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8 Steps to Add Color to a Log Home

Log homes showcase wood — and lots of it. To add some visual variety, follow our eight steps to add color to a log home.

Adding color to a log home bedroom

While logs and other natural materials surely set the basic framework for your home’s palette, they’re not the only source of color inspiration for your interior decor. You can still incorporate other hues. The secret? Balance. Keep these principles in mind when you decide to add color to a log home.

1. Warm It Up.

Earth tones will always be a very popular choice for log home decorating, but they’ve become noticeably warmer these days. Think about rich shades of cognac, amber, mocha, gray and russet in lieu of lackluster beige or cream.

2. Keep It Subtle.

Neutral hues are warming up, and they’re still a great way to add color to a log home. Go for colors that accentuate the natural warmth of your wood rather than compete with it. Steer away from shocking tones like neon pink or emerald green, and opt for shades that complement your environment, such as rich champagne, dusty blues and the warm browns and grays of natural stone. “A natural color palette and organic patterns work well in log homes,” shares Cassie Christianson, in-house designer at Wisconsin Log Homes. “Stick with subtle colors that accentuate the decor. There are great ‘non-colors’ that have a profound effect on scale and proportion and can be very sophisticated when layered in a variety of textures and intensities.”

3. Go for the Bold.

If you like vibrant colors, they’re not off limits — just use bold tones as accents rather than dominant hues. A room can perk up instantly with bright red pillows, vibrant rugs or local artwork that pops. Hot color trends this year include turmeric, turquoise, mint, cerulean blue, plum and bright greens.

4. Keep Calm and Decorate On.

In today’s hectic world, tranquility is a priority. One way to add color to a log home while still achieving this serene feel is with a monochromatic look that layers the same color in various shades and textures. Consider Mediterranean blues, olive greens, rich neutrals and Marsala-wine reddish browns. “Calmer spaces equal calmer minds,” advises Cassie.

5. Mix It Up.

A good recipe contains more than one key ingredient and so does a home’s interior. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, colors and textures when you add color to a log home. A variety of building materials (logs, stone, drywall) adds visual interest, as does a mix of motifs and hues. “Modern florals can be incorporated in pillows or on an accent chair, while plaids are great to use in bedroom quilts or as area rugs,” advises Cassie.

6. Anchors Away.

Use colors to anchor and accent neutral tones. Black is a great option. “Bring in black with lamps, frames, fabrics, rugs or accessories like candleholders and vessels,” suggests Cassie. Strategically scatter this darkest of neutrals around the room to tie it all together and keep the eye moving.

7. Think About You.

Don’t forget to consider colors that truly define YOU when you add color to a log home. “Close your eyes and think of your personality and which colors you love,” advises Cassie. “Peek into your closet and look in the mirror — what looks good on you will usually look good around you.”

8. The Don’ts of Log Home Decor

  • Don’t use really dark colors throughout your home. While it’s okay to incorporate some darker shades, too many may make your home feel cold, damp or dreary. Go for a balance between light and dark.
  • Don’t use distracting colors on large areas. “The beauty of the wood should be seen without the distraction of loud colors or patterns,” says Wisconsin Log Homes designer Cassie Christianson.
  • Don’t add permanent color to permanent objects. If you tire of colors easily or are planning to sell in the future, don’t use unusual or bold colors on things that are difficult to change. Instead, pump up the vibrancy through accessories that can easily be rotated or removed, such as artwork, area rugs, furniture and pillows.