The outside of a log cabin should maximize the rustic beauty of logs as much as possible. While you can use log siding to simulate the appearance of full logs and save money, I will be constructing my cabin with full logs. Having chosen full log construction, I will have by default, interior log walls as well. I will use “D” logs which will have a rounded outside surface while the interior surface will be flat.
My log cabin will be designed to maximize the visibility of these full logs on the inside. That means I don’t want them hidden in infrequently used rooms such as enclosed closets that can be moved to the interior.
I have seen a number of pictures of log cabin interiors that are all wood. That means wood floors, wood walls and wood ceilings. I read one article that stated ‘wood paneling is perfect for log cabin interiors because it is ‘over the top’.’ If you like ‘over the top’, then maximizing wood is quite doable.
There are several options for wood interior walls. You can go so far as building a ‘stacked’ log cabin in which all first floor walls, including inside, are constructed with full logs. More commonly, interior walls will be built with traditional wood studs but the outer wall is covered by log siding or wood paneling. Log siding will be rounded and provide a more rustic look while paneling will be flat.
I definitely do not have an ‘over the top’ inclination. I don't like the all wood look and prefer the contrast of different surfaces. I expect that all my interior walls will be traditional wood framed with wallboard but each type of room will be covered with a different wall treatment. While I may choose wood paneling for a particular room, it’s only one option of many.
Interior walls can be built with wallboard that is painted or stuccoed. I’ve also seen a log cabin model with wallboard covered with what looked like a tan colored compound mixture. The wall surface looked textured and I found it quite attractive as well as unusual. You can also cover wallboard with stone or tile. There is also my least favorite covering, wallpaper.
You are not restricted to one type of wall covering in a particular room. I’ve seen a mix of wood paneling, tile on the lower portion of a wall and painted wallboard in the same room that was unique. The point is that there’s more than just wood to a log cabin. Consider the alternatives