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rustic cabin decor

When you dream of a house in the woods, rustic cabin decor allows you to have it. Whether you really do live in the middle of nowhere or reside in a high-rise that gives you a not-so-impressive street view, you can bring the outside in with these rustic tricks that are sure to bring out the mountain woman (or mountain man!) in you.

Start by surveying your space. What more does it need to make it look more rustic and homey? If you are starting with white walls and neutral floors, you have a canvas on which to paint — literally and figuratively. But if you are starting out with a few woodsy elements, such as an exposed brick or stone wall or a nice hardwood floors, your job just got a little easier.

Create Your Cabin: Decor is the Key

As with anything else in life, you can start from the bottom and work your way up. In this case, start with the floor underneath your feet and then move on to other cabin decor that can make you feel like you’re taking a walk in the woods.

Hardwood Floors or Rustic Carpets

If you have hardwood floors, great! Hardwood floors with a matte finish are best, because the high-gloss look lends a more sophisticated appeal that you don’t need in a woodsy look. Finish off the hardwood with hand-braided carpets, or soft rag carpets that have been lovingly used.

If you have carpet on your floors and you can’t change that, you can still make the most of your look. If your carpets are a neutral color or earth tone, they might fit right in with the theme. If the carpet is a difficult color — such as a bright pink or blue — you can still make the most of it with contrasting furniture, such as a pale pine against a dark floor.

Furniture Straight from the Woods

Cabin decor is often taken from the woods, with rough-hewn tables taking center stage in the dining room and rustic chairs in the living areas. Make the most of this classic look by choosing pieces that match well, such as pine bookcases and light oak furniture. If you prefer the darker look, seek out cherry or maple, or stain your chosen woods a darker color.

If you don’t want to go that far into the rustic world, look for fine leather couches and loveseats that will be suitable alongside those hand-carved wood end tables. For a more carefree look, choose light-colored fabrics for your furniture and throw pillows everywhere.

Walls that Bring the Outside In

One of the perks of a cabin decor is the wide range of colors that will work on your walls or ceiling. Any color that can be found in nature will work, and best of all, you can choose the colors to reflect your favorite time of year. A mellow pumpkin color can bring to mind the autumn leaves, while a light, airy green can be a constant reminder of spring. For an even more appealing look, go with a sponged look on the walls, one that allows two complementary colors to shine through for a textured effect.

Light Things Up

Natural light is a hallmark of a house in the woods, so let your windows live up to the idea. If you can leave them unadorned, do so. If your windows face a landscape that doesn’t remind you of the country, cover them with light gauze curtains that allow the light to pour in but block out the unsavory views. Want something even more whimsical? Hang the curtains on a weathered cafe rod.

When it comes to other types of lighting, go for handsome lamps that evoke the feelings of nature, especially those with wood bases and simple fabric shades. Overhead lighting is a no-no unless you have a rustic chandelier that turns into a conversation starter.

Talk a Walk in the Woods

These decor ideas can work for a house in the middle of nowhere, or for the high-rise apartment that seems ultra-modern at first glance. With a little determination and thrift shop savvy, you can find the items that turn your house into a home away from home — and make you feel as though you are taking a jaunt into a woodland paradise every time you open the door.

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Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.