Adirondack Style Interior Design

Beth Asaff
Adirondack chairs

Rustic, cabin style decorating does not have to be contained to a house hidden on a mountainside. Adirondack style design can be incorporated into many styles of home easily by following just a few simple design rules.

What Is Adirondack Style Design?

Adirondack style is the name also given to lodge, cabin, country and rustic styles of design. Named for the Adirondack Mountains, the style dates back to the 1800s. Designer William West Durant is thought to be the originator of the design, as he was one of the first to begin creating rustic style furnishing for his clients by pulling details, materials and color from the surrounding nature.

Today, Adirondack style furniture is available for sale to fit into any interior. Adirondack style chairs, tables, hutches and even bedroom furniture can be found to complete your Adirondack style home. Look for furnishings at:

Decorating in Adirondack Style

The key to Adirondack style interior design is to make sure the home's interior stays in keeping with its exterior and/or its surroundings. While not every home is located on a wooded, Eastern mountainside, pulling from the natural colors and materials of this area can help to achieve this look.

Materials

Original Adirondack design incorporated things like birch bark as wallpaper and roughly hewn logs as ceiling beams and furniture. Like other Craftsman style homes, the thought was to keep the materials both low-cost and low-maintenance by pulling from local sources.

To recreate the Adirondack style in your home, include some or all of the following materials:

Natural wood accents
  • Natural, rough hewn wood fashioned into furniture, coat hooks, ceiling beams, wainscoting, window casements and baseboards
  • Textured wall treatments made of reeds, bamboo, rushes or hemp
  • Slate or bluestone tiles
  • Granite or fieldstone fireplace surrounds
  • Leather furniture, wall or floor coverings

Colors

Slate and natural wood

The color palette of Adirondack influenced interior design stays true to the colors present in the Adirondack Mountains. Include plenty of the following colors as either accents or full color schemes in the home:

  • Hunter green
  • Mint green
  • Pine green
  • Yellow
  • Gold
  • Icy gray
  • Sky blue
  • Deep red
  • Natural wood tones

Because green is a predominate color in the style, consider pairing multiple shades and tones of green as accents throughout the home. Highlight them by using cream or light tan walls, and pair them with touches of yellow, blue and gold to bring out the many hues that nature creates.

Lighting

Avoid stark, modern light fixtures in this style of design. Wall scones, some types of pendant or chandelier and lots of floor and table lamps will provide the soft, diffused light that will highlight the natural colors of the home. Look for lights made of hammered metal, wood and roughly cast ceramic to become a focal point in the design.

Accents and Art

Wall art made of twigs

While original Adirondack designs frequently included trophy mounts on the walls, there are other ways to include additional touches of nature in the design. Add any of the following to help provide ambiance and detail to the home:

  • Woodland prints such as pages taken from vintage magazines and National Geographic pages. Frame them with natural wood rails that complement the other wood tones in the room
  • Pottery
  • Wool blankets
  • Trunks or chests for storage
  • Welcome signs and other mottos such as "Relax" or "Lake Living" done in twig, bark or etched wood boards. The photo here depicts such a sign, with the word 'south" written in twigs.
  • Crossed snow shoes or cross country skies hung on the walls
  • Birch bark covering dressers, tables or armoires
  • Quilts

Incorporating Adirondack Design

If the idea of a rustic, relaxing design appeals, but the full cabin style decorating style does not, consider mixing and matching to create a design of your own. Many of the rustic, relaxed elements of Adirondack style interior design work beautifully when paired with more modern pieces in an incongruous blend of style. Just be sure to keep color palettes to a harmonious blend and don't be afraid to introduce some luxury to the space. Not every home is built like a log cabin, but that doesn't mean it can't create an ambiance to help you relax as if you are in one.

Adirondack Style Interior Design