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A Taste of the Mountains in Any Retreat

Regardless of the location or the architectural style of your summer retreat, it is possible to create a mountain-like atmosphere. Allow majestic scenery and a crisp mountain air appearance to permeate your summer living space with the flexible use of paint, color and design. The essence of mountain living is all about enjoying nature's endless beauty, evidenced through the our visual senses. One way to bring a dynamic taste of the mountains into an existing space is via the use of nature's earthy colors.

Examining the powerful colors of a mountain landscape instantly conjures up a breathtaking color palette that can assist with creating the ultimate mountain getaway experience within the home. Greens that are reminiscent of spruce, Douglas fir, ponderosa and other varieties of pine team up with rich bark browns to form the basis of the rustic elegance that permeates through a mountain residence. Adding to these dominant hues; snowy whites, powder blues and sunset golds may be added to the color palette as natural compliments that enrich the mountain landscape. The primary focus is to convey the natural aura of high country paradise at its peak beauty.

Creative picnic tableMountain motifs can range from forest animal themes, to the rugged natural landscape or an interesting combination of both ideas. Patterns can be applied to various surfaces via stencils, decorative stamps or painted freehand. Concentrate on a specific area of your summer dwelling, then let your imagination run wild! If your dream has always been a mountain styled kitchen space, consider applying pine tree stencils to plain wood cabinetry trim or stencil a bear border onto a tiled kitchen 'backsplash'.

Add rustic simplicity to an ordinary family room by transforming plain white walls into a faux log interior with the help of a decorative paint treatment that simulates log walls. Add an imitation fireplace to a lackluster living room wall using bricks that are painted freehand using variations of soft clay tones. Complete the look by mounting a stone mantel above the faux bricks that completes the fireplace vignette. Paint an eye-catching log home mural complete with wraparound cedar deck and festive flowering window boxes onto an unadorned laundry room wall and anticipate lingering in your mountain laundry space!

Any residence that touts mountain flair expresses a hearty appreciation for outdoor lifestyles. Therefore, do not overlook injecting a touch of mountain decor amongst exterior living areas. Backyards, porches, patios, decks, balconies and courtyards are likely candidates for adapting a mountain atmosphere with the addition of a few simple decorative touches.

Log-sided planters filled with overflowing fresh flowers that are placed in conspicuous places can be painted solid colors, or striped to coordinate with exterior doors, shutters or trim on the existing house. Wooden decks and balconies can be treated to distressed paint techniques using colors that mimic or contrast with the exterior of the home. Weathered paint treatments add texture and aged beauty to the outdoor mountain space.

Whatever your idea of the perfect summer paradise, consider weaving the tones, textures and designs of the mountains into your master plan.

Gail McCauley for the 
Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute
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