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Smart Design Ideas for Small Log Homes

Get inspired with these nine tips to create BIG style in a small log home.

Written by Stacy Durr Albert
Tiny Antique Guest Log Cabin With Stone Chimney
Photo: James Ray Spahn (See more here.)


We’ve all heard the clichés, “good things come in small packages,” and “less is more.” But when it comes to home design, many latch onto the idea that a bigger house equals a better house.

While large homes may be right for some families, you don’t have to have a larger-than-life log home to make a statement. You can accentuate your built-in beauty (the log walls themselves) with meaningful and carefully chosen decorative appointments.

“A single dramatic piece of art or furniture can make a small space seem larger and more important and help compensate for the small room size,” shares John H. Wallace, senior designer at MossCreek Designs in Knoxville, Tennessee. “For small space decorating, try to keep things at a minimum because clutter will make a space seem even smaller.”

If you have a small house, you can make a big style statement with just a few well-planned details, and you’ll quickly discover how to create a home that’s huge on style, no matter what its dimensions may be. We offer nine clever concepts to get you started:


Think Up, Not Out

Forget about extra-wide hutches, armoires or bookshelves and go for extra-tall versions instead. Whether they are built-in or freestanding, tall, narrow units instantly “heighten” any setting and give the perception of more space. Pro Tip: use a simple fold-away stepstool to access high shelves as needed.


Reflect On It

There’s a reason that mirrors have been home essentials for centuries — and it runs deeper than vanity. Mirrors bounce light around a room, reflect surfaces and visually enlarge a setting. Place them high to draw the eye upward; or consider oversized mirrors that rest on the floor, and angle them in a way that naturally leads the eye up.


Bare Bones

Less is more when it comes to log home window treatments. In fact you can skip them altogether in areas where privacy isn’t a concern. If you do opt for draperies (in a bedroom, for example), place them as high as you can to create the illusion of more height, and extend the rod at least 4 inches on each side of the window to make it seem wider and to allow more light in.


Open Exposure

Consider leaving second-level floor joists exposed to add up to 10 inches of headroom downstairs. Open up a few of your kitchen cabinets to use as open shelving — it makes a strong style statement and creates a sense of airiness in a space. You also can visually expand your home by eliminating or reducing the size of interior hallways (reallocating the space savings to actual rooms) and using extra-wide, door-less openings between common areas.


Color Choices

Light, neutral hues go a long way toward creating an open, airy feeling in any home, regardless of its dimensions. Think rich shades of cognac or amber in lieu of basic white or off-white. A neutral palette doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy splashes of color — in a small space, bold accents make a great style statement. Consider vivid place settings, eye-catching throw pillows or a few custom art pieces.


Smart Furniture

In tight quarters, having the right furniture is key. Petite furnishings are one option, but they can look lost against bold log walls. Instead, look to hearty pieces with a purpose, such as furnishings with built-in storage or that pull double duty. Opt for built-in bench seating instead of regular chairs to create unexpected storage underneath. Also consider furniture that has secret drawers and compartments incorporated into its design.


Creativity Counts

When you have limited square footage, you can make a big design statement with one or two great pieces. Employ ordinary things in extraordinary ways. For example, use old ladders as shelving, vintage window frames as art or a tree trunk on wheels as a rolling, portable kitchen island. A corrugated metal ceiling, vivid tribal rugs or a vintage mantel with distressed wood would be equally dramatic. Remember it’s not about size; it’s about the statement you make.


A Breath of Fresh Air

Don’t overlook outdoor living spaces — they can virtually double your square footage, and you can use unique elements to connect indoors and out, such as retractable window walls. Don’t forget to fill your decks with comfortable furniture and stylish decorative details to make it seem like an extension of your indoor space.


Dazzling Details

Small accents make a big style statement in a scaled-down setting. Eye-catching hardware, hand-painted knobs and custom artwork all pack a powerful decorating punch. When outfitting the space, stick to the mantra that “less really is more,” and your small home is sure to shine in a big way.


More small log home ideas from Log Home Living:


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