What is Mountain Contemporary Design?

Aug 02, 2013  By Chris

At one time in America, everything was made from wood.

Well, okay. Not everything. But most things worth the ground they stood on were built out of wood. Wooden boxcars shipped goods across the country. Warehouses, barns and factories were the center of American work. Coalmines stood atop wooden pillars. Even wine was stored and aged in wooden barrels.

Now, of course, there’s a plastic solution for everything, and we’re more worried about being green. However, now we’re left with thousands of old factories, boxcars, coal mines and wine barrels, all just sitting there, waiting to become a part of your living room or vacation home.

Reutilizing wood from sites like these—called “reclaiming wood”—is a major element of what’s called mountain contemporary design. This home décor style blends everything great about rustic furniture and outdoorsy design with a more modern, polished feel. Think cleaner lines, no rough-hewn logs, and instead of that big moose statue standing guard over your kitchen, there’s a reclaimed console bar made from the planks of a southeastern grain mill, or a coffee table fashioned from Rocky Mountain snow fences.

Within mountain contemporary design, craftsmen blend reclaimed woods (like this dresser or this frame) with iron, chrome, and other metals and turn them into fine furniture and home furnishings. Leather is also used to frame transitional furniture like sofas (sturdy, comfortable couches without the fussy accents or spindly legs) or is applied to textured fabric. Here’s a great gallery of some Colorado kitchens put together using elements of mountain contemporary design.

Some of the obvious benefits of incorporating mountain contemporary design in your home décor include:

  1. Reclaiming woods from these sources helps decrease landfill build-up reduces chances of these places becoming useless fire hazards, and is just good green building.
  2. Most importantly, these reclaimed woods have a unique appearance. They are weathered, and have often spent so much time being exposed to the elements that they are stronger than furniture made from newer woods.
  3. This look is a little less hunting lodge-y, and a lot more refined. It still gives off a strong outdoor vibe without so many of the rough edges. Blending modernism and contemporary functionalism with mountain design and mountain furniture makes a home feel less like a cave, where nature must be fought off, and more like a part of the outdoors, where nature is invited in.

If you’re interested in brightening up your home with some reclaimed wood structures or other mountain contemporary home décor, consider speaking with an interior designer.

What do you think?

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