Published on November 22, 2019

As soon as temperatures drop, nothing feels more right than setting out for some much-needed relaxation in a cabin in the woods. Life, however, isn’t always the Nancy Meyers movie we wish it was; visiting a wintertime retreat sometimes isn’t possible. Luckily, you can still make the most of cuddling-up-by-the-fire season by borrowing a few design tricks from the owners of Airbnb’s coolest cottages to maximize the coziness of your own space. 

We asked them how they made their interiors so inviting and quickly discovered cabin style comes in all shapes and forms, from minimalist to bohemian to classic. No matter your taste, these styling tips are sure to warm up your home stat.

If Your Style Is: Mid-Century, With a Rustic Twist

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Photography by Kate McCann

Kate McCann, Amanda Jaffe, and Carina Romano, friends and co-owners of Black Bear Ridgea quaint four-bedroom cabin in New York’s Catskills, turned a once-outdated property into a year-round hideaway. Mid-century furniture lends the space vintage-meets-contemporary appeal, while Pendleton blankets and colorful Southwestern-inspired textiles bring in a bit of rustic flair.

How do you give a space a cozy, lived-in feeling?
Have as many blankets as possible. Trying to create nooks in every room was one of our biggest goals; since initially decorating the house, we’ve added a daybed, floor pillows, and a beanbag to make cozying up a no-brainer. Different lamps and dimmable overhead options are also helpful for setting the mood.

Go-to places for decor?
3Potato4 for adorable pendants and keychains. We got a beautiful basket and pillows at Alegria Home. Our mid-century modern chairs are from a local (to us) Philadelphia mid-century warehouse. The handmade antlers and the sweet bird vase are from Kabinett & Krammer, a truly amazing antiques and art shop in Andes, New York. We also got our daybed and master bedroom dresser from Final Cut New Jersey, an Anthropologie warehouse store with great deals. Our living room weaving is from The River Haze shop on Etsy.

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Photography by Carina Romano

Small details that make the biggest difference?
We’ve hidden a lot of little animal details around the house. There’s a black bear bottle opener, a brass rabbit towel hook, some little cat trinkets, a screen print of a cat in a button-down—the list goes on. You can see a new animal friend each time you revisit a room.

If Your Style Is: Simple Scandinavian

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Photography by Kate Osborne

A-Frame Haus, tucked away in Herber City, Utah, was built by owner Kara Van Dyke’s grandfather in 1988, but bright white walls and a muted color palette, along with an array of simple textiles, make the space feel just the right amount of modern. This is what farmhouse style looks like when expertly mixed with Scandinavian moments.

How do you give a space a cozy, lived-in feeling?
Having rugs in every room was really important. I love to switch them up as my own style shifts.

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Photography by Mandi Nelson

Go-to places for decor?
Schoolhouse Electric for lighting; Rejuvenation for the prettiest rugs and barstools; McGee & Co. for baskets, pillows, and decor; Etsy for artwork; IKEA for linens and kitchen essentials; and CB2 for towel hooks and open shelves.

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Photography by Mike Biggins

Small details that make the biggest difference?
I struggled to find simple linen throw pillows, and I really wanted some in the space, so I sourced my own fabric from a small mill in Northern Ireland and had them sewn up! It’s given the place just the touch I was looking for.

If Your Style Is: Boho, With a Minimalist Edge

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Photography by Liz Castellon-Nelsen

It was important to owner Liz Castellon-Nelsen that she kept the original charm of her 1960s cabin, Red A-Frame, near Mount Hood, Oregon, as she updated it. Whites, creams, and tans complement the wood walls, and painted mint green stairs pay homage to the green shag carpet that originally adorned the space. Castellon-Nelson embraced classic bohemian style, but balanced those pops of color and pattern with soothing earth tones.

How do you give a space a cozy, lived-in feeling?
Lots of pillows, throws, and more pillows. It’s all about comfort for us, especially for our two young kids. They love that we have so many fort-making supplies.

Go-to places for decor?
Seek and Swoon for the most gorgeous, comfortable throws; Letterfolk for stylish and inspiring letter boards; Chasing Paper for wall art and removable wallpaper; Schoolhouse for posters and prints; Sunwoven for handwoven textiles; and Urban Outfitters Home for armchairs, bedding, wall hangings, wallpaper, and more.

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Photography by Liz Castellon-Nelsen

Small details that make the biggest difference?
As much as I like all the earthy tones and keeping our interior space neutral, I do love color. People are often surprised to hear that, but it’s true! I’m Mexican, and bright shades are part of our culture, so you’ll find splashes of it, as well as patterned wallpaper, throughout the cabin. We also added a bold black-and-white ceramic floor tile in our bathroom, and to this day, I have not seen it anywhere else but this gal’s Instagram of a restaurant in France, so we definitely feel like we made a unique choice there.

If Your Style Is: California Cool

Southwestern style living roomPin It
Courtesy of Sara and Rich Combs

California’s Joshua Tree House, run by interior designers and authors Rich and Sara Combs, is filled with natural materials (like terracotta, wood, leather, and wool), plants, and warm-toned textiles, taking Southwestern style to the next level.

How do you give a space a cozy, lived-in feeling?
We love to think about designing for experiences. Of course we want an aesthetically pleasing space, but if there’s nothing to interact with, it’s only as good as a photo. The experiences in a home are what make it feel lived-in: playing your favorite record, brewing a cup of coffee, reading a book, lounging in a hammock.

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Courtesy of Sara and Rich Combs

Go-to places for decor?
Soukie Modern for rugs; Pepe & Carols for lighting; Mercado Collective for home accessories; our local Shop on the Mesa for more home goods and furniture; Katie Gong for custom wood furniture; and thrift shops and flea markets for assorted treasures. We have a full resource guide with all of our favorite designers and brands in our design book, At Home in Joshua Tree: A Field Guide to Desert Living.

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Courtesy of Sara and Rich Combs

Small details that make the biggest difference?
We’re big believers in always adding plants—they bring so much life to a home and are always our final design touch. We also love a good stack of blankets in common areas such as a living room—when there’s enough for a group of friends, we’ve found that they open a home up to intimate conversations.

More cabin decor inspiration:
This Dreamy, Tiny Catskills Cabin Will Seriously Melt Your Heart
This Tiny Cabin Is the Ultimate Minimalist Escape
Love Tiny Houses? The Best Ones Are Waiting for You in This State

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