Cabin Decorating Ideas

20 March 2011 In The Cottage
Old Snow Shoes

Decorating the cottage may be the most enjoyable part of having a house on a lake.
Here are some unique ideas that will help you spruce up the old cabin without spending too much money.

How can you decorate an older cottage on a budget?

Making small changes throughout the cabin is the best way to improve the cottage decor. Try to maintain the traditional theme while adding a few contemporary pieces to each room.

These items also make great gifts.

Cabin-decor kitchen towels and placemats
These items are a nice addition for the cabin kitchen and cottage dinner table.

Cushions and throw tapestry for a cottage
New cushions, pillows and a throw blanket are simple but effective decoration ideas to liven up an old sofa or chair at the cottage. Try to match the colours with new curtains you plan to buy.

New cottage rug
Place a new rug on the floor in front of the cottage wood stove. Look for one with a wilderness theme or a design of your favourite animal at the lake. When choosing the new rug, keep in mind the colours of the existing furniture and curtains.

Curtains for the cabin
Fresh curtains can breathe new life into an old cottage. When choosing the colours, remember to consider other upgrades you are planning for both the cottage decoration and the various pieces of furniture.

Cottage candles
Softer light with the right scent can completely change the cabin atmosphere. Don’t go too crazy. Keep in mind that candles are a fire risk if not looked after properly, and may not be appropriate in every cabin.

Cabin barometer
A barometer is not only useful for measuring the weather conditions, it is also a great cottage decoration idea. We all worry about bad weather at the cottage and the regional forecasts we get before we head to the lake are often too vague.

Adding a barometer brings the weather station right into the cabin and allows you to monitor the atmospheric pressure in real time. The barometer also makes a wonderful conversation piece when you have guests.

These two barometers are both practical and stylish.

Wind chimes and wind bells at the cottage
A set of chimes placed in the gazebo, on the deck or even inside the cabin can enhance the relaxing atmosphere we all search for at the cottage.

For cabins that get a steady breeze, the deeply soothing resonance of a wind bell may be the perfect gift for a friend’s cottage.

These are great ideas if you are searching for outdoor cottage decorating gifts.

Firewood log bin and wood bellows
Keep the firewood neat and tidy while adding some charm to the cottage living room. A good firewood log bin is as much a part of the cabin decor as it is a practical piece of furniture. Add the traditional wood bellows to help get the fire going on a cold morning.

These two are very useful.

Wildlife and nature cottage fixtures
Decorative light switch covers are simple but woodsy ideas to add to the cabin decor.

Cabin toilet paper and paper towel holders
Why not add a new toilet paper or paper towel holder that embraces the back-country theme of the cottage washroom or cabin kitchen?

Cabin decor bathroom set
A matching soap pump, dish, and tooth brush holder can help redo the look of the cabin bathroom in one easy step.

Mirror and waste basket
Matching a simple but elegant mirror and waste basket can enhance the decor in a cottage bedroom or bathroom. Here is a popular combination.

Coat and key hooks
Your outdoor theme can even be extended to towel racks and wall hooks by adding something with a rustic design. “Shabby cottage chic” is the new cabin decor trend. If your are not sure exactly what that means, don’t worry, no one else does either.

Reorganize the cabin
Many times, less is more. Removing clutter and simply shifting things around a bit can make a huge difference in the cottage atmosphere. The effect can been dramatic and it costs you nothing to do it.

Feng Shui is is very popular in the city. Why not apply the principles to the cottage?

Cottage oil lamps
Stylish oil lamps can add a traditional look while being useful when the power goes out. They are generally safer than candles and can really make a difference in the way the cabin looks and feels.

Cottage picture frame
Giving a picture frame with a cabin theme is a nice gesture for cottage owners. We all love to fill our walls with special cottage memories. Whether at home, at the office or the lake this is a thoughtful choice for framing photos of a trophy fish, the entire family and friends on the dock or just the two of you enjoying a quiet moment at the cottage.

Cast-iron utensils and cookware
Hang them in the kitchen or find an empty spot on the wall. Cast iron cookware is great for taking care of your cabin cooking and decoration all in one shot! You may have to cruise the flea markets to find the right utensil set.

Decorative rocks and stones
Smooth stones placed in a stylish jar or on a plate can make a big difference in a simple way.

Artificial plants for the cottage
Silk plants are very lifelike and require no maintenance, making them ideal for decorating the cottage. They are easy to store for the winter and when placed in the right spot, can add just enough green to brighten up the room.

Paintings and prints
Consider switching out the antlers, fur and dusty stuffed muskie for a few well-placed prints. When set in the right frame the pictures will strike a nice balance with the existing fixtures giving the cabin a fresh look.

Try to buy artwork from local artists that live near your cottage. Not only will you be supporting the local economy and art community, you will also find works of art that are based on the nature and environment where your cabin is located.

Note: Remember that the section of the wall behind any existing painting or fixture will be a lighter tone than the exposed areas, so the replacement decoration will have to be the same size or bigger.

Watch the budget
Because an old cottage constantly requires maintenance, our annual budget is often strained so we also look for the best decorating ideas that will make a difference but won’t cost a fortune. The lakefront property should be warm and inviting but the decorating expenses shouldn’t use up the the entire budget for the year.

Go to the Cottage Furniture Ideas page.
Go to the Cottage and Cabin Gift Ideas page.

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