Decorate with Cabin Style | Midwest Living

Decorate with Cabin Style

Take some cabin design tips from this quaint Michigan home charmingly decorated using Adirondack design principles and the owners' collections.
  • Stage an engaging entry

    A mix of collected antiques in the entry immediately sets the rustic mood for a cabin-theme home. Here, an antler coatrack, an old trunk (for storing winter gear), a wood shelf on vintage brackets, and a small table made from tree pieces feel welcoming and preview the decorating style inside. Green pottery and a new rust-color sisal rug add shots of color.

  • Arrange artful displays

    These homeowners scoured local antiques shops for finds highlighting rustic cabin style. Natural one-of-a-kind oddities, like vintage taxidermy animals, antlers, old oil lamps, shelves made of branches, and authentic landscape art, add interest to these knotty pine walls and replicate vintage Adirondack style.

  • Emphasize authentic elements

    Using natural materials on your walls and ceilings will imbue a cabin feel to any home. Here, dark, rustic beams and knotty pine paneling mimic the woods outside. A stone fireplace brings more nature to the mix. The homeowners painted the ceiling white to help reflect light from the windows. Another authentic touch: Black vintage iron cookware hung on the hearth suggests it is used for cooking.

  • Cozy it up

    Wood walls and floors of cabins can seem hard. Soften them with curtains made of Hudson Bay blankets, and layer a variety of color-unified rugs. In this living room, the homeowners chose geometric patterns, kilms and Bokharas, old and new, that add pattern to the floors. The sheepskins are a cushy, organic touch.

  • Be imaginative with details

    Fringed leather-covered sofa cushions are a natural fit on an Old Hickory sofa. But the throw pillow mix is what makes it truly comfortable and memorable. An assortment of pillows made from fringed suede, the reverse side of a faded beach towel, and an old blanket offer a surprising mixture of textures.

  • Choose appropriate furniture

    The homeowners supplemented their inherited Old Hickory pieces with new reproductions and hand-made pieces (the dining table has a wood top on cedar fence-post legs). You can get the same look by mixing old and new furniture made from tree trunks and branches. Bent-willow pieces would also work. And any sturdy, simple, unadorned plank wood pieces (such as Mission style) are a natural fit for this rustic look.

  • Be inspired by nature or heritage

    The homeowners' collection of majolica dishware adds green, gold and brown hues to the cabin. This set of majolica has motifs and colors pulled from leaves, fruits and vegetables. Small touches of Native American accents fit into the decor as well. A tribal runner on the sideboard blends nicely with the earthenware, while Native American pottery adorns other rooms.

  • Gain space

    Use small spaces efficiently. Here the homeowners added a built-in banquette along a long wall. It not only provides extra seating when company visits but also offers hidden storage. Baskets or vintage trunks and luggage offer additional storage in a harmonious way.

  • Be crafty

    This china cabinet base gets rustic style from the addition of branches set in diamond and square patterns. In your home, think about adding twig handles to cabinet doors or using branches as drapery rods.

  • Seek comfort

    A cabin is a getaway retreat, so be sure to create a corner where you can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. This sleeping porch bed is just right for snuggling in with a book. Bedding should be casual and slouchy; here a mix of awning striped indoor-outdoor fabric, chenille and embroidered floral pillows invite you to fall in.

  • Outdoor ambience

    Celebrate your home's connection to nature with a screened porch that blends the best of indoors and out. These homeowners gave their porch inside comfort by adding a sisal rug that warms the painted floor. With nature as a backdrop, they hung a Hickory Chair love seat from the ceiling with chains for that porch-swing feeling. A rocker would work equally well.

  • Natural finishing touches

    When you are living in nature, it makes sense to decorate with it. The homeowners collect branches, seed heads and dried flowers from their property to creatively accent the home. Here, a terra-cotta bowl holds spiny mustard flower heads next to a fall-hue heuchera. A metal beetle completes the vignette.

  • Color the outside

    Emphasize your home's cabin-theme decor by using exterior colors that meld with the surroundings. A dark earthy exterior, relieved by white window frames and persimmon-orange trim, blends with the old trees on this property, especially when leaves turn in the fall.

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