Rustic Log Furniture

Written by Emily Ledbetter
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Furniture is the key component of any home--big or small, suburban or rural, cabin or mansion. The right furniture pieces can contribute to the overall comfort and style, while inappropriate or disproportioned pieces can turn what was a nicely built home into a disaster area! For instance, a flimsy card table with fold-out legs does not function well as a coffee table in a 600 square foot living room with cathedral ceilings.

Choosing the Right Furniture

The three main factors in any furniture purchase are typically personal taste, function and budget. If you are an ardent animal rights activist in search of a sofa for your cramped apartment, chances are you will not arrive home from furniture shopping with an eight-foot sectional leather couch and $350 zebra skin throw pillows. Luckily, there is a wide range of furniture lines available to fit any space, budget and style.

Rustic log furniture is one of the most popular styles among people decorating their mountain cabins, as well as those people looking to bring a touch of mountain living to their city life. It is appealing for a number of reasons, including the durable construction, natural look and one-of-a-kind characteristics of each piece. The rustic feel of log furniture can be infused into a room with the addition of a single piece or with a total room redesign, incorporating multiple pieces.

There are three types of logs commonly used in the construction of rustic furniture. Each type has characteristics that make it unique and well-suited for different tastes. Aspen wood is harvested dead standing and is characterized by its knobby, knotty appearance and smooth texture. By harvesting trees that are already dead, the risk of forest fires is reduced and more room is available for new growth. Another option for furniture building is the use of skip peeled logs which are created from lodge pole that is most often harvested in the high elevations of the Rocky Mountains. The craftsmen initially receive the wood with the bark still on and it is then skip peeled by hand with a draw knife. Many people prefer this style of wood because it has a very rustic appearance. Finally, turned lodge pole furniture is created from the same trees used in skip peeled furniture. Rather than being peeled by hand with a knife, the logs are sent through a doweller, giving each piece a uniform size. Turned lodge pole furniture is often less expensive than other types because each piece is cut to exact dimensions, making it easier to work with.

Indoor Furniture

Rustic log furniture can be incorporated into any room of the house. Entire sets of living room furniture, including coffee tables, end tables and chairs, are available or you may choose to add just one piece to your existing décor. Many couples living in the city create a charming mountain retreat in their bedrooms by bringing in log beds, nightstands, mirrors and armoires. Log beds are commonly sold in kits to be assembled by the consumer.

For those people who have the image of the perfect piece of furniture in their minds but just can't seem to find it online or in a furniture store, custom-built pieces are a great option. Custom-built beds and dining tables are common additions to a home and are often so treasured by the owners that they become family heirlooms, passed down through the generations.

Outdoor Furniture

There are a number of spots outdoors that are ideal for rustic log furniture. It is a popular choice for outdoor décor because it complements the natural surroundings. Rocking chairs, gliders, benches and table and chair sets are common additions to porches, decks and patios both in the mountains and the city.

It is important to apply the proper finish to log furniture that is to be used outdoors. Manufacturers recommend that a penetrating, oil-based water repellent that has UV protection and mildicides be applied periodically to protect the furniture from the elements. By being proactive about protecting your rustic log furniture, you will be able to enjoy the comfort, durability and beauty for years to come.

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