Lakeside Retreat Gets Kid-Friendly Upgrade | Season 3

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in .

More than 30 years ago, Rick and Lisa Funderburg started their life together in Northwest Arkansas. Three decades and five cities later, they were eager to come back. Their children and grandchildren had all moved here and Lisa always knew they would likely move back to the region.  

Initially thinking they would find a house in Fayetteville, they spotted this unique Bella Vista lakehouse and with the natural surroundings, knew it was the place they wanted. They bought the house, knowing it needed a renovation and that they couldn’t move in until that was complete.

Rick and Lisa had a few ideas of what they wanted—but very little of it was for themselves. Their top priority was for the home to be a great space for their grandkids to come hang out, play, and generally, be spoiled by the “fun grandparents.” This meant making improvements so the house would have entertaining features for young children while making sure we brought elements of the house up to code for everyone’s safety.

The Funderburgs also hoped to maximize their view of the lake and give the home a creative feel. Lisa and her children are artists, and it was important to her to keep that quality in the home where she would continue her art.

When Dave and I heard their story and came to see the house, I knew right away that I wanted to help them make it the “fun Funderburg” house for the grandkids, but also create a beautiful home with a cozy lake vibe for Rick and Lisa.



The whole plan with the dated exterior of this mid-century house was to combine it into the beauty of the woods around it. We cleaned up the stone and dingy-purple mortar by giving it a good pressure wash and painted over the existing yellow with a natural charcoal gray to blend in with the surroundings. 

To gain more space inside, we moved the front door over and centered it up with a new, defined entry. This also helped center the appearance of the house and allowed for a lake view right from the home’s front door.

We divided the carport by adding a wood slat wall for privacy and warmth, which felt natural to the area and created a welcoming entry for the rest of the house. 



Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping

Exterior Siding Paint Color | Sherwin Williams Felted Wood 

Exterior Trim Paint Color | Sherwin Williams Porpoise



Lisa asked for a lot more storage in this kitchen, and I wanted it to have an artisan, handmade feel. The first change we made was to shift the layout so the kitchen faced the lake. I used soft, neutral colors to create a timeless and calming atmosphere.

New flooring, cabinets (with efficient space), handmade tile countertops, and lights hung from rope offered the perfect texture to this kitchen on the lake. A large island allows Laura to cook while looking out on the water, taking full advantage of the view.



Island Pendant Lights | Kathy Kuo Home

Backsplash Tile | The Tile Club

Cabinet Hardware |

Appliances | Metro Appliance

Cabinet Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

Living Room


Lisa wanted this room to be a neutral palette to display her and her children’s artwork. We kept the fireplace stone she loved, but lightened it with a mortar wash to go with her preference for a brighter look. Dave built a new mantel, really solidifying the structure as a modernized focal point.

We added built-in shelves on either side of the fireplace and painted them a light green for a natural pop of color. Picture lights, fresh paint, and wood floors kept the streamlined look. Enlarged picture windows take full advantage of the natural light and offer a view of the water and the sunset. 

I met with Rick and Lisa’s adult children, both of whom are artists. Together, we planned a palette for original Funderburg art to display in the living room as a surprise. Her son and daughter each painted pictures that perfectly complemented the new design of the room with a family touch.



Furnishings | Howse

Artwork | Carol Beth & John Funderburg

Built In Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Pigeon 

Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove

Main Suite


I wanted Rick and Lisa to feel every day like they’re at a resort. We kept the natural, airy theme in their main bedroom with neutral colors and a glass door overlooking the lake.

To create a separate walk-in closet space for each of them, we built out one closet and created space for two. We took down walls and incorporated once-wasted hallway space into a beautiful new bathroom. The extended space allowed us to install a huge shower with handmade, sage green tiles and a soaking bathtub. Modern lights and a double vanity with gold hardware made this the kind of luxurious bathroom Rick and Lisa hoped for.

As a housewarming gift, Dave built an art easel for Lisa made to sit on the patio right outside of their bedroom and use the natural light as she paints. I hope this helps her feel right at home and becomes a place that inspires her creativity! 



Chandelier | HKLiving

Furnishings | Howse

Artwork | Melissa Abide Griffith Art

Bedroom Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove

Bathroom Wall Paint Color | Sherwin Williams Dovetail

Vanity Knobs & Pulls |

Soaker Tub |

The Grandkids’ Room


I had a childlike good time transforming a guest room into a playhouse lake cottage for the Funderburg grandkids. Dave really outdid himself! A treehouse structure attached to the wall makes the room an extension of the entire home’s renovation. Complete with a ladder and windows and a handwoven swing…this is the best child-friendly venue this side of the lake!

We installed his homemade art easel with pull-down spools of paper so, at this house, the grandkids can color on the walls!
I hope for this to be the favorite space in the house where kids can get inspired, use their imagination, and create something unique.



Hanging Swing | HK Living USA 

Built In Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue

We started out with the idea to turn this house into an inviting and fun play place for the Funderburg’s grandchildren, but we ended up with a home that’s really a playhouse for Rick and Lisa, too.  I hope they create special memories in a home that makes them feel they are always on vacation. I love that we could turn this into the lakehouse resort we hoped it would be for the whole Funderburg family. 

Photo Credit: Mike Davello