Go for the cozy. Vaulted rooms offer drama, but something about a flat wood ceiling makes a cabin feel cozy and true. More often found on the exterior of a home, stone pillars define this space while bringing in a rustic element.
Go for a collected look. When I was growing up, cabins were places for hand-me-downs, even big ones like refrigerators and stoves. Nothing ever matched, and everything felt comfortably worn-in, similar to the kitchen shown here. The painted cabinets, red stove and stainless island all seem to have arrived here at different points in time. Take a chance on using paint colors that you wouldn’t typically see next to each other, and keep shelving open for a kitchen that’s friendly and workable.
Mix materials. When re-creating the warmth of a vintage cabin, I alway opt for wood floors. It’s softer than tile, both aesthetically and underfoot. Using reclaimed or distressed wood will take this look one step further. Then think about bringing in other interesting materials, such as a copper farm sink or hood vent. They're beautiful now, and they'll only get better. Pairing rough plank cabinetry doors with antique or mismatched knobs and pulls will keep the room primitive. To complete the look, turn to companies like Elmira, which produce period appliances.
Cushion with soft color. Softer colors seem even sweeter when they are brought into a room made with rugged material. The robin’s egg blue of the cabinets here is amusing against the rough wood beams and reclaimed wood floor. Don't be afraid to hang a chandelier from a wood ceiling. (I do it all the time.) Swag the light to keep the look homespun.
Know that older is better. In this new construction, an antique cabinet was made into a vanity, and an old metal bucket was worked in as the sink. Use exposed copper plumbing and spray it with salt water to speed up the aging process.
Tell a story. Don’t overlook an opportunity to add character. In this room, creative and subtle touches, such as the scalloped edging on the bookcase and the hanging lanterns, create a layer of interest. The beams seem to tell the story that perhaps this was at one time an outdoor fireplace, enclosed later.
Soften with fabric. The cabin may be full of dark wood and antlers, but you can soften it with blankets and pillows. This colorful quilt is holding its own against the leather headboard.
Strike a balance. Red plaid blankets and cabins seem to go hand-in-hand, but some people prefer a crisper, more tailored feel. Tucked bedding in neutral tones is a good choice. Artwork in a contemporary frame is a nice contrast to the wood and punctuates the look.
Focus on the fireplace. So much of what happens at the cabin is centered around the fireplace. Be original with the stone. To create a tumbled, organic look, have your stone mason recess the grout so that the fireplace looks to be dry stacked. A raised hearth creates extra seating and a place to store firewood. Next to a roaring fire is also a great place to sneak in a bed.
Don’t forget the best part. The screened porch at the cabin is the best seat in the house. We use screened porches for dining, reading and napping. Add a hanging bed and lamp lighting, then bring in vintage blankets and pillows to make the space comfortable and inviting.