Retreating to the lakeside cabin for the summer has been a family tradition for years. For the last couple of summers, though, being greeted by that musty, mold-like smell hasn’t exactly been a welcome experience. Try as you might to air out the space, it doesn’t start to smell “normal” for a few hours. And by then, you’re probably just used to the smell.
It’s time to update the space. Don’t get me wrong, while the bear and trout patterned sofa and matching drapes adorning the space is cute, it’s not really current or fresh. It’s also a little been there, done that, no? And even though these furnishings have been part of your life for a while now, it’s time to do something different. Don’t let old-fashioned tradition stand in the way of having a progressive summer retreat.
Summer Lakeside Cabin Stylings 101
The purpose of a summer retreat is to get away from it all—it’s to lose yourself in life’s simple pleasures. If your lakeside cabin is dark and smells of mildew, you’re probably not going to be enjoying your stay too much. Here are some ways on how to carve out a space just for you.
After being out on the lake all day, you come home to a dark, secluded cabin. Doesn’t that sound familiar? It’s basically the beginning of every teenage summer horror movie (caution). You half expect some sort of melancholic creature to come out from the shadows and attack you. This is why it’s absolutely necessary to update your space. Even if it’s only a space you use for a few months out of the year, the renovation is well worth it.
You want your vacation home to reflect its purpose. As a space of tranquility, relaxation and serenity, you’ll require light, airy colors. HGTV suggests that renovators use the “natural and simplistic” rustic materials of the space. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick with dark wood furnishings and woodland forest prints. Consider the colors of the natural surroundings all around the cabin. There’s the azure blue of the lake, the beige and charcoal gray river stones and the verdant leaves of the trees. Paint the interior a light color (this will open the space) and mix and match your blues and grays using solid and patterned prints.
Just because the sun has set, that doesn’t mean the party is over. Firing up of the fireplace won’t work on a hot summer night, so what can we do to light up the interior? All it takes are a few wall sconces, pendant lights and maybe a couple chandeliers to get your vacation home up to snuff.
Of course, you won’t want to get furnishings that aren’t cohesive with the character of the space. A crystal chandelier with a chrome base won’t make sense hanging above a large, rough-hewn dining table set in a dark wooded interior. You’ll want a fixture that accentuates and complements the space equally.
Lighting design companies like Hudson Valley Lighting specialize in creating lighting fixtures that are at once elegant, rustic and modern. Just take a look at Hudson Valley’s Middlebury Round semi-flush mount. The wavy burnished brass band that encircles the drum reflects and plays with light while adding to the pastoral charm of the space. Remember, the look of the fixture is just as crucial in the space is the light it emits. Make sure your fixtures are as functional as they are aesthetically detailed.
Similar to your lighting fixtures, you’ll want furniture that reflects the style of the cabin. Fortunately, you don’t have to go with the pinecone motif to send a positive design message.
After revamping the space (painting the interior a brighter color and getting new fixtures as discussed above) look into getting furniture pieces with clean lines, cream-colored fabrics and rustic pegs and bases. By blending the dark colors of the cabin with the lighter colors of the outside, you will create a sense of harmony. Add color with solid and patterned throw pillows, coffee table books and a well-placed purple succulent.
The most important factor here is that this is your summer home. Make it yours with things you love, and make it stylish by following these tips!