Thursday, February 10, 2011

When Did Lodge Interiors Become So Chic?

It's winter days like today, when temperatures are low, the wind is blowing and it's wetter than wet, that I just want to wrap myself in a warm blanket, and dream of sitting by the fire in a beautiful lodge somewhere high up in the mountains. Most of the time, though, when I think of lodge, I think of lots of heavily knotted wood, clunky over-scaled furniture and scary taxidermy staring down at me. Well, think again....the new look in lodge is anything but.

The December issue of Elle Decor featured a lodge so chic, so fresh and different, two months later, I'm still "pining" over it.  Instead of using a color palette in the warm tones, with brown tones as a background, this particular designer set the backdrop in cool charcoals, greys and blacks. Of course there are umber tones mixed in, but it's really subtle. There is also punches of white throughout that really lighten things up and keep it new (though not practical with messy 3 year olds, it sure looks good in the pics). The furniture styles are also really fun. There is a mix of contemporary styling and hints of femininity, something unexpected in a usually masculine type of interior.
The architecture here sings. It's so bright and light, the volume is so incredible, but it feels warm and comfortable, partly because of the selection of finishes and partly because the furniture is well scaled and inviting.

I love the contrast of the charcoal built-ins with the light flooring and the unfinihed ceiling and beams.

In the kitchen, the beams are beautiful in their raw state, and I love the mix of white subway tile/rustic stone, stainless steel, a continuation of charcoal trim. It has a lot of interesting elements and yet it doesn't feel heavy.

I love this bed, it has such a feminine touch to a room with such large volume. This one is from Anthropologie.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  I love the rattan thrown into the mix and the fixture hanging from the charcoal painted ceiling is wonderful. Again, there is contrast with the light stone on the fireplace.

The stainless exterior of this free standing tub looks incredible and quite glamorous set in this rustic setting.
I started thinking about all the new furnishings and decor for this type of interior that has taken such an interesting and contemporary approach. If you like bringing nature within but don't like the heaviness of a tradtional lodge, there is hope.

 I found some amazing contemporary fixtures that bring a new "light" to the antler chandelier. For example, Design Within Reach has a very modern version of the "Antler Chandelier" that I absolutely adore. It is so clean, humane to animals of course because it's resin and would look drop dead gorgeous in a dining room or even a living room. They also have the same design in a sconce which would look wonderful flanking a mirror over the fireplace.

Design Within Reach, "Superordinate Antler Pendant", cost not within reach.
Design Within Reach, $350.00
Tiff's Tip: If I didn't feel like blowing the retirement fund (does anyone still have one of these??) but I loved this look, I would buy an inexpensive faux antler version from a Lamps Plus, or something similar and paint it bisque white. I think this could achieve a similar look.

Arteriors also has a beautiful contemporary version of a rustic fixture. It's rich in color and scale but it has a clean design.
Arteriors, retail cost at about $1600.00

In addition to lighting, accent furniture such as side tables have been following this trend by glamming up the lodge look with a little bling. Global Views and Arteriors both have twig like side tables in either crisp white, or gold with granite. Just a small hint of nature adds charm without sacrificing elegance.
Global Views

Global Views
Accessorizing an interior with the right amount of rustic elegance can also achieve this look without going overboard. There are so many options in just the pillow and throw department that can give you a chic lodge look. From ABC Home I found a silver shimmered pillow with a wood graining design, rustic in nature, but chic and glamorous. Also from ABC Home there is a beautiful wooded owl themed design with appliques which gives a more whimsical approach.

Archival Decor offers gorgeous organic hemp and velvet pillows with a rustic photographic designs such as bovine skulls and antlers.

Even West Elm has joined in the fun with a contemporary graphic of tree rings, it's really subtle.

Most retailers are offering throws. If you like the hint of fur, Nieman Marcus has the real deal...but they are super expensive, and I think I'd feel a tad guilty snuggling up to Peter Rabbit, no? There are so many great alternatives, and for great prices. Frontgate has a faux "wolf" throw, really nice looking for $179.50.

There are some lower in price, and some much higher. I think the $180 price will get you quality that will be long lasting that won't break the piggy...don't go any cheaper. You 'll regret it. Cashmere throws also have a range of prices. Ralph Lauren has a beautiful cable knit line for $595, but Williams Sonoma Home has them for $198 in a simple cashmere with fringe.

Ralph Lauren's Cable Cashmere Throw is a real luxury item at $595.00

Williams Sonoma Home's cashmere throw with fringe is now priced at $198.00 and comes in tons of colors.
The real trend is displaying antler heads/horns. Whether in a lodge look or an african theme, this has been popping up everywhere I turn. I love all of the resin reproduced versions because they are not displaying the real deal, which grosses me out (I saw some antlers at an antique store the other day with tons of hair and hide sticking out and it really made me nauseous).  Don't get me started down that road, I could start ranting in a million different directions. So....I wanted to share all the cool resin products that would look great, sparingly of course, in this Chic Lodge look. Ballard Designs has a version of the trophy head as well as William Sonoma Home and Restoration Hardware.
Williams Sonoma Home, Ranging from $150-$275.

Ballard Designs, ranging from $49-$59

Restoration Hardware, $149.00

Restoration Hardware, $399.00.

Venucci has a beautiful white resin deer head. It's really different, and also celebrates the animal's beauty and yet giving an interior a truly "new age" version of lodge.
From, $77.00

It'd be wonderful during the winter to throw a dinner party "lodge" style. It would be fairly easy too. First of all, I would plan the menu on either something "meaty" like osso buco, (which by the way, I discovered a wonderful new recipe from Tyler Florence from  House Beautiful Tyler Florence's Recipe for California Osso Buco with Kumquat-Cranberry Gremolata)  a stew or really nice hearty soup, accompanied by a salad, bread, and maybe baked apples for dessert....I'm getting hungry thinking about it!!!

Now that the menu is planned, I'd prepare to set the mood. Hurricanes or a low glass bowl filled with river rock pebbles and birch candles would look great, maybe some quince in a vase at the center.

This is the river rock filler I would use, or something like it. Available at Crate and Barrel. They also have a huge selection of glass hurricanes and bowls. 

Vivaterra carries beautiful birch designed dinnerware in a bisque color that would be stunning for everyday. They also carry a gorgeous flatware in a "twig" design.

I might use a walnut in the shell as a place card, or perhaps a twig from a branch.

I just pulled a twig off a tree in the front yard. Then took a plain white piece of paper and  rubbed crayon on it on top of a heavily grained table to get some texture. If I was actually having a dinner party I might buy a nicer sheet of paper.

Just slid a piece of paper inside the crack of the walnut. Easy place card holder.
After days and nights of dreaming about this interior that made me giggle in delight, I decided to go back and look at a traditional lodge style and see why it made me take a second glance. Back home in CA, there is a well known restaurant in the canyons of Los Angeles called The Saddle Peak Lodge. The quintessential lodge. They serve venison and elk for crying out loud.
It's what you think when you see lodge, nothing wrong with it....just not unexpected.

It's bar area is really dark, not in an ambient "mood" lighting kind of way.
Described in one word.....ew!

Okay....I guess I can say it's nice in it's own way...but I am happy to see a new trend is taking shape. It's real, it's fresh, and it's somewhere that I can honestly say I'd love spending time in that interior reading a good book, cuddled in a cozy throw with a cup of soup by the fire.

Other honorable mentions:
Fun fabrics by Eric Cohler for Lee Jofa
Antlers, Red

Woods Brocatelle, also available in a wallpaper

Wallpaper by Threads, also carried by Lee Jofa
Threads, woodgrain pewter

Wall accent by Arteriors
The silver plated bovine trophy skull is pretty cool.

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