We love a cozy cabin in the woods as much as anyone—give us a crackling fireplace and warm mulled cider to sip, all day long. But if you’re lucky enough to have a home in ski country, there are a few things you should know about decorating it—because it is possible to take the mountain theme too far.
We get it, you’re serious about your schussing. But that doesn’t mean every bed needs a frame made from old skis, and all the dishes don’t need to be stamped with snowflakes and trees. And don’t get us started on dead animals mounted on the wall.
Need some help determining what’s rustic chic and what’s just plain old tacky? Maybe you simply want to scroll through some epic design fails to pass the time (who could blame you?)
Well, you’re in luck! We’ve done the heavy (ski) lifting to uncover the most atrocious cabin decor out there. Read on for the biggest no-nos.
1. Way too much taxidermy
We see where you’re going with this: Animals live in the woods—and you live in the woods too! So, therefore, it makes sense to hang up some furry friends to complete the equation.
Alas, these severed heads with super-sad eyes are just going to creep out your family and friends. Just say no (the elks will thank you).
2. Tree-trunk furniture
Can you say, “Ouch, splinters!” Yup, this one’s gonna hurt if you rub it the wrong way.
Rustic pieces are fine in a ski cabin, but try to skew more toward distressed paint on a dresser, or chic Craftsman-style pieces, rather than a hulking set of bunk beds that look positively prehistoric.
3. Antler lighting
Antlers and other bony accessories fall into the same category as taxidermy: They’re both taken from animals that once lived among us, and they’re all pretty creepy when used as home decor.
Of course, if you happen to find a set of shed antlers out in the woods and you want to repurpose them, be our guest. But skip buying them new, and consider Edison bulbs. No lives lost there!
4. Ski-lift chairs
We had to rub our eyes twice when we discovered that someone had installed a set of lift chairs in their breakfast nook. If you have kids and won’t mind when they try to sway their way through their bowls of Cheerios, then you do you.
5. Trail signs
Crafty wooden signs that point you toward the guest room or loo have been done to death in most themed homes, from beach bungalows to modern farmhouses.
So of course, personalized posts are the next logical step. Watch out for those black-diamond directions—you could end up over your skis.
6. Corny ski sayings
“Skiing is expensive (but it’s cheaper than therapy).”
“Caution: Trees don’t move.”
“Eat. Sleep. Ski. Repeat.”
Yup, we’ve heard and read them all. Try artwork instead. Blank walls work, too.
7. Bark anything
Rough tree bark shouldn’t line your picture frames, mirrors, or any other home item. Ditto for birch candles. Some people may feel that these lights signal a home filled with hygge, but they’re a tad dirty and unappealing in real life.
8. Moose-print everything
You’d better love moose if you’re gonna sleep in this bed. And when you add in the faux sticks, more antlers, and a looming head on the wall, you’ve hit the trifecta for mountain home decor fails.
This bedding seems cozy enough, and it could work in a ski cabin—just remove a few moose (meese?) first.
9. Trees for days
Lined up on the mantel. On every single dresser. Oh, and check the towels, rugs, and throw pillows, too.
Everywhere you look, there are ski homes filled to bursting with trees in every shape and size. Are there no other motifs that signal mountain life? Asking for a friend.
10. Bear table
If you squint, you could imagine that this piece might be cute. But then you open your eyes, and realize that no amount of alcohol on that tree-trunk tabletop will make this kitschy bear seem like an appropriate home decor choice.
Sigh. If you must grab this item, relegate it to the kids’ playroom.
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