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Ken’s story of the house


I bought the house as a fixer-upper in 1994 and it really needed it.  The element that attracted me the most was the location.  It has a beautiful eastern view of the lake.  It was kind of rough the first couple of years but I grew accustomed to living in a construction zone.  I took out walls, opened up and connected living spaces.  I learned how to hang drywall.  Much of the early work was to make it more energy efficient and comfortable.  I am a strong believer in conservation of our natural resources and protecting our environment.  So I insulated everything and replaced old windows and opened up the view. 


Adding the deck was like adding a new room.  It has an outdoor bathtub plumbed with hot and cold water.  It’s a real treat to draw a hot tub on a cool night and watch the evening sky. 


Eventually I enclosed the carport to create the living room.  This really is the best room in the house.  I wanted to maximize the natural features and create an “experience of place”.  I didn’t hold back.  The room has skylights, a free-standing fireplace and a killer view of the lake.  In the winter when all the leaves have fallen, the view of the lake is greatly expanded.


At a certain time of the morning, when the sun is at a particular angle, the light reflects off the water and into the house creating a rippled “water dance” on the walls.  It’s really cool.


I guess I need projects to work on.  When the house on the hill above me was offered for sale, I was immediately interested.  It was in better shape than the lake house when I first got it, but still needed attention.  I decided to buy the hill top house, move in and begin updating again.  Because the lake house is so attractive, people just love it there, I decided to offer it as a vacation instead of monthly rental so more people could enjoy it.  Thus Harris Brake Retreats was born.


I decided to pluralize “Retreats” because I might add another house in a couple of years.  Who knows?



Ken Herren