Everything You Need to Furnish Your New House or Cabin

Your second home is an oasis from the daily grind. Here's everything you'll need to make sure it's comfortably outfitted to help you relax while you're there.

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Cabin Furnishings

Now that you’re done building your second home, there are some big decisions to make about how you want the interior and your outdoor space to look. That includes a list of some staples you’ll want to consider no matter what kind of design you end up settling on. Another consideration to make for a second home is storage, everything from food to recreation gear, for the times when you’re not going to be there. To help, we’ve come up with an essential products list to get your personal getaway as comfortable and functional as possible.

Living Room

Patterned pillows on grey couch in modern living room interior with pouf and wooden table. Real photoPhotographee.eu/Shutterstock

A comfortable living room is an essential part of any relaxing second home. It’s a spot to unwind after a long day playing on the lake or the place to share cocktails with friends. So you’ll need a few essentials to make this space a cozy part of your own getaway.

  • Comfortable seating is a must. The foundation is a good sectional or a couch that can accommodate family and friends, not to mention a great spot to put up your feet for the rare weekend when you’ve got the place to yourself.
  • Accent chairs or a recliner, round out the room’s seating options. You’ll want to include the right coffee table and end tables for your living room too, giving you a place for more lighting, storage, or just a place to sit your drinks while you kick back.
  • An HD projector is great for movie nights. Or, you can go with a large flat screen television and a TV stand that matches the look and feel of your getaway.
  • For those nights where you choose to relax in front of the fire, make sure you have the right fireplace tools and safety equipment in your second home.

Kitchen and Dining Room

Dining Room

Whether it’s your primary residence, second home, or a remote fishing cabin, one thing holds true: you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen and dining room, so it’s important to make those spaces as functional and inviting as possible. On top of the usual stuff like pots and pans, here are the most important pieces you’ll need to outfit these spaces.

  • The dining room table is kind of the command center for the whole place. You’ll want a piece large and beautiful enough for formal dinners with guests, but also durable enough for when the kids are stashing their fishing gear on it. You can look for dining sets or get the chairs separately.
  • If there’s a bar in your space, you’ll want to add a few comfortable bar stools since this is the spot where you’ll end up eating a lot of informal meals and swapping fish stories over a cold one.
  • A wine cooler isn’t necessarily essential, but if you have the space for one, it makes a great addition to the space.
  • Storage considerations are especially important for cabins and second homes, places that may sit vacant for weeks at a time. In addition to the usual items to help with kitchen organization—under-shelf baskets, pots & pans racks, drawer organizers, spice organizer, and others—airtight plastic, glass, or metal containers for food storage in the freezer or pantry while you’re not there.


Cabin Decor

A second home exists for relaxing, so you’ll want a cozy space to get a good night’s sleep while you’re there.

  • Like any bedroom, it all starts with a good mattress that sits on top of a quality bed. Bunk beds are a nice addition to bedroom for kids or guests, giving the ability to accommodate share your getaway with more people.
  • Dressers and closet organization systems are just as nice to have in your second home as they are in your primary residence. There are some things you’ll definitely want to leave in the house —swimsuits, extra bedding, jackets, and more—so you don’t have to constantly lug that stuff back and forth for a weekend retreat.

Outdoor Space

Fire Pit

Whether it’s sitting on the deck or gathering around a campfire on the beach, the outdoor space might just be the most important part of your second home.

  • You’ll be cooking outside a lot, so a good grill is a must, whether you want a gas, charcoal, pellet, or a smoker. Don’t forget a second set of a grill tools—brush, thermometer, utensils, etc.—because you want to have those on hand at all times. A grill cover is essential; even if you’re keeping it in the garage while you’re gone, it will keep the dust off it.
  • You can and should spend hours relaxing around a fire pit. It’s also worth getting a grill rack to cook over the fire too.
  • Comfortable outdoor furniture turns your patio into the extra living space it was meant to be. Consider a variety of seating, including loungers and folding chairs. You may also want to consider a picnic table or an outdoor dining set for spending even more time outdoors.
  • A weatherproof deck box will give you place to store the cushions and other gear when you’re not there.

Ryan Van Bibber
Ryan Van Bibber is a deputy editor at Family Handyman. He's been DIY'ing since he was a kid. A resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he is especially proud of his aptitude with a swamp cooler, repairing stucco and engineering makeshift shade. As a career journalist, Ryan covered the NFL for more than a decade, worked as a senior editor at Outside as well as writing and editing buying guides and product reviews for several national publications. When he’s not working, you can find him on the trails with his family and two very good dogs.