Besides videos about building log cabins, or simply touring images of other people’s homesteads, one of the major genres of “log home” videos online offers “ambiance.” Sequestered away from that sturdy, cozy exterior, these videos bring you inside with imagery of crackling fires and, weirdly, sounds of storms outside. Snow and rain on the outside, warm fire inside. The feeling of hibernation and isolation.
In the interests of getting away from our devices, though, to get old fashioned and cuddled-up with a cabin feeling, why not try a few physical practices to put your busy mind at rest and your heart in its happy place? For a change of our modern pace, try some non-digital ways to curl up and settle in to that overall feeling our hearts yearn for when we dream of a getaway home in nature. Here are some ideas:
Bring the nature to you. Start with a window, installing a bird feeder you can watch from a comfy couch or chair. Within days you’ll be playing host to hordes of birds. Make sure to refill as needed, and you’ll soon have regulars during daylight hours. You may need to place a feeder further from the house initially to send out welcoming signals. Bringing the birds close adds a bug eating advantage, too, for the warmer months.
Get some evergreen out there too. It will give the little guys a place to hide, and the color and texture is an instant transport to the northern woods. Planting trees gets you kudos as an environmentalist, too. You can buy live trees online, but why not visit a local garden center for good advice for your area, and a tree that is already acclimated and ready to plant?
Bring plants inside the window, too. If your window gets sun, try some houseplants. They improve indoor air quality, and add beauty. For evergreen ambiance try a Norfolk pine, which can grown near a sunny window in your home, and double as a Christmas tree one month a year. Many fern varieties will also transport you emotionally into the woods.
Bring the sounds of the wind and rain indoors with some simple outdoor tools. Wind chimes and bells can add voice to the wind’s movement. Likewise, a rain chain will multiply and add music to the fall of rain outside your window. There are beautiful designs to choose from, including motifs that fit the log cabin feeling you want to create.
At night, close those curtains and bring all your senses indoors with candles scented to evoke a feeling of deep woods hideaway. Amassing a few flames close is evocative of that open fire, without the mess or labor of fire building. Even a solitary flame has the power to mesmerize and relax. Try scented candles like pine and balsam.
A throw blanket and pillow cases change the whole room. You can make it seasonal, and certainly thematic. For the season of hibernation, why not follow nature’s lead and celebrate the bear at its gentlest? Or choose other favorite backwoods animal motifs, like moose or squirrel. These creatures are frequent 2-dimensional visitors in log cabin motifs. Choose soft textiles, and cuddle with them in a harmless form. Fake furs are also excellent stand-ins for furry friends, and just looking at a faux-fur rug or throw blanket makes you feel cozy.
The Warm Mug
To help you tune out the far away outside world and come into your fantasy den, be sure to fill both hands with a warm mug of comfort tea, cocoa, or coffee. Select a vessel that screams log cabin, lest your mind try to wander to something more modern. It’s a very personal choice, of course, but artisans and manufactures by the score are creating cups to transport you. The investment is very small.
Put your feet up, to remind yourself that you’re just going to stay put for a little while. And since you can see them, be sure your toes are an appropriate part of the scenery. Nothing says “rest and digest” like putting on pajamas. Short of that, make sure you’re wearing the right shoes or fuzzy socks for the job.
Call a Friend
If you are all alone, and wish you weren’t, then why not carve out time to call someone you care about and spend a half hour or two catching up? Put them on speaker phone or use a headset so you can enjoy your drink, and time alone with this special person. This final bit is completely free and a priceless treasure. Time spent kicking back, and really listening, can’t be found anywhere on the internet.
Send a Care Package
As inexpensive, quick and easy as these little retreat tools are to create, maybe you want to box up a care package of treats like those named above, and send them to someone so they can do the same thing. Maybe you can hang out together, virtually, creating your own little brief deep woods retreat. Then you and your besty can pretend you are away together, even if you can only carve out an hour or two one evening to be in your “dream cabin.”