relax with views of the lake all year round, and a gym.



a living room filled with furniture and a fire place: A moody library with a log fire adjoins the lobby


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A moody library with a log fire adjoins the lobby

Running along the rear of the property is a private boardwalk for water sports on the lake, or to enjoy fishing and a series of firepits for making s’mores.

“Our concept for the design was inspired by our summers growing up on the same lake,” Caleo added. “We wanted the hotel to feel like a home so when guests check in it feels familiar immediately.”



a living room filled with furniture and a book shelf: It features dark blue walls and stacks of books for guests to read


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It features dark blue walls and stacks of books for guests to read

“It was also important for us to connect guests to the lake and show how beautiful and pristine this region is, whether by sitting on the deck in an Adirondack chair or reading a book in the library overlooking the water,” he continued.

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White-painted and gabled structures that form the 109,745-square-foot (10,196-square-metre) complex are intended to be undefinable. Studio Tack partner Ruben Caldwell explained the aim was to create buildings that could have been built one hundred years ago.



a large room: Dark hues continue in The Rose Tavern restaurant


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Dark hues continue in The Rose Tavern restaurant

“The design concept revolves around trying to capture some of that narrative and history, then project and imagine it forward into the distant future,” he told Dezeen. “The physical manifestations of this concept evolved from an idea of bridging the past and future.”

“The goal was to suggest a place that had long existed, perhaps a beloved family home, that had been carefully updated over the years,” he told Dezeen.

“When you inhabit these spaces, you are a part of something that came before and are invited to become a part of something new.”



a large building: The Sand Bar provides a more casual eatery by the water


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The Sand Bar provides a more casual eatery by the water

“The site is intended to allow for exploration, and it was important that the spaces not be monolithic in their perspectives,” Caldwell added. “We imagined a family coming back year after year and finding something new each time.”

This concept continued inside where the design team have created a series of cosy spaces with eclectic furnishings.



a bedroom with a bed in a room: Off-white walls and rustic, pale wood furniture create cosy guest suites


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Off-white walls and rustic, pale wood furniture create cosy guest suites

The entrance leads into a bright white lobby featuring a monolithic reception desk, and a lounge-style layout composed of leather and wood furnishings, and baskets stacked with rugs. Accessed from here, is the library and bar painted in contrastingly dark tones and warmed by a log fire.

“At a more detailed scale we were interested in exploring materials such as wood and canvas that suggest a utilitarianism that is simultaneously comfortable and familiar,” Caldwell said. “Our interest more broadly was in using familiar materials in ways that invite a closer look and moment of reflection.”



a pool next to a body of water: A swimming pool and a hot tub overlook the lake


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A swimming pool and a hot tub overlook the lake

Off-white-painted walls feature in the bedrooms, with matching built-in storage and hooks for hanging clothes. Muted hues are complemented by rustic, pale wooden four-poster bedframes and bedside tables.

The team created a variety of bedrooms, including the Double Queen and the signature Lakeside King Suite. The latter features a cosy lounge with a fire and glass doors that open onto a terrace with views to the lake.



a wooden bench sitting next to a body of water: A private boardwalk is used for water sports and fishing


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A private boardwalk is used for water sports and fishing

The Lake House on Canandaigua is among a number of hotels designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack.

Others in New York State include a revamped mid-century motel on the North Fork of Long Island and a boutique hotel that occupies a renovated 1960s guesthouse in the Catskills.

Photography is by Chris Mottalini.

Project credits:

Designers: Studio Tack and The Brooklyn Home Company

Architect: SWBR Architects

Construction team: LeChase Construction

Owner ans operator: The Sands Family

Hospitality partner: Preferred Hotels

Executive chef: Scott Riesenberger

Spa partner: Alexandra Soveral

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