Great Camp Style

by Jane VanOsdol on February 26, 2011

For those of you who live in a log cabin or love decorating your home in a log cabin style, Great Camp décor is one style for you to consider. Great Camp décor originated in the late 1800s. Before air conditioning, during the hot summer months of July and August, wealthy families would spend July at the seashore and then in August travel to the Adirondack Mountains in New York to enjoy the cool mountain lakes and forests.

Families like the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers established what came to be know as “Great Camps.” While these summer homes were located in the rustic mountains, they were far from primitive. The rich and famous built expansive compounds of large log homes, which were equipped with a combination of modern conveniences and rustic furnishings.  Most Great Camps were built using the materials from the local area. The homes were fashioned from unpeeled logs and trimmed with split branches and bark. The furniture was often made by local craftsmen.

Today’s Great Camp style is now a classic log cabin style. When you think of Great Camp style, think big. The homes were big and were filled with lodge-sized furnishings. It’s an enduring style, and one that many people like to incorporate into their homes. If you’d like to add this rustic style to your home, here are a few ideas to help you.

  • Natural wood flooring and wooden beam ceilings typified this style.
  • Massive stone fireplaces with carved wooden mantles adorned many of the rooms. Mounted animal trophies were displayed on the walls
  • Natural materials were used to cover and adorn the furniture, walls and floors. Leather, wool, wrought iron, stone, and of course bark, branches and logs from trees were all used.
  • Couches, chairs and beds were made from logs and twigs. Most of us are familiar with Adirondack chairs, which became popular during this time.
  • Common decorating colors reflect those colors found in nature: rust, moss green, and shades of brown and green.

Whether you live in a log home or not, you can still add log cabin home improvements to your home. It’s fairly easy to transform a family room into a lodge-style room. If you don’t have a fireplace, you can contact a local mason to build one for you. You could also add wood beams to your ceiling. Purchase rustic furniture to fit your lodge theme. Many stores specialize in this type of décor. And use the colors of nature to decorate. Hang nature prints of birds, woodland animals, trees and streams on the walls; scatter wool rugs and Hudson Bay blankets around the room. These are all accessories that will evoke the images of the Great Camps of yesteryear.

Remember, you don’t have to live in a log home to capture that refreshing spirit. Let the peace and serenity of the Great Camp style transform your home into a sanctuary that you can live in year-round.

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