Recently, I received a referral from a friend, to work on a cabin up in Spooner Wisconsin. What a thrill it was to have a job, up here North. Like going back in time, Wisconsin offers beautiful summer breezes, and sunshine-y days. Even the storms are a treat as they light up the sky. And the stars at night?……Shiny and bright!
The client wanted to keep things pretty much the same, in terms of the rustic feel. It was suggested NOT TO pretty it up too much. This in itself was a challenge that I wanted to take on. A new set of rules now applied.
The cabin itself is quite rustic. All logs on the outside, and beautiful pine walls on the inside. Right on the lake and wow, what a view!
With every project, there are always a few hiccups along the way. One big challenge? No running water, I brought in lots of bottled water each day. Let’s say that flexibility, and resourcefulness came in handy. So did the lake, for buckets of water to flush the toilet. By the third week, I was just grateful for electricity. And then came the plumber, and then the water, and then my happy dance!
The owners agreed to flip for new carpeting in the three bedrooms. This was great news, as the existing carpeting was old and damp. There was no padding left after years of kids playing, wet towels and swimsuits, and just enjoying the summer dream!
I brought on my husband Mark to work with me on the start of this project. Ripping out the carpeting was no easy task. You can see that the rubber padding had turned to dust, literally. So we had to scrape, and wet it down, and scrape some more. We love the porch so much better, with just the terra cotta colored floor. It seemed to make it breezy and much lighter.
I removed all the window treatments in the cabin, took them home, washed them, then hung them out to dry. This was the start of my project. My inspiration, hanging there one sunny afternoon blowing in the breeze. I happened to love the window treatments. Some were made of vintage barkcloth. No doubt they were there 30 years ago. So I wanted to keep those the same. Some were tattered, but I was able to re-purpose here and there.
MASTER BEDROOM – BEFORE
The bed was a low platform, and the futon mattress was a bit sad and tired. Years of fond memories meant that the bed had to stay. Anything else, fair game. So down came the shelf, and out came the dresser.The bottom two drawers did not open more than halfway.
My husband made solid pine bed risers to raise the platform. Varnished to match the bed, they were pretty seamless.
MASTER BEDROOM – AFTER
Above, the master bedroom with the new carpeting, and the shelf moved over to the side of the bed. It can hold a cell phone, a good book, and a radio. This is a luxury, for the lucky one that get’s to sleep against the wall. There is only one outlet in each bedroom, so creative extension cords were in high demand. The vintage radio picks up the Milwakee sports, which was a thrill for the owners (coming North from Milwakee).
The client wanted to keep the flannel duvet cover, as it was an old time favorite for them. I loved it too. Crisp white bedding was added to all 3 bedrooms. Now that the bed was raised up five inches, storage bins were added to slide under the bed. The guests can house extra clothes, bedding and whatever needs to be stowed. There were existing hooks for sweatshirts and PJ’s. The new space…efficient and cozy.
Next up………the kids rooms.
These are the bunk beds. As you can see, you walk in to the room, and get into bed. There wasn’t room for much else. There was a shelving unit and a dresser in there but you couldn’t really get around it very easily.Storing clothes in there was not really convenient.
I am sure that when these beds were installed, the kids were beyond thrilled and had years of great fun making memories. There are a few memories, still inscribed on the ceilings in both rooms. Priceless.
It took 3 hours, an electric saw, and some serious manpower to take the bunk beds apart. Then the carpeting came out, and I began to imagine two sweet rooms for guests and the kids (now, the youngest of 4, is 15 years old.)
Kids Rooms – AFTER
It was decided to add two twin bed frames in one of the rooms. I found them at Wal-Mart and they were perfect for this tiny room. A headboard was out of the question. The good news though? There was ample storage space under the frame, to put two roll out tubs for anything you need. Even room to slide a suitcase under. Perfect!
The cowboy pillows were re-invents from the original curtains, which were a bit tattered around the edges. Reversed with vintage pillow cases from a favorite thrift store.
Below is a picture of Nan, my friend and now employee, making the curtains for the bedrooms and living room. I made the cowboy pillows, and few others around the cabin. Nan fell so in love with the Horse Print, that she purchased one for her husband’s man cave.
One of the things that made all the difference, in opening up these 7’8″ square bedrooms, was changing the doors to open out instead of in. You can actually fit a bit more as a result and it doesn’t feel as closed in as before.
The client still wanted one room with bunk beds, and asked if we could fit a double on the bottom and twin on top. As you can see, there is still room for a shelving unit and a bedside table or two. Hooks on the wall add more places to put wet towels and swimsuits.
We built and painted these square cabinets, one sunny afternoon. It adds an open concept, which is really optimum here. Behind one unit is a Baseball poster that was found behind an old dresser. It gave the wall a pop of color.
The best place for storage was on the walls. It was space that needed to be utilized. Some canvas baskets or wire could be added to keep things sorted and neat. Simple neat folding is a cleaner, less cluttered look.
Living Room – BEFORE
Living Room – AFTERS
Sun Porch – AFTER
Added a Mexican blanket with colors galore, and made two denim pillowcases for a cozy feel on the porch. An afternoon nap comes to mind right here.
New upholstery for both the living room couch, and sun-porch chair really added a nice splash of color to the gorgeous sunny room. Two long linen tablecloths fits perfectly as floor to ceiling drapes on both sides of the room, for a bit of shade in the afternoon.
Other areas such as bathroom, living room vanity, and mud room were also given a fresh update.
I loved doing this project. It was so rewarding, just changing the simplest little things. Having an on call seamstress and housekeeper was also a real bonus. Mark was as always, a huge help to me. He is the best at jumping in and totally gets it.
Enjoy the rest of your summer! And send me your latest before, and after pictures of your current or past projects so I can post here on my blog.
Remember………Stop and hold on to a special moment in time, everyday!