My clients often ask me to dress a space they already have and I really enjoy researching pieces to make a blank canvas come to life. Styling can make all the difference and is a learned skill which can take a lot of time and thought to make sure pieces are coordinated, ending in a coherent scheme.
This particular project was to accessorise a cabin in the client’s wood in Berkshire, accessed through a meadow, overlooking a pond. They wanted to create a place where the whole family and friends could gather on a summer’s evening, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and enjoy a glass of wine while the children explore. No electricity, no gadgets, no screens, just the sounds of woodland creatures for company. Don’t worry, the children won’t be bored, they have lots of fun in a tree house, build dens in the woods and even have their very own zip wire through the trees!
The cabin really is surrounded by nature – I remember spotting a newborn baby deer lying in the meadow when I visited, absolutely fine, just laying perfectly still in case I was a predator, how incredible!
I wanted the styling of this cabin retreat to be timeless and cosy, with a touch of Scandinavian design – somewhere the adults would enjoy spending time in as well as the children. I decided that natural materials and vintage-style accessories were the way forward – here’s how it all came together:
Let’s face it, British summer evenings are not particularly barmy so it was important that they had throws to snuggle under and even hot water bottles to keep warm. I chose reindeer skins from Hiderugs.co.uk as they are perfect for this environment; with luxuriously dense fur – they can be used as rugs or placed on the Tango chairs to provide warmth.
Combine these with gently felted 100% lambswool blankets from Catherine Tough and you’ll be wonderfully cosy whatever the time of year. They also sell beautifully soft lambswool hot water bottles.
Of course, there is no electricity out in the woods so I sourced candle holders, lanterns and tea lights to light the area. I love this brass star lantern from Hen & Hammock; it gives off a gorgeous golden glow when lit and looks great during the day too.
Heating and Cooking
This Frontier wood burning camp stove from Wild Stoves is compact and lightweight so can be moved outside easily and is perfect for sitting round to keep warm as well as cooking supper on. It was also adapted to be used inside, attached to a flue in the cabin wall, lovely and cosy! I bought hand-axes and tools to start the fire and keep it going from Wild Stoves to make sure everything they could possibly need was at hand.
I remember enamelware from my childhood and this vintage-style from Falcon is perfect for using on a campfire; it is virtually indestructible and doesn’t burn; plus it brings a touch of timeless.