You’ve finally achieved your dream of creating a cozy, secluded corner of the woods just for you and your family. Owning and maintaining a rustic cabin is well worth the investment, providing an idyllic place to connect with nature and unwind with loved ones to create lasting memories.
Many mountainside or lake-adjacent cabins are, for practical purposes, smaller in square-footage than a beach house or other vacation getaway. With the family gathering in close quarters, it’s crucial to plan the furniture layout and entertainment spaces of your cabin in a way that maximizes fun and relaxation.
Follow these guidelines to preset your cabin with multiple functional spaces and plenty of activities for the kids and grandparents alike.
Patio: Grill and Dining Area
Structure your weekends and free time around meals. A fully loaded outdoor grill provides barbecue enthusiasts with a great way to socialize while preparing the main course of the day. Consider adding a small counter table with a few counter-height chairs so you can store spices and sauces within arm’s reach while providing a space for others to stop by and chat while you cook.
Modest cabin patios can typically fit a grill and a dining set for 4-to-6 people. An outdoor dining area connects your family with the great outdoors while you chow down on your latest feast, and the table also provides an excellent venue for board games and other family-friendly activities.
For safety, leave six feet of walkable space in between your grill and the dining set. You can add an umbrella if there is no obstruction of sunlight, but many cabins nestled in the woods won’t need this protection.
Deck: Outdoor Living Room
As tempting as it may be, you won’t be eating or hiking all day. The perfect place to digest, converse, and enjoy the scenic view is in a partially-structured comfy outdoor living room space along your side deck. A deep seating set with a sofa and a couple of rocking chairs, centered around a coffee table, is all you need for a casual unwinding spot.
Arrange your furniture in a semicircle with a view of the mountains, trees, or stream beyond your cabin as the focal point. Entertain in your outdoor living room with animated stories or a game of charades. This space is often utilized as a timeout area to enjoy a piping hot cup of cocoa or dive into the latest page-turner.
By investing in weather-proof, quick-drying materials for your outdoor living room furniture, you can leave your arrangement outside all season long.
Backyard: Fire Pit Table
When an enchanting forest serves as your backyard, few furniture items are necessary to stage the ultimate locale where you can throw a frisbee, play football, or work up a sweat.
An ideal central point is a fire pit table encircled by Adirondack chairs, situated 10 feet from the back door of your cabin. During the day, this is the perfect place to suit up for a hike or take a break from the action and rehydrate.
At night, you and your loved ones can sit around the table and bring a roaring fire to life with the touch of a button. Roast s’mores or kick back with an evening cocktail and a handful of funny anecdotes or ghost stories.
For security, install a few overhead lighting fixtures or walkway lighting in between your fire pit area and your cabin. You don’t want to trip over a toy or bang your knee into the deck after you’ve turned off the fire.
Activities for a Rainy Day
Of course, when a storm rolls through, and you can’t go on your mid-day hike or relax on your outdoor deep seating sofa, the time might tick by slowly if you’re unprepared. Be ready for the inevitable rainy weekend by stocking your cabin with a few necessities for a good time.
No family cabin would be complete without a selection of classic and modern board games. For a full-day commitment, go with games like Risk or Monopoly. Got younger kids? Choose some lighthearted games that will get the entire family smiling like Zingo or Stack Up!
Make a Movie
You can recreate a current film your children are obsessed with or write an outline and film silly scenes around the cabin. A great activity for extroverted kids with high energy, making a movie at home is easier than ever with user-friendly smartphones.
Even beginners can have a fun time in their cabin with a pair of bongos and a keyboard. Sing and dance with the family singing campfire songs or top 40 jams. Now is the perfect time to start learning guitar!
You don’t want your guests to feel crowded during a soiree or family activity. Take the time to measure your space before shopping for furniture or deciding on a primary function for your deck and patio outdoor areas.
Are you ready to choose outdoor furniture for your cabin? Read our guide to learn what weather considerations you should make and what cabin styles you should incorporate. To make the most solid investment, compare how various outdoor furniture materials perform in the mountainous or forest regions near most cabins.