Log cabin homes offer not only visual appeal but maximum ecological compatibility. This is one of the best options for building small homes. Log wood has a natural appearance, durability and long lifespan, and a log house can be as convenient as any modern cottage made of other materials. Wooden houses have a lot of advantages. On the first place, wood is environmentally friendly material that allows oxygen to pass through, so it is easy to breathe and sleep soundly in wooden buildings. Due to low thermal conductivity, you can save on heating, and even in the harshest winters you do not face the danger of freezing in a wooden house. We shall look at the exterior, landscaping, interior design and decorating of log cabins and the design techniques to create a cozy home where you can rest and relax in comfort.
Landscaping ideas for the exterior design of log cabin homes
The exterior design and the landscaping are the first thing that people notice and every homeowner would like a presentable and harmonious appearance which will please the eye. A good landscape requires careful planning with attention to buildings, plants, ponds, even garden furniture. You need to have a concept and an idea for the decoration of the yard in a way that is beautiful but practical and, of course, easy to maintain. Think of your lifestyle, do you have children and pets, do you often invite guests for a barbecue or evening gatherings outdoors?
Landscape design of log cabin homes will depend on the size of the garden, the budget, the characteristics of the plot, the type of soil and the location. A large backyard provides many opportunities but when you have a small outdoor area, you need to set your priorities. Think of the major elements that you would like to have – pergola, gazebo, flower beds, garden paths, decking, fire pit, water features, etc. One of the easiest ways to plan the layout of the backyard is to draw a sketch and divide the area into squares. This will help you to visualize the place of the elements and features that you want in the garden area and create a balanced appearance.
Garden paths, steps and flower beds are an integral part of any landscape design. They allow you to separate the area into different functional zones and have a great visual appeal. Suitable materials for garden paths can be stone slabs, slate, gravel, pebbles and you can create a variety of combinations which will make your paths not only functional but attractive as well. Depending on your personal taste and preferences and with regard to the area you can opt for straight lines or smooth lines, rounded forms, winding paths and oval flower beds. The goal is to have a harmonious and balanced exterior which will give you pleasure and joy. Plants and flowers will add bright colors throughout the warm season and additional charm to the outdoor area.
Patio decking materials should be chosen with respect to the overall design concept. A concrete decking is not very suitable for a log home. It will be better if you opt for natural stone, slate, solid wood, which should be treated to withstand elements.
Consider an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit – a place that will gather the family in the evenings. Outdoor furniture is equally important – whether dining furniture or lounge furniture, as it significantly adds to the comfortable rest. For example Adirondack chairs are typical garden furniture for log homes and you can sit and enjoy the sunset or the calm waters of a mountain lake.
Consider the colors of your exterior design. The color concept of the exterior should work with the external environment in a harmonious way. Having in mind that log homes are usually situated in the country, neutral colors will be a good option.
Log cabin homes interior design ideas – materials, styles, finishes
Log cabin homes interior design features a variety of styles – rustic, country, Scandinavian, modern, etc. The most popular styles are rustic and country which feature natural materials and simplicity of forms, as close as possible to rural life. Scandinavian style is calm and functional and is characterized by light colors and practical solutions. Despite the stylistic differences, there are many common features which create a harmonious interior. The main materials are wood and stone, simple finishes, solid wood furniture, handmade accessories, textile that adds warmth – linen, wool, cotton, burlap, etc. All these elements of the interior make a log cabin home comfortable, cozy and warm.
The interior design of log cabin homes is based on a number of rules and general concepts which feature the look of the main elements. The size of the home will determine the number of rooms and the layout yet the materials and finished will give the overall look of the home.
The main advantage of log cabins is, obviously, the logs. Leaving them exposed as they are a powerful element of the interior which does not require extra “decorations”. After all, being in a log cabin is all about being surrounded by beautiful timber. Timber offers a unique look and provides a very relaxing and calming environment. It is a durable material, environmentally friendly and works with any other material in a very harmonious way. Stone is another typical material for wall finish. It works with timber creating a visual contrast and at the same time both materials compliment each other. You may opt for an interior stone wall but most often stone is used for the fireplace design. Being resistant to moisture, stone is a good material for bathrooms.
Of course, people are different and those who prefer a more modern appearance can opt for plasterboard or other materials. The choice of wall finish will depend on the particular function of each room. For example, in wet areas like bathroom or kitchen the wall finish should be water proof. Painting the interior log walls is also an option, but it is not a popular one as most people do not want to cover the beauty of wood and the specific and unique character that it adds to the home. The most important thing is to create a balance between the different materials used in the interior design and the choice will depend on the personal taste of the homeowner, the budget, practicality, functionality and visual aesthetics appealing to each individual.
The natural choice for the flooring of a log cabin home would be wood – hardwood floors or laminate floors which have excellent insulating properties and will help you reduce heat loss significantly. Choosing the type of flooring will depend on the function of each area. For example, in wet areas and areas with high traffic it will be a good idea to choose stone or tile flooring and combine it with wood. Stone and tile flooring are very practical and easy to keep clean and when combined with wood, the materials create a great visual contrast. Of course, you need to keep in mind that stone and tile floors can be quite cold which is a disadvantage, so it is better to use these materials sparingly. Carpets and rugs give you the chance to add warmth and color and without any doubt, they make any room cozier and quieter. You can use them to define the different functional areas in an open plan living space and break the monotonous and uniform look of a large floor.
The ceilings in log cabin homes are usually exposing solid wood beams and often are finished with wood planks. These ceilings look amazingly beautiful and add to the overall visual appeal and unique character of the home. Due to the fact that timber is not fire resistant, many people opt for plasterboard which has much higher resistance to fire than timber. In addition, it is a good choice for small rooms or rooms where natural light is limited as this type of ceiling creates an impression of more height.
Windows and doors are another major element of both exterior and interior of the log cabin homes. Windows and doors are as important as the house itself as they provide security, insulation and have a huge effect on the appearance of the log cabin. Energy efficient windows and doors will add to the comfort and will reduce energy consumption and heating costs. Windows come in numerous types, shapes and designs so you will be faced with a variety of options. Whether you want huge panoramic windows which will allow you enjoy the views or you will opt for small sized windows will depend on the design of the home, the budget and your taste. However, choosing high quality is always a good decision. Log home interior doors are typically made of solid wood as it naturally complements the overall decor concept. Barn doors are also an option as they work great with rustic style. When choosing doors you need to consider the thickness, the quality of the material, how they will work with your exterior and interior, etc.
Interior staircases in two storey log cabin homes combine practical and decorative function. Solid wood, wrought iron, carved wood – those are the most popular choices of homeowners to make the staircase an original element of the home decor.
The fireplace is probably one of the most important elements of log cabin homes interior. The fireplace is usually in the living room, decorated with natural stone, which has always been considered as the perfect material for decorating the interior fireplace. A stone fireplace gives warmth and comfort and makes any room more inviting and cozier. A mantelpiece of solid wood or reclaimed wood is an additional decorative element which adds to the charm of the fireplace. A suitable heart will provide extra seating space and can be used to display some accessories or antique pieces which will contribute greatly to the atmosphere of the home.
Log cabin homes furniture, lighting and accessories
Log cabin homes furniture should be chosen to emphasize the uniqueness of the interior. Natural and environmentally friendly materials are always the best option. The idea of the furniture is to be functional, practical and simple. Sofas and armchairs upholstered in leather or fabric and arranged around the fireplace create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.
Antiques and artificially aged pieces look great. The furniture may not be strictly wooden, but have decorative inserts of leather, metal, glass, fabric and other materials. Whatever type of furniture you choose it should be in accordance with the style of the whole house. Although not a common choice, minimalist and contemporary interiors can be arranged in a log home. With appropriate choice of materials and decorative elements these styles will work in log cabins.
The living room is the place that gathers all the family and is usually the main room of log homes. Solid wood pieces – chairs, coffee tables, side tables – are typical for rustic and country interiors. Wicker furniture has its place as well. Ottomans, rocking chairs by the fireplace, comfortable armchairs and cozy sofas decorated with pillows – those will provide a comfortable environment for the family members and guests to enjoy time with each other. Make sure you choose natural fabrics for curtains, upholstery, area rugs, decorative pillows, etc. They add to the overall atmosphere of coziness. Choose neutral colors and a few accents to add some fresh elements. However, fabrics should be chosen with respect to the overall color concept and add to the harmonious atmosphere.
Kitchen and dining room furniture usually repeats the style of the living room in terms of materials and in large open plan areas the areas should be united by a common visual aesthetics. Wood cabinets, copper, granite, cast iron and wrought iron – these are suitable materials which work with each other and are typical for the rustic and country style.
Bedrooms in log cabin homes are cozy and stylish providing the perfect place for relaxation. The choice of furniture and decor will depend on the personal preferences of the homeowner, the size of the room but it should be your personal retreat so make it as comfortable and pleasing as you can. Soft neutral colors are the perfect choice and appropriate fabrics will add to the peaceful atmosphere of the bedroom.
Bathrooms in log homes provide many design opportunities. You can combine wood, tile, stone, glass and ceramics in many creative ways. A clawfoot tub is an excellent choice but a glass shower partition will not be out of place, depending on the overall style of the home. A wooden vanity cabinet with a granite countertop, vintage sinks, a ladder towel shelf – all these elements can be incorporated beautifully into a modern yet rustic interior.
Lighting fixtures are as important as any other element of the decor. Antler chandeliers, wrought iron lighting fixtures, wall sconces, floor lamps and table lamps designed in rustic style will give you a proper lighting and preserve the design concept.
Log cabin home accessories include numerous pieces which add to the atmosphere. Home accessories and original decorative elements give the individual character of any home. When you choose the ones for your log cabin home, keep to the requirements of the style. Vintage porcelain vases, paintings, clay pots, ceramics, glass, wrought iron candle holders, baskets, decorative plates, flea market finds – all of these will add to the warmth and natural feel as they blend organically in rustic and country styled interiors. Handmade items are also a good choice.
Choose appropriate curtains as they make any room cozier. Bedding sets are another way to add style and you can find beautiful rustic bedding with wildlife and nature motifs or geometric patterns which will enhance the rustic style in your bedroom. Area rugs, for example crocheted, are a very good way to add a stylish accent to the home decor.
Of course, you have to find the right balance which will not turn your home into a warehouse of old things but will demonstrate the beauty of provincial life and your good taste. Keep the sense of proportion and do not clutter the rooms. A few well chosen accessories are enough.