23 Rustic Decorating Ideas to Create a Cozy Cabin Vibe at Home
This rustic style is so inviting, you may not leave the house all winter.
Published Feb 5, 2017 5:00 AM
Whether you live in a cabin in the woods or just want to bring the cozy, curl-up-in-a-blanket feeling into your city apartment, these rustic decorating ideas are sure to make your home feel like you’re relaxing in the backcountry. Neutral colors, rich textiles, one-of-a-kind antiques, and a welcoming, laid-back feeling help create this popular, lived-in look. Read on for essential styling tricks to nail the country look in a variety of different homes.
Start at the Beginning
Your front door is the first opportunity to establish a rustic tone for your whole house. We love the idea of adding natural texture through wreaths (these go beyond the holidays), succulents (up the ante with this beautiful wall-hanging monogram planter), or a vertical hanging garden (we like this repurposed wood ladder or this DIY frame) to welcome people indoors. Sconces, such as metal dome or glass bell styles, and a natural-fiber doormat help set the tone for what’s to come.
Define your home’s style right from the start with a foyer that’s layered and lived in. A mix of rustic elements like iron wall hooks and a wood coat rack offer a spot to hang coats and bags, while an antique bench is an ideal spot to remove shoes. Wire baskets or galvanized metal bins add plenty of personality.
Choose the Right Colors
An earthy palette of taupe, brown, beige, dark green, and dusty red feels totally at home with rustic-looking decor. Bright whites and muted pops of color are a more current approach to farmhouse style. Either way, they work wonderfully balanced with wood architecture and furnishings.
Darken the Flooring
While light wood floors are a more popular choice, dark hardwoods are an incredibly beautiful way to anchor bright and airy interiors. They look especially great with softer features like neutral linen sofas and natural-fiber carpeting.
Show Off Curated Items
An easy way to achieve an outdoorsy vibe is to display vintage prints (like floral or animal-themed artwork) and mismatched accents (like nostalgic metal canteens or wood axes). No need to spend time perfectly spacing out agallery wall
or arranging a just-right vignette. A casual approach adds to the rustic atmosphere.
Change the Mood
For woodsy cabin charm with a contemporary spin, try painting wood paneling. A dark shade of blue, green, or charcoal gives a room an up-to-date look.
Choose Not-So-Perfect Stuff
Using well-loved pieces is a foolproof way to create down-to-earth style. Reclaimed wood, distressed metal accents, and roughly painted furniture—mixed with more polished elements like sleek metal pendant lights and clean-lined upholstery—make for a well-balanced room.
A mixture of old and new items creates the pieced-together-over-time look. In order to unify different styles, choose to decorate with a common color scheme or a repeating design element so your home remains calm, not chaotic.
Simply adding a variety of textures to a living room can create a warm environment where people will want to snuggle up on the couch with a good book. Layering materials like linen and jute with extra soft chunky knits, sheepskins, and plush wools lighten up a darker home while making it feel ultra-lush. Accents in buffalo plaid, southwestern prints, and tartan are synonymous with rustic décor.
Luxe leather—whether on something large scale like a club chair or on the smaller side like dresser drawer pulls—gives rustic a little more refinement.
We’ve seen this trend in wide variety of design aesthetics from contemporary to cottage. In a rustic home, storing firewood in recessed spots adds to the wintertime cabin hideaway look.
Sheer cotton curtains, burlap, or wispy drop cloths are a carefree ways to let light flow through your home—perfect for when you spend most of your days cozying up inside.
Woven baskets are an easy way to add storage and timeless rustic charm. Place them in the living room to store throw blankets, in the bathroom for towels, by your bed for books and magazines.
Off With Cupboard Doors
Open kitchen shelves provide ample space to show off classic country elements like old tins, cast iron pans, or a collection of vintage enamelware. Not only do they create an informal vibe, they also take up way less space than chunky cabinetry.
A Wow-Worthy Finish
Copper casts a warm glow in the kitchen, which is a perfect way to create communal dining ambiance. Incorporate the stunning finish by replacing your current hardware and fixtures, or put a collection of copper pots and pans on display. We happen to love this DIY wood branch pot rack, which balances out the eye-catching metal with rustic wood.
Even in a newly constructed home, a barn door immediately establishes a country look. Add one as a kitchen pantry entrance or closet door. If you live miles away from a farm, here’s how to build your own authentic-looking barn door.
DIY a Farmhouse Table
If you’ve been trying to find the perfect farmhouse table for your dining room with no luck, follow these plans from Ana White to build a stunning one yourself. The timeless piece will lend itself to long post-dinner conversations. Flank the ends with upholstered chairs for a more glamorous—but not fussy—eating space.
In a rustic home, the last thing you want is for your décor to look too polished or matchy-matchy. Since bathroom furniture tends to be streamlined, try an antique hutch or dresser as a vanity to capture a more romantic era.
In the Details
Give a cookie cutter bathroom some rustic flair by installing beadboard wainscoting. While it looks gorgeous in a bunch of different rooms in the home, we especially love using it in the bathroom. It packs a lot of visual interest in a small space, but never feels overpowering. The vertical panels also help make the room feel larger than it is.
Goodbye, White Tile
Put a fresh spin on your bathroom with colorful graphic patterned tile. It adds a worldly look to a wood-filled bathroom.
A black iron pipe bookshelf with distressed wood shelves is a functional way to dress up a blank wall in an office—plus, it adds lots of character. Store your books and baubles in a layered way to keep with the relaxed vibe.
A wood planked accent wall is a lovely way to warm up a chic white bedroom. Pops of color give it a contemporary touch if you don’t want it to look overly cabin-like. DIY newbies: This is a lot easier to build than you think—just follow this step-by-step guide. But if that’s not easy enough, adhesive wood panels like these make it a breeze.
A patchwork quilt is essential to evoking the feel of a woodsy cabin. Bright colored ones can give it a more modern edge. If your aesthetic is more modern farmhouse, a chunky knit throw is chic yet cozy.