When it comes to architectural indigenous themes of design, this country has but one…….the log cabin. They were usually smaller single story buildings made of logs located conveniently at the sight the cabin was built on. This was the chosen an best permanent structure westward bound settlers had. Because the west had yet to be settled and supply towns with building materials were often hundreds and hundreds of miles away, constructing a log cabin offered the builder the warmth and protection from the elements and also a hostile environment with wild animals and sometimes Native Americans that didn’t take too kindly to the trespassing of their tribal lands.
When decorating for log home interiors, the fundamental thing to remember is rustic, wood and “Mother Nature”. Your interiors really should have the feel of outdoors. Lot’s of cozy Pendleton blankets and throws with Native American prints. Large cow hides are great for sectional rugs. Search the fea markets and swap meets for old saddles and horse blankets, old kerosine lamps, animals prints for the walls.
You’ll see things you’d never considered. Yet when you see them and they have the rustic look……they’re right.
It’s always in keeping to use vintage lighting or create something out of old items. Consider using rawhide lamp shades on antler bases. A real eye catcher for your “great” room would be a large wooden wagon wheel, hung from chains in the ceiling or a beam. It should be horizontal to the floor. Then locate about five old kerosene lamps. Have them connected to the outer iron rim of the wagon wheel. Now take it to a lighting store and have all the lamps wired with receptacles that you can screw in light bulbs. You can also have the lanterns glass chimneys lightly frosted so the bulb inside can’t be seen. Giving it a soft glow instead of a severe light. Be sure to use vintage lamps and an old wooden wagon wheel. It looks great and really sets the back woods mood.
Your couches should be overstuffed and comfortable. Your furniture should feature rough-hewn timbers that are made into end tables, night stands, dressers etc. Although old rustic wood was a primary staple for interior pieces……. old black iron was also used quite often. Fire place andirons , wall sconces, iron beds, pot belie stoves, and a variety of everyday household items were all coveted items that commonly had to be ordered from the closest town. They had to be sturdy, as did all everyday items. If something broke, there was no corner dry goods store you could replace it from. Those simple rustic items, many of them being kitchen items, were extremely valued in everyday life, and appropriately cared for.
Baskets and iron pots by the fireplace give a authentic feel. Old vintage antlers from elk and deer can help fill the tall sweeping walls. Any and all western horse items are great as are hunting and fishing items.
A good idea, if you have a cabin by a lake, is to try and find items like canoes that can be attached to the wall or upside down over the dinning room table with old frosted globe lights attached on the inside. If the globes are attached up inside the canoe, then the walls of the canoe will direct the light down onto the dinning room table……which should also be made of old plank wood.
Keep in mind your log home decor should be useful, yet cozy and comfortable.
Once again use as many antiques as you can…….. old antique iron beds with chipped and rusted finishes are great,vintage oak dressers, old beveled glass mirrors, wooden “pie safes” with old weathered paint and hole punched tin panels. A great touch are cow, deer or horsehide pillows. Try and find old framed vintage animal prints for the walls.
When you step back……… if you’ve achieved a comfortable rustic atmosphere……. you’ve done well.
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