Lodge Decor Style: A Complete Guide
Bringing the Outdoors In
Have you ever spent time in a mountain cabin or ski lodge? If so, you can picture the scene in your mind. Simple or grand, your surroundings may have included rugged furnishings, thick plaid blankets, wood-paneled or log walls, a stone fireplace crackling with flames, and glorious views of nature just outside the door. Some of us fall so in love with this ambiance that we want to recreate it at home. That's what Lodge Decor is all about.
Where Did Lodge Decor Originate?
Log cabins came to North America by way of Swedish settlers in the 1600s. The construction involved no nails and consisted of just one room measuring 10 feet wide by 12 to 20 feet long. There was one window and a loft for sleeping. From the late 1800s through the early 1900s, America's pioneers built similar structures, stacking notched logs cut from timber they chopped down. Believe it or not, these log cabins were sturdy and even rainproof. This style gained traction in the early 1900s when America's national parks built grand lodges, treating visitors to unforgettable mountain, geyser, and wildlife vistas. In fact, these lodges became an American architectural style called "parkitecture."
Who Does Lodge Decor Appeal To?
The earliest Lodge Decor Style fulfilled only the most basic needs — no hot tubs, balconies, or skylights in sight. But today’s version of Lodge Decor welcomes modern luxuries. Depending on your taste, you can embrace Lodge Decor by leaning more into the rustic or contemporary side of the spectrum.
Lodge Decor conjures specific roughhewn elements, which you can balance with contemporary or refined pieces at your discretion.
• Wood galore — including massive beams and reclaimed barn wood
• Soaring ceilings
• Natural light via big windows or skylights
• Textiles and fabrics to soften the space
• Stone or hardwood flooring
• Hides and leather
• Neutral colors like browns, tans, creams, and whites dancing with blues, greens, reds, and golds
• Textures mixed-and-matched for depth
• Pale-colored rugs to lighten up the space
• Mirrors and glass to accomplish the same as ^^^
• Antique furniture which can be juxtaposed with ... (see below)
• Angular pieces to enhance the modern feel, but with rich fabric or leather upholstery
Lodge Decor Style, Room by Room
What can be tricky with Lodge Decor is crossing the line into kitsch. Of course, a few themed pieces can add fun to your space. Let's walk through room-by-room and consider options.
In Your Living Room
If you have wood walls (or actual logs) and want to leave them natural, painted interior doors can add a nice touch of brightness and contemporary flair. You can also whitewash the wood to lighten the space, conveying a Scandinavian feel (a nod to those early Swedish settlers). This can apply to any room, actually. If you're lucky enough to have soaring ceilings, hand-hewn beams will emphasize the height. Hides and antlers are totally appropriate with this design style, strongly imparting a cabin-in-the-woods look. A sleek leather, suede, or two-tone sofa can add a contemporary spin, especially if it's low-profile and not overly tufted. Stone or exposed brick fireplaces are quintessentially Lodge Decor. A wooden coffee table fits right in, but to make it less predictable, top it with modern accessories like a sleek black bowl or a polished vase; go with two or three smaller wood tables of various heights; or choose a contrasting material like metal. Add a soft glow to your Lodge Decor living room with oversized pendant lights.
In Your Kitchen
You'll achieve a more organic overtone for a Lodge Decor kitchen if you play loose with the space and steer away from symmetry. Painted cabinetry in a deep rust or another earth tone brings warmth to the heart of your home. You could even select modern cabinetry to energize other less refined elements like a stone floor; stone flooring gives you a timeless look and the durability you need in a kitchen. A reclaimed wooden table — as large as your space allows — begs to be surrounded by family and friends. Hang cast-iron or copper cookware from a wall-mounted pot rack. Showcase stoneware or treasured dishes in a vintage China cabinet. Opt for open shelving above counter space for glass storage jars filled with flour, sugar, and oats. Cover lower open shelves with fabric curtains for softness and an authentic "Little House on the Prairie" look.
In Your Bedroom
One key to a Lodge Decor bedroom feeling calm and cozy is to avoid pattern overload. For example, you may prefer simple, neutral bedding paired with a thick cream wool rug. The pop of pattern can come from a camp-style blanket draped across the end of the bed. A deep-green velvet headboard can provide a burst of color. Of course, if you want to go all-in with plaid or a modern Aztec pattern, choose one significant element: the bedding or the rug. If wood dressers and nightstands lend to a cohesive appearance, great. But if you feel they add too much wood, paint them a light color. The same goes for the walls; painting them a soft shade lets you keep a tranquil feel without being overly woodsy. Metal lamps, sconces, and a chandelier will brighten the space in an understated way.
In Your Bathroom
For the bathroom, shiplap works well in natural wood, a whitewash stain, or painted a soft earth tone. You can repurpose weathered furniture into a DIY wet sink. Just as functional as the modern version, it would contribute beautifully to the Lodge Decor look. Hang a wrought-iron mirror over the sink. Consider a claw-foot tub, either pure white or painted pale green. Vintage brass is an excellent choice for fixtures, pulls, and sconces. Accessorize with dried flowers, plants, wicker baskets, and floral-patterned linens, which add whimsy without going overboard.
Into the Wild You Go
We hope these tips give you the confidence to create your own slice of cozy chic at home. As you plan and shop, you may find yourself sliding more toward traditional Lodge Decor than modern — or vice versa. That's okay! Go with it, knowing the result will be the lodge-inspired home of your dreams.
P.S. Check out Cottagecore Decor Style, another interior design trend that has historic roots and weaves in elements of nature.
Last updated October 11, 2023