In the work-from-anywhere revolution, people have come up with some pretty creative workspaces. Perhaps one of the most creative home workspaces I’ve seen is the log cabin office.
These office spaces combine the efficiency and functionality of a well-designed modern office with the rustic comfort of timber and log cabins.
In my opinion, it’s a winning combination. I’ve been working from home for more than seven years, and I’ve used a lot of the comforting, focus-enhancing attributes of log cabin interiors to design the perfect office space in my home.
And today, I’m going to walk you through the process of creating the perfect log cabin office in eight simple steps. Let’s dive in.
Why Design a Log Cabin Office?
Before we get into the details, let’s zoom out and ask ourselves why we should even invest in an office for our log cabins in the first place.
Work time and home time are closer together than they ever have been. The average modern worker NEEDS some kind of office space in their home in order to do their job.
If your home is a log cabin — or a timber home or just a log cabin-themed home — you’ll very likely need a log cabin office at some point.
Why not start now and make it perfect?
1. Size Up Your Office Space
A “log cabin office” can mean a lot of different things to different people. Before you go any further, figure out where on this spectrum you fall:
Standalone Log Cabin Home Office
Are you planning to build or buy a log cabin structure that you’ll use for an office? If so, you could take one of three basic approaches:
- Buy a pre-built log cabin structure and turn it into an office
- Buy a pre-built cabin that’s already designed to be an office
- Build your own home office with logs and timber
Obviously, you’ll need significant carpentry and construction skills to pull off option No. 3 (and at least some handy skills to pull off option No. 1).
If you don’t have a lot of handyman skills, you’ll probably want to go with option No. 2.
Office Space Inside an Existing Log Cabin
Do you already have a log cabin you’re hoping to add an office to? If you’ve already got an empty room for the office space, all you’ll have to do is pick out your rustic office furniture and decorations.
But if you’re trying to create an additional room in your log cabin for the office — either by adding interior walls or creating an add-on structure — you’ll have a lot more work ahead of you.
Log Cabin-Style Office
Maybe there’s no actual log cabin involved in your home office dreams. Maybe you just want to emulate the look and feel of a log cabin in your home office.
That’s a great idea. And it’s probably one of the easiest approaches to building a log cabin home office on this list.
All you have to do is decide which pieces of furniture and decorations create the log cabin vibes you’re aiming for.
2. Get Connected (Or Not)
We’re not to the fun part yet, but this is still an important consideration: Is your log cabin or cabin-like space connected to the internet?
It’s 2023. Most “office” work is going to involve an internet connection. So, you’ll more than likely need to arrange for an internet connection, whether that’s already wired in or something you will have to add.
I know many log cabins are in remote places. And even in 2023, many remote places don’t have viable internet available.
Also, you may simply not WANT internet in your log cabin getaway home. I can certainly relate with that.
Here’s what you need to know: You can still have an office in your log cabin without having internet.
But if you want internet — or need it — in your office space, you may have to call an internet provider to set it up.
And if you’re in one of those remote places where there aren’t a lot of good home internet options, don’t give up just yet. If you have cell phone reception, you could always use a mobile hotspot to hook your cabin office up to the world wide web.
I’m only discussing internet here because it’s the biggest “if” in the connection equation. Obviously, if you have a completely off-grid cabin, you’re going to have to be OK with working by lantern light (or investing in some solar panels).
3. Select Your Desk
OK, now for the fun part: It’s time to pick your desk.
Arguably, the desk sets the tone for the entire office space. And in a log cabin setting, you’re looking for a desk that combines comfort and functionality with something warm and rustic.
That typically means your desk should be made of wood. And the wood you choose should match the interior wood of your log cabin.
Luckily, wood is a really popular material for desks. So you’ll have plenty of options.
If you’re going to have a computer in your office space, be sure you choose a desk that can accommodate one. Bonus points if the desk has the proper holes for charging and connection cables.
Got a lot of space to fill in your office space? An executive desk, which takes up a large amount of space with ample desktop and storage cabinets underneath, may be the perfect option.
And if you’re into fitness, a standing desk may be the perfect addition to your rustic home office.
Here are some other types of desks to consider for your log cabin office:
- A dual-sided desk for working alongside someone else
- A floating desk to mount on your cabin’s interior walls
- A trestle desk ideal for designers and artists
- A writing desk to accommodate your laptop OR your typewriter
Pro tip: Invest in a lap desk for your log cabin. That way, when you don’t feel like sitting at your main desk, you can move to the couch or a comfortable non-office chair and keep on working.
4. Choose Your Office Chair
If you’re a standing desk person, you can skip to the next step. But if you’re like the rest of us, you’re going to need an office chair in your new office.
Like the desk you chose in the last step, the chair should match the log cabin vibes you’re dealing with. Think wood, leather, or even camo for materials and patterns.
But you also need to remember this:
You’re potentially going to spend A LOT of time in this chair. It needs to be comfortable above all else.
Fortunately, there are dozens of decently priced ergonomic chairs designed for comfort to choose from.
But speaking as someone who has gone through at least five office chairs in the past decade, you NEED to try it out before you buy it, if at all possible.
Why? Because the same chair that’s comfortable for me may be totally unbearable for you. People’s backs and preferences are just different.
So, try out the chair to make sure it’ll work for you. THEN ask yourself whether it matches the log cabin surroundings you’re going to put it in.
Otherwise, you’re going to be limping around your cabin with an aching back.
5. Pick Some Shelves and Bookcases
No log cabin office is complete without some nice shelving and bookcases.
Personally, I’m a big fan of wall-mounted shelves. These work particularly well for log cabins because they showcase the timber interior as the backdrop of the shelf, rather than a flat piece of particle board with some laminate on it.
As for bookcases, you’ll have no problem finding some that match your wooden interior. Just be sure to measure your space before you buy — I once had to return an entire bookcase AFTER assembling it because I made the mistake of guessing rather than measuring.
If you don’t have a lot of books, that’s no problem. Just add more shelves. And decorate them with arts, crafts, or objets that are meaningful to you.
6. Find the Perfect Decor
Now, you’ve got the basics picked out. All that’s left is the details. (And the details are the most fun.)
In this case, the “details” are all about the decorations for your log cabin’s office.
I’ve decorated my fair share of home office spaces, and as a fan of log cabins and the associated styles, I’ve gone rustic a time or two.
But I’m no interior designer. I really don’t have an eye for this stuff. Which is why I find it helpful to pick a theme when I’m determining office decor.
Lucky for you, log cabins lend themselves naturally to a few themes:
- Trees and nature
- Hunting and fishing
But you’re not limited to those themes, of course. For example, you could always juxtapose the rustic feel of a log cabin with the sleek, modern feel of a contemporary office.
Ultimately, it’s up to you. But if you’re at a loss, pick a theme and stick to it. Slowly, you’ll start to see how each object, painting, decoration, photograph, etc., fits in with your theme (or doesn’t).
Pro tip: Include an area rug in your decorations list. These rugs tie any office space together nicely.
7. Think About Your Backdrop
We live in the age of video calls. That means you may not be the only person who lays eyes on the office you’re building in your log cabin.
More specifically, the people you have Zoom meetings with are going to get a glimpse of what you’re building here. So, think about your backdrop as you decorate.
As a rule of thumb, don’t put anything TOO distracting in view. If you have a big, colorful painting, maybe put that where you can see it and leave it out of your backdrop.
It’s best to keep your backdrop simple and uncluttered. Although your bookcases and shelves always make a good backdrop.
In any case, log cabins already provide a nice backdrop by default. Just don’t do anything to mess it up!
8. Adjust the Lights
Lighting is the final detail of your new office space.
And I’m begging you: Do NOT opt for only overhead lighting. Nothing ruins the vibes of a rustic home office faster than a bright overhead light casting deep shadows over everything.
Instead, use lamps. In all but the largest log cabin offices, one desk lamp and one or two floor lamps will do the trick.
So, pick a desk lamp that won’t blind you. And pick a floor lamp (or two) that casts a nice light over the rest of the room.
And I know we’re in the age of LEDs and fluorescents. I have no problem with those lighting options, but for an office in a log cabin, incandescent bulbs bring the right kind of light.
One detail I like to add to my home office setups is a simple set of string lights. Toss them over a rafter or around a door frame to bring your office’s coziness level up to 11.
That wasn’t so bad, was it? And now you have the perfect log cabin office to help you get more done.
If you’re happy with how yours has turned out, share it with us! Send us photos of your new office space, and we may feature it in this article or on our social media profiles.