When you hear the words “log cabin,” what image comes first into your mind? Probably, you envision a little log house in the middle of the woods with a roof tucked into the groves of trees. Maybe you see a stone house with a chimney that puffs smoke near a lake. And if your parents happen to own a vacation cabin, maybe you feel a sense of nostalgia remembering the summer days you spent exploring the woods and fishing by the dock of the nearby lake.
You may have an idea about the cabin style by the looks of its exterior, but it’s the interior that brings out its charm. It celebrates the use of natural materials to set a rustic touch and proudly features antique items to bring a timeworn appeal, but also mixes in contemporary elements to make everyone feel at home.
If you love the cozy, charming appeal of the cabin home, you can always adapt it into your own home, whether you live in a real cabin or not. Here are some decorating ideas to try to get that welcoming look:
1. Choose muted, earthy colors
The cabin style is loved for its warm, woodsy feel. Of course, the main color that must be visible is rich browns coming from wood that is used for flooring and ceiling beams. Combine it with golden yellow, creamy beige, spruce green, brick red, denim blue and coal black – these colors comprise the classic cabin style. You can cushion these with soft colors like off white and robin’s egg blue and muted teal green.
2. Use wood or wood-like items
Like mentioned above, the cabin style is about wood. For the floors, natural, wide-plank wood flooring is ideal, but it can be expensive. You may opt for wood laminate, an alternative material that looks like authentic wood. Laminate is also durable, easy to install, and scratch-resistant. For your window treatments, choose wooden blinds with 1-inch slats to create the look of warm woods. Rustic, rough wooden furniture and decorative items are also very much welcome in a cabin interior.
3. Add furniture made of natural materials
Cabin style is best complemented with furniture that are either made of wood (of course), leather, stone and iron. Place wooden dressers, tables, cupboards, armoires and accent tables and give them a distressed, weathered finish for a worn-out, cabin appeal. Dark brown leather sofas, log benches, wrought-iron tables and stair railings also complement this décor.
4. Strike some balance
Accept that in a cabin home (or cabin-styled home), mismatching is inevitable. You have to create a balance with the old and the new, the antique and the contemporary, to create a balance with the old-age style and the present reality. Display colorful, antique tins in streamlined, floating shelves. Use bedding with neutral tones in a bedroom adorned with woven items. Contrast the wooden floors and ceilings with a contemporary artwork placed in a simple black frame.
5. Focus on the fireplace
Stone fireplaces with wooden mantels are typical in log cabins. It’s the ultimate focal point of the entire home and much should be happening around it. Be original with the stone of choice and have the grout recessed so the stones would look dry stacked. If you already have a fireplace, cover it with stone panels that looks dry-stacked to get the look. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, place a freestanding electric fireplace with a stone façade. Add a reclaimed piece of wood for a mantel to add a rustic effect.
6. Display one-of-a kind art with a rustic, outdoorsy theme
Decorate the home with accessories that shows off a rustic or outdoor theme. Pick items related to themes like wildlife, mountains and lakesides. Decorate with rustic ceiling beams, knotty pine paneling, landscape artworks, dried acorns in a bowl, or pine tree area rugs. Old, one-of-a-kind, quirky pieces like antler coat rack, vintage taxidermy animals on the wall, shelves made of branches, old quilts, old oil lamps and authentic landscape art are also perfect additions to a cabin-style home, replicating the vintage Adirondack style. You may also enhance the cabin theme by incorporating antique sports equipment likely to be used in people living in cabins, such as fishing rods, ice skates, skis and snowshoes.
7. Add a touch of nature or heritage
When you are living in nature (or trying to get the look of a cabin built in a natural environment), it makes sense to decorate with items from nature. Display some branches (or decorative items made of branches) and dried flowers to accent the house. Place them in Native American pottery and adorn your tables with a tribal runner to add details inspired by the Early American style.
8. Make it cozy
The cabin is usually a vacation retreat, so make sure it is cozy. Add a sleeping porch bed that is perfect for curling it up with a good book. Make your beddings casual and slouch. Soften up the floors with a sheepskin area rugs for a cushy and organic touch; or with patterned kilim or Bokhara rugs for a more tribal add-on.