If you own a cabin in the woods, near the mountains or on a lake, I have 5 Tips for Cabin Decor Inspired by Wildlife to share with you.
Decorating a rustic or log cabin can be overwhelming, but there’s a cabin style for every decor enthusiast. I’m definitely a wildlife enthusiast, so it was natural for me to incorporate wildlife into my design.
1. Choose Wildlife Theme
For a wildlife theme choose one or more of your favourite animals – deer, elk, moose, bears, wolves, or birds and make that your focus. I recommend choosing animals that are specific to your region for a more authentic feel. I love bears and birds, but I also incorporate other wildlife found in the Shuswap area.
Black bear decor is popular for cabins, but you may want to stay away from this theme if you aren’t crazy about the Red and Black Buffalo Check Fabric colour scheme that often accompanies this theme. I prefer a white, brown and grey colour scheme, as it is more earthy and fresh.
2. Feature items are key
Having one or two key feature items that are hard to miss will impress! Adding a genuine or faux cowhide or sheepskin area rug in the entryway or living room adds warmth and will soften any rustic room. A stand-out feature such as a large live edge or locally sourced reclaimed wood dining room table can benefit the whole cabin as it can be seen from almost every room.
We accidentally came upon an outstanding wood carver while shopping in Chilliwack one day. We loved what we saw, so we asked Eric Caron/Caron Wood Craft to create this beautiful cedar “Bear” bench for my husband’s birthday in August. I know the perfect spot for it out at our cabin in the Shuswap. This functional and beautiful piece of furniture reflects our love of black bears that are common to the Shuswap area. This is definitely one of our feature pieces!
Also, we were lucky to find a traditional Huron canoe that my husband, Mike is now restoring. Once restored, we will hang it on the great room wall with rope and pulleys – showcasing the beautiful wooden ribs and planks. A canoe strapped to the ceiling can make the room appear larger, and will celebrate your love for canoeing on the lake – A great way to spot wildlife!
Once your feature pieces are in place, you can then use smaller items to tie everything in. We’ll add paddles and oars in a few rooms to tie in with the Huron canoe.
3. Make it Practical and Functional
Cabins and cottages are often small spaces, so remember practical and functional decor is key. Our log cabin in Seymour Arm is unheated throughout the winter, therefore it is essential to pick decor items that can withstand the high humidity over winter. We are limiting the amount of wildlife paintings and prints due to the fact that they may get damaged by moisture over time. Metal and wood art pieces or metal signs are a great alternative for their durability. I love that they add that industrial vibe – and a touch of humour never hurts!
When it comes to functionality meeting style, try fishing rod racks, fireplace screens and accessories, or candles and string lights. A mirror or a lamp can also be a great functional addition to the wildlife decor. I like Cabela’s Rustic Fish Accent Table Lamp because it brings my husband’s passion for fishing into the space.
The use of shelving for storage and display is also a great idea. We installed hanging shelves from White Fence Farms to display our collection of United By Blue enamel mugs. Add a few small plants to bring the outdoors in and the practical shelf becomes beautiful decor!
You can never go wrong with cozy wool blankets, like the Hudson’s Bay iconic Multi Stripe Point Blanket to warm you up on those chilly nights. I picked up a wool reindeer blanket from HomeSense Canada last Christmas season to hang on a White Fence Farms blanket ladder in my home. I then repurposed this furniture piece at the cabin, and the reindeer print fits right in with the wildlife theme. So if you have a blanket ladder, switch out the blankets frequently to quickly and easily update the space.
Other useful decor items are coat racks and hooks, key hooks, light switch covers, dinnerware, tableware, fireplace screens, rustic furniture and outdoor and garden decor. Cabin Decor Inspired by Wildlife can be found at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. Try shopping at local markets for homemade wooden signs, furniture, accessories and more.
I found a whimsical wood mountain shelf from Valley Living Design – a local Fraser Valley business. You can order one on Valley Living Design’s Etsy online store, or pick up locally in Chilliwack. This father/daughter team create custom-made rustic wood shelves in a variety of styles, sizes and colours for your cabin or home. I use mine for storing and showcasing our essential oils and soaps – for spa time at the cabin!
4. Add Comfy Pillows & Textiles
Every cabin needs comfy cozy pillows! They are definitely a top pick for Cabin Decor Inspired by Wildlife. Last year I found the most adorable “chickadee” and “squirrel” pillows at Urban Barn. If you love fur – Hudson’s Bay carries natural cowhide and sheepskin pillows in a variety of different shapes and sizes.
Plus, you can never go wrong with using themed fabric featuring woodland animals like deer, elk, moose and bears. Curtains, bedding, chair cushions, pillows or fabric on room dividers are a few areas where wildlife inspired fabric can be used.
I’m totally obsessed with watching the docu-series “Great Canadian Cottages” hosted by Colin and Justin. I picked up some of the products from their collection that can be found at stores like HomeSense Canada, Winners and Marshalls in Canada.
5. What’s Your Passion?
Wildlife is an integral part of the Canadian landscape, so if you have a passion for it like I do – Express your passion for wildlife in your decor at the cabin or cottage.
I hope you found 5 Tips for Cabin Decor Inspired by Wildlife helpful. All you have to do is focus on your favourite wildlife, incorporate your interests, and trust that working them into your design will bring you joy!