For most of us, cabin decorating is primarily about creating a homey feel. We want family and friends to feel comfortable when they arrive – comfortable enough to come in, kick up their feet, and relax. What better way to do that than to incorporate vintage elements into the mix – with an aged patina, flea market finds have stood the test of time and come already nicked, just waiting to be used.
Try these design ideas!
1. Rungs & Rakes
Old wooden barn ladders add a rustic touch and can be used to hang blankets, magazines or other cabin necessities. Old rakes can store wine glasses and more.
2. Looking Back
Memories are what make time at the cabin special. So look for pieces that harken back to the best times of your life, then find just the right place to display and give them new life at your cabin.
3. Who's taking trophies?
Outfitting your cabin with a collection of deer or elk antlers could be the start of a DIY lighting project, plus they add a real rustic touch.
4. What is your sign?
Cabin country roads are decorated with signage, so don’t be afraid to bring it indoors. Old painted signs add color, dimension and character to any cabin.
5. A Single Signature Item
If you have space, one larger signature item can make a real statement. Hunt for oversize items such as decorative bird cages, clock dials or vintage pulleys at architectural salvage stores or farm auctions.
6. Stack & Pack
If you’re drawn to a piece, learn its origin and background, then share the story with your cabin guests.
7. Odd Is Good
When decorating, display items in odd-numbered groupings. For instance, line up three candle holders or five oil lanterns on a mantel.
8. Weigh In
Find new ways to use old items that keep your décor fresh and interesting. Scales might come in handy in the kitchen, or try displaying them – just one or a few, grouped as part of a growing collection.
9. Room ID
A sense of humor goes a long way in cabin country. Decorate accordingly and leave no room unnamed.
10. The Staples
Many dealers specialize in cabin-related goods such as wool blankets, canoe paddles, fishing gear and more. Seek them out, and you’ll find them!
11. Indoor Birds
Rustic birdhouses are fun to display inside or out. Use them on shelves or hang them from the rafters to bring attention to the ceiling details in your cabin.
12. Punch Drunk
Pair a vintage enamel soup pot with coffee cups for a rustic version of a punch bowl that’s ready for use at all cabin get-togethers.
13. Up North
In cold country, a pair of snowshoes is practically mandatory. For a wintry seasonal spruce up, add sleds, ice skates and sleigh bells to your frosty decorating scheme.
14. Make It Work
To achieve a lived-in look, use practical, everyday vintage items, such as stools, end tables, dishware and baskets.
Linda Kast publishes magazines during the week and spends the weekend shopping at flea markets.