Monday, December 26, 2011

Design A Rustic Adirondack Home

One of the hallmark elements of Adirondack style--named for New York's Adirondack Mountains--is the low, slatted wooden chair. This simple chair evokes the rustic beauty of the Adirondack design and home decor traditions, in which natural materials and the surrounding landscape take precedence over coordinated furnishings or trendy color schemes and patterns. The Adirondack decorating style complements various other themes, among them Western, mountain lodge, log cabin, cowboy, country, primitive, folk, green design and rustic. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Plan your Adirondack style home around classic architectural features. Unfinished, distressed, weathered or lightly stained wood in various hues is the core element of this style. Integrate features such as exposed ceiling beams, wide plank floors, wall posts, a large wooden mantel, wall panels, built-in shelving or window seats. Blend outdoors and indoors with large picture windows, wraparound porches, tall ceilings and skylights.

2. Establish dramatic focal points that typify rustic Adirondack style. Stone or brick interior accent walls, particularly in the living room or kitchen, may surround a large fireplace or serve as the backdrop for a wood-burning stove. Punctuate the floor plan with stone or wood columns and arches instead of dividing walls.

3. Maintain the emphasis on nature with your paint and finishes. Rather than add opaque paint to walls, built-ins, furniture frames and wooden floors, consider stains and finishes that allow the wood grain and underlying hues to show through. A simple clear varnish protects wood surfaces, while a black stain, applied with a rag, has rustic charm. A thin coat of milk paint or antique whitewash subtly brightens your interior.

4. Furnish and accessorize Adirondack interiors with pieces constructed with natural materials or inspired by nature. Large, wooden furniture may feature artisan details such as hammered tin panels, embossed trim, wood joinery or ceramic tile surfaces. Wool, organic cotton and nubby fabric works well for throw rugs, cushions and window treatments. Integrate accessories made of bamboo, leather, sisal, wrought iron, twigs, logs and paper for a homespun look.

5. Illuminate the space. The rough-hewn textures and warm wood tones of many Adirondack homes benefit from dramatic lighting. A large wrought-iron chandelier may hang over the dining room table or living room couch. Line dark hallways or entryways with wall sconces, or flank a large-scale painting. Candles and lanterns provide moody, ambient lighting.

Tags: Adirondack style, living room, natural materials