There are many types of design styles out there today, and it can be hard to choose just one. Because of this, people have been mixing and matching different styles together, coming up with their own style, and many of these have actual terms or names now. This is funny because some styles wouldn't seem like they would go together, such as rustic and chic, but people find a way to make them work! In this article I will start by outlining several of the most popular design styles, and in the second part of the article, I will suggest which ones will work best in your cabin or country home.
Rustic - uses raw and often unfinished elements like wood and stone, typically a gray, tan or brown color palette
Western - uses horse, animal, cowboy or lone star designs, use of leather or wood, southwestern has distinguished patterns in textiles, varying color palette, but mostly browns with pops of red, green or yellow
Shabby Chic - use of vintage items, distressed or antique looking, cream and pastel color palette
Minimalist - modern design but with simple, but minimal furnishings, neutral color palette
Modern - crisp, clean lines, use of glass or metal elements, neutral color palette
Contemporary - interchangeable with modern style, but uses more curving lines and flowing designs, simple or neutral color palette
Industrial - unfinished and raw elements, exposed brick, pipes and duct work, wood, neutral color scheme, but may have bright pops of color or abstract art on display
Traditional - classic details, fuse of wood and fabrics, abundance of accessories, rich color palettes
Typically in a cabin home, people tend to decorate with the first three styles, but sometimes incorporate a minimalist approach, since cabins are usually on the smaller side and less furniture is always better. You can usually mix these first 2 styles, rustic and western, but they don't always go together with the 3rd, shabby chic. That one is a whole different style of its own. It tends to be more feminine, whereas the first two are more masculine . You can always incorporate the minimalist style with any of the designs above, if you prefer the "less is more" mentality.
Cabins look best when they're decorated with the rustic design style, as it relates more with nature, since cabins are usually out in the country and in nature. So, anytime you can bring the great outdoors into your home, it is a good thing. People will admire that in your decor too. I have found many online stores that offer raw wood products in their selection of furniture and home decor. Some examples are logs made into beds and accent furniture, reclaimed barn wood made into artwork and headboards for beds, fishing poles and snowshoes made into lamps, and real bark used to accent coffee tables and side tables. Many people use the popular Lone Star design in their cabin homes, combined with horses or other wildlife.
Rustic style doesn't always have to encapsulate a rough or unfinished look though. If you use a rustic style consistently throughout your house, with other design elements, it will look unified and complete. You can always add softer elements like candles or dim lighting, plush throw blankets and pillows, and faux fur or other soft rugs on the floor.
If you go with the Shabby Chic look, it can show your softer and more romantic side. It might make for a more relaxing environment too, since it tends to have softer furniture and uses a more neutral or pastel color palette. These elements combined usually help portray a softer, more casual feel. I especially like to mix Shabby Chic with the more modern, whitewashed wood look. I like this whitewashed wood look because it is lighter and brighter than natural wood, which tends to be darker. It doesn't need as much lighting or windows either because of all the white, and also tends to look cleaner than traditional wood cabin interiors, which can look dark and dirty.
In summary, people will appreciate any effort you put into having a general style in your home. It is visually appealing and often entertaining to your guests too, especially if you have unique items on display, such as whimsical black bear accents or animal wall art etc. So, I hope this article encourages you to move in a general design direction for your cabin home. Even implementing just a few items can create a themed environment and can give it noticeable style.