Move over minimalism, goodbye romantic florals, this season it’s all about embracing cosy layers and a chic alpine aesthetic
First there was cottagecore — a nod to traditional English countryside style with a definite whiff of your nan’s floral curtains making a romantic and nostalgic play on our senses.
Then there was a brief flirt with Japandi, a blend of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian functionality that heavily hinged on zero clutter. Perhaps it’s being in lockdown for what felt like seven billion years that has us now yearning for the cosy comforts of cabincore — the rustic, wilder cousin of cottagecore that romanticises rural living and the outdoors and has us embracing all things homely and snug.
Cabins are an escape to safety, a nostalgia for a simpler way of life, a craving for authenticity in the age of the virtual and a return to self-sufficiency; all we need to be happy is a cabin in the woods. Think forests, roaring log fires, layers of blankets, leather, and wood, bouclé, cashmere, soft lighting, moody hues and dare I say it… fondue sets.
If the thought of the latter has you thinking of orange pine and brown cushions, you’ll be glad to know we’ve come a long way from the cookie-cutter 80s alpine aesthetic. While the traditional look still exudes warmth and easy living, it’s evolved to include seriously chic alpine hideaway retreat looks that are both contemporary and comforting, easily pulled together with a few key items, even if you’re miles away from the nearest chair lift.
If you’ve ever dreamed of buying an A-frame in the woods and going off-grid, you’re probably not alone and since most of us can’t stretch to a second ski-chalet home, we’ll settle for bringing a bit of that chalet-chic aesthetic to our everyday lives without having to go off-grid.
You only have to scroll through the thousands of posts tagged under #cabincore and #chaletchic on Instagram to see bucolic scenes of mountain cabins with snowy backdrops and cosy interiors. Since the style leans into the beauty of nature, there’s a big emphasis on natural materials that are in harmony with the surroundings and those that emphasise warmth and practicality such as a rough-hewn or weathered wooden tables (Meadows & Byrne, Home Street Home) and leather accessories (Amara, La Redoute).
Warm colours chime with tactile fabrics which are key to achieving the look. Warm up cold floors with wool rugs, drape couches or beds with sheepskins and throws (Avoca, Blue Door, Scout Design Store, Stable of Ireland) and consider a bouclé chaise longue or armchair (Finnish Design Shop, Jysk).
If you don’t want to go full Little House on the Prairie a reading nook is a great way to bring this trend to life in a corner of your home. Layer up cosy textures with some wooden accents such as shelving or a side table. Dark moodier walls create a cosier vibe and a leather or woven pouf is a practical and stylish add-on to the space (Meadows & Byrne). Throw in a traditional herringbone or flecked tweed blanket or cushion (Irish Design Shop) to complete the look.
Trade harsh overhead lighting for softer ambient table lamps or wall sconces and don’t forget to make your fireplaces a focal point.
Fantasies of self-sufficiency in the woods must feature sipping hot chocolate (or hot cider) in a pair of shearling slippers (maybe that’s my fantasy) and essential for that cosy feel is a roaring log fire and a basket piled high with wood… time to break out the fondue set.