The wonderful thing about a timber frame home is its chameleon-like capability for nearly infinite interpretations. That being said, one of the most natural designs for post and beam is the true ‘Adirondack Camp’ as it typifies rustic while maintaining a high degree of style and comfort.
I use the word true as the original camps in the Adirondacks – built in the mid to late 1800s by the uber-wealthy such as the Post family (Topridge) and the Rockefellers (now an exclusive resort called The Point)– were for people looking to experience the wilds of the Adirondack Mountains while doing so in total comfort; and when I say total, I mean TOTAL. No roughing it for these folks.
“An Adirondack camp does not mean a canvas tent or a bark wigwam, but a permanent summer home where the fortunate owners assemble for several weeks each year and live in perfect comfort and even luxury, tho in the heart of the woods, with no very near neighbors, no roads and no danger of intrusion.”
—William Frederick Dix, Summer Life in Luxurious Adirondack Camps, 1903
However, the idea of roughing it had to be preserved; hence the use of indigenous materials built by locals with a very rustic look. Today we pay a small fortune for these pieces as the craftsmanship that goes into them is phenomenal. But there’s also a wealth of great reproduction Adirondack-style furniture out there, so don’t fret!
Editor’s Note: More on outfitting and furnishing the Adirondack style home in my next post, ‘Outfitting and Furnishing Your Adirondack-Style Home’so stay tuned…
These camps dot lakesides all over upstate New York, and well beyond, as their popularity have withstood the test of time. Who doesn’t build or buy a lakeside home and not consider decorating it – or at least a room – in the rustic Adirondack style? Knotty pine ceilings and/or walls, twig and log furniture (with or without the bark), the essential Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket, Buffalo-checked bedding or pillows, and antlers fashioned into anything from tables to frames to chandeliers; they’re all a natural fit, in the truest sense of the word!