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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2 ~ Cabin Style

Welcome to Day 2 of 31 Days of Décor To Adore. I imagine that most of my regular readers (aka Adorable People) thought I would kick off this series with a form of French style. That style will be coming,  but given that it is fall… a time when thoughts turn to cozy and comfortable nesting… I could think of nothing better than Cabin Style.


Now as rustic and charming as you might think this image of a tin roofed cabin propped up on cinder blocks, with a protruding rusted stovepipe and an outhouse in the back is, this is not the type of cabin style that will be featured. :)

But if you would love to see beautiful cabin décor that is complete with electricity and indoor plumbing well, this is the post for you.

Cabin design has been around since man first began to build shelter. The basic log cabin design style originated in Europe and rose to great architectural heights found in the form of Bavarian cottages and Swiss chalets.


The steep pitch design of the roof kept snow from accumulating and causing a cave in.

In rural areas it was not uncommon for cabins to be built with two stories with the intention of keeping the livestock on the first floor of the home in winter.

Immigrants searching for a new life brought their wood working skills to America where they found building material plentiful. While the early English colonists built brick and wooden frame homes it was Scandinavian immigrants settling in the colony of New Sweden (near Delaware & New Jersey) in 1638 that we can thank for bringing cabin style to the United States.

The log cabin design caught on and became the house of choice for settlers needing shelter on the woodland frontier.

Now let’s get to the good stuff~ cabin interiors. Many people think that they don’t like cabin style because they have seen far too many bad or cheesy renditions. But let’s focus on the positive. Traditional cabin colors often used are warm shades of red, yellow, orange and green.

Log cabin living room

Cozy plaids, wool Pendleton blankets, hides, antlers, and dark paneling are also found in cabin décor. Aviary, botanical and fishing themes are prevalent in art and accessories.

But for those who desire a lighter palette it too can be achieved. Paneling or interior log walls can easily be whitewashed.

In the image below traditional touches include the use of heavy hewn lumber, an antler stool and woodland tones, but the space feels decidedly fresh and modern.


Cabin décor can also be subtle with well placed accents such as a stone fireplace, a soft leather chair or warm sheepskin throw.

In dining areas traditional colors, stonework and antique cooking pots can all provide a cozy cabin feel.

This cabin feels very modern with the use of vintage Pendleton blankets as window treatments.

Kitchens are the perfect place for warm, rustic décor.

kitchen with island and stools

Distressed cabinetry pairs well with a river rock arch, wooden beams and paneling.

log cabin kitchen

Nature can literally be invited indoors.

Rustic Cabin Kitchen

Bright colors can really warm up wood and stone.

rustic cabin kitchen

While kitchen areas are often quite small in cabins, they can still offer a large influence on design.

Bedroom areas also often have space constraints. Built ins offer a stylish solution.

cabin bedroom

Even in larger bedrooms dark colors do not have to prevail. Here, both the ceiling and floor were lightened up.

Traditional cabin activities become modern art when given a coat of white paint.

For a happy twist colorful afghans and a paint by numbers gallery join in a mix of plaid.

A whip stitched lampshade, vintage deer figurines and wooden post beds all combine for a bit of tongue in cheek take on cabin décor.


As for bathrooms ~ the possibilities are endless. Tree bark used as a wall covering is truly inventive.

another bathroom sink for my cabin

Color can be interjected onto most any rustic wooden surfaces.

coziest cabin bathroom

Can you picture yourself now enjoying cabin style?

gorgeous rustic bathroom

Tomorrow: Creating a cozy bit of fall on your front porch.


dta chair-002


openid said...

The New Sweden colony is located in my town! Lots of history in his area. The Swiss chalets and Bavarian cottages are beautiful -- so much detailing. Cabins are the epitome of rustic charm.
Your Friend,

Amy Jo said...

Beautiful!! I love staying in cabins for vacation. They are so cozy and warm...

Amy Jo

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! Now I want a weekend away in one of those cabins!!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

This post would make a fantastic ideabook on Houzz! You've done a great job taking the "blah" out of cabin decor. I am NOT a typical cabin person, but I can absolutely see myself enjoying some of these spaces!

Denise said...

Oh wow, Laura, these are amazing!! I never thought I liked log cabin style very much (too dark and dismal), but you've opened my mind to the possibilities. I love the images with the warm colors and use of plaids, as I tend to like traditional decorating. The first image is absolutely charming -- wish I had that on our property. :)

Have a wonderful week!

Denise at Forest Manor

Sandy said...


Thank you so very much for this post!!! You really helped me out with two of the photos that have provided inspiration for the guest room at our tiny farm house. I had some elements I wanted to work with but could not see them coming together in a cohesive way and your post helped me to "see" the room. I am so excited, I am off to select paint chips. Have a great day!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great post and all of the cabins are fabulous. I am really loving this series. Hugs, Marty

Tammy's in Love said...

I wanna go 'play' in the first tiny cabin and stay there with a cup of hot cider and a good book!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Laura, these are warm and inviting! One of my friends and her hubby are about to purchase a cabin on the lake. I am going to share these with her!

Jen said...

I love cabins and their lovely decor! Nothing is more cozy to me than a well decorated and loved cabin space. Looking forward to your series. As always most informative and enjoyable!

My Crafty Home Life said...

I love paint by numbers and plaids in a cabin. Fun post.

becky said...

hi-I live in a log cabin down in the woods. Is a dream come true after our children married and moved away.God dropped it in our lap (so to speak), we gutted it and renovated. It is 1200 sq.ft. plus a full size finished basement. We love it. Love these photos! Thank you. We don't see to much cabin style in magazines-so this was a treat:) Becky

It's All Connected said...

There is a little part of me the wants to live in a log cabin in the woods. Of course, there would be no hardship in living in any of these examples! ~ Maureen

Mimi said...

I love this...had to take a peek as a CABIN is in our near future....We are just so tired of this heat...need somewhere to go to escape it....found some great ones in MUNDS PARK up north......will be deciding soon on that.......The budget to re-decorate is won't be It will just be a lovely woods home with tender loving care!!!

Myna Kay said...

Beautiful! Each picture has it's on special appeal.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is definitely my style but at the moment it doesn't exist in my home. I am a bit of everything (please don't cringe) but my favorite room is my living room which is Southwest in theme.

Louise said...

The beautiful countryside many of the cabins are set in get a huge thumbs up, and I think the exterior of a cabin is often charming, but as for the interior decor the lighter versions appeal to me somewhat, but on the whole cabin style is not my first choice. It just doesn't resonate with me.

I am looking forward to reading your posts this month, you are always so informative and interesting.

Heather said...

Such wonderful cabins!!!

French said...

love the tree bark wallpaper and the dough bowl sink, especially, but it is all really wonderful.....thanks for presenting so many great images!

Debbie said...

It just seems right for a gal named Laura Ingalls to feature cabin style on her blog. Just had to say that...

I love all the interiors and exteriors you posted. My favorite shot of all was the whimsical little cabin in the very first picture. That one took my mind on an adventure.

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, I look forward to reading each and every post. I used to think I would love cabin decor, then changed my mind. THEN you posted all this and I'm on the fence again. I like the ones where they lightened up the style and the paint-by-numbers are great! See you soon! Ann

the language of design said...

cool post!

Vel Criste said...

love all your examples Laura - especially crazy with that kids bedroom with all the Paint-by number wall art! Thank you!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I am drooling over every single image! Cabin style and fall and winter just seem to be the perfect fit. I tend to like the more rustic cabins... big, but rustic.
Wonderful fall post, my dear friend!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Some of it I love - but a whole house? You KNOW I'd have to paint it all white! LOL!

Lillibeth said...

I really like the photos of the cabins with white walls-- it lightens up what I am used to thinking of as a dark house style. I could live in a cabin that was light and bright!