Pemi Shore Cottages

What is the Difference Between a Cottage and a Cabin?

While the terms “cottage” and “cabin” are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some distinct differences between these two types of humble dwellings.

A cottage is typically a small, cozy house originally meant as a modest dwelling for someone of humble means. Cottages are normally found in a village or rural setting. They tend to have a more elegant, refined style with decorative details like flower gardens, shuttered windows, pitched roofs, and dormer windows. Cottages were historically built with local materials like stone, wood, or cob. The word “cottage” evokes a sense of quaintness and simple charm.

On the other hand, a cabin is a small, simple home or hideaway made of logs or rough-hewn wood. Cabins are usually found in remote, heavily wooded areas, often near lakes, rivers, or mountains. They have a rustic, back-to-basics aesthetic with exposed wood beams, stone fireplaces, and basic amenities. Cabins tend to blend into their natural surroundings rather than standing apart. The term “cabin” conjures up a sense of rustic coziness.

While there are some similarities in their small, simple nature, a key difference is that cottages have a more refined, storybook look, while cabins have a rugged, outdoorsy quality. Additionally, cottages are typically found in rural villages, while cabins are more associated with remote wilderness locations.

At their core, both cottages and cabins represent a paring down of life to a modest, unfussy dwelling, surrounded by nature’s beauty. The cottage offers a taste of rural simplicity with architectural charm, while the cabin fully immerses one in a rustic, off-the-grid experience. Whether it’s a cottage or cabin, both allow you to leave the stresses of modern life behind and reconnect with life’s simpler pleasures.