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Member since: 2010
Speaks: english

Japanese Style Lakehouse Featured in Better Homes & Gardens

6 Reviews
Bedrooms 2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


Sebago Lakes Region House Rental Photos and Description

House, 2 Bedrooms + Loft + Den, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6)

Enjoy the peace and serenity of the Japanese style at Little Sebago Lake. Located on a wooded peninsula at the Narrows, with the lake on both sides, the property has a sand beach (with new dock and float), and more than 400 feet of shorefront.

The open plan of the house, which was designed to adapt traditional Japanese rural architecture to a wooded lakefront setting, employs lots of glass, sliders and skylights, porches and engawas to embrace the natural world. The main level is dominated by a great room, a high ceilinged, timbered space with a fireplace that encompasses the living room, dining room, and fully-equipped island kitchen. The views of the surrounding woodland and lake are a constant source of pleasure.

On the second floor balcony, shojii screens set off the master bedroom suite with king-size platform bed, and European-style bathroom. A window in the tiled shower and the private balcony overlook a pine grove. The guest bedroom below, a tatami-floored space with its own private entrance, sleeps two adults on queen-size Japanese style platform bed (new in 2013) or two children. It is set off from its adjoining bathroom (also with shower) by more sliding screens. Although this bedroom is ideal for both adults and children, kids and teenagers really like having their own special sleeping loft with two futons above the ell off the living room. Altogether we can comfortably accommodate 6 people - but only up to four 4 adults. See additional short-term guest space below.

Special features of the ell, which are reminiscent of a Japanese teahouse, include the traditional tokonoma, an alcove for displaying Asian art, and the floor-level viewing window facing the lake. Two more futons here can used for overnight guests, or just to lounge and relax.

For early risers, a typical vacation day at the lake might start with watching the sunrise from your own sand beach. You might even spot an eagle soaring overhead or fishing in our cove. After breakfast spend a lazy morning sunning, swimming, or exploring the lake by canoe. Spring-fed Little Sebago Lake is ideal for children because of the gradual drop off and excellent water quality, which is monitored by an active owner’s association that also provides a boating safety patrol during the season. Power boats can be rented locally. If you bring your own boat, there is a public launch site on the western shore of the second lake. The lake is stocked with bass and trout; some of the larger bass often swim around your dock, which is shared with the neighbor’s cottage to the east (owned by the same family).

Afternoons might be spent playing outdoor games in the level clearing west of the house and there is a ping-pong table set up in the adjoining pine grove. Or for a change of pace, try reading or napping in the hammock strung between two trees in a clearing southwest of the house. Later on in the day, step out on the porch deck for the golden sunset hour, also the best place to trace the path of a moon rise over the lake. Dine inside or barbecue and eat dinner on the cantilevered screened porch, another great place to watch the sun go down.

All of southern Maine’s attractions - lighthouses and rocky seacoast, historic villages, mountains, and pine forests – are all within a short drive. An up-to-date list of suggestions on where to eat and what to see in the region can be found in the house guest book, but here’s a sampling: For younger kids, check out the amusement park on the road to Raymond or the wild animal zoo in Gray, always popular on a rainy day. Dine at home with takeout steamed lobster from Bob’s in Windham or try one of the local family-style restaurants. Try ocean kayaking, or take the cog railway to the top of Mt. Washington. Browse the craft shops and art galleries in Portland’s Old Port, Maine’s premier tourist destination. Treat yourselves to dinner at one of its many highly rated restaurants, or check out the club scene and pubs that are very popular with the young at heart.

See 'Better Homes and Gardens.' Decorating Spring 1996, pp. 44-55 (reprint included in guest book).

Keywords: Little Sebago Lake, Lake House, Lake Cottage

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Jan (Property Manager)
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english

About Jan

The culmination of a lifelong interest in Japanese culture, the lakehouse was a collaboration between the owner, an architectural historian, and her son, a design builder, now the property manager. We've been delighted to share the house with family and friends since it was completed in 1995.

Jan purchased this house in 1995

What makes this house unique

Family, friends, and guests always tell us how the Japanese style of living evokes feelings of peace and harmony -- better than a spa vacation!!

Guestbook comments from the manager

Lovely design...the airy open feeling is conducive to relaxation and time spent together -- cooking, talking, reading, working puzzles...surrounding woods and lake were a constant source of pleasure and inspiration. Overall, we could not have been more delighted with the house and its lovely surroundings.
Jul 2010
  • 1 of 1


based on 6 traveler reviews

Japanese Style Lakehouse Featured in Better Homes & Gardens
average rating of 4.8333335 based on 7 reviews
Pelham, MA, Northeast US

wonderful, relaxing week in the Japanese Lake House

  • 5 of 5

This is our second vacation visit to the Lake House. We came back this year because we had such fond memories of being in the stunning and comfortable house at this beautiful spot. We spent mornings swimming or sitting in the Adirondack chairs on our little beach with coffee and books, took our kayaks out on the lake later in the day to find the bald eagles nesting place, see the beautiful loons. We cooked all of our meals in the very well-stocked kitchen and ate most dinners on the screened-in porch watching the sunset. We are coming back for two weeks next year!!

  • Submitted: Sep 3, 2013
  • Stayed: Jul 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Chevy Chase, MD

A week at the Tea House

  • 4 of 5

We are a family with 2 boys aged 9 and 12 and we spent a week in August at the Tea House and had a very good time. The house is wonderfully situated on a spit surrounded by water. We had lots of space in the house and there is always a pleasant breeze of air going through the house. Therefore we hardly had any mosquitoes. It was wonderful having the lake next to the house and we did a lot of swimming and canoeing. Due to the many trees the house is always covered by shadow and not too hot. The owner was very friendly and hospitable.

  • Submitted: Sep 5, 2012
  • Stayed: Aug 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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United States

A Vacation to Remember...

  • 5 of 5

What an idyllic week – the beautiful, calming architecture, the lovely kitchen and great meals on the screened-in porch, the comfy futons, the breezes, the sound of water lapping on the shore, the call of the loons, the smell of pine straw, the clean water and sandy shores. Exploring the lake by kayak, watching the ducks, playing croquet amidst the pine cones, sleeping and smiling – a lot. Ahhh! We can’t wait to return. We highly recommend this place for anyone seeking absolute peace and relaxation.

  • Submitted: Sep 4, 2012
  • Stayed: Aug 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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New York, NY

A Perfect Honeymoon!

  • 5 of 5

We found this house looking for a peaceful, relaxing getaway after a whirlwind wedding weekend and we truly couldn't have chosen a better place. The house is clean and simply beautiful. Everything you could possibly need is there for you. We are big cooks and stocked up at a nearby grocery store and enjoyed cooking in the well-stocked kitchen nearly every night. Although it's close enough to Portland for fancy nights out if desired. The fireplace is stunning. The lake is gorgeous and feels like it wraps all the way around the house. There is a canoe to take out into the lake anytime you want - and a dip in the sparkling water is highly recommended. This house is perfect for couples, families or anyone looking for a relaxing getaway in Japanese-styled paradise.


  • Submitted: Aug 30, 2011
  • Stayed: Aug 2011
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Peace and activities galore

  • 5 of 5

I rented this Japanese house last year with my daughter, who also brought up a friend. It had everything I could have wanted, and some things that i didn't even know I wanted. Firstly, it is beautiful, clean and luxurious. The decorating and ambiance is beyond comparison. Secondly, it is right on the water along a cove and it was so peaceful. They offered enough water craft and other special features that I felt like I lived there. The porch overlooking the lake is wonderful. The kitchen is wonderful to use and i didn't even mind cooking. When I went to my bedroom at night, I felt so comfortable and relaxed. It is a safe and special place! I recommend this place for anyone.

  • Submitted: Apr 22, 2011
  • Stayed: Jul 2010
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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San Diego, CA

Great place and great lake!

  • 5 of 5

Greta location - lots of privacy and terrific lake views from every room, as well as the deck and screened eating porch. The description and photos are quite accurate - if anything they don't really show off just how great this place is. The beach is perfect for kids, nice and sandy, and the lake itself is gorgeous. If you ever get tired of the lake, the Maine coast with its lobsters and lighthouse are an easy drive, and Portland's Old Port area is a fun spot for shopping, eating out, and nightlife. The place is in great shape, very well-maintained. We would definitely go back!

  • Submitted: Jan 2, 2011
  • Stayed: Jul 2010
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Rates & Availability

Gray House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
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My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Tax Rate 9.0%

All payments by personal check. $400 non-refundable, reservation deposit payable in advance, with personalized lease (emailed by owner) for tenant's signature. Due date for balance of rental fee and cancellation provisions in lease. Weekly rate subject to change. Inquire about discount for multiple weeks.

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Sebago Lakes Region House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Location Type:
  • Beachfront
  • Lakefront
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Heating ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • Both bathrooms equipped with showers. European-style master bath has bidet
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • King size bed (1) Foam mattress on platform, Queen size Bed (1) on platform (new), Futons for overnight guests in study or in children's loft
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • cinemas
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • boating
  • miniature golf
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • kayaking
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • swimming
Sand beach, lake views from three sides of house, outdoor game space, games provided, plus ping pong table in pine grove.

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