In this post: Dream of spending Christmas in a regal woodland cabin? Be inspired by this majestic yet cozy holiday cabin with rustic Christmas decorations.⇒
Sometimes you stumble upon holiday inspiration in the most unexpected places.
Who would have thought on a lovely day in May, with peonies in bloom and thoughts of Mother’s Day in the air, that I would find the most enchanting winter cabin setting, all bedecked for Christmas?
To clarify, it wasn’t an actual free-standing cabin. Quite the contrary, it was a room decorated in an enormous brick mansion, a home so large that the parade of rooms seemed endless, and one that was on display to raise funds for a local charity. I was delighted to visit this decorator show house, a favorite past time at that time of year, always deriving inspiration for spring decor and entertaining.
Room after room of lovely buoyant interiors greeted guests as we meandered through the stately manse. One room, however, up the stairs and at the far end of the estate, was an outlier amid the others. No less charming, to be sure. Far from it. Instead, like an anachronism, it enchanted as if from another time and place.
A majestic yet cozy Christmas cabin.
(I took so many pictures of the Showhouse that it’s taken me until now to go through them and begin sharing, and they will easily yield an array of posts once I parcel them into logical groups.)
Before I go further, let’s get a few credits out of the way. The Designer Showhouse is called the Mansion in May and the event took place this year at Three Fields, an estate in Mendham, New Jersey. The wonderful space I’m sharing with you today was designed by Samuel Robert Signature Spaces. All images are my own except the one below, which I took from the designer’s Instagram account which you can find here: @samuelrobertsignaturespaces. You can also find his contact info there.
And now, let’s take a peek at this wonderful space.
The overall feeling of the room is the epitome of rustic chic. I use the term frequently, but here it’s at its ‘plus ultra’, more rugged in its lodge-like demeanor, yet extra luxe in the elements and materials used.
The designer invites you to “come in out of the cold, curl up by the fireplace and enjoy the holidays in this majestic, yet cozy, cabin.” He touts the warmth of the natural color palette as it illuminates against the dark wood walls. The soaring ceiling provides the perfect venue to suspend a hand-forged crystal antler chandelier which appears as an ice sculpture from the frozen mountains nearby.
The classic conversational layout of the space centers a lush velvet sofa and deconstructed wingback chair around an oversized rectangular coffee table, encouraging relaxed get-togethers in spacious comfort. Woodland throw pillows and a hand knit blanket bring an additional snug touch, while the subtle stripe of the natural rug beneath adds a textural foundation to this gathering spot.
With the central location of the main seating, the perimeter is left available for decorative accents and they’re here aplenty. A simple console table of iron and wood slats plays host to a festive Santa, a vintage hurricane lamp and a few other items that play off the wooden paneling.
The winter cabin aesthetic creates a cocoon-like feeling, but it’s only one aspect of the decor in the room. Competing with the drama of the dark lodge effect is the celebratory character of the holiday elements. A sweet little bundle of faux snowberries hangs from a velvet ribbon, mischievously reminiscent of seasonal mistletoe.
But dominating the scene when it comes to Christmas decor is the magnificent spruce tree, generously trimmed with mercury glass ornaments in bronze and olive, dripping with oodles of icicle ornaments. and punctuated playfully with clip-on red birds. Rustic twigs are added as garland, with wooden village houses rounding out the picture.
The room is also not short on whimsy, as evidenced by vintage toys scattered about. In addition to a wooden truck and and riding toy, a charming little bear rests on a child’s twig chair with a sweet toile cushion.
In order to control the light and prevent the large windows from betraying the space’s real identity as a room in a brick estate, plaid roman shades are deployed to maintain the cabin in the woods feel. Still, a lovely window seat invites you to peek outside, and rest in comfort against the pine cone and antler pillows.
A second console table on the other side of the room is home to a makeshift bar with stemless goblets and wine bottles chilled in a fabulous antler cooler. Vintage board games are offered on the shelf below, with other bits and bobs secured in the baskets and trays in the center.
For accent seating there’s a rustic cross back bench, draped with vintage ice skates and encircled with rugged jackets and boots. The backpack, tote and tackle bag give the impression that this is where the cabin entrance would be.
One of the most fascinating aspects of how this room was designed is the way the walls are utilized to their fullest advantage. In addition to the paneling and stone fireplace, the wall hangings are exceptional, including oversized iron clocks with various ski-lodge time zones, vintage sleds hung horizontally behind the sofa, antique snow shoes crossed over the mantel and a collection of skulls and antlers placed at regular intervals. Vintage skis are leaned against the walls to complement this ambiance.
This delightful retreat is both rustic and regal, illustrating that anyone can create a cabin in an ordinary setting. It is intimate and cozy, yet wears an air of refined elegance, a magical feast for the senses and an invitation to enjoy a warm and joyful holiday.
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