How To Create an Inspired Rustic Retreat

If you are all about the great outdoors and fantasize about what life would be like if you could spend your days in a snug little cabin in the woods, why not carve out your own little rustic getaway right inside your home? Here are some tips on how to do this. A den is the perfect place to cozy up and create a personal and inspired rustic retreat.

Rustic decor is distinguished by natural materials and idyllic log cabin trappings. Your inspiration could be a fishing lodge on a lake, a ski cabin in the mountains or a hunting lodge in the North Country. Specific architectural details are common to all rustic retreats: stone fireplaces or cast iron wood burning stoves, thick walls built from rough-hewn logs, exposed beams, river rock and slate, and accents like antlers and plaid wool blankets. How do you bring these images into a home that may be located in a subdivision instead of at the banks of a gurgling river bed?

Step 1

Start with Color & Texture.
Think of the colors found in a rustic lodge or cabin; they are typically deep and inspired by nature. Shades like deep red, pine needle and hunter green, acorn brown and accents in the rich tones of yellow, such as gold, mustard and amber are traditional rustic hues that mimic those found in the woods and hillsides. Sturdy wood furniture with a well-worn patina, twig furniture and Adirondack chairs, leather cushions and accents, sturdy woven plaids, animal hides, tin and copper are predominant material choices.

Step 2

Choose Your Theme & Pull the Look Together.

If your walls are paneled in knotty pine you have a very good start, but if not, painting the walls in a rich shade of Aspen green can set an excellent backdrop. A freestanding screen with wildlife or cabin-inspired detail can also soften corners and provide the basis for your color palette. Keep window treatments simply rustic with stained shutters flanked by curtain panels in plaid or a natural motif. If your floors are carpeted, break up the monotony with a braided area rug – or highlight the natural beauty of hardwood floors in the same way.

Bring rustic colors and textures into the room with accents and accessories. A great and fun place to hunt for cabin treasures is at antique stores and flea markets. You'll find photographs, portraits, paintings and postcards of cabins, resorts, hunting trips, wildlife and Currier & Ives prints that will give your den instant old-cabin appeal. Accouterments like old snow shoes, antique skies in a corner and slope side paintings or vintage ski resort posters lend the air of a Vermont ski lodge. If you don't have a fireplace, bring in a freestanding electric stove that looks like the cast iron original. Hunting trophies, old guns and gun safes, fishing poles, old lanterns, coffee pots and sap buckets, Western and Native American art, rustic twig picture frames and bandanna print fabrics are just a few ideas to get you on your way. 

If you want to go a more subtle and less masculine route, bring in an array of fabrics for furniture, window treatments and pillows, then repeat the chosen motif in other accessories that reflect nature. For instance, you might layer shades like sage, cream, ochre and dark brown in designs that feature leaves, twigs, pinecones and acorns then echo these themes from furniture, to window treatments, floor coverings and accessories.

This article is provided by the authors at - a site featuring jazz metal wall art and modern metal art.

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