Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 26, 2013

Back to nature

Linda Hamer Kennett
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — With all of life’s pressures I find that more and more of my friends are buying a “weekend get-away” home.

A cabin on a lake in a wooded area, with computers, TV and cell phones optional, seems to be the order of the day. If a get-away retreat is not in your current budget, fear not! You can create the same, back to nature feeling right in the middle of the “burbs” with one of the hottest trends in decorating: “lodge decor.”

“Lodge” style, inspired by the early-1900s vacation cabins of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, is rustic and comfortable. This style features split-log and primitive furniture, wicker, leather upholstery, wool rugs and blankets and other items made of natural materials.

I had only seen this type of decor in decorator magazines until a recent visit to the beautiful waterfront home of Skip and Gloria Hess, in Franklin Township. Nestled among the trees in their residential neighborhood, I felt as though I was far from the hustle and bustle. When in fact, I was only minutes from the semis roaring down I-74.

In their great room with its rustic hearth and overstuffed furniture, this first-time visitor felt instantly at home. Although filled with antiques and collectibles, there was no “Please, don’t touch our antiques” feeling that you get in some homes. But then, such is the nature of lodge decorating.  

From antique snow shoes and well weathered skis to soft natural fabrics and rich leather, lodge (also called rustic cabin) decor gives a home a casual elegance that says, “kick off your shoes and stay awhile.”

Primitive furniture is a perfect fit for this style of decorating that caters to pieces that are timeworn and distressed. Gloria chose to use an early 1900’s library cart as a side table, a  drop front writing desk (from a long ago defunct Wells Fargo office) as an accent piece, old flat top trunks in place of occasional tables, and a galvanized wooden-slat Coke cooler as a kitchen island/room divider. Each piece not only added to her unique decor, but proved to be highly functional.

A house becomes a home when it is personalized. In this home there were step-back cupboards filled with family china and well-read old books, a huge turn-of-the-century mercantile cabinet that held their advertising collectibles, and a mounted bass from “Wheatley’s Grocery,” (a longtime Franklin Township landmark) that made his home on the mantel.

Family heirlooms are right at home in the lodge setting, and there were a number present here. My personal favorite was the “chicken catcher” from Skip’s Grandmother that hung on the laundry room wall. Now there’s something you don’t see every day!

Three hours after I have arrived for my 60-minute appointment, I left the Hess home. As I hit the highway to return to Indy, my mind kept recounting all I has seen during my visit. Then it occurred to me, there are hardwood floors under the carpet in my house. Hardwoods, lodge decor ... oh my, I feel a redecorating urge coming on.

For a firsthand look at a great group of primitive furniture and collectibles, lodge accents and antiques mark you calendar for Sunday, April 7 when Skip and Gloria send their collections to auction. But be warned, Skips keepin’ the “chicken catcher”!

Go to www.cuskadenauctions.com for full details.

Linda Hamer Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in down-sizing for seniors and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at 317-429-7887 or lkennett@indy.rr.com.