Let This Lakeside Pool House Inspire With Its Breezy Design


On New York’s Lake Canandaigua, Lyndsay Caleo Karol, cofounder and creative director of The Brooklyn Home Company, designed a practical pool house to accommodate her family’s easy summer lifestyle. Working alongside Bayer Landscape Architecture, a pool with a waterfall edge was also built to take advantage of the picturesque setting. In the kitchen, Natalie Page’s ceramic lighting adds a handmade element to the functional space.

It’s all in the family for Lyndsay Caleo Karol, who began the successful design and development firm The Brooklyn Home Company—alongside brother Bill Caleo and artist husband Fitzhugh Karol—more than 14 years ago when they were tasked with fixing a dilapidated property with a few hundred dollars and some Home Depot tools. Fast forward to today, and many homes later, Caleo Karol knew her approach to updating her family’s idyllic retreat on New York’s Lake Canandaigua to include a new pool house would be much the same as in the beginning: honor natural materials, incorporate artisan details and look to the light.

lake house exterior with pool

outdoor kitchen dining table under white pergola

This project was personal, right? Yes! I was lucky enough to grow up going to the Finger Lakes—one of the most beautiful areas of the country, in my opinion—but over the years, as our family grew, so did our need for space. When we tore out an old tennis court to build a pool, I knew that an accompanying structure was needed to house towels, help with outside eating and act as a crash pad for kids.

Tell us about the pool house. When we can all be together, there can be 20 of us and everyone seems to end up in the pool, so I knew this building would be getting a lot of use! From the beginning, we understood the footprint here was pretty tight to work with and, just like in the city, we always go up. As soon as the ceiling was raised, the entire area became so much more inviting and a place you really want to hang out. Optimizing natural light with large windows and doors was also paramount.

Does the kitchen get a lot of action? In the warmer months, we gather for most meals here and eat outside at the massive table under the pergola. The kitchen is where a lot of prep work and cooking happens. It has a sink, refrigerator, freezer and a lot of storage zones for snacks. I wanted the design to feel relaxed, simple and timeless with the white, bright paneling that continues throughout the pool house and natural bluestone flooring you see outside as well. It’s also important for us to add a handmade element and artist Natalie Page’s ceramic lighting hangs beautifully under the eaves.