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Themed Decorating: The Old Fish Camp

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

The Lodge at Flatrock Mill was my most rewarding project of all time. To this day, my emotions are elevated when I visit this place. The absolute fun we experienced searching for and purchasing all the treasures collected was sheer delight! My basic decor philosophy is simple ... comfort first, followed by transporting visitors to another realm if possible. Located on the second floor surrounded with trees, a roaring creek in the front and a pond in the back, it was easy to envision the Lodge as an Old Fish Camp.

In showing the Lodge, every couple had the same reaction. Silence at first as they took it all in. And then, without fail, the husband your say, "You go live in the house. I'm gonna live here!"

Located above a garage, the design concept is quite open with the bathroom and pantry the only enclosed structures. Areas include the entry, living, dining, kitchen, the master bed area and an alcove for two twin beds. Since The Lodge would be used for brief stays as a weekend or honeymoon retreat, the only closet is a lockable pantry for supplies. To make it manageable, there is an abundance of iron hooks.

Just before starting this projects I had been to an artist retreat at Serenbe, below Atlanta. We found ourselves with four women sharing one cabin. There was a king size bed and two rollaway beds were added. The bathroom was large with two sinks, but off of the bedroom. To avoid a similar situation at Flatrock Mill, there is a second sink vanity with mirror outside the bath, and each bed has it's own mirror. Plenty of places for getting ready for an exciting day.

We ran across some old 1" thick pine flooring in a shed where it had been housed for over twenty years. That became an incredible floor. After staining the floor and before the sealer was applied, we printed and cut out small critters such as frogs and lizards and decoupaged them strategically. It is so much fun to watch guest when they run across one. Little surprises are always important.

At the same place we found the flooring, we also found real pine paneling. Not quite enough to do the entire Lodge though, so we improvised on one wall by using rough exterior paneling and staining it to match. The ceiling was easy. We didn't use old tin although we could have, nor did we purchase new corrugated aluminum and make it look old, we just used it as it was. What a hit. Everyone loves it and quite frankly, it was not difficult to install.

Basics complete, it was time to search and rescue all kinds of old treasures to complete the look. The bulk came from Lakewood 400 Antiques Market in Cumming, but honey holes also included an auction or two and the rare find at a yard sale. The beds were new and expensive, having been educated that when it comes to a B & B, the quality of the beds and linens are most important. Everything else including the kitchen accessories were excavated with love. I remember bidding on and winning a pair of fishing waders at an auction. I overheard a man say, "What is that woman going to do with those waders?" Well, they hang on the wall with fish hooks, boots below, a hat, shirt and more fish hooks. There's also fishing poles and oars displayed and standing in the corner.

At Lakewood, I found old discarded photos of people fishing and they are framed as if they were relatives. Old games and books are available for days when you just want to hibernate.There are also other little surprises. A small sign that says dream can be seen on the back of a beam when you are sleeping in the twin beds. A grouping by the big bed includes a sign hand painted by the artist sign painter at Lakewood. It says ... Love Like It Is The First Time. An alarm clock by the twin beds wake you to a frog croaking. Not sure anyone appreciates that, but it's fun. A knot hole from a tree hangs on the wall ... who else but me would buy that? An old buggy seat became a shelf by the door. An old youth footboard is a pediment over the kitchen window. And carved wooden squirrels were mounted on top as finals on two table chairs. A big old metal frog keeps watch over the door while ducks swim on the beam. A string of metal fish which once hung outside a restaurant now hang above the TV coupled with a lobster trap. Guests at the Lodge have been known to come and hardly leave for the entire weekend. And why not. You have all the comforts of home. Besides, it takes at least a weekend to see it all!

Slideshow ... Click Arrows

Frank Lloyd Wright said, "God is in the details." And in this case study, it is definitely the case, except that the details are the abundance of surprises that surround and welcome you.

Want to live in an Old Fish Camp? Or maybe at the beach?

It's all in the details. And all it takes is a little redecorating!

Surround yourself with everything you love and what makes you feel most happy and comfortable.



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