A log cabin is typically a rustic style home used as a mountain retreat or vacation spot near a lake. While the traditional aesthetic continues to be a strong influence, the cabin interior has been changing to accommodate upscale trends. In recent years, cabin interior design has been trending more towards contemporary and luxurious styling, blending rustic decor with modern design to create a comfortable experience. Although wood, stone, and other natural materials remain essential decorative elements, modern interiors bring in high-end furniture, stained log walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood flooring, and statement fixtures to elevate the look and feel of your cabin.
From a modern cabin with a rustic interior to a small log cabin with a cozy feel, there are many different cabin designs to consider when renovating or decorating a space. Designing a cabin with the right decorating ideas can truly take your log home to the next level. To inspire your decor, we’ve compiled examples of the best log cabin interior design ideas that will enhance your home. Explore these popular interior ideas to build the perfect hideaway in the woods.
Cabin Interior Ideas
A log cabin is defined by its natural materials which can be used in many ways to craft a house with unique architectural features. Log homes are special in that they can be instantly identified on sight, but allow for personalized interiors based on style.
A log cabin interior is generally characterized by warm furnishings like a fireplace, natural materials for a rustic design, statement lighting fixtures for the aesthetic appeal, wood features throughout for charm and texture, and cozy furniture for comfort and warmth.
While a cabin is meant to embrace nature with a rustic ambiance, you can still experiment with different styles and decorations to add something special to the look. The best cabin interior ideas will keep things natural, warm up the space, bring in more light, add color to the walls, and ensure the design is trendy yet functional.
Modern Cabin Interior Design
Modern cabin interior design preserves the natural materials that define classic cabins but introduces technology and stylish touches for a more contemporary experience. These modern log cabin interiors often represent a more comfortable and upscale style, containing all the comforts you would have at home.
A contemporary cabin may still be built out of wood, but it might also feature a whole wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. A traditional cabin might have a flat roof, but a new building will have a pitched A-frame roof. This type of roof creates interesting geometric shapes within the architecture, allows for high ceilings throughout the home, and generally allows for more natural light to come in.
While a traditional log cabin is primarily made of wood, a modern version will incorporate metallic accents like galvanized steel on the walls, stone in and around the fireplace, and powder-coated metal window frames.
Modern cabin design still embraces wood and other natural materials to honor the home’s natural surroundings, but the furniture style will be sleek, trendy and minimalist. Kitchen appliances can be similarly low-profile, and will often have stainless steel finishes for a modern feel. The combination of understated furniture and an open floor plan can make even a modest cabin feel spacious and grand.
Rustic Cabin Interior Design
Some people prefer to lean into the simplicity of log cabin living. Those people may prefer a more rustic style of interior design. Rustic cabins celebrate nature by bringing natural elements indoors. A modern cabin might use wooden planks as building materials for a more streamlined feel, but a rustic cabin will use whole logs for texture and character.
In a modern cabin, that wood might be painted or whitewashed for a contemporary spin. A rustic cabin made from logs will usually use stain to enhance the wood’s natural features like knots and wood grain. A rustic cabin may also feature other natural materials like stone. You might see a rough-hewn granite fireplace or a colorful slate countertop.
Natural materials will also find their way into the furnishings and decorative elements used in rustic cabin decor. You may find beds made out of logs and tables made from wood with natural edges. Furniture is generally sturdy and durable and may be oversized for additional comfort.
Upholstered furniture will also feature natural materials like leather, suede, and wool as opposed to man-made materials. Some cabins will also feature items repurposed from animals that live in the nearby forest, so you might use touches like a deerskin rug or a chandelier made from antlers.
While modern cabins often have the latest appliances, a rustic cabin might have more retro items like a vintage fridge or gas stove. Furniture and other decor items are often well-made antique pieces that look as though they could have been part of the design for years.
Scandinavian Log Cabin Interior
Scandinavia is a region in northern Europe consisting of the countries Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. In Danish culture, there is a word called “hygge” which has no direct English translation. Hygge describes a feeling of physical and spiritual comfort and happiness achieved by enjoying the simple things in life. Log cabin homes are still popular throughout Scandinavia, and they tend to be decorated with the concept of hygge in mind.
Scandinavian cabin interior design is defined by several distinct characteristics such as utilizing natural materials like wood, incorporating natural light with the strategic placement of windows, and an open floor plan that allows for fluidity.
Scandinavian-inspired log cabins also embrace minimalism and functionality, so furniture tends to be sleek in profile with clean, straight lines. In many ways, a Scandinavian style interiors will share many elements with a modern cabin design.
Cozy and Small Cabin Interior Design
Small cabins can be a challenge when it comes to interior design and decorating ideas. A small cabin interior can offer a cozy, comfortable and warm feeling, allowing you to truly lay back and relax as you enjoy your natural surroundings. There are also simple design and decorating ideas that can help make your cabin look and feel more spacious.
If your cabin is on the smaller side, you’ll want to be careful about the color you pick for the living room, bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen. Dark color schemes can absorb light and make the cabin interior feel smaller. Light colors and natural sunlight can make a room feel bigger and airy. When painting a room, consider white, tan, or a bright palette light brown for your walls.
Further, you’ll want to think about the color of your timber and logs. Light brown, blonde or whitewashed wood will brighten up your interior living area. When possible, you should paint exposed beams, incorporate light-colored wooden floors, or feature colorful decorative elements around the living room.
When decorating a small cabin interior, you’ll want to choose furniture that is appropriate for the size and space. A large sectional sofa will dominate a small living room, so you’ll need to pick a stylish three-seater couch. Use a combination of lamps and overhead lights to illuminate your cabin as much as possible. Flooding all the corners with light helps a room feel more spacious.
Incorporating reflective or transparent surfaces into your home can also help enlarge the living area.your home feel larger. Hanging a mirror opposite a window essentially doubles your view and reflects natural light, while tricking the eye into thinking the room is bigger than it is.
Cabin homes tend to be a rich or autumn brown color by virtue of their building materials. Because most or all of the walls are made from stained wood slats or logs, it is important to bring in different colors for some contrast. Additional colors can make the wood grain and knots stand out even more. Luckily, there are several color schemes you can experiment with in your cabin decor, and the colors you choose will be determined by your interior style.
A modern cabin tends to feature a limited palette of neutral colors like white, gray, and black. Some people might whitewash the wood on the walls for a contemporary take on log cabin living. Others might use sleek black cabinets to contrast against natural wood walls.
Scandinavian cabins often use a cool color palette inspired by the arctic landscape. You can expect to see colors like white, grey, and icy blue. Rustic cabins on the other hand tend to feature bold primary colors like reds, yellows, and blues to break up all the wood.
Another popular decor choice is to draw inspiration from nature. If your home is in the woods, bring in greens and browns that echo the trees and earth. If your cabin is near water, you might incorporate greens and blues. Ultimately, there is a lot of freedom when it comes to color choices.
There are many different ways you can choose to decorate your log home. But no matter what interior design style you gravitate towards, certain principles will remain in play. Cabins will overwhelmingly incorporate natural materials in both their construction and decoration.
Wood, stone, and metal will be used in varying amounts. For instance, a modern cabin home might use rusted sheet metal as a large feature wall, while rustic interiors will limit metal to accents such as drawer and cabinet pulls.
Upholstered furniture, throw pillows, and other textiles and softline goods will also be made from natural materials. Furnishings can be designed with leather, wool, linen, cotton, and more. Textiles in a modern home might be monochromatic or feature a geometric pattern. A rustic home might highlight textiles like traditional quilts in classic patterns, or rugs in a floral or nature-inspired motif.
Much like the color scheme, a cabin’s furniture will depend on what design style you’re trying to emulate. A modern or Scandinavian cabin will feature minimalist furniture with straight, clean lines. Form and function are equally important in those styles, and balance is key.
In rustic design, there’s a much bigger emphasis on comfort and detail. Furniture is often large and overstuffed. While a modern cabin will often have new furniture, a rustic cabin might feature well-made secondhand pieces from several different eras. Vintage furniture is a great way to inject character and personality into your design.
Lighting and Accessories
Lighting is an important part of your cabin’s design. Natural light is always best, so if you’re building from the ground-up, plan to include many windows. If you’re renovating and decorating an existing cabin, you can bring in a combination of lighting fixtures to illuminate every nook and cranny.
It’s easy for a log cabin to feel dim and small, especially if you selected a darker wood stain for your interior walls. Introducing a combination of overhead lights and lamps helps mitigate that.
For rooms where you need to see in great detail, track or rail lighting is an excellent option. Track lighting with flood lamps will give you plenty of light for food prep and cooking, and add an interesting design element. If you want lower profile overhead lights, recessed lighting is also a great option.
You can use wall sconces and standing floor lamps to create uplighting effects that add warmth and ambiance to the room. Table lamps provide illumination in individual areas of the room, while a statement chandelier provides extra ambient light.
Light fixtures don’t just make a room brighter. Ceiling fans, chandeliers, lamps, flush mounts, sconces, pendants, and recessed lighting can also contribute to your decor scheme. Chandeliers might be made of cast iron or animal antlers, while table lamps might be made from petrified wood. This is one more area of your home that allows you to express your decor style.
Just like the walls, flooring in a cabin will be made of natural materials. Most of the time, that material will be wood. Hardwood floors with the right finish are very durable, hold up well, and can have a lot of character. Some people will opt to continue the same flooring throughout the house, but others may choose to use stone flooring in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom.
Slate floors have lots of natural color variation, from dark gray to warm reddish browns. They look great in a modern cabin because the gray tones contrast with the wood, while the warmer earthy tones tie everything together.
Many people worry that the wood-on-wood-on-wood design of a cabin can be overwhelming. There are a few ways to compensate for that. Area rugs are a great way to break up the flooring. You can also mix and match your wood tones for a diversity of style.
The layout of your cabin will be dictated by your personal needs. Open-concept floorplans are popular in both rustic and modern homes, as they allow natural light to filter through. This is especially true in two-story cabins that might feature a lofted space.
The cabin living room is typically the heart of a log home, and architectural details and decor choices can make or break the design. Furniture will often be arranged around a focal point, like a statement fireplace and details like wooden beams and corbels will draw your attention up to the ceiling.
Cabins are supposed to be comfortable, so the furniture will be designed with that in mind. An eclectic assortment of textiles and secondhand furniture can infuse personality into the room.
A modern cabin living room will have stylish and chic furnishings with contemporary elements like metallic finishes and chic designs. A rustic style cabin will maintain the wood-theme throughout.
When designing your living room, it’s important to keep scale in mind. If you have a smaller area, minimal furniture and decorations are ideal. Larger spaces may allow for statement pieces and decorative items, but these additions are completely optional. Unless it enhances you comfort or elevates the room, save the space and your money.
Like the living room, a cabin bedroom should be arranged with comfort in mind. Whether you decorate your bedroom with rustic or modern touches will depend on the interior design you have going on in the rest of the cabin.
A wrought-iron farmhouse style bed frame can balance out a room that has a lot of wood features. Pile it high with warm blankets and soft pillows. If your room has a big window, orient your bed towards it so you can appreciate your view.
If you don’t have a window that could serve as a focal point, a large landscape portrait is a great option. Even if you have an overhead light fixture, you should bring in table lamps to fully illuminate the space. If your bedroom has wood floors, a plush carpet under the bed brings in more texture and interest.
How To Decorate A Log Cabin
- Mix and match modern and rustic cabin decor to create the perfect style.
- Use light colors and appropriate furniture for small cabin interiors.
- Keep it natural by using wood, stone, and various organic textiles.
- Natural light from windows and several light fixtures all add to the vibe.
- Break up wood by mixing tones and stains along with other natural elements.
- Add quality furniture, furnishings, decorative items, and area rugs for warmth.
- Draw inspiration from nature when experimenting with decorating ideas.
- Maintain a consistent theme and color scheme throughout your log home.