Area: Create a Summer-Cabin Style

Rustic or refined, all summer cabins should be comfortable in design
John Stevens relaxing lakeside on a Stickley rocker.

Category: NW Home Articles


Growing up in New England, we spent many a summer weekend at my grandparents’ cabin on Squam Lake, a beautiful spot in New Hampshire made famous by the 1981 classic On Golden Pond. A simple 1940’s clapboard cottage, the interior was warm and inviting, with original knotty-pine paneling, an immense river-rock fireplace and comfy vintage furnishings. Here in the great Northwest, where we’re fortunate to live, work and play amidst so many beautiful lakes, traditional lake-cabin style is a perennial favorite.

Cabin style can vary from rustic to refined, but furnishings should be comfortable and relaxed: overstuffed sofas, rocking chairs, leather upholstery. Accent pieces should capture the lakefront look: old brass and copperware, woolen blankets, plaid throw pillows. Fabrics and wallpapers in nautical prints and stripes add a whimsical touch.

For cabin-worthy local finds, check out Stickley’s Craftsman furnishings at Masins (Seattle and Bellevue locations). A wide selection of cabin-style blankets can be found at Northwest Pendleton (1313 Fourth Ave., Seattle). For charming tableware in a variety of lakeside themes, visit Whimsy Home Decor (1535 14th Ave., Seattle). Don’t miss Nautica’s collection for Robert Allen for designer marine-themed fabrics (to the trade only, Seattle Design Center, 5701 Sixth Ave. S, Seattle). Finally, wonderful vintage treasures (from fishing baskets to boat models) can be had at Cuttysark Nautical Antiques (320 First Ave. S, Seattle).

With a touch of classic style and a little imagination, any home can be lakeside-chic, and life on any pond golden.