Ideas for Remodels for Small Cabins

Almost everyone dreams of owning a cabin, but remodeling it to work well for the family takes careful thought. The limited space of a small cabin requires using all floorspace wisely so that the cabin doesn't seem cramped. Use materials and furnishings that fit your personal taste if you will spend lots of time there. Review cabin design books for remodeling a cabin that you will lease or sell.

Fix Neglected Spaces

Making this small cabin live comfortably will be worth the effort.

Make all repairs first. You will need to carefully examine the roof and attic areas, as well as the crawlspace and foundation. Fix all water leaks and gaps or cracks to protect the structure. Also look at any wiring or plumbing problems that need attention because these issues can become larger.

Lighten the Interior

Try to expand the cabin living space visually by combing the living and kitchen area for an open feeling. Installing larger windows, lighter flooring material or painting the walls a light color will help. You want the cabin to feel cozy, but you don't want to create a dark, depressing living space. If walls are dark logs, add one or two skylights to the roof area.

Add a Porch Area

Build a porch on one or more sides, which will extend the living space and make room for entertaining and relaxing. Construct a porch on all four sides if this is practical. You can use the porch for eventually building a screened roof or sleeping area. A hot tub can work well on the porch of a small cabin as well.

Create Good Kitchen Space

You will want a practical kitchen that works well over time. Do install a stove, refrigerator and dishwasher as well as cabinets to store dishes and cookware. You can use small appliances and a small sink, but ensure they're sufficiently large enough for easy cooking and cleanup. Roughing it in a cabin is not usually enjoyable if modern conveniences aren't included.

Plan Detailed Furniture Layout

Use furniture in a balanced way. Ensure that the sofa, dining table and beds don't overpower the space. The small cabin will feel cramped if you use oversize furniture. You might want to sketch the cabin interior in detail so you can plan every piece of furniture and all accessories. Use a queen bed versus a king bed to save space. You can save dining table space by installing the table against a wall and using chairs on just three sides.

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.