Tips for Furnishing a Cabin
Quaint, cozy and nature-inspired are often words associated with cabin décor. If you own a cabin, either for personal use or as a rental property, you know cabin furniture typically features wood for a rich, warm, natural design. Choosing specific pieces of furniture for cabins often comes down to the size and use of the cabin space. If you’re trying to figure out how to decorate a cabin, keep reading for our best rustic log cabin decorating ideas.
General Cabin Furniture Styles
Log cabins typically exude a warmth with a casual element to make the space feel inviting. Log home decorating ideas often center around the furniture. Common cabin furnishings have a rustic flair to fit with the connection to nature that is associated with cabins.
Wood plays a central role in developing the warm, rustic style of cabins. Exposed timbers and beams in the construction emphasize the connection to nature. The rustic lodge furniture style often uses a chunky, log-like style that reflects the log construction found in cabins.
The specific style and finishes of log-style cabin furniture vary depending on the specific brand of furniture you purchase. For example, Rocky Top offers three product lines:
• Cottage: This option is the smoothest style, with sanded surfaces on the logs.
• Hand Hewn: We achieve this look with knife-drawn accents on logs.
• Buck Ridge Rustic: This line offers the most natural look, with the full natural shape of the log forming the furniture. After pressure washing the bark off the log, we hand-sand the wood to retain as much natural beauty as possible.
Finish options also vary, depending on the look you want. At Rocky Top, we offer three finishes, including:
• Unfinished: As the name suggests, we leave the wood as is without using stain or finish. This gives the most natural look.
• Clear: The clear finish option still lets the natural grain and color of the wood shine through in the furniture. Two coats of finish go over the wood to form a strong protective layer.
• Grizzly: Our grizzly finish option adds richness with a special brown stain designed for Rocky Top furniture. After staining, this finish option also gets two coats of finish for protection.
The specific colors, finishes and styles vary from one product to the next. Compare the options to determine your preferences, set the tone and pick coordinating pieces. Light finishes tend to make a space feel larger, while darker colors add rich warmth to a space.
Common themes tend to pop up frequently in log cabin decorating. Any of the themes can range from subtle hints to dominant themed items. Popular cabin themes and style influences include:
• Forest or woods
Living Room Furniture
Log cabin living room furniture combines comfortable seating with functional pieces to bring the family together. The size of your living room often dictates the type of pieces you place in the room. Options include sofas, loveseats, chairs ottomans and futons.
When choosing cabin living room furniture, ask yourself the following questions to narrow down the options:
• How much seating do you need?
• What types of activities do you typically do in the living room?
• How much space is available?
• Do you need to add storage?
• Is the space shared with the dining room and kitchen area?
• Do you need additional sleeping space?
When choosing living room pieces, consider the views from the windows in the room. Arrange a comfortable sofa to allow a clear view out the window to take advantage of the outdoor scenery, for example. Another important aspect of choosing living room furniture is creating a setup that facilitates conversation. Opting for a chair or two in addition to the sofa lets you position the seats facing one another to create a conversation nook. Arrange the different seating pieces to avoid a crowded feeling while still allowing easy conversations between people in all the seating options.
If space is an issue and additional sleeping areas are needed, consider a futon and futon chair with ottoman. The futon serves as a sofa by day and converts to a full bed at night providing sleeping for two adults. The futon chair and ottoman also convert to a twin bed providing a sleeping area for a third person.
Add a coffee table in the center of the room to hold drinks, décor and the perfect cabin-themed coffee table book. Take measurements before you buy your cabin furniture to help choose pieces that work in your space.
Accent pieces in the cabin living room put the space over the edge. Hang a rustic mirror opposite a window to give the illusion of a larger, brighter space. The mirror also reflects the natural beauty outside the window, drawing it indoors.
If space allows, position a sofa table in the living room for an extra touch of rusticity. The table accents the woodwork on the sofa and chairs, while giving you space to display all your rustic décor pieces. Many sofa tables include a few drawers, providing you a concealed spot to store a few little items.
Kitchen and Dining Room Furniture
Log cabin furniture ideas for the kitchen and dining room focus primarily on a table and chairs. It is common to have a combined kitchen and dining space in a cabin since space is often at a premium. Measure the area carefully, keeping in mind you need space around the table for chair clearance. Rocky Top offers a wide variety of tables to fit any space – round, square, or rectangle. Measure your space to determine what style and size would work best for you.
Seating is the next issue. Choose dining chairs that coordinate with the look of the table, using the same general construction style and finishes. Dining chairs typically come either upholstered or in plain wood, depending on your preferences. Upholstered dining chairs add a soft touch to dining. The comfort of the padding also makes the chairs ideal to pull double duty as extra seating in the living room. Plain wood chairs are easy to clean since you don’t have to worry about fabric upholstery getting stained.
Choose the number of chairs for your table based on your measurements. If you choose wider chairs, allow for extra space.
Another seating option when space is an issue is bench-style seating. This lets you fit more people along one side of the table. Benches also tuck neatly under the table when not in use, giving you more space to walk around in the kitchen area. Benches are also versatile enough to use in other areas of your cabin when not being used at the table. Set one under a window to hold a plant, or put one by the back door to sit on and take off muddy shoes and boots.
If your cabin kitchen has an island, opt for bar chairs for dining seating. Seating at a counter offers a dining solution if you don’t have space for a table or prefer not to have a table. It’s also a good place for extra seating even if you do have a dining table in your cabin to accommodate additional people.
Cabin decorating ideas don’t have to stop in the common areas. Carry the rustic log style to the bedroom to give your cabin a cohesive look.
The bed plays the starring role in any cabin bedroom. Choose from twin, full, queen or king cabin beds based on the amount of space available in the room. Chunky log pieces forming the bed create that distinct cabin look on both the footboard and headboard.
If space is an issue, furnish a small cabin bedroom with bunk beds to double the sleeping area without taking up much floor space. If you have a large enough room, put two sets of bunk beds in one bedroom to create a space that comfortably sleeps four people. A day bed is another functional way to get a comfortable sleeping surface while maximizing space in a room.
Once you select your bed, find a nightstand with a coordinating look to improve the functionality of the room. A simple nightstand with one or two drawers offers a place to put an alarm clock, lamp and anything you want to keep close at night, such as a book, your glasses and your phone.
Cabins often lack closet space, so a dresser, chest of drawers or an armoire can stand in as storage space for clothes while at the cabin. If space is an issue, choose an upright chest that offers multiple drawers, or a mini armoire with drawers and shelving, without taking up a lot of floor space. A low, wide dresser is an option for a larger cabin bedroom.
For a special touch, place a simple wooden bench at the foot of your bed. The bench is a great place to sit while getting dressed or while having a conversation with your partner. You can also stack extra pillows or blankets on the bench or use it as a luggage rack.
The cabin is a place to escape from the stresses of life, but sometimes you still need to connect with the real world. An office within your cabin gives you a place to handle bills, write notes or work remotely. A beautiful desk anchors any office space. Keep with the feel of the cabin by selecting a natural wood desk showing lots of knots and natural character.
If space is limited or your “office” is simply a corner of another room, a small writing desk provides the functional surface you need without taking over your cabin. If you have a large office space or work from your cabin extensively, consider an executive desk with plenty of drawers and storage space.
Leisure Room Furniture
You may spend a lot of time outdoors while at the cabin, but some days you just want to stay in and enjoy the warm ambiance of your log home. Outfitting your leisure spaces with functional furniture gives you a comfortable space to enjoy indoor activities.
Seating is an important aspect of a leisure space. Whether you curl up with a book, bond over a game of checkers or take in a movie on a snowy night, you want a comfortable spot to sit. A futon is an ideal solution for lofts or leisure spaces. You get a comfortable sofa with thick padding for daytime activities. At night, the futon easily converts to a bed, offering extra sleeping space if you have guests.
Ottomans also work well in leisure rooms because they offer such versatility. Use a cushioned ottoman to kick up your feet, provide extra seating or set up a board game. Pair the ottoman with an oversized chair for the perfect spot to curl up or with a futon chair for an extra sleeping space.
Bar chairs or bar stools also work well in leisure rooms, particularly if the space includes a bar. These chairs and stools are easy to sit on while chatting, playing pool or doing other leisure activities. If your leisure room doesn’t have a bar, you can still place the stools near a pool table for players to sit on while they wait for their turns.
Another important aspect of leisure room furniture is the functional aspect for activities in the room. If the area includes a TV, an entertainment center is a must. Opt for a rich wood model with chunky styling to fit the cabin feel. Plenty of drawers and shelves keep all of your components organized.
A bookshelf is an excellent way to build a library for leisure reading or hold games and other leisure activity supplies. A similar option is a tall armoire. This option is ideal if the leisure room doesn’t have any built-in storage, because it provides plenty of concealed storage space for board games and other items.
If the room is large enough, add a coffee table for extra play space. The large surface is ideal for setting up board games or other activities.
If your cabin includes a deck, patio or other outdoor entertaining spaces, don’t forget to outfit those areas with cabin-style furniture. Outdoor spaces are often the first things visitors see when they arrive at your cabin, so hit them with the rustic look right away.
Nothing says cozy, rustic comfort like a wood rocking chair on the front porch. The chair also provides a relaxing place to sit, rock and take in the beauty of nature. A hanging swing suspended from a porch roof or a freestanding frame is another peaceful way to enjoy the outdoor space near your cabin. If you have a large outdoor space, add an outdoor table to the space to accommodate drinks or meals.
Tips for Selecting the Best Cabin Furnishings
Furnishing your cabin doesn’t have to be intimidating or difficult. Choosing the various pieces for each room in the cabin can be quite fun once you have an idea of what you need. With those key pieces in mind, the selection process often comes down to the little details that really make the furniture pieces work in your cabin space.
Follow these cabin furnishing tips when choosing furniture for the rooms in your cabin:
• Think about the scale: Cabins are often smaller than other homes, so the scale of the furniture becomes very important. Using huge furniture in a tiny space not only takes up a lot of valuable space, but it also makes the cabin feel even smaller. If you do choose larger pieces, select only a few key furniture items to fulfill your needs instead of loading the room with lots of furniture.
• Measure before ordering: Going along with the scale of the furniture, it’s important to know exactly how much space you have available so the furniture fits well. Don’t forget to account for clearance around the furniture. This helps you select pieces that fit comfortably and decide how many pieces to buy for certain areas.
• Capture the view: When choosing furniture and setting up the space, consider the views from the windows. Since cabins are all about the views and connecting with nature, you want your furnishings to capitalize on the views. Choose low furniture that doesn’t block windows, or set up your furniture to allow for views right out the windows.
• Pick a theme: Cabins are often open, so choosing a general style and design theme helps create a cohesive look throughout those spaces. Choosing the same general style of furniture throughout gives the cabin a put-together look.
• Choose colors from nature: Cabin furnishings tend to stick with earthy tones to fit the connection with nature that comes with a cabin. Bright, bold colors that you wouldn’t find in nature tend to stick out, especially when used as a main decorating color. Another advantage of white, cream and similar light, neutral colors is the feeling of spaciousness. Those colors reflect light, making your cabin feel bigger and brighter. Earth tones don’t have to be boring. Pull in rich browns or more vivid blues and greens into the space to bring it to life. Mother Nature also provides plenty of pattern ideas for area rugs, pillows and throw blankets. Look for vines, leaves, floral designs and other patterns inspired by nature when adding the finishing touches on you cabin décor.
• Coordinate the finishes: Consider the type of finishes you like when choosing furniture for a cabin. Going with the same general style and finishes gives your cabin that coordinated look that makes it seem professionally decorated.
• Introduce lighting: In a cabin, you likely keep your curtains open during the day to enjoy those views and to let in natural light. In the evening or on cloudy days, you need supplemental light. Add a few cozy lamps on your end tables to create a warm glow when you need a little extra light.
• Add decorative touches: While the furniture plays the main role in furnishing your cabin, decorative touches are just as important in creating the overall feeling you want. Add throw pillows with rustic designs on your cabin seating. Hang a quilt or throw blanket over the back of a chair. Display decorative pieces on bookshelves, coffee tables and walls. Small antique pieces often work well with the cabin style. These little touches take the theme over the top and give the space a homey feel.
• Avoid clutter: Just because you have a theme or general style for your cabin doesn’t mean you should stuff everything possible with that style into your space. Too many decorative pieces make the cabin feel cluttered. Oversized or too much furniture can also leave the room feeling cluttered or smaller than it actually is.
• Pull double duty: If you’re limited on space, it’s important to choose furnishings that offer as much functionality as possible. An ottoman works as a place to prop your feet, extra seating and a flat surface for playing games. Dining chairs work around the table for meal time or in the living room to provide seating when you have company. An entertainment center holds your TV and provides extra storage. Futons and futon chairs provide beautiful seating areas by day while converting to additional sleeping space at night. When space is limited, select each piece for your cabin with at least one specific purpose in mind.
• Choose open pieces: If you’re worried about large pieces of furniture in your cabin, opt for pieces with a see-through style. For example, a sofa with a wooden frame and open space beneath creates the illusion of a more open, airy space. Another example is an entertainment center with open shelving instead of lots of doors closing it off.
• Highlight natural elements: Wood and stone are common building materials used in log cabins. Emphasize those elements with furniture placement and your décor pieces.
• Soften the look: While the natural elements add to the beauty of the space, they also add hardness to your cabin. Soften the look with the use of fabrics. Hang colorful curtains on windows, but make sure they slide out of the way completely so they don’t block the view. Place a thick, shaggy rug in the middle of the living room. Even tapestries or fabric designs hung on the wall add the softened look.
Outfit Your Cabin
Whether you’re looking for cabin furniture for campgrounds and rentals or your own personal log cabin, finding comfortable, functional pieces that fit the cabin vibe is essential. Explore our collection of indoor and outdoor cabin furniture to find the perfect anchor pieces for your home in the woods.