A couple transforms the Adirondacks Mountains cabin her family had been visiting for decades into their own vintage camp getaway.
When New Jersey residents Courtney Affrunti and husband Bill started looking for a cabin to purchase near Schroon Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, they couldn’t find anything that worked for them.
“Nothing was right,” Courtney explains.
After visiting the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York for years and staying in Bill’s family cabin, they wanted a place of their own. Then, there was a surprise.
“My in-laws came to us and said they would sell us their cabin because they weren’t really using it anymore,” Courtney says.
It was perfect. Bill, Courtney and their three sons had already been making memories in the cabin for years. Now, it would be their own.
“You can’t really buy that, so it worked out perfectly for us,” Courtney says.
So, Courtney wasted no time in beginning to transform the four-bedroom cabin that had previously been a catchall for old furniture and castoffs.
The Camp Style
For Courtney, this was the perfect opportunity to create a vintage camp getaway.
“I wanted it to feel like a lake house would feel,” she says, “I wanted it to feel different than my style is at home.”
To achieve that timeless look, she took more chances with bold colors and patterns, layering everything until it fit her vision. In the kitchen, a yellow “camp” sign hangs over the open shelves.
“I painted that to feel like a real vintage kids camp,” she points out.
It’s one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door, and it sets the tone for the rest of the house—where vintage lamps, thermoses, paint-by-numbers art and more create a mountain escape that’s loads of fun to explore.
While the camp style is eclectic, gathered and full, Courtney makes sure there’s some space for the house to “breathe.”
“There are definitely spots that are more decorated, such as the mantles or the open shelving, and then there are spots that are just painted walls that don’t feel so overwhelming, and I need those spaces too.”
After all, in a house where her three grown sons, their friends and a happy pup are frequent guests, there must be space to live.
While Courtney and her husband head up to the cabin almost every other weekend, they’re not even close to being finished with their updates.
“We have a lot of work to do,” she says. “We’re just kind of taking it room by room.”
So far, they’ve made the most changes in the kitchen, where they added an island to better connect the dining area to the kitchen. They also incorporated open shelves and a farmhouse sink. Over the latter, a vintage-looking light fixture is an IKEA find that Courtney painted red. (“I think spray paint is my best friend!” she says.)
Outside on the porch hangs a swing that Bill built for Courtney as a 25th wedding anniversary gift. The couch seat is a barely used crib mattress that all of Courtney’s boys slept on as babies when visiting the cabin.
“It felt meaningful for our 25th anniversary. We’re looking toward the future of our kids all having this house with us together.”
For now, Courtney will keep collecting vintage pieces, layering colorful textiles and creating a cozy camp getaway for her family to enjoy. Their dog, Dax (named after the Adirondack Mountains), loves it there too.
Courtney explains, “The name of the house is ‘Camp Lucky Dog.’ Dax gets out of the car, and she’s so happy. So we always say, ‘What a lucky dog you are to have a place such as this!’
Capturing the “Camp” Look
While this space looks effortlessly thrown together, it’s been curated to cozy-cabin perfection. Here are the main elements Courtney uses to capture the camp aesthetic:
• Color. To get the “camp” vibe, you’ve got to have those vibrant, woodsy colors in every room. Reds, greens and yellows are a great place to start.
• Pattern. Plaids and checks will make any room feel like summer camp. Courtney isn’t afraid to mix and layer too. “I try to bring different patterns and assorted colors to try to do something unique that feels right,” she says.
• Vintage finds. Garage sales, flea markets and antique stores are wonderful places to find the vintage items that pull a space such as this together. Examples are old lanterns, baskets, thermoses and signs.
• Faux vintage finds. Some of the vintage-looking items in Courtney’s house are actually modern pieces she updated, such as the IKEA light fixture over the sink that she spray-painted red. If you can’t find all the vintage pieces you want to fill the space, improvise!
• Just enough. While it might look like the camp style requires you to fill every available space, it’s important to have a few spaces with a little less to help the space “breathe.” Find what works for you.
To see more of Courtney’s cabin and primary family home visit her on Instagram at Golden Boys and Me.