The Lodge Look Brings Outdoors In

There is a good deal of emphasis today on an outdoors, rustic approach to decorating, commonly referred to as "the lodge look" or "Adirondack style. "The feel of these styles recalls summer camps spent by a lake or a winter mountain retreat; there are memories of waking to the songs of chirping birds and falling asleep with only the light of the campfire. Few of us have the luxury of time or money to retreat to the piney mountain or lakeside lodges whenever the mood strikes. However the thoughts of furnishing a room in this style are intriguing.

Chesapeake Wallcoverings has introduced its High Country Lodge book to bring this decorating theme to your home. The first step is to establish a motif, such as fishing or camping and then work with that motif to bring together other decorative features.

A wallpaper border is a good start when looking for a theme because it serves as an inspiration for accessorizing and can be easily changed when a new decorating scheme strikes your fancy. Flea markets and rummage sales supply many useful items. Old blankets are great as throws or winter curtain panels; colorful vintage 1950s printed tablecloths can be used for quick pillow covers or window toppers; and fishing lures, hunting caps and boating gear, grouped as wall art or on a display shelf, make interesting conversation starters. It is surprising how many of these items can be found at bargain prices.

The lodge look has much to do with color and texture. Every spot in nature has a unique color palette. These are the dark greens and browns of the forest, but also the lighter hues of golden grass and seaside retreats, of ivory birch, the silver grays of aged barn board and sage. Green is important in this décor and nothing brings the outdoors inside better. Green will make other colors in the room shine. A dark hunter green wall covering of faux leather paired with a red Persian rug and a watch plaid fabric will welcome anyone into the room.

However for tranquility and serenity, decorate with neutrals or soft colors -- buttery creams matched with a soft olive; the retro-inspired avocado green looks wonderful when combined with a wallpaper border of baskets and pottery. A mountain lake border scene of blue skies, green pines, moose and loons make a wonderful theme for the combination of blues and greens.

Intermix any and all natural, unpainted woods. Mission or Arts and Craft style furniture blends well with this look because of its straight lines and its design credo of form following function. Wicker, unpainted or protected with a sealer, is classic. Twig furniture, inspired by 18th century English garden furniture, can be romantically rustic, but try it as an accent at first, such as a side chair or a table; these pieces are not always comfortable. There should be minimal detailing in the large pieces, but worn finishes work well. Use old trunks and stacked vintage suitcases as coffee or side tables. This gives a dual purpose of horizontal surfaces for display and hidden storage.

Don't have a lot of great wall art? Buy an old frame at a garage sale or flea market and hang it up. The texture of the frame will often stand alone. If wooden, paneled walls are desired but too expensive, try a wallcovering designed to look like old barn boards. Hang the paper horizontally under a chair rail on a short wall to visually lengthen it, or use on the fifth wall, the ceiling. Mix pottery with baskets, old books and candlesticks.

Assemble family photographs, especially black and white or sepia tones, around a twig-framed or bark mirror, each photo adorned with simple found twigs. Add some rustic wall sconces and a small room seems larger and a focal point is created in a large room. Instead of hanging a painting or print, try leaning it casually against a wall or mantle; it is easier to change out with the seasons or when a different one catches your eye. Consider exposed beams as a perch to showcase family collections or hang dried flowers or herbs. Even large items, such as a canoe, can be hung for view. Rooms that are not symmetrical lend themselves the best to unexpected and unusual treatments.

Be careful, though, not to overdo those finishing touches, and remember that a well-decorated home balances highly decorated areas with plain, simple spaces, such as a bowl of fruit on an otherwise unadorned table. It is important that no one space dominates or competes with another; good design knows when to stop.

The Author:

There are a variety of themes available for bringing the outdoors into the home in Chesapeake Wallcovering's High Country Lodge. Look for it and many other ideas on decorating at your local wallpaper dealer's showroom and at the company's Web site, www.ChesWall.com.

Article Source: Ara Content

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