Have you ever heard someone say, ‘We are going to our cabin by the lake this weekend’ or ‘We have a cabin in the woods’? Then you see a picture of their cabin and it is not at all what you envisioned? Maybe it was larger than you thought or maybe it was a stick-frame house, not even made of logs. Over the years the term “cabin” has become synonymous with many types of homes, however, most of these homes adhere to at least one of the following traits:
Log or Timber Style Architecture
For many people the name cabin implies, without doubt, a log home. These individuals would claim that the word cabin is just a shortened version of the term log cabin. For others, a cabin is any home which uses some form of wood construction, such as log, timber, siding or beams. This inclusion of wood adds to the home’s rustic sense of architecture, thus placing the home in the category of cabins.
A Cozy Size
Sitting in a chair close to the fire, with your family nearby is a common idea among those dreaming of a log cabin. Although more and more people like to refer to homes built over 1,500 sq.ft. as cabins, traditionalists maintain that a log cabin must be small and intimate. It is a home where you share the space as well as your memories.
A Rural Location
Even a stick frame home can achieve a cozy atmosphere, but many would say that a small cozy stick-built home is more of a cottage than a cabin. However, if you place that cozy stick-frame structure next to the lake or on a hill amid the pines, the home can take on an entirely new perspective. Often, it is the location of a home that helps to determine the adjectives which will describe it.
A Lodge-Like Feel
It is possible to find a wood home built in a rural location which, because of its look and feel, does not seem to be a cabin at all. Much of the look of a cabin is created by its decoration. If I asked how you would decorate a cabin you might reply: wood furniture, pictures of wildlife (or actual wildlife mounted), rustic nick-knacks, and warm blankets. These are only a few of the accents that can transform any home into a cabin.
In the end, we realize that the word cabin is not a set definition for a specific type of home, it is a feeling that you get when you are there, and the joy you remember when you are away.
What is your idea of a perfect cabin?