11 Classic Cabin Design Elements

From painted floors to log construction railings, take a closer look at the top design and architectural elements found in cabins and classic country homes.

By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

A-Frame Roof

This black-brown and barn-red cabin in the north Georgia mountains features an A-frame roof, an architectural element seen in many mountain houses, both old and new.

Pea Gravel Driveway

Pea gravel driveways are common in mountain homes as well as coastal homes. The laid-back, unstructured look of the loose gravel sets a casual, welcome stage for guests. It's also much easier to maintain than concrete or asphalt, as those materials tend to crack or freeze in colder months.

Tin Roof

Tin is arguably the most popular roofing material choice for cabins and country homes. Much more sturdy than shingles, tin roofs don't require much maintenance and are easy to replace.

Log Exterior

Although many cabins appear to be built with logs, they're often framed with plywood and then clad with log veneers that are half the width of an actual log. This cabin is clad in veneer that has been painted black for a modern touch.

Board + Batten

Board and batten is an architectural style in which tongue-and-groove wood or wood planks are added to walls, and then the gaps between them are masked with smaller wooden trim. The exterior of this cabin is covered in board and batten that has been stained black-brown.

Painted Sashes

To keep mixed-wood cabin exteriors from becoming too dark and heavy, paint sashes around the windows, including the window trim, a contrasting color. The painted sashes also help highlight the architectural lines of the house.

Exposed Beams

Exposed beams add character to the interior of cabins and mountain homes. An excellent way to make them stand out is to paint the walls and ceilings a light color, then stain the beams a darker hue.

Log Accents

Chunky log accents are staple elements in the indoor and outdoor decor of country cabins. Many stairwells are made from pine logs much thicker in diameter than planed wood. For a rustic touch, the wood is often hand scraped rather than planed smoothly.

Painted Wood

Interior designers who prefer a super-clean aesthetic often choose to paint all-wood surfaces white. Here, the doors and walls are made crisp and modern, and the polished brass hardware stands out more than it would on stained wood doors.

Door Details

The 'X' shape seen on functioning barn doors is often repeated on the interior doors. To highlight this graphic element, consider painting the door a bold color like barn red.

Painted Floors

Painted wood floors have long been a key element of classic country design. Today, they're seen more and more frequently in all types of homes. In order to paint your hardwoods, you'll need to clean and sand them, then add oil-based primer to create a strong bond. Once the primer has cured, apply two coats of oil-based floor paint to the wood, allowing one full day of drying time between each coat. Once complete, stay off of the floors for at least three days.

Shop Related Products