Architect-designed modern cabins in the depths of the woods are the perfect source of interior inspiration for cozy fall interiors. There is something about the typically wild and rugged landscape outside and the contrasting coziness indoors that makes us feel warm and cocooned.
'There is a long-standing tradition for the small retreat in architecture,' explains Tom Auger of the architectural practice, Rever & Drage. 'Historically this kind of building has served as a shelter whilst doing other recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, or fishing. However now, the small retreat, or bolthole, has also been a goal in itself to escape the stresses of everyday life.'
Cabin decor takes its cues from the surrounding nature - with wood-paneled walls and natural lighting just some of the pillars of modern cabin design. For extra coziness, decor often features cozy log fires and high-pile textures. But why don't you see for yourself? Here are 8 examples of modern interior design that embrace the cozy cabin look to give you that fall feeling and get you excited for the season ahead.
1. This mountain retreat
This mountain cabin was dreamed up by Italian architects Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi. The project showcases the perfect blend of rustic charm and contemporary design, with traditional elements like wood paneling contrasting against a more modern-feeling glass pane that looks out onto the woodland landscape. It's this juxtaposition that provides that contrast between the cold landscape outside and the coziness within.
Walls are left bare to create a cozy minimalist living room feel. Only a few rustic wooden stools, armchairs, and a floating fireplace furnish the refuge. 'The Mountain Refuge project, with its blend of traditional aesthetics and modern functionalities, not only serves as a retreat for those seeking solace in nature but also exemplifies a harmonious blend of innovative design and sustainability,' says Massimo Gnocchi.
2. This cozy cabin with a view
Michael Kendrick Architects designed the looking glass lodge, a unique woodland retreat hidden away from view. 'Thanks to large picture windows on both the front and rear façade, visitors benefit from stunning natural views from all areas of the lodge, enabling them to immerse themselves in the setting fully,' says Michael Kendrick.
Throughout the year, the lodge is flooded with natural light, while self-tinting glass grants privacy. Elsewhere in the lodge, there is an open-plan living space, kitchen, sleeping nook, and en-suite. At one end, an L-shaped sofa and armchair frame a floating fireplace that sits as the focal point of the living room. The fireplace uses timber from fallen trees to heat the lodge in the colder months.
'Built by local craftsmen, the lodge features an intentionally limited palette of natural materials, including the same species of timber – western red cedar - on the external cladding and internal lining. Left unfinished, the exterior will weather naturally to a silver-grey color that is reminiscent of the local landscape, which will contrast the cozy, warmer tones of the interior,' says Michael.
3. This suspended cabin with an indoor tree
This cabin bedroom is part of a cluster of nine cabins, built high up and suspended in the trees of a Danish forest on the Als Odde peninsula. 'The woods are a mix of deciduous and coniferous forest with soft moss covering large expanses of the forest floor,' explains Sigurd Larsen of Sigurd Larsen Design and Architecture. 'If you are lucky and quiet, you may well see deer, rabbits, or pheasants.'
Nature is so intertwined with the cabin design that a tree grows up through the center of the bedroom - like a modern, grown-up tree house.
'The access to the roof terrace gives the impression that you continue to ‘climb’ the tree to reach the canopy,' says Sigurd. 'In all directions, scenic views of the forest are framed by panoramic windows.' The cherry on top is the outdoor shower, mounted on the facade of the cabin to create the experience of bathing in the forest.
4. This wooden retreat
'For us, a cabin is all about wood,' says James Jeffries of Crafted Works who designed this super cozy space. 'Rather than only using wood as a structural material, we considered how it could also become the surface finish for the cozy living room. This gives rich materiality and warmth to the space,' says James.
Durable, affordable, and locally available, douglas fir was selected as the leading material and is used for the primary frame, external wall framing, and roof rafters. The color and hue of the wood softens over time with the orange tones slowly being replaced with a silvery-grey patina.
'Internally, the softwood sheathing boards are left exposed to become the final finished surface and also line the integrated furniture and joinery items – providing a textured yet monotonous backdrop for furniture and possessions,' says James.
5. This cabin with a view
Located just north of Oslo, this small cabin is used by an Oslo-based family as a retreat during weekends. 'Birch is mainly used for the interior, heartwood pine as the exterior,' explains Tom Auger of Rever & Drage, the lead designer behind the space.
'The cabin is inspired by the smaller wooden cabins from the 70s, and with its size of just 29 sqm represents a counterpoint to larger cabins that resemble houses more than cabins.'
For an undisturbed view of the sunset, the glass panel and angled modern window treatment slants towards the view, giving you uninterrupted views of the landscape and bringing a contemporary feel to the window.
6. This open-plan cabin
Named Cabin A for its pointed, triangular shape, this property by Bourgeois Lechasseur Architects stands on a steep site overlooking Canada's St Lawrence River.
The main entrance is located under one of the roof’s sloping wings, the left leg of the letter 'A'. The shared living space is an open plan set-up, with a viewing gallery offering 180-degree views of the St Lawrence River. There is even a spa bathroom area, located under the ground floor deck. The home is clad in Russian plywood panels, also used for the built-in furniture for a harmonious finish.
7. This cabin fitted with low profile furniture
In the heart of a maple grove, high up in the mountains, is this eight-room cabin created by and for Pier-Olivier Lepage, founder of L'Empreinte Design Architecture. The cabin has two terraces at the front and back of the property, giving you a panorama of the natural surroundings.
The view is the most important aspect of this home and furniture and flow of the house have all been designed in a way to accommodate the panorama. To maximize the view, the interior layout offers solutions such as a sofa recessed in a pit and a minimalist low-profile kitchen. The living room is inspired by Japanese kotatsu (a low, wooden table frame covered by a blanket, upon which a table top sits). This continues that low-profile feel and provides a cozy spot for the family to gather around the floating wood burner.
'The raw appearance and relief of the openwork finish wood recall the woody character of maple bark,' says Pier-Olivier. 'The warm and nuanced color is like its leaves.'
8. This cozy English country cabin
Cove Valley is a 300-acre re-wilding project situated in the heart of Exmoor National Park. Carefully selected cabin decor helps create that cozy feel - with a natural palette that reflects the surrounding landscape, earthy paints and lots of wood, artwork, and furniture. Carefully selected antiques were chosen for their weathered patinas. The result is rustic, but it's grounded in old American tradition, explains Thomas Cox.
'HÁM designed three bespoke cabins: Hopi, Ukai, and Chatan, where guests can stay and experience the rewilding firsthand. The designs draw inspiration from old American influences, the great outdoors, and the rural charm of ranch-style living,' says Thomas Cox, joint founder of HÁM Interiors.
3 buys for cozy cabin interiors
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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