decorating a log cabin.

via apartment therapy

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a reader, who was interested in inspiration for decorating their log cabin. She wrote:

I am wondering if you would have any idea as to where I could find ideas on how to decorate a log cabin.  We have lived here for almost two years and I really have used all of my decor from our previous house.  It is a true log home, no sheet rock, so it has been quite an adjustment for me as far as decorating (: I do subscribe to a couple of log magazines and you might find this funny but I don’t want to decorate in a log theme.
I am somewhat stumped and any help would be Greatly appreciated!

After reading this little note, I said to myself, “self, this would make a super fun post.” So, away I searched. For non-log cabin decor. In a log cabin. FYI: I don’t think it’s funny {as in weird} at all, I wouldn’t really want to go loggy with my decor, either. I tend to navigate towards the light side of decor, anyway. So, two main questions arose. 1. are you allowed to paint? and then from there: 2. do you want to paint? Because the possibilities of this are quite endless. It depends on the walls, the type of log used, the over all look, etc. So I found a few, versatile photos some of you may enjoy as well, whether you live in a log home or not, and thought I would share with all of you. Hopefully, to find it inspirational.

via apartment therapy

In searching for some photos, I found that some of the most appealing designs had a modern touch. And the most beautiful photos were from scandinavia/swedish cottage designs. If I had a log cabin, I would probably take the eclectic cottage approach for the inside. If I wanted it to feel like a real live home, {as opposed to a fake one?} I’d paint the planks while preserving some of the logs. Throw up a few drywall areas, {which could be torn down later, if need be} for some fun shots of color walls and wallpaper. But that’s just me. I kind of like the unexpected. That’s how I roll.

For a functional home, with shots of color, leaving hints of the log composition, paying homage to the elements that make it so unique. via trendey. {loving this blog, btw.}

via curbly: a post on cozy scandinavian modern cabins.

via NY Times

of course, there’s something about the white in this room, with the white washed ceiling that I find absolutely gorgeous.

Rando: If I had a dining table in a log cabin, it might look a lot like this… can I just say, minus the star wars chair? hate me, but if you know what I’m talking about, just not a fan. Just sayin. I think a table would work like this, in a less rustic setting.

another example of the drywall combined with natural planks…a tribute to the log cabin and its makings, without letting the logs take over.

yes, the sculls are a bit over the top. But another example of scandinavian cottage design: rustic floors paired with painted walls. This is something you could carry over into a log cabin look. via trendey.

my absolute favorite of all the photos of all time log cabin shots: a beautiful example of preserving the walls, while throwing a seamless design together. The juxtaposition of light and airy against the classic dark. via trendey {told you I love their site…} I think that it works, because the light and dark are brought together with items from the ceiling. The light still filters through and is pulled off fabulously.


more swedish design. But do you see the way they treated those logs? These are the walls of a log cabin. And a very happy one, at that. I realize I’m all over the board with the looks, here. But I think a happy home deserves lots of happy possibilities.

another tribute to the modern log cabin. Streamlined fireplace, tiled floors and beautiful open windows keep the logs from becoming too overwhelming. via

I love the way they mixed up the treatments in this modern cabin. I would soften it up a bit, but check out the white walls dark ceiling…dark walls white ceiling approach. Keeps it fresh!

a nod to the cabin look, without being too cabin-ey.

a nod to the cabin-ey look without being too stuffy.

shots from another modern cabin…I know its not logs…but just ideas for inspiration. Not very cabin-ish on the inside, is it?

another option: painting the window sills white, and lightening up floor. Adding in a variety of fun accessories for shots of color, takes away that overwhelming cabin feeling, while still keeping it nice and cozy.

just for fun: I now officially want a cabin. OH the things I could do with this place! OH the windows! SWOOOOOONNNN. I think that owning a cabin could actually be freeing, once you decide to look at it in a fun, eclectic way, with endless possibilities.


Another useful post via Layla of The Lettered Cottage: she did an entire excerpt on the options of painting those darker walls. Be sure to check it out!

I hope this helps…just remember to go with, and embrace what you love…forget those limiting rules!

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Responses to decorating a log cabin.

  1. if you find a tutorial on those FABULOUS hanging pleated medallion thingys PLEASE share!!! I (heart) those!

  2. louise says:

    I am with you, I so want a cabin after reading this. I’m in love with the first cabin you show. That’s amazing!!! Thanks!

  3. Layla says:

    Sensational post, my friend!
    I want to live in that cabin on the lake with the big sliding door!!!

  4. Yarnista says:

    Awesome ideas! I love the Scandinavian look. Here’s a bed and breakfast I’ve stayed at that is a 1700s-era log cabin. I love how they modernized it but kept the log feel:

  5. Moni says:

    beautiful post! A friend of mine sent me this link since we are building ourselves a log cabin at the moment. And your post has some great inspirations! Thank you!!

  6. Stephanie says:

    I can see a new trend comin on! Log cabin looks in NYC apts. That would be interesting.

  7. Hannah says:

    The tragedy of my life is how I am now completely obsessed with your site, and will probably spend the entire long weekend reading everything you have ever written on the whole interwebs.

    I <3 everything about your decorating style!!!!

  8. Crys says:

    I am moving into a long cabin soon and although I like the rustic look, I’m not into the black bear and pine tree decor that everyone insists on. This gave me a lot a great ideas. I love your site!

  9. brooke says:

    i’m renovating our traditional Yukon log cabin this year to move in next year, LOVE your ideas and images, thank you! can’t wait to show this to my boyfriend!

  10. I have to say, your blog needs to be one of the best written blogs that I have learn in a protracted time.What I wouldn’t give as a way to put up posts which might be as interesting| as yours. I guess I will have to continue studying yours and pray that someday I will write on a subject with as a lot wisdom as you have.


  11. Kathy says:

    So, I have the same dilemma as the person who inspired your blog. I live in a log cabin but don’t really want to decorate in a log cabin theme. This post gave me some great examples for painting the logs to add some color to the space. Thanks! I am very sick of living in a brown house. These ideas have given me lots to think about.

  12. Lilith says:

    Thank you so much for the ideas! We are also looking for ways to decor our new log home without the overdone “rustic” and “country” feel.

  13. Love the ideas here! I was looking for decorating tips to lighten up the dark feel of our home. It’s a barn with a renovated apartment which is quite cute but still a barn so dark with few windows. Got some good ideas here