What Should a Log Cabin Look Like?

Log cabins come in many sizes, shapes, and styles in America where each reflects the owner’s personality and taste. What do you think a log cabin should look like inside and out? Surveys reveal that traditional log cabins have many elements in common.

Today’s Log Cabins Are Made from Round Logs

Cabins are made with squared logs, flat wood siding, and synthetic materials but the favorite by far are those with round logs made from pine trees. The earliest cabins constructed in our Eastern states were based on those in Europe with squared logs. After many years of construction, builders realized they required too much hewing and general work.

As the centuries progressed, so have building styles and materials. Today’s log cabins are more energy efficient with high-quality round logs. The most improved version is log siding in quarter, half, premier, or hand-hewn log profiles. It provides the full log look without the full log price and drawbacks.             

The rustic cabin pictured above is made with the best log siding available that can be installed by either contractors or skilled homeowners.

They Have Simple Floor Plans That Are Functional 

Log cabin homesMost log cabins have rectangular floor plans without an attached garage. A simple floor plan Is a major component that log cabins share and typically includes:

  • A wood stove or fireplace backed by fireproof materials like stone or metal
  • 2-3 bedrooms with or without a loft sleeping area
  • Simple, basic kitchen with a window
  • 1 or 1½ bathrooms including a shower
  • Den or family room for relaxing or entertaining
  • Storage areas such as a pantry and utility room
  • A mantel over the fireplace

Modern log cabins use metal or conventional composite shingle roofing in a variety of colors. Keeping your cabin floor plan simple is more cost-effective and easier to build.

“Today’s log cabins are more energy efficient with high-quality round logs. The most improved version is log siding in quarter, half, premier, or hand-hewn log profiles. It provides the full log look without the full log price and drawbacks.”

The Average Size is 1,200 Square Feet

Log cabins don’t need to be large and spacious to be comfortable and functional. Most cabins built in the U.S. range from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet that provide essential living spaces. The great room is typically the largest followed by the kitchen and bedrooms.

Log homes are larger between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet and up. Size depends on your personal preferences, budget, full or part-time use, and size of the lot. Location can also play a part in choosing the floor plan as well as the level of difficulty of transporting materials to the site. Higher or vaulted ceilings add a special effect of more roominess with the same square footage. Many floor plans styles and sizes are available online for free.

They Let In a Lot of Light

Modern log cabin interiorModern log cabins let in a lot of light to provide more heat in the winter and pleasant views year-round. Well-insulated windows allow as much natural light into rooms as possible without significant heating and cooling loss. They can consist of:

  • Large windows
  • Bay windows
  • Sliding glass doors
  • Skylights

Natural light affects our living comfort year-round and adds more enjoyment to our log cabins. It is one of nature’s ways to cheer us up. Take meticulous care in placing windows and doors, and the more than face south the better.
HINT: You can create an even lighter atmosphere by covering the interior walls with a clear coat or light-colored stain. The interior walls can be decorated to take advantage of the bright light.

Log Cabins Have Wood Floors

Traditional log cabins have real wood floors instead of carpets, tile, or laminate flooring. The perennial favorite material is tongue and groove pine. Pine provides these advantages:

  • Pine is a durable flooring product
  • Its natural characteristics are beautiful
  • Pine is a stable wood
  • It is affordable for almost any budget
  • Pine’s tongue and groove/end-matching design creates a strong floor
  • It is an environmentally friendly option

Pine floors develop a beautiful patina over time you will love. It is easier to keep pine floors clean and looking good compared to carpet and tile. You can use throw rugs and doormats in heavy foot-traffic areas to protect your floors. Pine flooring is reminiscent of olden times that are both beautiful and comforting.

References and Resources:

Decorating Interior Walls

Different Types of Pine Floors