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How to make your room look and feel like a log cabin

cabin vibe living room
Mael Balland/Pexels

While the easiest way to feel like you are living in a log cabin is to, well, live in a log cabin, there are ways to decorate and get that cabin themed home you want. 

Wood is the way

If you are going for a log cabin feel to your home, wood panels are the way to go. You can also go old school with actual log panels. Or you can get that wood feel with shiplap walls, wooden ceiling beams, and rough-hewn hardwood floors. Balance is the key; you want a cozy, rustic feel. Too much wood without color balance and a bit of judicious editing will make your rooms look like you should be selling tourist trinkets in the North Woods.

You’re going to want to go for a color palette of earth tones and neutrals. Earth tones are quite rich, which makes them a lot cozier. Think robust shades of amber, mocha, russet, mahogany, and brandy colored versus beige and creams.

Try to stay clear of jewel-tone colors, but you can use dusty blues, warm browns, and grays that you would see in nature.

But if you insist, we’ll let you sneak in some jewel colors in the throw pillows as long as they have some good texture.

Casual, rough-edged furniture

In the living room, family room, and den, furniture should be bigger and a little rough around the edges. Imagine logs tied together—that’s the look we are going for. Lighten it up, and try to find that balance with nice cushions and textured throws in champagne and earthy greens.

Old storage chests, vintage wooden crates, round wooden tubs, barrels, and heavy wooden spools are perfect for tables and storage. Pile boots in a wooden tub in the entryway and use another for hats, gloves, and mittens. A small roughed-up trestle table, unfinished wood floating shelves, and a bench would complete the look.

A distressed, painted dresser can become a vintage vanity or go with pedestal sinks in the bathroom. 

farmhouse table
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Bring the farmhouse design to your home by adding a farmhouse trestle table to your kitchen/dining area, plus a couple of benches on the sides (instead of chairs). A white farmhouse sink or even a hammered copper sink would complete the look.

Texture, texture, texture

Use lots of texture. Textured, woven area rugs that look like jute or have a simple washed-out blue or colonial red pattern are ideal. If you are going full-on cabin, you can get away with a bear rug in front of the fireplace!

Use heavy throws with obvious knit textures and textured throw pillows. Keep draperies simple, and depending on the particular room’s predominant color, consider contrasting green, rich brown, or gray—no fancy scalloped edges or fringe. You can use prints that replicate Native American prints on throws and as area rugs.

Use crisp white linens on the bed with textured accent pillows and throw blankets. Over-sized feather pillows would complete the look of comfort.

Love, love the accessory options

rustic decorating options
Valaria Bottneva/Pexels

There is no end to the awesome accessories you can find that will help with your cabin theme. Pick up anything that would be used for storage in a farmhouse, from mounted racks in the kitchen to rustic metal caddies to hang in the bathroom for rolled-up towel storage to wrought iron and galvanized steel plant hangers. 

Use a rustic wooden ladder in the bathroom instead of a towel rack. Put a pot rack of wrought iron or galvanized steel in the kitchen and hang up copper or cast-iron cookware.

Put animal prints on the walls and, in log cabin/rustic decorating, you can even get away with stuffed animal heads or antlers on the wall. But use restraint. You don’t want to descend into “bad vacation at the North Lodge” decor.

There are some great uses for distressed window frames, half doors, and shutters in cabin-theme decorating. Hang a window frame on the wall and hang pictures in each of the openings where the glass would be. Use a door cut in half horizontally with a shelf for displaying items. Make a focal point artwork wall by taking a large pastoral or forest print and adding shutters on each side—it gives the illusion of looking out a cabin window. Spoil yourself by buying fresh flowers and putting them in milk glass vases and pitchers.

Cabin decor is about comfort while being just a bit rough around the edges—it should look like you’ve collected items from various relatives to furnish your house. 

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