Bousquet home merges modern design with Christmas cheer

Like most homeowners, Suzanne Bousquet looks forward to decorating for Christmas.

Unlike most homeowners, she is often decorating a new place every few years.

Her husband, Jeff, is a custom homebuilder, operating Bousquet Construction, based out of Dakota Dunes, SD, and has completed close to a dozen projects in the Iowa Great Lakes.

“We’ve bounced around a lot and we’ve been here almost three years now, which is kind of a long time for us,” Suzanne said. “This has been one of my favorites though, so I’m hoping to stay!”

The place she enjoys so much is a duplex built in 2017 on East Okoboji Lake. In fact they sold the side they originally lived in just one year later and simply moved next door.

For the past five years Suzanne has helped out full-time handling interior design and decor on home building projects.

“Basically, I love to shop. I just kind of have a knack and eye for decorating,” Suzanne said. “It’s a lot of fun to pick out color schemes and different things. Generally with summer home projects people want everything included with them, so I get to start over with every stop and one of the advantages is that we don’t have to move a lot of stuff.”

There are some things though, that do get moved from place to place.

Christmas decorations.

“I love Christmas, so I do bring that stuff from home to home,” Suzanne said. “I love getting all the Christmas stuff out — the more the merrier — and usually start a couple weeks before Thanksgiving. It’s fun to find new Christmas decorations each year and also collect stuff along the way.”

Though they typically travel back to South Dakota to spend the holiday with family, Suzanne decorates plenty at home and says she usually leaves it up through January when everyone gets together again for Winter Games weekend.

With COVID-19 causing some holiday plans to change last year for just about everyone, Suzanne didn’t pull out quite as much Christmas decor as she would in a typical year.

But she still strategically placed plenty of items to infuse the holiday spirit throughout the eight-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom duplex.

Overall the duplex has a modern design with sleek, clean lines across three levels, with an open floor plan on the main level bringing the kitchen, dining and living room together.

“Nowadays, especially the past couple years we’ve been doing more modern style projects,” Suzanne said. “And in the last few years it’s been mostly whites and grays. I’ve been told brown and tan are coming back, but I can’t imagine changing.”

The neutral tones are particularly helpful in making the Christmas decorations really shine.

Bits of holly, red berries and evergreen garlands all stand out, attracting attention and allow the holiday spirit to be felt in each room.

Downstairs a custom bar and entertainment room is spruced up with subtle holiday touches, as is the main bathroom on that floor.

“It’s kind of a man cave area,” Suzanne said. “Jeff usually always does a custom bar and outdoor kitchen. Outside there are remote controlled screens that unwind all the way to ground level so the space can become an indoor patio.”

While it may be a bit too frigid to enjoy in the heart of winter, a peek outside does reveal blue Christmas lights decorating the balconies on the floors above.

It’s a color that ties everything together throughout the home.

“I really like blue. We have blue bulbs in the wall sconces that we keep up all year long,” Suzanne said. “There is more blue and silver on the main floor, blacks and whites downstairs, blacks and reds upstairs, so it’s a little different on each floor.”

The color scheme of the Christmas decorations may vary a bit from floor to floor, but blue continues to play its way into the scene.

Whether it’s the throw pillows on the couch downstairs, glittery blue decorations stuck in a planter next to a blue-and-white print of sailboats, or even the late evening blue hue of the icy lake outside the windows, the allure of azure perfectly mixes lake home vibes with the holiday season.

Upstairs there are lighted garlands draped over the headboards in the master bedroom and a guest bedroom, both with towering views across the lake.

Red bulbs stand out stunningly on a tree with oversized snowflakes next to black-and-white artwork overlooking the entryway. And on the main floor it’s the silver and blue bulbs of the tree that play perfectly against the gray and white color scheme of the home, while pulling together the blue lights outside and the blue flame in the fireplace for a modern take on cozy Christmas vibes.

Whether she continues to decorate the duplex for years to come, or finds herself with a new project sometime sooner, Suzanne will always look forward to this time of year.

“It’s probably my favorite holiday,” Suzanne said. “I love getting the family together, all the kids and grandkids, for food, games and Christmas cheer.”