Rustic furnishings to imaginative accessories
Kentucky didn’t invent the log cabin, but the state may have perfected it. And it’s not due to millions of Kentuckians living in log cabins with no indoor plumbing well into the twentieth century like hillbillies lost in time. It’s because Kentuckians appreciate the simple things in life — and then enjoy crafting luxuries out of those simple things.
The bourbon industry makes a fine analogy. What started as an outlaw venture making illicit liquor has become an international success story, as Kentucky bourbon is now a much-sought-after beverage. The same can be said of Kentucky cabin décor.
Making a Cabin a Home
Log cabins today may look rough-and-tumble on the outside, but inside, they contain all the amenities of modern life. What makes a Kentucky cabin so appealing is the way the details add up to exude a country charm. It’s a given that the cabin interior boasts wood floors and exposed wood-beam ceilings. But other touches complete the homey picture:
· A staircase made of rough wooden beams
· Antique paint and shabby chic finishes
· Dutch doors
· Stone fireplaces
· Overstuffed leather furniture
· Woven rugs and animal pelt carpets
When you combine all-natural materials in an unfinished interior, it creates a warm environment that calls for a crackling fire in the fireplace and homemade stew simmering on the stovetop. It’s this vision that makes Kentucky cabin décor an idea that appeals to so many amateur and professional decorators.
It’s in the Details
You may find deer antlers repurposed as a clothes hanger or towel rack. You may notice the brass pulls on kitchen drawers or bedroom dressers. You may even spot the leaded glass of the china cabinet or the woven basket mantelpiece. In a Kentucky cabin, every stick of furniture and every accessory contribute to the cabin décor.
Part of the fun of decorating a log cabin — or a home interior you want to resemble a log cabin — lies in the imaginative uses of artifacts from a mundane life. It’s an Appalachian imperative: reuse everything; throw away nothing. So the old watering can creates a unique showerhead. The cracked vases are remade as lamps. You can find a use for almost everything.
Shopping for Décor
Of course, in this day and age, you don’t have to make everything yourself. Many businesses have sprung up catering to the log cabin enthusiasts. Here are several that both serve and originate in the Southern Appalachians:
· Rocky Top Furniture, for example, serves Kentucky and Tennessee. Rocky Top offers rustic wooden furniture, custom railings, natural bedding, lamps and chandeliers, carpets and much more, all in authentic log cabin décor.
· Appalachian Originals, located in Sandgap, Kentucky — off the beaten path, deep in Kentucky Appalachia — makes authentic, handcrafted wooden bed frames. These one-of-a-kind Adirondack beds complement any log cabin home.
· Kentucky Leather and Hides is a small store in Sonora, Kentucky, that sells leather craft, home décor and pelts. These accessories turn any home into a log cabin.
If you want Kentucky cabin décor, you have many options, from DIY to custom-built to off-the-shelf. Use all natural materials, and you can’t go too wrong. The delight comes from the repurposed items that the Appalachian settlers would have been proud to show off.
Photo credits: interiordecodir.com, captivatist.com, outdoorrise.com