Cabin Trip

By Karen Parr-Moody


When shabby chic décor swings away from pastels and pompom trim it can move into the more masculine territory of a cozy lakeside cabin. It is a world in which there are obvious reminders of the sports of the great outdoors skis, bicycles, sleds and more.


This style is also a celebration of maximalism over minimalism, including the flea market elements of kitsch. Wall décor might include antlers, vintage photos of skiers, needlework samplers and paint by numbers. Tabletop items could range from colorful chalkware to retro ashtrays.


Nothing should be predictable. This style is about fun, nostalgic, and cozy items that create an authentic and rustic look. And even if you don’t own a cabin, you can still incorporate the style into your décor.


This Schwinn bike reminds people of spontaneous adventures married with style (photo, above right; $1,400, Booth T-304). This bike was made during the early 1940s along with millions of Schwinns. Frank W. Schwinn, the son of Schwinn founder Ignaz Schwinn, explained the reason in his 1945 book "50 Years of Schwinn-Built Bicycles.” “At the beginning of World War II, Americans fearful of the rationing of tires and fuel for their motor cars called for bicycles and more bicycles,” he said.


Snowshoes are a virtual must-have for cabin style (photo, left; $245, Booth T-373). These pictured are rare early 1900s snow shoes by The Jordan Marsh Company, a defunct Boston department store. They are made with the traditional rawhide webbing, leather bindings and wooden frame and were acquired by a GasLamp antiques dealer from a Vermont estate sale.


This navy blue duffle bag embossed with the kitschy letters “Yachting” is the perfect item to sling over a chair if one for some instant cabin style (photo, right; $45, Booth T-182). And if you’re decorating an actual cabin, you’ll always need some extra bags around for those trips down to the lake.


Shabby cabin chic derives inspiration from the slower pace of country life — and this Tyrolean jewelry box certainly takes us to that place (photo left; $18, Booth T-387). The farmhouses of South Tyrol, Italy, stretch across the stunning Alpine landscape with their dark wood timbers and colorful window boxes. What a kitschy alternative this version is to the traditional jewelry box.


Speaking of color and kitsch, the dogs in the photo, right, perfectly fit that bill ($16 each; Booth T-2010 ). Carnival chalkware is comprised of mold casted figures made out of calcined gypsum; such items were given out as carnival game prizes during the Great Depression through the 1950s. They make perfect tabletop items for cabin chic style.


The idea of a retreat appeals to everyone’s inner desire for a place of solitude. So no matter where you live, a touch of rusticity can send you on a daily vacation with some cabin style.  


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