WOLFEBORO -- City dwellers flocking to vacation homes near New Hampshire's lakes and mountains often prefer a relaxed décor in their off-time digs.
Designer Diane Ames of Green Mountain Furniture in Ossipee says many customers, including those from greater Boston with vacation homes in the region, want furnishings and accessories to reflect the surroundings.
"They'd like something different from their primary homes. They like to have the decor fit in with the area, whether the home is in the woods or on the lake," she said. "They like to do something different."
Recent clients include a couple from Ohio who were decorating a lakeside home. They chose to leave their Traditional home style at home, and opted for furnishings with a rustic, woodsy feel, said Ames.
"When you get a way from the humdrum of daily life and come up to your second home, it's nice to have a different décor. A change is wonderful," she said.
Ames found it difficult to pinpoint a particular favorite from among Green Mountain's many styles and product lines, but she noted that furniture made from reclaimed barnboard was very popular, along with any furniture made in the U.S.A. Leather couches and chairs are popular choices for second homes as well, she said.
And on a smaller, less expensive scale, signs with funny slogans, names of lakes, or expressions buyers can connect with are popular as well. "Signs are big right now," said Ames.From rustic antler-themed chandeliers, hand-made hickory furniture, or art inspired from wildlife, and much more, customers can find many items to decorate their home away from homes in area shops.
One such spot is Cottage Surroundings located on Center Street in Wolfeboro, a home décor retailer and online store specializing in relaxed rustic and lakeside furniture and accessories.
Owner Dean Sedler stocks a large variety of hand crafted furniture, art and accessories. He said many customers, especially those with fond childhood memories of spending time in the Lakes Region, want to recreate the lakeside theme for their own families.
Sedler builds much of the furniture sold at the shop, and also stocks or can order items from artisans and suppliers throughout New England. Prices range widely, from art, pillows and accessories under $100, handmade end tables for under $400, to pieces of art ranging from $25 to $3,000.
Some of the eye-catching pieces on display include an antique canoe handing from the shop's rafters, and a smaller, hand made reproduction of a Native American canoe. A large antler-themed chandelier — actually made from resin – makes a dramatic rustic statement, but for those looking to light up a smaller spot, Sedler has many lamps with nature-inspired shades and soft amber lighting, as well as wall sconces, to fit in smaller spaces.
" I think rustic style is different for different people, there are some rustic homes that are top to bottom, nothing but furniture with tree-root bases, tree logs, birch bark," he said, adding that others prefer using just a few pieces or accessories. Popular colors
"Rustic has a relaxed feel. I just love the style and I love the lake," he said.
On the web, Green Mountain Furniture at www.greenmountainfurniture.com, Cottage Surroundings online at http://cottagesurroundings.com/, and Sedler's second site, Lake Home Furnishings at www.winnipeseaukeecanoecompany.com