Filled with history and hard work, our hundred-year-old cozy cabin is an inviting space that promotes relaxation and inspiration. Creating an authentic cozy cabin was no easy task; implement three simple tips to recreate the atmosphere of this room in any space. Read on to learn how we revived our hundred-year-old cabin and discover how to add cozy decor to your own home that fits with any design style.
Cozy Cabin Room Reveal
Stumbling upon a piece of history
Large timber walls hid behind layers of paint, wallpaper, plaster, and lath, waiting to be revived. Built in 1920, this log cabin was the original structure built on our property in Delano, MN. We first discovered these hidden cabin walls in our old farmhouse when we tackled a smaller project of restoring the original log timbers for a wood accent wall.
We quickly realized that the small space that made up our current dining room and bedroom was actually the original house, a small rustic log cabin. The additional rooms in the house were added on throughout the past 100 years. The hand-hewn logs, detailed dovetail connections at the corners of the room, and history of such a structure were impressive. We had a vision of restoring beauty to this log cabin. This triggered the start of a construction project that would last well over a year.
Demolition, construction, and restoration
Demo day officially began in February of 2019. This happened to be a very snowy and cold winter in Minnesota. Needless to say our prediction of the magnitude of this project or the time and hard work required to complete it was inaccurate. Although we would continue to finish details on this space over the following year, we managed to make enough progress to reveal this cozy cabin room to our friends in January of 2020, celebrating the anniversary of our hundred-year-old home.
This project required over 48 hours of sanding to revive the beauty of these hand-hewn timbers. We also implemented structural improvements, new electrical and insulation. This was a messy job and no amount of preparation (such as hanging plastic) could prepare us for the mess and sawdust that we dealt with for the year following demo day. Regardless of the challenges associated with this project, we are so proud of the final product and grateful for our efforts.
Restoring the original cozy cabin walls
We opted to stain the wood a dark color to create a cozy and rich environment. The detailed process we followed to stain these walls can be found in our previous post where we talk about restoring weathered wood. One tip to highlight the imperfections and beauty of the wood is to always wipe down the surface after staining. This allows the imperfections to hold more stain and stand out while the surface is lighter. Beautiful wood ceiling beams hid beneath the existing ceiling, and the darker stain popped against the white ceiling.
In addition to restoring beauty to this cozy cabin space, we also had to figure out a way to insulate these walls. Chinking is a flexible sealant that seals the joints and insulates log structures. After trying multiple different colors, we opted for a lighter chinking color which allowed each hand-hewn wood timber to pop and created a traditional cabin environment. After completing the room, it was time to bring in simple furniture and decor. Our choices created a cozy cabin atmosphere and highlighted the beauty of the room.
Three tips for creating a cozy space
What elements create a cozy environment? Our cozy cabin was inviting enough on its own. However, implementing the following three tips allowed us to create a comfortable and welcoming space.
Tip No. 1: Add textures and layers
Adding textures and layers to a space is essential to creating a cozy environment. Compared to most flat walls made of drywall, our cozy cabin walls supplied plenty of texture to the space. However, we chose to take it a step further by adding various textures and soft items.
While demolishing and constructing this space, we found evidence that led us to believe that the original builder of this cabin may have been from Norway. In fact, we later learned that he was a talented clockmaker. This may have inspired his beautiful dovetail connections and impressive craftsmanship. Much of our inspiration is from Norway. Therefore, we collected various decorative items during our trip to Norway earlier in the year.
During our time in Norway, we were drawn to the collection of furs that were present in restaurants, shops, and beautiful rental locations where we stayed. A collection of inspiring images from our trip can be found in our previous post. We ultimately created a comfortable atmosphere by adding textiles, furs, and layered accessories.
Tip No. 2: Use candles and alternative sources of light to create a cozy environment
According to the Danish concept of hygge, candlelight and soft lighting are important aspects of creating a cozy environment. Specifically, candles create a warm glow that promotes an inviting environment. These simple, yet beautiful candles can be purchased from our online shop, Buckingham Avenue Market. This Hygge Candle or Adventurous Homebody Candle does more than create a cozy atmosphere by adding a warm fragrance of marsala tea or black plum and fir to any space.
Other sources of lights that create a warm glow include lamps, wax melters, twinkly lights, or battery-operated candles. In addition to such sources of moody light, we implemented dimmable lights to compliment the natural lighting in the room. Adding a dimmer switch to an existing source of bright light is a great tool to create a relaxing environment. This allows natural light to be the main source during the day while providing options for bright or dim light in the evening.
Tip No. 3: Bring in natural elements
The final tip to creating a cozy space is to bring in natural elements. Nature has the ability to calm the mind, so incorporating it into your decor is essential. While the hand-hewn timbers of our cozy cabin room supply plenty of natural texture, we added additional natural elements such as plants, dried floral arrangements, wood furniture, and more.
Plants not only improve your mood and purify the air. They also serve as versatile decor. Opt for real plants or fake plants or dried floral arrangements for minimal maintenance. You can also use natural materials, such as wood, for furniture. We added mixed metals and glassware to complement our wood bar-cart. In addition, using materials such as slate for coasters and decor can also introduce a natural element.
Three tips used to create an inviting space in our cozy cabin
- Add texture and layers.
- Use candles and alternative sources of light.
- Bring in natural elements.
While we love our cozy cabin, rustic decor is not everyone's primary style. The three tips presented above can be implemented with any style. What changes can you make to make your home more inviting?