Oh, for a life by the water! Whatever the season, whatever the setting—whether sea and surf, lake, pond, or river wild—the waterside lifestyle delivers an escape few other environments provide.
In this edition, we spotlight five serene shorefront homes, each a leisurely, luxurious retreat to enjoy in autumn, winter, and the seasons to come.
So, pack up and head out into the crisp, autumnal air. While the sun wanes, worry not; in these refined yet rustic four-season homes, there’s more on offer than simply water.
The Old Forge – Wynn Estate, nestled in the pines on Lake Tahoe’s “Billionaire’s Row,” is a generational, five-acre property with 210 feet of private waterfront, a sandy beach, a deep-water pier, boat hoist, Jet Ski platform, and two mooring buoys.
Framed in native stone, sheathed in floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors, the entry to the 12,661-square-foot main residence exudes a welcoming warmth. It opens to the great room, its vaulted ceiling framing the lake and Sierra Nevada over a vast, glass-balustrade stone terrace that rambles the length of the home. The adjoining family room has a free-standing stone fireplace.
Even the expansive island kitchen, with its breakfast bar, custom cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances, offers a vast-windowed view of the woods. The lower level is devoted to resort-grade relaxation and recreation: media and games rooms, a wine room, and a fitness studio.
The huge primary suite, wrapped in its curved window wall, encloses dual, spa-worthy bathrooms and walk-in closets, and has French doors opening to the terrace and a private hot tub. The guest house offers an additional 1,536 square feet of living space with three opulent bedrooms.
The estate takes half its name from former casino mogul Steve Wynn, who built the property in 1994. The current owners undertook extensive renovations.
This lakefront retreat presides over 2.83 acres on the north shore of Lake Charlevoix, the third largest lake in the state of Michigan.
The architect-owner envisioned a Hamptons Shingle Style residence—with a twist: Instead of the traditional brown shingle siding, the exterior walls are white shingles set off, in striking contrast, by black framed windows, gray stone, and a gray cedar shake roof. At the ends of the twin gables, cedar shake shingles drape the frame of the house.
Grass terraces from the south façade slope toward the shore. A sunseeker’s lakeside patio has a gas fire pit; another terrace off the dining room anchors the house. There are 13 rooms: six bedrooms, six sumptuous, full bathrooms and two partials. A graceful, open staircase rises to the private quarters.
The home’s interior dazzles in its cool, white-on-white paint scheme. Its transitional style blends traditional detail—flat panel wainscoting, coffered and beamed planked ceilings, extensive custom millwork, and two-panel doors with oil-rubbed bronze hardware—with custom lighting, polished nickel fixtures, and locally sourced white oak flooring with a matte charcoal finish.
A floor-to-ceiling dual-sided stone fireplace partition warms the family lounge, as well as the island kitchen, with its pro-grade appliances and breakfast bar.
A vast, three-bay garage and workspace serve the property.
Stone-Ayr, a tranquil riverine retreat in Ottawa, Canada, encompasses 60 lawned and wooded acres with 1,000 feet of waterfront on the Ottawa River.
Its lifestyle amenities include an equestrian barn, a lighted tennis court, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a pool house with changing rooms, a beach house, a floating boat dock, a barn, and two workshops.
The manor’s ground-floor entrance foyer introduces a double-height living room with an oversized stone fireplace and Palladian-style windows. The lower level also provides a billiards room with wet bar; a sitting room with a fireplace; and the indoor saltwater swimming pool.
Upstairs, the formal dining space flows to an imperially scaled kitchen with its own fireplace, and a glass-floored balcony with a circular staircase descending to a private terrace.
Further highlights include a study, library, an exercise room, office, and hobby room, all richly detailed with Douglas fir-paneled ceilings, exposed stone elements, and hardwood oak floors.
The upper floor houses the owner’s suite and three additional bedrooms.
There are 12 bedrooms, 12 full bathrooms, and four partial baths in total, including a three-bedroom guest house and a cottage with a loft.
There are six bedrooms (including a self-contained guest apartment above the garage), six full- and five half-bathrooms.
The great room’s focus is a monumental log-burning rock fireplace (one of five in the home), with avalanche-style oversized boulders “tumbling” from truss-framed wood ceiling to floor, and a bank of sliding glass panels that retract into the walls. It leads out to a vast deck overlooking the lake. Just beyond the great room is a sleek contemporary kitchen with a breakfast bar.
The downstairs entertaining space features a full saloon-style bar with a pool table, and a turn-of-the-century “Old West” theater.
A flagstone path leads through lawned gardens to the lakefront and down to a swimming deck, covered boat dock, and pebble beach.
Stockholm’s exclusive island suburb of Lidingö is the setting for this stately villa.
This property occupies 1.43 acres of parklike grounds with 246 feet of private shoreline on the Stora Värtan, an inlet of the Baltic Sea just 15 minutes from central Stockholm.
The three-story main residence, elegantly refurbished, provides more than 4,600 square feet of light-filled living space, with its period details beautifully intact: high, decorative ceilings; herringbone parquet floors; and wooden window shutters. These combine seamlessly with the contemporary comforts of underfloor heating and zoned temperature control.
Four upper-floor bedrooms include the owner’s suite with its views of Askrikefjärden Bay. In addition are three spacious guest houses and a charming seaside cottage with its own jetty.
Each residence leads to lovely, landscaped gardens and a waterfront deck.