Originally Published on January 16, 2020. Last Updated on September 30, 2022.
You’ve made your dream a reality by finishing construction on your private cabin in the heart of the woods. Anticipating weekly trips out to your secluded retreat, you begin to teach your kids the finer details of fishing. You head to the outdoor depot to load up on equipment, gear, and new duds.
But don’t put the cart before the horse. To properly enjoy your cabin, you must take the time to furnish it properly. This includes the important outdoor areas that serve as the transition between your cabin home and the woods beyond.
Outdoor cabin furniture must withstand constant moisture and the unpredictable forces of nature. Investing in wood furniture can result in chipped, mildewed pieces, while metal furniture can rust in just one season. Learn how to outfit your cabin with durable furniture built for the great outdoors.
Identifying Outdoor Spaces at Your Cabin
Most secluded cabins aren’t as big as traditional beach and vacation homes. Even if you have a very small cabin, you can create distinct areas for lounging and entertaining outside.
The quintessential furniture for cabins is typically found on the front porch. A deep seating swing provides padded comfort for extended mornings or leisurely afternoons enjoying the breathtaking view. A rocking chair set is a traditional furniture option and a dependable choice for maximizing space on your deck or patio.
If you have a back patio or balcony, consider furnishing it with Adirondack chairs where you can relax with a drink and breathe in the autumn air after a hike with the family. Measure your designated area to determine how many chairs are practical without overwhelming the space. You can stick with a 3-piece set or upgrade to a larger conversation group.
Enjoy a home-cooked meal under a canopy of trees when you gather around a rustic outdoor dining set. If your cabin is the go-to family vacation home, you may want a spacious dining set to accommodate a large number of guests. However, if you only have a small breakfast nook behind the cabin, you should opt for a folding dining set that can be stored during the off season.
Outdoor Fire Pit
What’s a cabin in the woods without a roaring fire for s’mores and ghost stories? Reserve a section of your outdoor space for a fire pit table with chairs. You and your family can enjoy a roaring fire late into the night. Try to find fire pit tables that don’t require the maintenance of traditional outdoor fire pits.
Need more inspiration for your cabin furniture selection? Read our blog to discover other potential uses for your outdoor space.
Weather Considerations for Outdoor Furniture
Perhaps the most important aspect of your cabin furniture is the construction material. Cabins are immersed in raw nature, meaning your deep seating furniture and porch swings will have to withstand a variety of environmental factors without decaying.
Rain and Moisture
Morning dew. A sudden spring rain. A rolling mist that blankets your furniture in moisture. While these common occurrences sound magical, they can cause materials like wood and metal to warp and rot.
HDPE lumber avoids warping, discoloration, and rust when left in wet climates year-round. Invest in heavy-duty furniture that is not prone to splinter, crack, chip, peel, or rot.
Cold Weather and Snow
Combine the moisture and cold temperatures of a snow-laden winter day and you get trouble for most types of outdoor furniture. Freezing rain and consistent frost can eat away at the integrity of wood or wicker furniture, causing them to splinter, warp or crumble.
While you can choose to cover up or move your furniture in extreme temperatures, higher-quality materials like HDPE are constructed to endure cold temperatures without contracting or becoming brittle so the furniture remains resilient.
Dirt and Grime
When your cabin is under a canopy of trees, your durable furniture often will be covered in detritus and debris. Regularly cleaning materials like wrought iron or wood can be exhausting.
Take time to choose material that resists staining and can be cleaned easily. Furniture that only requires an occasional wipe down will allow you to focus on fun activities instead of housework.
Cabin Furniture Style Tips
Most cabin decor styles can best be described as “natural” or “rustic.” Unfinished, rugged wood plays a big part in a cabin aesthetic, but the larger sense of rustic style plays into an overall casual and inviting feel.
Best Color Schemes for Cabin Furniture
Neutrals — Most cabins have an intimate feel even without much square footage. Natural, lighter colors like White and Sand reflect more light to open up space and make your various seating areas feel bigger. Plus, these colors pair wonderfully with most types of wood used in cabin construction and decor.
Earth Tones — Cabin furniture should reflect the hues of nature, so stick to rich Earth tones when selecting colors. Materials featuring color embedded in the fabric will deliver long-lasting vibrancy when exposed to the elements surrounding your cabin. Accessorize with maroons, burnt orange, or plaid patterns.
When selecting outdoor furniture for your cabin, avoid pieces that are overly modern or minimalist with straight lines and right angles. Emphasize the comfort of cabin living by choosing pieces that have curves, generous seats, and wide slats with spaces in between. Rustic cabin furniture should feel timeless while also capturing a slice of your family’s personality.
Unleash your inner designer and add a plush patterned throw to your front porch swing or accessorize your seating area with antique side tables or carved artwork. When styling your cabin, less isn’t more.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll have no problem finding furniture that brings the outdoor areas of your cabin to life. What furniture pieces will you be adding to your cabin? Let us know in the comments!
To help you plan your space, check out the POLYWOOD Outdoor Furniture Planner. We’ll ask you about the size and shape of your space, 5 quick questions total, and then provide you with up to three furniture set results.