We’ve all seen those amazing room transformations, typically in a child’s bedroom, where the room is converted into an under the seascape, a pirate ship lagoon or a tropical jungle. It’s pretty unbelievable what a little ingenuity and artistry can make happen.
You, too, can enjoy a mini-transformation of a living space, especially if where you live doesn’t resonate with where you want to live.
Make Your Suburban Home Feel Like a Rustic Cabin
If you live in contemporary suburbia, odds are your home is a far cry from the cabin in the woods you pine for. That’s okay. There are plenty of ways you can bring that cozy cabin feel into your everyday life.
Add wainscoting or painted beadboard to the walls and/or ceilings.
When you think “cabin” you think darker interior wood finishes, right? While it would be cost prohibitive to bring in a bunch of rough-hewn half-logs to line interior walls, you can get a cozy, woodsy feel by adding wainscoting to existing walls.
Traditional wainscoting is installed plank by plank, with a decorative rail at the top, but you can simplify by using prefabricated panels. You can also use prefab beadboard and paint it a rich brown. Whether your ceilings are vaulted or flat, the addition of wood on the ceiling surface will continue that warm, wood vibe.
Choose stone accents
If you’re planning to remodel your home, choose raw stone accents to adorn your fireplace, a pony wall here and there or a pillar. Cabins are set in nature and by bringing natural elements into the space you’ll achieve that same feel. You can even use stone to run the entire expanse of an accent wall or two. Cabins are texture-rich so your interior should aim for the same.
Go the eclectic route
I’ll admit, the last time we skied in Tahoe, the “cabin” we rented was more like a luxury home. However, a true cabin has a rustic and eclectic feel. It’s the kind of place where items are kept and repurposed throughout multiple decades or generations, yielding a fun and colorful mix-and-match of lamps, tea kettles, furniture and so on. Make sure your urban cabin does the same, using a range of furnishings and textiles from eras past.
Look for cabin-inspired furniture
See if you can find a substantial piece or two made from raw wood or logs. A dining room table or a rocking chair, a log-like futon or a bedstead – the rough wood look is automatically reminiscent of a simpler time and place when people made their furnishings with the materials they had on hand.
Use the right accents to add character
As I mentioned directly above, cabins are lived in by people who spend more time at home in nature, and it is from nature that they derive the majority of their diet, furnishings and home accents. Even the typical equipment or tools they use each day are stored inside for lack of extra storage space elsewhere,
Thus, you can use home accents such as lanterns, sets of antlers, antique snow shoes or cross-country shows hung on a wall, sconces that mimic oil lamps – all of these will continue the theme.
Adorn surfaces and furniture with natural or homey textiles
A cabin-like interior design will include homey textiles like braided rugs, Native American woven art as either rugs, wall hangings or upholstery. You’ll probably see a few patchwork quilts on the beds, or folded on wooden trunks that serve as storage at the end of beds or as end or coffee tables. Maybe a home-made afghan or two is at the ready for those who want to cozy up by the fire on chilling nights or mornings.
Make the fireplace a focus
Speaking of the fireplace, it’s the focal point in just about any real cabin I’ve ever been in. Why? Because it used to be the primary heat source. Ideally, your living room will be set up similarly, with couches and seats that frame or are directed towards the fireplace – one with a beautifully decorated mantel.