Thoughts of escaping the bustle of city life often lead to dreams of a lodge retreat. An over sized fireplace surrounded by stone, high peaked wood-beamed ceilings and a view of the great outdoors set the stage for upscale relaxation. That, perhaps, defines lodge look the best. While many may think cabin and lodge styles are interchangeable, there are distinctive differences. The former is based on simplicity while the latter is one of opulence although rustic by nature.
The Beginnings of Lodge Design
Arising from the beautiful Adirondacks, lodge decor first gained prominence in America during the late 1800s, thanks to the first structures built by William West Durant. The Industrial Age had produced exorbitantly wealthy magnates of its time who were seeking ways to escape the city. Their riches, fueled by the ability to ship in goods of any type, led them to remote regions. Here, they brought a perpetual entourage of guests while keeping staff on hand for preparing fine meals or acting as hunting guides. Individual properties contained the first compounds with homes and outbuildings that blended European Chalet and early Craftsman components. Each building had a singular purpose, such as dining, dancing and sleeping.
Vanderbilts, Posts and Rockefellers were among the noted property owners of the time. They spared no cost in adding amenities such as running water, private baths and electricity. Interiors were spacious, requiring equally grand furnishings and accessories. With family, friends and acquaintances always in tow, hosts went to extremes in decorating and entertaining. Historians refer to these privately owned compounds as the Great Camps.
Over the next few years, preceding the Great Depression, wealthy Industrialists spread their retreats across the country. Newport, on the East Coast, became a famed playground. Further west, the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest became populated with resorts that evolved in their own ways. While many of the Great Camps are gone, a few remain in existence today.
Furniture Components and Colors
Log pole, wrought iron and leather furnishings are among the styles found today in lodge decor. While there is plenty of room for personal interpretation for home spaces, details always revolve around natural or organic accessories that are rustic in flavor. Items crafted as solid heirlooms are almost indispensable in decorating.
Colors are generally darker, although bolder, brighter shades mingle in well. Green and brown hues that mimic trees, leaves, pine needles and lichen are predominant. Deep reds, rich blues and golden yellows are complementing choices. At home, walls can be lighter in shade, but they should have undertones from any of these colors to project warmth.
Textures play a large part in layering with accessories and wall decor. Suggestions include frames made from twigs or bark, chandeliers crafted from antlers and cowhide floor coverings. Wood carvings and wrought iron or stone accent pieces are always welcome.
Bringing Wicker Into Lodge Settings
An inviting lodge atmosphere can easily be enhanced with wicker furniture and other accessories. Look for nubbier woven patterns highlighted by natural finishes in chairs, loveseats, sofas and side tables. Accessibility is another drawing point with bolder butterfly wing back seating that incorporates built-in side pouches to hold reading materials. Wide paddle arms are another touch that provides room for beverages and small items. Baskets are elements that will always find a place in lodge environments. Fishing creels, shaped containers to sit on buffets and wall mounts to hold freshly-cut greenery will all find a spot to serve as useful holders. Wicker, selected with care to balance other classic lodge pieces, is a wonderful choice for any room.