The great state of Ohio is home to many remarkable features: the dramatic shoreline of Lake Erie, the jaw-dropping natural beauty of Hocking Hills, and the darling charm of Ohio Amish country. With so much variety and gorgeous scenery, it’s no wonder that many people purchase vacation cabins in this cheery, welcoming state.
One of the best options for a vacation cottage is a park model cabin, which comes prebuilt and only must be connected to utilities upon arrival at your plot of land. Everything is already assembled for you, from the wiring and plumbing to the built-in shelving and doors. All you have to do is show them where to place it and where the utilities must be connected, and you’re all ready to enjoy your wonderful home away from home! Park model cabins are also incredibly affordable and hardy, meaning that this adorable getaway will be an heirloom that your children can enjoy too.
If you’re ready to buy a park model cabin, that means you’re already ready to decorate, so let’s explore ways you can make your durable and affordable timber frame cabin a true Ohio beauty.
Tip one: Bring Midwest Americana into your space
Ohio is part of the heartland of the USA, where hard-working Americans have tilled the soil, sailed the inland seas, and produced machinery for centuries. As such, it’s developed a unique spin on the traditional Americana decor, which varies even throughout the state.
Wherever you choose to install a park model cabin in Ohio, consider the local culture: if you’re in Northern Ohio, look to Cedar Point or Put-in-Bay for inspiration. In Central Ohio, you might get old college banners for Ohio State University or a botanical poster about the famous Buckeye, the state tree. In Southern Ohio, consider posters about Hocking Hills or the Cincinnati Zoo.
Antique stores and second-hand stores are great places to get Americana decor like old cross-stitch samplers, quilts that can be hung and framed, or vintage posters.
Tip two: Make it cozy
No matter where you choose to settle in Ohio, the winters can be bitter and the nights long, which is why it’s so important to make your vacation sanctuary a warm and welcoming place. Candles, throw pillows, and afghans are a wonderful touch, and even better if they are locally produced. Ohio is home to many boutique candlemakers, especially in Amish country, so you can truly soak in the scents of this state by shopping locally. Be sure to coordinate your throw pillows and afghans with the rest of your decor: if you’re going for a rustic theme, choose hunter green or a deep crimson; if you’d like a more Scandinavian aesthetic, select whites, blues, and light browns.
Tip three: Rely on the natural beauty of your cabin
Park model cabins are made of heavy timber, which makes them long-lasting and easily maintained; more importantly for your interior design, it lends them a woodsy charm which can be played up in countless ways.
Anything related to the natural world will do well in a timber cabin, whether that’s hunting memorabilia or landscape paintings, as long as you work to harmonize the accents you choose. Consider materials like jute, wood, and metal for your furnishings; with fabrics, avoid bright, oversaturated colors that will deemphasize the burnished glory of the timber. Consider going for more muted, natural palettes that are easy on the eyes.
You might consider adding a naturalist touch with pinned butterflies or sketches of local plants, or look for local artists with beautiful paintings of nearby landscapes.
Tip four: Usher the outdoors inside
Plants are a great way to brighten up a space, and they look even better when surrounded by the warm wood hues of a park model cabin. Hanging plants work especially great in cabins, which are compact and need to utilize vertical space as much as possible. Some great hanging plant options include pothos, English ivy, and Boston fern, all of which are quite hardy and can handle a bit of neglect. Pay close attention to what kind of light these plants prefer and consider where exactly to hang them so that they don’t get too much – or too little – sun exposure!
Tip five: Reflect on family
A vacation cabin is a place to make memories with those you love! The best way to make a park model cabin your own is to focus on what matters most: your friends and family.
There’s many ways to incorporate family memories into your cabin but still bring that outdoorsy feeling. For example, you might keep the bottom of every Christmas tree and cover them in varnish, then use these as chic, personalized coasters for visitors. You could also press handprints into air-dry clay and write the date, then hang this as a happy memory on your cabin wall. If you have younger children, you could go on a leaf-hunting expedition, dry and seal the leaves, and frame them with a label of who collected which ones.
Every park model cabin is different, and every one reflects the lives and feelings of those who stay there. Don’t be afraid to be unique in your decor: what matters most is that you’re comfortable there, and that it serves as a backdrop for many happy moments with those you love most.