How To Make A Log Home Look Modern

Not everyone wants their log home to look as rustic as Abe Lincoln’s boyhood house. Many people want the exterior to resemble the iconic log house but want the interior to look more modern. This can be accomplished with a few simple modifications such as log siding and knotty pine or painted drywall on the walls.

Add more stylish furniture, appliances, decorations, and color schemes and you have it. Making some upgrades may increase your log home’s market value and its livability.

Use Log Siding For A Modern Log Home

Making the transition from full logs to pine log siding adds a modern flair to a home’s exterior. You get the full log look without the full log price and drawbacks. Log siding is faster and easier to install with its tongue and groove/end-matching features.

Rounded logs are trending more than flat or squared log homes and cabins. They look more modern and are dimensionally the same size. Some older-style houses have logs with varying heights and sizes that display an awkward appearance.

Round pine log siding is more versatile than full logs. The corner system and trims are easier to install and the siding looks great with a variety of stain colors.


Knotty Pine Paneling Is A Winner

You can have the best of both worlds by using log siding on the exterior and knotty pine paneling on the interior of your house. The two favorite applications are on the walls and ceilings. These ideas are popular in both larger homes and cabins:

Walls – Choose either 4”, 5”, 6,” or 8” wide pine panels ¾” thick in an unfinished condition or 6” wide paneling in a pre-finished condition. An assortment of color stains is available for your convenience. Select a horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or custom layout. Nail them up and you are done.

Ceilings – Use the same size paneling for the ceilings as you use for the walls. All pine paneling has a tongue and groove/end-matching design that is a virtually ‘no-waste’ material. It saves 15% to 20% in measuring, sawing, and installation time. A whitewash stain is available to lighten up your ceilings.

“Many people want the exterior to resemble the iconic log house but want the interior to look more modern. This can be accomplished with a few simple modifications such as log siding and knotty pine or painted drywall on the walls.”


Use Painted Drywall In Some Areas

An option to knotty pine paneling is painted drywall on all walls of a room or on one wall. These applications are popular in homes and cabins. 


  • Full Walls – Install conventional drywall, paint it your favorite color, and add the pine trims and baseboards stained to the desired color.
  • Wainscoting – Install the drywall from the floor to the ceiling, paint it, and place pine paneling or beadboard 32” to 48” up from the floor. Add chair rail molding at the top of the wood and install the trims and baseboard.
  • Accent Walls – An accent wall is typically one wall in a room that is different than the other three walls. It can be a fully painted drywall application or a wood paneling wall with wainscoting.

Furniture And Appliances In A Modern Log Home

A log home can look more modern with stylish furniture and kitchen appliances. Instead of using antique furniture, go shopping for some contemporary or modernistic styles that won’t clash. Buy them with neutral colors that blend in with almost all log homes.

Marble or granite kitchen and bath countertops with white tile backsplashes look fabulous. Use modern color kitchen appliances and faucets throughout the house. They can be stainless steel or colors like blue, black, or red stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwave ovens.

Using modern-style kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities will do the trick. Sleek barstools and hanging light fixtures help complete the look.

Decorations And Color Schemes

Not everyone wants deer antlers or a moose head in their great room or den. You can make your home’s interior look more modern by balancing its rustic elements with contemporary materials, colors, and finishes. If the walls are medium to dark tones, contrast them with light or white color furniture, textiles, or décor. You may also want to try these concepts.


  • Bounce light around in darker spaces with shiny metallic tones and mirrors
  • Open the curtains or shades to let in more natural light, especially in the winter
  • Use bright colors or artwork to accent and energize some areas
  • Add modern décor accents to create a timeless atmosphere
  • Apply a whitewash finish to the ceilings to brighten things up


Try using some of these ideas to make your log home look more modern. Some further research and your creativity will add even more to accomplishing this goal.


Resources and References: