Retiring to Cresswind on Lake Lanier

A good friend of mine has put her home up for sale in anticipation of retiring in the not-so-distant future. She’s eyeing a move to a nearby retirement community named Cresswind, located on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia.

Recently, she asked if I’d ride up to Cresswind with her to look at a couple of the homes she is considering buying. They have model homes you can walk through to get an idea about furniture placement, etc… We ended up walking through three of them on our visit.

Cresswind at Lake Lanier


I was blown away by how beautifully the homes were decorated! Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought to bring my camera. I had my cell phone though, so I snagged some photos to share. I didn’t think to take exterior photos…wish I had because I really liked the outside style of the homes, as well.

I don’t know exactly how they did it, but all the homes looked from the road like they could be two-story homes, even though they weren’t. I’ve always loved the look of a two-story home so that really appealed to me. A few did have a loft area for those folks who wanted a bit of extra space and didn’t mind the stairs.

I’m going to limit my comments on this post since I’m feeling pretty yucky after getting a Yellow Fever, Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccine yesterday. I feel like I have a good case of the flu and all I want to do is sleep.

House 1:

The cabinets in this kitchen were black. You’ll see black paint again in other areas of this home. The hardwood flooring had a rustic feel.

Kitchen with Black Cabinets and Beautiful granite


The homes at Cresswind can be custom-built, adding and removing the features you like, or you can buy the homes they already have available which are built like their model homes. I’m guessing it’s like that in a lot of retirement communities. Granite counters in the kitchen is pretty much a standard, I believe.

Kitchen at Cresswind, Lake Lanier


I was really interested in the layout and the decor.

Living Room with Geometric Rug


The room you see in the background is considered a sunroom and it was wonderfully sunny.

Geometric Rug for Living Room


A bedroom…

Bedroom in Model Home, Cresswind on Lake Lanier


The bathrooms were really beautiful. You could have a party in this shower!

Oval Angle Shower


Nice walk-in closet…

Bathroom at Cresswind, Lake Lanier


This bedroom had a birding theme. I love the lamp beside the bed!

Bird and Vine Table Lamp


Bird Art for Walls


I was really surprised how trendy the furnishings were, down to a trestle style desk for the small home office.

Home Office With Trestle Desk


The black cabinetry continued into the laundry room.

Drying Rack for Laundry Room


The Second House We Toured:

The next house we toured had wood cabinetry in a lighter color. this home was decorated in a nautical, beachy theme.

Kitchen with Black Granite Counters


I liked the woven dining chairs.

Woven Dining Chairs


The nautical theme continued in the artwork.

Nautical Decor for Living Room


Love the shadow boxes with the shells, coral and starfish. This would feel like a vacation home, wouldn’t it? Notice the lamps.

Nauticial Bedroom with Coral Lamps


Love the coral lamps! It reminds me of this lamp at Pier 1: Coral Lamp It also looks a lot like the this one: White Coral Table Lamp

Coral Lamp


The nautical theme continued into the baths.

Beach Themed Bathroom


Love this idea of wrapping the towels in nautical rope with a starfish! Such a cute idea for a guest bath!

Nautical Sailboat Art


I couldn’t quit gawking at all the beautiful paintings.

Beautiful Nautical Sailing Painting


This was one of my favorite beds that we saw on the tour.

Water Meadow Woven Panel Bed


I think I know where it came from, too.

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I’m pretty sure it’s this bed by Stanley.

Woven Headboard Panel Bed at Wayfair


The bath in nice neutral tones…

Bath in Cresswind on Lake Lanier


Bath in Neutral Tones


The Third House:

The third house was for the porch lover. It had a cute front porch and a screened porch, too.

Wicker and Garden Stool for Front Porch


The kitchen…

Kitchen with Wood Cabinetry and Stainless Appliances


Coral and green were the main colors in this home.

Coral Accent Wall for Living Room


Living Room with Coral Accent Wall


The screened-in porch was big enough for a nice seating area and a small dining table.

Screened Porch at Cresswind on Lake Lanier


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A bedroom…

Bedroom at Cresswind


The master bath…

Bath with Oval or Hexagon Shaped Shower


Love the shape of the headboard!

Headboard with Bird


So fanciful and the bird is my favorite part! Update: Some folks mentioned in the comments that Ballard Designs has a similar bed. I saw one at their website in white, so perhaps this one was painted for this room.

Claudette Headboard with Bird


Hope you enjoyed this tour. These homes made the idea of downsizing pretty appealing. 🙂

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  1. Sorry you aren’t up to par Susan. The headboard with the bird is from Ballard.

    • Thanks, Carla…I feel a little better now than I did earlier. I think my body is starting to fight it off. 🙂 I thought that bed looked a lot like one I had seen at Ballard in white. I wonder if they painted it.

  2. Wow, Susan,

    Thanks for the tour! Love these homes. Great colors and decor. Maybe I want to move to Lanier. Only about 25 miles away!! Tempting, isn’t it?

  3. So when are you buying one:)

  4. I want to thank you for the recommendation for the pillows at Dollar General. My husband has a thing about pillows and we have bought many. Some have been really expensive, but he really likes this pillow. Who would have thought!!! Also, the bed with the bird on the headboard, I saw in a Ballard catalog. I love that bed!

    • Kay, I know exactly what you mean! I’ve wasted so much money on pillows over the years…never would have dreamed my favorite would come from Dollar General! I’m still using the original one I bought a few months ago, but I have a spare waiting in the closet for when it needs replacing. I wish I could think of a way to take it with me to Africa. I hope they have flat pillows there! 🙂

  5. Linda Page says

    These houses are lovely. They all are very spacious and the bathroom showers are huge. Whoever handles the staging for these houses does an excellent job. Seeing a house tastefully furnished certainly is a big plus to a buyer!! Loved this tour. Thanks for sharing. Feel better!!!!

  6. Boy those are all very nice. The third one grabbed my attention. It didn’t feel too small and the flow was good from the kitchen to dining to living room. Love the screened in porch too. I’m guessing those whopper showers are wheel chair accessible.
    Sorry you’re feeling so cruddy. You are so brave and my hero for your independent nature! Can’t wait to see pictures from the trip!

    • I don’t think some of them were, looked like you would have step over the threshold thingy. I bet could be built that way, though. Thanks, Liz! Those vaccines were the pits but I feel much better this evening…not near as achy so I think my body is winning now. lol

  7. Iris McCloud says

    Susan, Those model houses do get some great decorating. I like different features in each home. The first would be my favorite but there is an angled wall with the doorway to the kitchen. Right next to it is the entry to the hall. The ceilings there are dropped and there is crown molding over the kitchen door that doesn’t connect to any other molding. It looks “off”. However the house is beautiful. The entrance to the community is fantastic as well. Sorry you don’t feel well but better to feel poorly now rather than getting yellow fever or hepatitis. Iris

    • Oh, yeah…I see what you’re saying. That does look a bit odd. The moldings were gorgeous in a lot of the rooms…felt really high end.
      Yep, I know you’re right. I was tempted to just blow it all off since I’ll be using insect repellent but if you get Yellow Fever, it can be really bad…so not worth the risk.

  8. Susan, hope the yucky passes soon! Did you think about putting your pillow in one of those ziplock vacuum bags to pack it? Then you could just leave it when you fly back.

    I really enjoyed the tour today. We designed our house to be handicap acessible so we can, hopefully, live out our lives right here. It came in very handy a couple of years back when I shattered my heel and couldn’t walk for 4 months.

    My pet peeve – and I maybe stepping on a lot of toes here – is hanging the tv over the mantle. My thought is just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!! Mantles are focal points in a room and deserve some lovely artwork!

    • Thanks, Roxanne! It’s better this evening so I think the worse is behind me now. That’s a great idea for the pillow. I need to check into getting one of those vacuum thingies.
      You were so smart to design your home that way! I love seeing a beautiful painting over a mantel, either that or beautiful mirror.

  9. Susan It honestly does not ‘show’ as a home for person who is down sizing does it? Anyway, they are beautiful-

    • The rooms were a nice size. Some of the homes had three bedrooms which I liked…one for the master, one for an office and one for a guest room. I’ve always heard 3 bedrooms is better for resale, too.

  10. Honestly Susan I don’t think ‘downsizing’ as I look at those homes. They’re beautiful.
    Message me with a heads up next time…I’d love to tag along!

  11. Cyndy Cook says

    Hi Susan,
    Hope you are feeling better by now! Tylenol should help, right? Anyway, I never thought I’d love black kitchen cabinets but I really like how the ones in the first house were soft black and lightly distressed. Black appliances and stainless would really look great with that color. Do you think that black kitchen cabinets are livable?
    Also, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I really wouldn’t have known that you took the photos with your phone! You’re getting good at this….. 😉

    • I took a couple of extra Tylenol earlier today. Then I went back to bed. I felt much better when I woke up this afternoon. All I want to do is sleep right now. I guess we get tired because our bodies are busy fighting off the invader. I may take a couple more Tylenol this evening because the aches are back, again…but I can tell it’s getting better. Feels so dumb making myself sick on purpose with a vaccine but I know that’s better than getting the real thing.
      Thanks, Cyndy! I think I’ll start carrying my small, pocket-size Sony camera with me everywhere I go, then I’ll always be prepared.

  12. Peggy Thal says

    Love looking at new homes that are decorated. Some Designers do such a beautiful job . I really like the seashell room. That would be beautiful for a beach home. I hope you are feeling better. Those shots can really make you sick. Just take it a little easy for a while. Thanks for all the photos- really enjoyed looking at the decor.

    • The designer did a great job with these, for sure. I was so impressed. They were even prettier in person. Thanks, Peggy! Sleep seems to be the best way to cope.

  13. Those places look so big to me! I like some of the decor.

  14. Why are the dining room windows so high? Didn’t care for that, but generally the houses are very nice.

    • I bet it’s because the houses are pretty close together, at least they are on the street with the model homes. So, they are probably high to allow in light but keep privacy while dining.

  15. I am glad you are feeling better. Those are very nice homes but the open plan would drive me crazy. I think most all relationships fare better with a little separation during the day.

  16. Yes, that bed is from Ballard…..I have lusted after it for years now!!

    Hope you get feeling better real soon…….xoxo

  17. Hope you are feeling better Susan. I got so sick after having my travel shots that I would never have them again. I didn’t want to warn you because some people are fine, but others, like me, are not so fine…

    And those houses are just perfect – I would take any one of them!

    • Sorry you got so sick, Cheryl. 🙁 I hope it got better well before your trip. I started feeling better last night so I’m hoping the worse part is behind me now.

  18. You worry too much about the quality of your camera/phone. I enjoyed each photo. Love Lake Lanier. I am worn out by the heat at the beaches.

  19. Mary from Virginia says

    I hate getting shots, especially if they make me sick! I hope you are feeling better soon. What a way to spend a day!

    The tour was great, and I loved all the COLOR! and fun ideas.

    Great community!

  20. Those are beautiful homes! Thanks for sharing them, the photos are fine! Hope you are feeling much better!

  21. Susan,
    You forgot to mention that Cresswinds is a retirement community – 55+. There are all kinds of groups and planned activities, if you want to participate, and lots of nice residents! It’s a huge community with plans to grow across Browns Bridge Road! There is already one bridge to the “new side” but the new construction will create a tunnel under Browns Bridge Road. Hope you friend finds the home she is looking for. She will be very pleased with our community!

  22. Marlene Stephenson says

    Those are really nice houses, i did like the last one the best. Hope you are feeling better soon,maybe your getting your sleep stored up for your trip. Hope you have a really great time,can not wait to see the pictures.

  23. I’m a huge fan of that black (ish) cabinets, etc. They just “recede” and that is important, to me. You know…long naps help….feel better!! franki

  24. Looking at the different pictures it seems as though the first kitchen seemed like it was a little but bigger or more airy looking. Not feeling cramped in. I’d want that kitchen but the nautical set up and the 3rd houses bathroom. Nothing too outrageous. LOL

  25. bobbi duncan says

    Hi, Susan. First, I’m so sorry you were feeling sick…we were on a little trip or I would’ve said so sooner. I saw this community online while checking out places to retire so it was nice to see all your pics.

  26. Susan, so sorry you’ve been feeling bad from all your shots. Glad you’re some better now. I, too, was surprised at the upscale decorating of these homes. I think sometimes about having one of those homes where all the outside upkeep is done for you. But I wonder WHERE I would put all my china and glassware??? LOL! There is rarely a place for even a china cabinet in the retirement homes. But I do love the concept, and guess that selling all my dishware and glassware and flatware one day might help me pay for one of these! Feel better. Autumn is around the corner for those of us who have weathered this brutally hot August.

  27. Cyndi Raines says

    Trusting you are well on the road to recovery by now. Did any of them have a basement for extra storage? All were very lovely and with your special touches it would be a darling nest!

    • Thanks, Cyndi! Yep, I’m all back to normal now. Thankfully the worse part was over after about 36 hours. Some of the homes did have basements but we didn’t venture down to them. I’m not sure if they always finish them in or if they only do it on request. I have a feeling it’s only on request. My friend is strictly looking for a one level home, she wants to avoid steps as much as possible. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! XO

  28. We just looked at Frilogy in Charlotte, NC but I would like to look at Lake Lanier also. However I did read a blog today where they did not get high marks for quality of houses.

  29. I meant to say Trilogy…..did enjoy the photos u took, very helpful.

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