Apr 19, 2022 - Home Tour

Home tour: Step inside Sarah Crosland’s custom cottage on Lake Wylie with an outdoor shower

Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland

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Sarah Crosland designed and moved into her dream home in Belmont during the pandemic. The end result is a serene waterfront cottage where style and comfort meet.

Who: Crosland made the move from Atlanta to Charlotte in 2008 to work as an editor at Charlotte Magazine. She’s spent a decade covering food and dining in Charlotte, and has written a few books.

  • She’s now the SVP of Creative Services and Marketing at Compass Group and does some occasional freelance work in the editorial world.
  • Fun fact: Sarah used to write these home tours (including one of my personal favorites) in the early Charlotte Agenda days. It’s no surprise the tastemaker made all of the design decisions and decorated her own home herself.
sarah crosland home tour
Photo: Brianna Crane/Axios

The building process: Crosland, who lived in Plaza Midwood at the time, bought an acre on the water in 2017 with the hope to build one day in the distant future.

  • “I love Plaza Midwood, but I kept thinking that I might enjoy living on the water even more than I enjoyed being within walking distance of a brewery,” she said.
  • Plus, she fell in love with Belmont’s Hallmark movie-like charm.
  • The building process took about a year and she moved in September 2021.
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie front door
The front door hints at what’s inside (lots of color). Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie entry
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland

The house: She bought a house plan from Southern Living and worked with North Point Custom Builders to bring it to life. She made all of the design choices herself — down to every light switch and each of the 47 light fixtures.

  • At 2,000 square feet, the house has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths.
  • Every room in the house has views of the water, with the exception of the bathrooms.

First floor: The main level includes a powder bath, an open living and kitchen area, and the primary suite. Crosland made a few edits to the original plan to better suit her lifestyle.

  • Instead of a formal indoor dining area, Crosland expanded the kitchen and elongated the island. She decided to make room for a giant dining table outside — where she spends most of her time anyway.
  • “My big farmhouse-style table on that porch is my favorite spot in the house, especially when it’s full of people and food,” Crosland told Axios.
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie kitchen
The light blue kitchen was a nice touch that helped carry the coastal feeling throughout. Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie living room
Crosland got both couches from family and recovered them to go with her style. Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie bar
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie porch
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland

The primary suite features a dreamy bathroom with a pink (!!) vanity, separate soaking tub and spacious walk-in shower. The bathroom packs an extra punch with its pink wallpaper.

Second floor: Upstairs are three spacious guest bedrooms.

Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie primary bedroom bed
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie primary bath vanity
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie primary bath wallpaper
Crosland used wallpaper in a few small spaces to bring even more personality into the home. Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
  • Crosland thoughtfully included a coffee and wine bar upstairs so her guests can imbibe any time of day.
  • There are also indoor and outside sitting areas.

Inspiration: “More than anything I wanted to create a space where people could come to feel rested and restored,” Crosland said. “It’s my home, but I wanted it to be a place that would feel like home for anyone who walked through the door.”

Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie bunk room
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie bunk room beds
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
  • Serena and Lily is one of her favorite home stores, and she emulated its comfortable coastal style with cheerful colors like light blues and greens alongside soothing textures such as linens and velvet.
  • Crosland shopped at places like Target, World Market and Wayfair to get the Serena and Lily look within her budget.

Personal style: Crosland’s style is present in every room, from the photograph of dogs at The Beverly Hills Hotel hanging in the entrance, to the gorgeous glassware perched on the bar’s shelves.

  • Pink and blue are her favorite colors. So naturally one of her favorite purchases was a pink art deco tile. She says it didn’t necessarily fit the vibe of the house, but she couldn’t stay away. She ended up using it on the upstairs balcony (where it fits in perfectly if you ask me).

Extras: One of the most useful additions has been the laundry shoot, Crosland said. It wasn’t a part of the original plan but looking at sketches, Crosland realized there was a small open spot in the same area on both floors.

  • It’s pretty exciting and useful — she can send laundry from the second floor down to the basement laundry room.
  • She also added an outdoor shower, a feature that’s been on her wishlist for as long as she can remember.

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Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie guest roo
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie coffee bar
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie treehouse
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie sitting room
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
Sarah Crosland's custom cottage on Lake Wylie upper porch
Meet Winston. He likes lake life. Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Crosland
sarah crosland outdoor shower
Photo: Brianna Crane/Axios
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