For the past week I have been in a cabin in the woods, hanging out with my beloved children at our church family camp. We borrowed a cabin for the week and left our easy suburban life behind. Without TV or WiFi or any electronic device we unplugged, unwound and were carefree. My children ran around barefoot, rode their bikes, went in the pool, made friends, sang songs, picniced and played. Pure joy.
To me cabin life is very much a North American thing compared to my experience in the U.K. Some people have holiday houses, beachside apartments or a small cottage to escape to, but a cabin is something different. There is something about the natural materials, the timber, the simplicity; the great outdoors. Some of my friends rent a cabin on this same site each season and keep it for five or more years. Every cabin has one or two bedrooms, a shower room, kitchen/dining room and an enclosed porch. But each one is has its own style and personality.
I’ve been following the wonderful designs of the tiny or small house movement over the past few years, especially on Instagram and love how clever and versatile their designs are. In the United States the average size of new single family homes keeps increasing, yet the rise of the tiny home for sole use or a separate guest or studio space has grown dramatically. In times of uncertainty and the daily stresses of life, we desire places of familiar comfort and escape, places to just ‘be’.
Small spaces like cabins are a blank canvas for people to decorate and adorn them in whatever way they desire. What fascinated me about looking around people’s cabins last week was the creativity and individuality each one had. Those with cabins seemed to take more risks or a bolder choice of colors or decor than their own main homes. The cabin in many ways represents the best things about summer; fun, freedom and spontaneity. Cabins can also be a space for vintage or nostalgic furnishings; a mix of old and new happy memories.
But I don’t believe that cabin life and vacation style need to be confined to just the summer season. We need to capture summer all year round in our own homes, whether it be some kind of furnishing or ornament that we discovered when travelling abroad, or something we found on the beach or in the woods. So wherever you travel this summer, look out for design inspiration. Be bold, impulsive and most of all, bring something back that makes you smile.
In the mood to read more? Check out these related posts: Hunting and Gathering; Green House Envy; Curated, Not Decorated; Design Essentials: Bar Cabinets; A place for everything; Everyday objects as art.