Get The Look: Firewatch Inspired Home
If you are like me, then you probably love the aesthetic of some of your favorite games and wish that you could incorporate their style and décor into your own living space without making your home look like an arcade. Throughout this series I'm going to discuss the overall aesthetic used in in games and how you might integrate these looks into your own home.
Today we are going to look at Firewatch by developer Campo Santo. Firewatch follows the story of Henry, a fire lookout in Shoshone National Forest. It's a story of loss, healing, and discovering oneself in the wild. Its story is powerful and compelling, but its environments are just as commanding.
To get a Firewatch aesthetic would be different depending on the location in the game that you choose. For example if you feel inspired by the sprawling canyons then the overall look of the room would be very different then it would if you chose a more forested area. As these locations are more abstract, today I am going to focus on Henry's lookout, which is the easiest space to translate to a real world living space.
So to start I would recommend answering a question.
What do you like about this aesthetic?
It's easy to get lost when you think about this question, but ask yourself what aspects of the environment do you want to emulate in your space. You might find out that you just like the color palette, or you just like Henry's 80's retro items. Overall, you want to know the extent to which you want your space to look like the game and work from there.
For the sake of my tips and tricks, I'm going to pretend that you want a space that looks almost completely like Henry's lookout.
This is where making a Pinterest board or collecting a folder of images will help you stay focused on the look that you want. You can take screenshots of the game itself or you can search for rustic, woodsy inspired spaces. Tumblr is great for this, and you might consider watching films about the great outdoors. My top choice is Into the Wild which is based on a true story of wanderlust. Doing this will help you narrow down what you like, and it will keep you focused on creating a cohesive space where everything feels connected and nothing is out of place.
You can also check out my Pinterest board that I made for my lookout inspired bedroom.
Choose a color palette
There are many tricks when coming up with a color scheme. Generally, my trick is to take the largest piece of furniture or pattern in the room and match pieces with it. This will help to tie each item in the space together.
If you were to want a room that matches the aesthetic of Henry's lookout, then you have to think about the most prominent feature of the lookout. To me, the thing I notice first is his windows, and how the sprawling landscape fills those windows. This is a lookout after all, so the outdoors are very much a part of the overall look of the room. The color palette of Henry's room mimics the outdoors. Henry's space has a mix of pale greens and browns. He has a mixture of earth tones in his room which tie it to the outdoors. The environment also uses small pops of red and orange which prevent the space from looking too boring without being overbearing; and still these colors are reminiscent to the lookout at daybreak and sunset. To model a room after Henry's you should stick to earthy colors and work from there.
Incorporate textures and patterns
Texture is often forgotten when the average person begins decorating a space. Textures may refer to wood grains, metallic features, furs, fleece, silk, and stone, to name a few. My trick is to pick one main texture that will be used the most throughout the room, and one or two others that will be used sparingly.
In Henry's lookout there are different kinds of natural woodgrains, metallic objects and soft fabrics. Wood is certainly used the most, in the painted wood paneling, raw wood floors, and wooden furniture. You may not have a space that naturally looks like this, but you have options. You can paint the walls an earthy color or hang wood paneling. A more cost-effective option may be to get faux wood paneling wall paper which is cheaper and easier to put up and take down than you might think. It's a great option to give your walls some extra flair, and is perfect for renters or people who are unable to make major modifications to their home. If you are unable to change the walls and floors, I would recommend concentrating solely on having lots of wooden furniture. Aim for unpainted wood to give it a raw look.
Henry's room is a very warm, cozy space. So incorporate comfy blankets and pillows that appear soft to the touch. Fleece is good choice, and having a few plaid items isn't a bad idea either. There are a few metal objects in Henry's space too. Metals can often look modern, but if you stick to a metal like tin, enamel, or weathered, aged metals then you can give your space an overall rustic vibe.
Cluttering a space effectively really helps bring a place to life. If a place feels too empty, then it's difficult for an audience to identify with it. The objects in a room should tell a story, so think about this when choosing key items.
The objects found in Henry's room are the perfect mixture of camping gear and 80's inspired décor. The items I notice first are his poster prints and artistic landscapes. While many of the official Firewatch posters are sold out, you can still get smaller postcard prints of them from the Campo Santo store page, and from time to time I have seen them floating around on eBay. I would also really recommend following Olly Moss who created the posters for Firewatch so that you can stay up to date on his work.
In Firewatch Henry arrives at the lookout with the space already decorated by the people before him. I recommend thrifting or buying some of your items secondhand. You can get things much cheaper this way, and the worn look of the objects will really help your room tell a story while getting the added benefit of being eco-friendly. Henry's room is very functional, so think about buying items that you think you'll actually use. Maybe you don't need lots of camping equipment for backpacking or rock climbing. That's fine. You can still get the same feel buy getting tin mugs that you would use around a campfire or old maps so you can dream up a new adventure. Definite look for army surplus stores in your area, and check out etsy and ebay where you can find unique and interesting pieces.
Bring the outdoors inside
My last tip for making Henry's lookout your own, is to bring the natural world indoors. As I mentioned earlier, Henry has large windows that connect him to the outside. Unlike Henry, you probably don't have windows like this, or you have curtains and blinds that create disconnect between you and the outside. Definitely consider filling your space with greenery. If you don't have a green thumb, you should get cacti or succulents as they are relatively easy to keep alive. Fake plants are an option too, just remember to dust them off from time to time. Also consider how much natural light your room gets. Get sheer curtains or wooden shades that you can pull back to let more light in. If this isn't an option get daylight bulbs that mimic the look of natural light.
If you follow these tips you will be well on your way to having a Firewatch inspired space. By simply breaking down the different elements of an environment, you can easily and constructively mimic the look of a space and make it your own.
Next up we'll be taking a look a Nathan Drake's home in Unchartered 4.
What other elements strike you about Firewatch? Let me know in the comments.