How to Utilize Your Cabin More Throughout the Year
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How to Utilize Your Cabin More Throughout the Year

Whether you’re thinking about a countryside retreat or year-round enjoyment of your property, here are some tips to reshape your cabin into a cozy home.

Written by Rose Morrison


 Photo by Kadarius Seegars / Unsplash


Staying in a cabin can be therapeutic, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. However, when cold weather arrives, many people wait until spring or summer to enjoy it again. Whether you’re thinking about a countryside retreat or year-round enjoyment of your property, here are some tips to reshape your cabin into a cozy home.


Examine the Key Features

Assess your cabin's size, location, accessibility and privacy before making significant changes. These features will influence your cabin’s overall usability throughout the year. For instance, a larger cabin can have multiple uses, such as a guest house or a home office.

Depending on how you’ll use your property, its accessibility and privacy might need an upgrade. For example, if you’re staying with a family member with mobility issues, add a wheelchair ramp and shower bars. On the other hand, a retreat cabin might need more privacy, hence the need for blinds and curtains.


Check Plumbing and Electrical Systems 

Assess these systems to ensure they can support year-round usage. You might notice old or worn-out pipes, or cords that need replacing. To prevent plumbing parts from freezing during colder months, a plumber might suggest running the pipes on the warmer side of the structure, requiring reinstallation. 

There are around 1,000 deaths yearly in the United States due to electrical injuries, while at least 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents also happen. Among children, these accidents occur most often at home. If you plan on staying in the cabin with your kids, attach outlet caps, secure loose cords and cover power strips. Consequently, consider installing a generator if you’re working remotely from your cabin, ensuring you have power in an emergency.


Keep the Kitchen Functional

Transform your kitchen into a functional room to enhance your cabin’s cooking experience. Keep furnishings simple, being thoughtful about what you’ll add. For instance, a 30-inch-wide refrigerator, a pair of sinks and a four-burner range should suffice. Add countertop space and a kitchen island to smoothen your culinary workflow. 

Remember — the island should ideally only take up 10% of your kitchen’s square footage. Add a rug with warm tones like orange and red to cozy up the space and complement wooden finishes.


Fix Air Leaks

A tightly sealed home has better indoor air quality and reduced monthly bills, increasing your cabin’s energy efficiency. About 30% of a house’s total heat loss occurs through windows, but the number may grow depending on how many openings are in your property. Check the following for leaks:

  • Mail slots
  • Door perimeters
  • Windows
  • Baseboards
  • Underneath doors without door sweeps

After inspection, implement air-sealing strategies and items, such as weatherstripping and caulk. For a significant remodel that will include construction, consider a home energy assessment to determine ways you can save energy in your cabin.


Adapt Decor for Seasonal Changes

Choose decor that’s apt for the season. Transforming your cabin’s design to match the weather can instill a sense of calmness and vibrance in your space. Here are some ways to transition your interiors for the different times of the year:

  • Accessorize: A simple swap in accessories can make a significant difference. For instance, light curtains should be up during warmer seasons to convert a spare room into a children’s playroom. In winter, use thicker curtains and transform the space into a guest room.
  • Display seasonal fresh produce: Use fruits and vegetables as table decorations based on the season. Use accent pieces like flowers, nuts and leaves to elevate your indoors.
  • Use varying lighting fixtures: Good lighting can quickly transform a simple cabin into a home. Use proper lighting to accentuate seasonal tones. For instance, you may switch your bright bulbs to warmer lights during winter to create a welcoming space.


Add Cozy Elements

Ensure you highlight your cabin’s natural coziness with quilted blankets, throw pillows, layered rugs and textiles. Swap white-toned bulbs for softer-glowing lights to evoke a sense of warmth. Populate your rooms with vintage pieces to make them more inviting.


Upgrade Doors and Windows

Durable doors and windows will help prevent drafts from coming in and warm air from getting out. Current models might need to be replaced with a year-round alternative, like double-paneled windows. Adding a wooden storm door is an excellent idea if your existing one is still in good shape but requires more maintenance than other types, such as aluminum and steel. Choose what best fits your cabin’s needs and style.


Set Up a Dedicated Workspace

There are moments when you’ll need to work while staying at your cabin. One of the most critical factors of telecommuting is creating a space for focus. Here are some tips to find a dedicated space for work:

  • Make it comfortable: Invest in an ergonomic chair to sit comfortably for hours. A good pair of headphones can help block external noise that may cause distractions.
  • Be creative: If you have limited cabin space, move around furniture to make room for your workstation, whether near the living room, in a bedroom or a part of your kitchen table. Do your best to design your workspace to mimic an office space.
  • Maximize natural lighting: Exposure to natural light can boost your productivity and mood. Ensure you place your workstation near a window to maximize sunlight absorption.
  • Install storage: Keep your workspace clutter-free with a cabinet or bookcase. These storage ideas are also ideal for displaying art or other interesting objects that spark motivation as you work.


Keep Bugs Out

Keep pests and bugs out of your property for a good night’s sleep. Seal gaps, crevices and cracks with steel wool or caulk. If your cabin is old, hire a professional to inspect it. They will give you an idea of your property’s structural integrity and identify pest vulnerabilities. Pests are attracted to leftovers, so clean up after every meal and take garbage to a sealed dumpster outside.


Enjoy Your Cabin Year-Round

You can enjoy your property in all seasons with proper preparation and solutions. If you aim to maximize your cabin time this year, consider implementing these ideas for a fun and safe experience.


See Also: How to Transform Your 3-Season Cabin for Year-Round Fun

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