Adirondack Style: What It Is and Why It’s Important

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 15 Nov, 2015
Adirondack style is a rustic architectural style associated with the Adirondack Mountain area in New York. The original builders in this areas built housing for the wealthy, but they used native building materials because of the problems they would incur in trying to ship in or transport conventional building materials to their remote location. In […] The post Adirondack Style: What It Is and Why It’s Important appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
Home of abolitionist John Brown, located high in New York State's Adirondack Mountains

Home of abolitionist John Brown, located high in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains

Adirondack style is a rustic architectural style associated with the Adirondack Mountain area in New York. The original builders in this areas built housing for the wealthy, but they used native building materials because of the problems they would incur in trying to ship in or transport conventional building materials to their remote location. In the 1800s the Adirondacks were mainly rugged wilderness until transportation routes became established in the 19th century. This is when wealthier individuals began to vacation in the Adirondacks to take a break from city life, and to enjoy the clean air and the beautiful scenery. Many of these individuals built grand lake lodges to house their families and guests.
Timber and stone were the most abundant building materials; whole, split or peeled logs and granite fieldstone were the most often used. Use of these native materials resulted in a primitive, rustic style. Large fireplaces built of stone were also common.
This style reminds us of a simpler time and the peacefulness of mountain living, which is why it has remained popular for many years. You can see influences from the Arts & Crafts movement and Swiss chalets in Adirondack style. But it still has its own style, which some equate to a rustic elegance as the use of native materials, while kept in a natural state, are used in an artful way, with intricate details common.
The Adirondack style is also known to be used to harmonize with its surroundings. When the housing was first established in the Adirondack Mountains because there was no way to bring in large building equipment the builders were forced to make the buildings fit the rugged landscape, making the homes appear as though they are part of the landscape, truly giving them a connection with nature and outdoor living.

Basement with Adirondack lodge look

But Adirondack style doesn’t have to be limited to a house hidden in the mountains. It’s a style we’ve embraced, and through not only our custom home designs , but also through our décor packages we’ve been able to incorporate aspects of the Adirondack style in various styles of homes.

In this hotel Presidential Suite a unique design of barn board paneling runs horizontally along the wall. The back and front bar are also built with the same barn board paneling.

 
Our Adirondack Retreat décor package – our most popular package – includes a slab wall treatment, wainscoting element, and accent logs. This package includes 1-inch wavy slab siding cut from whitewood boards. Slab pieces are uneven, varying in width, and have a rustic knotty, gnarly appearance with wavy edges. We’ve also found that the rustic elements of Adirondack style can work beautifully when paired with more modern pieces in a varied style blend. Some of our own work blending the modern and rustic can be seen in the custom interior trim and finish (wainscoting, furnishings, cabinets, etc.) work we do in hotels .
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