Wednesday 22 November 2017

Cabin fever: Create a cosy woodland vibe in six simple steps

Faux bull skull
Faux bull skull
Argyll tartan chair - Argos.
Ikea table
Helen James Ludlow serving bowl - Dunnes Stores.
Enamel mug
Dickens and Jones wooden houses

Emily Westbrooks

It's that time of year when light and bright spring clothes fill the stores, but the weather outside is still decidedly wintry. Instead of letting the dull days drag you down, make the most of what the continuing cold snap has to offer and create a cosy haven in your home.

Think a raging fire in the fireplace, a bearskin rug on the floor, and you reclined in a tweed high-back chair sipping spiked hot cocoa. With all the cosiest natural elements of a wood cabin, this rustic daydream will leave you rested and refreshed by the time it's warm enough to wear those floaty florals.

1 Tweed Textures

A cabin wouldn't be complete without a few perfectly woven textures to evoke extra warmth on cold winter nights. Think tweed for texture and checks for pattern. Both add instant cabin appeal.

Buy it: Argyll tartan chair, €480, Argos' Heart of Home range

2 Camp Fire Chic

Enamelware took a break from camp fire duty in the last few years and made it to the mainstream. Enamel cookware is durable and works on a number of surfaces, but it's also just downright cute. These enamel mugs would be perfect for that spiked hot chocolate (Bailey's, anyone?).

Buy it: Mint enamel mugs, €6 from

3 Scandinavian Sense

Take a page out of the Scandinavian play-book by embracing their decorating style - if only for their enviable cheerful tolerance for bitter winters. Think simple additions of minimal country style, like these sweet wooden houses which are perfect for decorating your mantle above a blazing fire. Consider adding stark carved candle sticks with white tapers to complete the look.

Buy it: Dickens and Jones wooden houses, from €16, House of Fraser

4 Pretty Pottery

Texture doesn't just come in fabrics, pottery and ceramics can also add different feels to a room. We love mixing one-of-a-kind pieces with those you'll worry less about when the kids are running rampage. This gorgeous serving bowl from Helen James' Considered range at Dunnes is a good place to start your collection.

Buy it: Considered by Helen James Ludlow serving bowl, €30, Dunnes Stores

5 Unfinished Business

Another key element to this rustic cabin style is unfinished wood furniture - no stains or paints. The key is for it to look as though it was recently hammered together - preferably by a burly woodsman with a perfectly coiffed beard using wood he lovingly chose and chopped in the back grove. Or, as the case may more realistically be, hammered together by you with a side of angst as yet another set of Ikea stick-figure directions goes awry. A light coat of tung or linseed oil will keep this table from staining when you set down your enamel mug of cocoa.

Buy it: Norraker table, €120, Ikea


The best thing about this totally trendy bull's skull? It's faux! You can sleep peacefully without worries about being haunted by your latest décor choice. Just make sure you have ample space for those horns; a high ceiling will allow him to make the biggest impact. For maximum drama, try painting a charcoal accent wall to hang it on.

Buy it: Faux bull skull, €305, April and the Bear,

Sea inspired

Ella and Lukas Szczerbak, based in Castlebar, Co Mayo, are a ceramics team creating beautiful dishes and artwork inspired by the Irish Sea. Originally from Poland, the couple travelled to Ireland in 2006 and fell in love with the west coast. After relocating, they enrolled in pottery courses and opened their own handmade pottery business, The Mood Designs. The couple relocated their friendly mare to a different stable so they could take over her digs for their studio, where they create pieces inspired by the sea, sky and scenery of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay. You can find their Irish sea-inspired pottery in shops around the west coast or online at And make sure to bookmark their customised baby name wall hangings for the perfect baby gift!

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