Most people admire the beauty of log homes, and if given the opportunity would love to live in such a residence. There is a wide appeal to the rustic, casual, 'close to nature' type of environment that log homes evoke. I was fortunate enough to live in a log home for five years, and yes, it was wonderful! Our huge Great Room, soaring ceilings, beautiful trapezoid windows and logged walls created an environment much like living in our very own lodge.
However, log home owners are definitely in the minority, mainly because of the cost to build them. They are more expensive per square foot than a conventional home, particularly the custom designed homes. So, most folks dream of 'someday' while relaxing and reading log home magazines.
While there may not be a log home in your future, if you love the lodge style decor of these homes, there are some things you can do in your existing home to create a similar look. Some are more costly than others, but if you have the budget for it, you can do some creative designing and have fun in the process. There are two important decisions to make before you take any action on this project.
First, is there a room or area of your home that is appropriate for this type of look? Will a lodge look blend with the style you currently have in the home? For example, if you have a contemporary look throughout your home, it may not be a good idea to transition your great room to a lodge decor. If your home is traditional, country, eclectic, etc., it is a more feasible style to incorporate.
The second question you need to come to terms with is your budget. You can spend quite a bit of money creating a lodge look, or you can keep it very simple. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. Be realistic about your budget from the beginning of the project.
Now that you've made those decisions, here are some suggestions for your decor. We'll start with the most significant and work down to the simple and inexpensive decor ideas.
Depending on the strength of your home construction and size of the room, you can literally put half-log on the walls and finish out the ceiling in knotty pine. Remember that any type of log material put on the walls will decrease the overall size of the room because of the thickness of the log. You would need to have a contractor experienced in log home construction assess your room and help you determine if this is feasible. You should have a cathedral ceiling, or wall heights of at least 9 feet if you are going to consider putting knotty pine on them. However, if the room size and wall construction can handle the material, it is an awesome look!
Your room may not be large enough for all the log material, but you can still get a lodge type look by replacing your standard trim with log trim, or a chunkier trim material. Put the trim around the windows as well as the floors. Use log beams to create a rustic decor. This works best in a room with cathedral ceilings. Paint the walls a color other than plain white if you decide on this look. Select a light neutral from your existing color palette or a shade of off-white; it will present a warmer and more cohesive look than stark white against the log-type trim.
Floors can be wood, carpet, tile or stone and look great with this style. If wood or tile, area rugs work well to add some warmth and color to the room. Textures are a good thing, too, in the carpet, area rugs, upholstery, etc. Windows can be treated very simply, particularly if you have logged the walls and/or trimmed out the windows with log or log type trim. Wood blinds are a beautiful way to complete the windows. Be careful not to get too fussy with window treatments - simple is good.
The upholstery in a lodge decor is typically comfortable, traditional, and on the large side if the room can handle it. Bold colors in shades of green, red, blue and gold look gorgeous against the natural walls. Think of jewel tones with some neutrals added in and you'll have the color palette.
You can continue the lodge decor with case goods such as accent tables, dining table, chairs and barstools made from log. If log walls are too far outside your budget, this can be a very workable and pleasing technique that is much less costly.
For accessorizing, the walls can be left fairly simple if they have been logged because the natural material is so beautiful it does not need much adornment. Unless you love the look, you don't have to hang a deer head over the fireplace!
Other wall accessories that look great in a lodge style decor are natural material wreaths, clocks, artwork that brings in the outdoors, and anything that is constructed from natural material. Wood carvings are another great opportunity to complete your rustic lodge decor. We had a five foot hand-carved bear in our entry that was always a topic of conversation with guests!
For more great ideas for furnishings and accessories, you can always study log home magazines. Better yet, find a log home show to attend and you'll have great fun as well as finding everything for your lodge decor project. Have fun and enjoy your very own lodge style corner of the world!