When most people think of a log cabin, they think of something that looks like a stack of Lincoln logs. But if you’re familiar at all with real-world log cabins, you know that you can do just about anything with a cabin interior.
Here are 15 of the best ideas for creating a truly unique log cabin.
#1) A Whitewashed Interior
If your log cabin feels dark and gloomy, why not brighten it up with a fresh white paint job? But regular white paint can make it look like you’re in a hospital. Instead, try a simple whitewash instead. You don’t need to use as much of it, and the natural wood grain will show through. The result is a distressed look that’s sure to catch some eyes. Bonus points if your cabin is on the water since whitewashing has a nautical feel.
#2) Flat Logs
One thing that puts off many people from the idea of a log cabin is the round surfaces of the interior walls. But who says logs need to be round? Instead of traditional, round logs, you use large, square timbers, with thick layers of visible chinking between them. You can also use square or rectangular ceiling beams, to tie together the overall rectangular aesthetic.
#3) Try Light Pine
One way to brighten the interior of a cabin is to build it with lighter wood, to begin with. Instead of darker wood, use light pine. This wood has a much softer feel, and it lends a warmer appearance to the room as a whole. It’s also easy to care for. Instead of paints and stains, all you need is a simple sealant. Not only will the cabin have a warmer appearance, but you’ll still have the benefit of the beautiful wood grain.
#4) Use Reclaimed Wood for a More Rustic Appearance
If you’re building a brand new cabin, you might think it’s going to have a new, just-built appearance. But what if you want a cabin with a more antique appearance. An easy way to achieve this is with used, antiqued wood. Old barn wood is a solid choice, and you can use a combination of different timbers for a multi-shaded grey interior. This can also provide the brightening benefit of a whitewash, but with the more staid appearance of a grey.
#5) Go Bold With Vertical Square Columns
If your cabin has a great room or cathedral ceilings, you might want some way to break up the space. Big, square vertical columns are a great way to achieve this look. Not only that, but if you’re having your cabin designed, columns give you more freedom in other aspects of the design process.
#6) Create Built-in Bunk Beds
Log cabins tend to be smaller than standard homes, so space-saving design features are always welcome. One good example is to create a nook in a bedroom wall and build a set of bunk beds into it. This is great for hunting cabins, or if you’re building a room for your kids.
#7) Use Dark Stone Flooring to Accent Wood Furniture
A lot of people use wood slab furniture in their cabins since it fits the overall wood theme. But if you also have wood floors, this can go from rustic to “wood overload” very easily. So why not change things up with a dark stone slab floor? If you go with grey-brown slate, you can create a beautiful contrast throughout your entire cabin interior.
#8) Build an Old-School Porcelain Tub Into Your Cabin
One of the hardest things to build in a log cabin is the bathroom. Yes, an outhouse would be authentic, but that’s the kind of authenticity we could all do without. What you can do is ditch a modern tub surround for a traditional porcelain tub. If you need to shower rather than bathe, a surrounding shower curtain and overhead showerhead are viable options.
#9) Accent Your Cabin With Recessed Lighting
Wood can look cold and dead with only centralized lighting. Instead, use more, dimmer, warmer lights to disperse the light throughout your home. This will bring out the natural warmth of the wood, and make the whole cabin feel more pleasant and awake.
#10) Use Tree Trunks as Window Frames
If you want the front of your cabin to really pop, a big, tall picture window in the great room is one way to do it. Not only that, but the full-height window will let in more light than a standard window. If you accent this huge window with a tree trunk window frame, it will be truly memorable.
#11) Build an Open Ceiling For a More Spacious Feel
Just because your cabin is only one story doesn’t mean it has to feel cramped. Instead of a flat ceiling, leave the space under the roof open, with a peaked ceiling instead. You can even put lights on the cross-beams to further brighten up the cabin.
#12) Create a Tree Branch Chandelier
The best log cabin interiors have a unified look – whether that’s more rustic, more luxurious, or somewhere in between. So why not use tree branches to build a bespoke chandelier? It can tie the entire room together in a way few accessories can.
#13) Use Western-Themed Features
Old-school lanterns, milk pails, horseshoes, and other accessories can create a lively, vibrant look. You can even build shutters into your walls, whether they’re functioning or not.
#14) Build a Brunch Nook Into Your Kitchen
A brunch nook is another great way to maximize space in a cozier cabin. With benches built into your walls, you save even more space than by putting chairs next to the walls. Put a window over the benches, and you’ll have a peaceful space to enjoy breakfast.
#15) Build Your Staircase Out of Logs
Nothing says “log cabin” like a cabin interior outfitted with logs. If your staircase is exposed on the side, go all-out by constructing the stairs of half logs. You can even build the railing out of smaller logs.