Modern Cabins Are the New Black

An Updated Take on Traditional Cabin Living

By Megan Johansson

If you’re from Minnesota, you know that summer and cabins go together better than chocolate and peanut butter. For many people, going “up north” for the weekend is basically a rite of passage.

But as entwined as cabins are to Minnesotans’ DNA, they don’t always have to adhere to rustic mountain decor. Cabins can (and should) reflect your personality. If you’re not into the traditional log look, why not opt for a smaller, simpler design instead?

Modern cabins are on our radars big time right now, and with their sleek lines and minimalist décor, it’s no wonder why. They are sheer perfection.

 Beautiful modern cabin with floor-to-ceiling windows /  Source

Beautiful modern cabin with floor-to-ceiling windows / Source

Want some tips for incorporating modern style into your home away from home? Here are our favorite elements of these dreamy spaces:


Sleek Fireplaces

Gone are the days when having a cabin meant you had to have a giant stone fireplace. Today there are so many beautiful pared down fireplace designs to choose from that complement your space and truly make a modern statement. From unique wood burning stove shapes to using white painted brick or tile around the hearth, you can still soak up the magic of a cozy fireplace without falling back on the usual lodge set up.

1. Floating wood burning stove gives a sense of lightness to the space / Source    2. This fireplace is sleek and modern, playing with color contrast / Source    3. A simple and understated wood stove makes the view the focal point of the room / Source


Monochromatic & Neutral Color Schemes

Modern cabins tend to stick to the neutral family, with bold blacks and crisp whites taking the spotlight. Incorporating color is great – but it’s best done in small pops here and there. If you keep your color scheme largely monochromatic, your space will feel much more contemporary and less likely to fall into the typical log cabin vibe (think heavy on reds and greens).

1. A black exterior is brightened up by a fresh white interior / Source    2. With the exception of occasional pops of red and wood, this cabin sticks to a white color palette / Source    3. The floor-to-ceiling white brightens this space up and brings the natural light to life / Source


Artistic Indoor Wood Storage

Usually, firewood ends up being stacked in a corner of a cabin – sometimes on an outdated metal stand, and other times just stacked in any way that’s sturdy. But why not use wood storage as an excuse to get artistic and really utilize the space? These gorgeous cabins make firewood look like the most show-stopping thing in the room. Try this look by incorporating built-in compartments by the fireplace (unused wall space, I’m lookin’ at you), or opt for a unique shelving unit that gives your cabin a modern flair.

1. Against a white wall, this wood storage is a beautiful contrast of color and texture / Source    2. This modern circular wood storage unit is unique and serves as a statement piece in the space / Source    3. Using a lower shelf for wood storage helps to connect the logs to the wood ceiling, and keeps the floors clear, opening up the room visually / Source


Modern Architectural Features

There’s nothing more stunning than a modern framed home nestled between pine trees. Modern architectural details can completely transform cabins into contemporary structures with purposeful connections to nature. Details like floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a lakefront, A-frame structures with stunning loft bedroom views, and skylights that add natural light can all work together to help a cabin feel airy, open, and updated.

1. This A-frame home fits perfectly in the woods while also making a bold statement / Source    2. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for unbeatable views / Source    3. The flat roof of this cabin works to open up the view of the sky and help the home blend into the surrounding nature / Source


Modern Wood Accents

You can still achieve a “cabin” feel with wood paneling or exposed timbers, but the trick to making this look feel more modern than mountain is to keep it understated and balance it out with simple furniture and neutral colors. You don’t necessarily want to have an all-over wood-paneled room paired with wood furniture and accents because it can be visually overwhelming. But if you use wood sparingly, it can help you pull in inspiration from the surrounding trees in a way that is fresh and tasteful.

1. Wood paneling covers the ceiling but is balanced by sleek furniture and walls in contrasting colors / Source   2. Painted timbers help to break up the wood paneling visually, and the room is completed with modern furniture and fixtures / Source   3. This bedroom keeps to modern principals but still incorporates wood in a contemporary and unique way via a statement headboard / Source


Ready to take your cabin to the next level? Try incorporating some of these design tips for an modern take on a Minnesota classic. Your second home will instantly feel refreshed and ready for the summer (and your s’mores will taste better than ever).