Decorating with Cabin Signs

May 20th, 2008

Some of the most unique summer retreats are made even more intriguing with the addition of local signs displaying lodge information, camp rules, tourist areas of interest and other fun facts.

 Sometimes you can find old cabin signs at antique shops, and they can be picked up for just a few dollars to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  Another way to get your hands on some wonderful signs is to shop for reproductions that look authentic.  Many are customizable, and can be personalized to reflect your own lines of text.  Here are a few examples:

Decorating for Comfort

May 15th, 2008

Camp, Cottage, Cabin, Lodge – whatever you choose to call the place you call home away from home – the simple fact is, you like it so much because you can relax there.  Many people make the mistake of redoing their old camp and filling it with furniture on which they’re afraid to put their feet up.  or to sit on in a wet bathing suit, and they lose a big part of the character and relaxing nature of the home.

 Keep this simple fact in mind when selecting furnishings.  Many pieces are available today with choices of fabric that can be very forgiving when it comes to kids and pets.  One such fabric is “faux suede” or Ultrasuede as it is known, which will easily clean up after spills and will not easily tear.

When purchasing rustic furniture, be sure to select well-made sturdy pieces.  Tops of coffee tables, end tables and night stands made from antique barn boards will look better over time with wear and tear, and you won’t panic each time someone puts their feet up or a drink down without a coaster.  Furniture made from hickory or oak will stand up to even the rowdiest children.

Braided rugs are a sturdy and durable option for floors, but even a soft wood like pine looks great and develops character over time. 

Decorating with throw pillows adds comfort, and they can be replaced often

Lighting and how it sets the tone

Lakeside Living

February 7th, 2008

Welcome to where we feature friends of Cottage Surroundings and the cabins, cottages and lake retreats they call home (or home away from home!). We meet wonderful people who fill their homes with décor from or visit the Cottage Surroundings store in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. We first feature John Murray and Brian Fortier, who have made frequent trips to Cottage Surroundings, where they purchased several cabin rugs as well as fishing themed décor.John and Brian own an inviting lake house in West Alton, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. Their home is a classic 1930’s style cabin, filled with charming collections, antiques and unique features that make it interesting to all who visit.The original family that built the house were friends of Brian’s grandparents. The grandparents started West Alton Marina in 1962, which Brian and John now own and run. The cabin is filled with many of Brian’s grandparents’ and great grandparents’ antiques, and John and Brian are continually adding finds of their own. Local scenes and signs hang throughout the cabin. Of specific interest to Brian are Mt Washington themed items; with John it’s pinecones. pine-cone-pillowA birch staircase leads to second floor bedrooms and entry way, while each rafter originates from a different tree: white birch, silver birch, gray birch, oak and so on, along the ceiling stairsof the main living room. Can you believe the original owners had a monkey that enjoyed swinging from those rafters?!

Lumber was milled at a lumberyard three coves away. Back when the house was built, they floated lumber down the lake to build the house. The main fireplace was created from a sketch of a World’s Fair display, and built of stone and petrified wood. Warm and cozy in early fall, the cook stove is from Brian’s grandparents’ farmhouse.A porch runs the length of the house along the lake, where old wooden clothespins serve as the cabin’s guest book. Guests would sign and date an old wooden clothespin to mark their visit. clothespinsJohn and Brian continue the tradition to this day. The clothespins represent a decorative historical record along a string that hangs at the top of the porch windows. Friends knew the cabin as Chalet Cheerio.The view onto Lake Winnipesaukee is spectacular.  The water sparkles, and is slightly choppy on this cool fall day.  The cabin is set in the natural wooded landscape with beautiful views onto the lake.  Stone steps take you down to the dock where Brian, John and guests enjoy long summer days.Chalet Cheerio