When thinking about log cabin decoration its important to consider what styles will look right with the ‘log cabin look’.
The interior of the log cabin should have been treated with wood preserver prior to the build. If not, you can go ahead and treat the inside of the cabin with one or better two coats of wood preserver, including the roof and floor, windows and doors.
The floor will get the most wear so needs decorating appropriately. Treat with extra hard floor varnish; probably at least three coats. You could consider international yacht varnish as it looks great and provides better protection than standard varnishes. Use wood filler, matched for colour, to fill any cracks, splits or damage (hopefully none!) from the build.
The windows and doors will be handled frequently so should also be well protected; think about this in your overall decoration plan. A well varnished window is better protected from the elements and can easily be wiped down when dirty. Bare wood will stain easily and you’ll have to sand it right back to get a clean look. Well varnished is going to mean say three coats of varnish for bare wood. Give any rough patches of timber a sand down with fine grade of sandpaper prior to varnishing.
The ceiling and walls of the log cabin could be left simply treated with wood preserver alone for a natural look and the pine will darken with age and exposure to the light. But this most basic type of log cabin decoration will not protect the wood from dirty finger marks or coffee spills. For a thorough and good looking job you might well decide to varnish the interior log surfaces. A good-looking and durable finish can be achieved with two coats of yacht varnish; the exterior grade definitely keeps the inside ship-shape and maintenance free and a clear satin finish will only enhance the natural pine logs. Interior grade varnishes tend to be very thin and you’ll end up having to do upwards of four coats to achieve a decent comparable finish. Other than that the paint combinations are only limited by your own imagination!
If you are going to paint your log cabin, use the best quality paint you can afford and apply a primer first, two layers of undercoat and two layers of top coat for a proper job that will look good and last. A gloss finish is always easier to wipe down, something to bear in mind in a garden room which is likely to get dirtier faster.
As far as the floor goes, most cabins will be finished with the tongue and groove pine boarding supplied with the log cabin kit. Tongue and groove boarding looks great as it is, decorated either with a clear gloss varnish or a coloured varnish to darken it and give it a more aged, antique feel. A coloured varnish will also not show the dirt as much as the natural light pine look. Alternatively consider covering the floor with hard wearing carpet tiles or a suitably-sized rug.
All that remains then is to furnish the log cabin and add those final decorative flourishes. As it’s a small space less is more. Avoid dark colours as they will only make the cabin look smaller. Pine or light oak furniture looks great in a log cabin. Unless it’s a workshop, lamps look much softer that overhead lighting, though, of course everyone’s tastes are different.
And that’s the real joy of log cabin; it’s a little ‘home from home’ and log cabin decoration is all about making it your own. Enjoy!