Bustle, June 2022
Earthy. Warm. Simple. Essential. These are the words that architect Drew Lang, who designed a collection of homes at the base of the Catskill Mountains of New York, uses to describe the cabincore aesthetic. The home decor trend is a far cry from what’s typically associated with the words “cabin” and “design.” Interior design lovers are officially pulling away from outdated mountain-themed light fixtures made out of antlers and red-and-white checkered throw pillows that say things like “see you at the lake.”
Cabincore is more about elevating that rustic sensibility into something sophisticated and luxurious but, most of all, connected to nature. The vibe is a departure from recent home trends like over-the-top Regencycore or glam maximalism and has become popular for precisely that reason. “People want to feel really comfortable in their space,” says Delyse Berry, CEO of Upstate Down, an interior design studio, home goods store, and real estate firm in the Hudson Valley of New York. Many people want all the pieces that made hygge popular — cozy blankets, warm fires, and homemade ceramics — but they also want to feel connected to the great outdoors in a way that lets them live indoors and outdoors seamlessly.
“If you want to create a cabincore feel, highlight the areas of your home that focus on the outdoors,” says Berry. That might mean creating seating areas near big picturesque windows, or adding more focus near a fireplace or a deck.
There’s no one directive in terms of picking out decor items to achieve peak cabincore, but Lang says, “What works best is an eclectic sensibility. A little bit of modern, a little bit of vintage, a little bit of local maker pieces. A smattering of really refined elements with really nice linens and one or two nice pieces of furniture.”
No matter if your home is a tiny city apartment, a ranch in the suburbs, or a full-on chalet in the mountains, you too can accomplish the cabincore aesthetic with a few key tips and a well-curated shopping list. Here’s how to complete the look.
Highlight Natural Fibers
Including materials that feel like they come from nature can help make your space feel close to the Earth and achieve that indoor-outdoor feeling that’s intrinsic to the cabincore lifestyle, says Berry. That means adding things like crisp linen sheets, organic cotton bedding, canvas accents, real wood furniture, or poufs and rugs made of jute, which is a vegetable fiber.
Play With Fire
A major touchstone in cabincore homes is accenting all of the areas that highlight fire. If your home has a built-in fireplace or wood-burning stove, play up that space by turning it into a destination — yes, even in the summertime. Add a seating area with comfy rugs and floor pillows, and highlight the firewood itself by placing an attractive firewood holder nearby. If an indoor fire set-up is not the move, create an oasis around an outdoor fire pit. Install one yourself using stone and sanding grit or invest in a stellar, portable fire pit like the Solo Stove, which is beloved for emitting less smoke and creating fine ashes, making for simpler cleanup and longer-lasting fires.
Embrace Warm Colors
Berry advises to stay away from cool blues that might be better suited for a coastal beach house and instead focus on warm, earthy tones like hunter and olive green, burnt orange, mustard yellow, and deep reds. This can help your home feel more connected to its natural surroundings.
Add Vintage-Inspired Kitchenware
Lean into the kitschy misconception of cabins by incorporating chic, vintage-inspired small appliances and dinnerware into your kitchen. Enamelware, cast-iron, stoneware, and ceramics will help achieve that earthy feel, too.
Even when it’s warm outside, cabincore is all about coziness, and making sure comfort is never too far away. Embrace all the throw pillows, blankets, and soft rugs by adding them to every room in the house. When it comes to throws, go for a variety of textures, including faux fur and wool, and when searching for rugs, Berry suggests seeking out eclectic patterns of Turkish designs that help the space feel lived-in instead of ultra-modern. “You want things that embody comfort,” Berry says.
Decorate With Homemade Ceramics
Cabincore is all about interacting with your surroundings, especially when it comes to your finishing touches like planters, vases, and wall hangings. Berry suggests going for handmade wares, especially ones that are made by local artisans near your home. “Highlighting elements you’ve found around the area like pottery and artwork give off an authentic environment.”