Without fail, when summer rolls around we city folk start dreaming of a getaway from our sweaty metropolis. Our minds—and let's be real, our Pinterest boards—become filled with visions of cedar shingles, clipped hedges, and whitewashed floors, and we spend our weekends in hours of traffic for a brief respite on a sandy shore. But come August, those seaside yearnings shift toward something a little more cozy, something covered in wood inside and out, something that maybe involves being wrapped in a Pendleton blanket beside a fire pit. As New Yorkers, that means rotating our focus 45º north, from the tip of Long Island to the Hudson Valley. And style-wise, it means shifting our gaze from New England to Scandinavia.
Yeah, it's cabin season. But wipe that log-frame clunker from your mind. The new weekend house is a little mysterious and moody. The outside is stained ebony, and the interiors are layered with rustic-meets-urbane eclecticism. Who knew a cabin could be so sexy?
The trend, like so many right now, comes straight out of northern Europe, and the country houses of Sweden, Norway, and Iceland in particular, where black façades are an eco-conscious decision as much as an aesthetic one. The two dominant design iterations, which we love in equal measure, are a minimalist, glassy, murdered out mini-house (think Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), and a more country style with approachable white-painted windows, as seen above. Either way, the look is as seductive as the idea of sneaking off to a secret hideaway. For a few Stateside iterations, see architect Peter Pennoyer's long barn in the Adirondacks and ceramist Michele Michael's Maine getaway featured in the May 2015 issue of Lonny (top).
Inside, don't expect to find your typical cabin-chic decor. In place of field stone-fronted fireplaces and taxidermy, this style calls for spare, artful furnishings with an almost ramshackle, bohemian feel. Samantha Knapp's New England escape (left) proves raw wood surfaces can be paired with antique, midcentury, ikat, and abstract ink, just as artfully as buffalo plaid and buffalo heads.
The dreamy scene at right makes a case for a new "it" green, right between kelly and hunter. It's a nod to the classic cabin color palette given a much sleeker execution. Plus, dark walls inside continue the exterior's edgy Nordic feel. It's no wonder the black-painted bead board ceiling and industrial, exposed-filament light bulbs on the screened porch would appear equally at home in a Brooklyn bar—this vibe is all about getting in the aesthetic headspace of city kids having a go at country style.
Midcentury furniture is an excellent foil to the peaked cabin architecture in this soaring black-and-white bedroom, which features a beautifully broken-in leather lounge chair and a pair of Serge Mouille sconces—pieces you'd never expect to see in a rustic retreat, but that feel totally at home in this luxe mix-up.