Almost anyone can find inspiration in weird and wonderful West Virginia, where charming historic towns and rambling tin-roofed cabins co-exist amid the misty mountains and rolling farmland. We took a last minute road trip to the eastern panhandle last weekend and stayed in Berkeley Springs with day trips to Harpers Ferry and Shepardstown. We knew we wanted mountain views and an 1800s cabin in the woods with heirloom quilts, cast iron skillets, wood burning stove and brown family photos from decades past. We found the perfect folksy, antique log house but it was already booked, so we opted for a more modern place right near a creek. Surrounded by giant trees, the quaint, red cottage was equipped with all the essentials for a winter weekend in the woods: Le Creuset cookware, stacks of New Yorker and Country Living magazines, down comforters, fireplace, patio with chimenea and s’mores supplies, and picture windows with long views of the oak and birch trees.
The colonial look is so right-now that I wonder if design hipsters are taking secret trips to Harpers Ferry for inspiration cheat sheets. Rows of perfectly preserved brick and stone homes and buildings line the steep streets winding up the hill. Mountains, vast sky and the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge for what Thomas Jefferson called “one of the most stupendous scenes of nature.” An old bakery, residence, shoe store and factory have been turned into museums where you can see the peeling paint, elaborate hand-painted wallpaper, rows of top hats and stacks of fabric, doilies under pie plates and quilt-covered beds.