Four single beds fill this dormitory with two more awaiting in the attached screen porch.
Photo by Dale Mulfinger.
A fireplace and sunset lake view. Who could ask for more?
Photo by Steven Wong.
What makes for a great cabin bedroom? Is it size, character, views or closets? My wife might question my authority on the subject, as I’m known as a two-speed guy with an on-and-off switch. Show me a bed, and I’m immediately off. So, my view of bedrooms comes principally from mornings where I wake up a couple of hours ahead of her and quietly pitter-patter around the room getting dressed. In my 25 years of designing cabins, I’ve had the opportunity of scheming several interesting bedrooms. And since my wife and I regularly borrow completed cabins for a weekend, we’ve slept in many. So, along with the morning view, I’ve also received an earful of my wife’s critiques.
SizeA bedroom at the cabin shouldn’t be large, as they are used for napping or sleeping but rarely for the getaway-room use that might occur in the home. Start with the bed size you’re going to use and add three feet around the three sides of the bed where you need movement. My queen-size cabin bedroom is 10.3x10.5 feet, and there is ample room. By adding a bay window, I made this modest space feel larger. Our other bedroom is 10x14 feet also with a queen-size bed. It has enough space to double as a quiet room in the cabin and an extra place for an inflatable mattress when we pack ’em in. We add to this a queen-size sleeping loft, which overlooks the living room and is the favorite spot for the grandkids. Listening to the old boring adults below is the best sleeping potion. And we have an old log cabin on the property, which is our guest cabin and sleeps another five in singles and a bunk. After that, it’s the motel 10 miles down the road.
“Cozy” seems to be a description many of my clients exclaim as criteria for their desired cabin bedroom. This could imply a Swedish built-in bed as Carl Larsson highlights in his books or the materials employed on walls, floor and ceiling. There is a great tradition of wood, especially pine for walls and ceilings. If gypsum board is used, I like to recommend a rich paint color. Bedroom ceilings present a unique opportunity for creating a special character, and in bed, we view the ceiling a lot. Ceilings might follow a roofline or just receive special framing to create a shape. I have designed several bedroom ceilings with an arched shape, said by my favorite carpenter as an easy shape to frame. Arches or vaults can be symmetrical in the room if aligned with the bed or asymmetrical with the arch dropping low behind the bed. Tray ceilings are also easy to create and bring a ceiling down onto a wall for a cozy atmosphere. In my cabin bedroom, I followed the lines of a maple syrup tin, one that looks like a log cabin. Thus, the ceiling slopes on two sides only, raising to a flat section on top, sort of a half tray. We have thus named this bedroom the “Maple Syrup Room.”