If one has an eye for design, one can create interior themes set in a specific time and place from an assemblage of vintage finds. Tastemaker and burlesque artist Dita Von Teese calls such interior themes “time capsules” – they are rooms or homes that successfully embrace a look from another time and place. Teese’s 1927-built Tudor Revival home in the Hollywood Hills is such a time capsule with nods to 1930s interiors: taxidermy peacocks, tufted sofas and a kitchen painted venom green.
The style of the so-called “great camps” of New York’s Adirondacks belongs in a time capsule, as it embodies a rustic elegance the wealthy have adored since Marie Antionette set up a dairy at Versailles. Such great camps arose in the late 1800s as summer homes for the wealthy of New York City. Today, fans still love the Adirondack design hallmarks: intricate twig work, ornate gable decoration, granite boulder fireplaces, birch bark wallpaper and furniture crafted from small, unpeeled logs.
At its most elemental, Adirondack style is lake-house décor. To embrace this style, one need not own a great cottage in the Adirondack Mountains. One can use this style to decorate a tiny cabin by a river or even a room in one’s home. It’s a look easily recreated with GasLamp finds.
No lake-house theme would be complete without a split-willow basket creel like this vintage one from Oregon ($159; Booth B-389). This handmade, fly-fishing basket from the early 20th century features a genuine leather lid strap and buckle. It’s functional on the trout stream or as a decorative addition to a log cabin or lake house.
This dreamy daybed, made of handwoven rattan with two bolster pillows, certainly belongs on a screened porch overlooking a lake ($1,012; Booth T-355). Formed from durable rattan reeds, this airy design creates the perfect perch for relaxing with a book or taking a catnap.
Anyone familiar with lake life has seen a heron, its long legs and neck adding to the sense of natural elegance in its habitat. This vintage sculpture features a heron carved in wood, standing on a tiered base in a popular Art Deco design ($39; Booth B-326). Its carefully carved wings and unusual color scheme make for a lovely piece.
A fish-themed painting is a must-hang in any lake house. A good example is this 1985 watercolor by artist David Jones that depicts freshwater game fish found in the Southeastern U.S. ($800; Booth T-370). With ample dimensions of four feet by three feet, this watercolor can be a statement piece. The fish, painted on high-quality watercolor paper, include bass, bream, bluegill and crappie.
Many relaxed, retro pieces blend into lake-house décor, including this handmade chain-stitch pillow inspired by the work of 20th-century Spanish artist Joan Miro ($156; Booth T-362). Made by a master artisan in Kashmir, India, using a centuries-old chain-stitch technique and a high-quality wool thread that makes it soft yet durable. This 24-by-24-inch pillow includes a down feather insert.
Lake-house style is charming, fun and lighthearted, while also retaining a masculine rusticity tempered by elegance and comfort. Aesthetically calm with an underlying richness, lake-house style will infuse any space with natural beauty.