Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our Cabin Make-Over: The After Photos! (Living Room / Dining Room / Kitchen)

Our lake cabin renovations are now complete, and I'm excited to share the final results! I'm not sure if others will be as WOW'd by the changes as Andi and I are, but to us the transformation is truly breathtaking. As in, every single time we're at the cabin now, one of us stops dead in our tracks and says, "Oh my gosh, I love it here." It's crazy to dream up a plan for renovation, source the materials and contractors to complete the work, then see the results come to life before your very eyes.

Before I get to the "after" photos, let me touch on our design plan. As I shared in the "before" post, the entire interior of the cabin is a blond-colored knotty pine wood. Knotty pine walls, ceilings, cabinetry, furnishings; you name it. The knotty pine wood had faded in several spots so Andi and I were forced to get creative in finding ways to mask the blemishes while still preserving the rustic feel of the lake cabin. We weren't big fans of the blond color of wood to begin with, so we looked for ways to break up the monotony.

Andi and I considered painting the wood, sheet-rocking some or all of the walls, or taking down the knotty-pine wood walls altogether. Though, it seemed like a shame to cover and/or remove perfectly good wood. In the end, we opted to remove the existing blond-colored trim throughout the entire cabin interior and replace it with a darker and wider trim board. We hoped this would give the interior spaces the visual contrast they so desperately needed.

Living Room - BEFORE

Living Room - AFTER

We rearranged the upstairs layout to include a bigger dining area and changed the living room's focus from the built-in entertainment center to the fireplace. To accomplish this, we removed the existing carpet and replaced it with dark-colored bamboo floors to match the dark trim. We separated the living room from the dining room by adding carpet around the fireplace which helped designate the two different spaces. One weekend afternoon, Andi and I literally took a role of masking tape and "sectioned off" various parts of the room to visualize the new layout. It came together perfectly; the wood floors and the new furniture layout make the space feel bigger and more inviting, and the carpet around the fireplace gives the living room a nice, cozy feeling.

In the process, Andi and I also had the built-in entertainment center removed to make way for more living room seating. We didn't want a television in the main living space, so the built-in entertainment center was dead space to us. There wasn't knotty pine behind the built-in, so we decided to sheet-rock a portion of the living room to break up the monotony of the other wood walls and painted it white (Benjamin Moore White Dove, to be exact) to contrast the dark floors, trim and furnishings.

In the dining room area, we removed the original knotty-pine breakfast nook and replaced it with a large wood table that seats eight people. One of our biggest complaints about the old table was how cramped it was entertaining friends and family. Our new table is much more functional for our lifestyle. When removed, the breakfast nook table left behind a large faded sunspot on the walls it touched. Andi and I added a dark-colored wainscoting with barn-wood detail over the faded spot.

Dining Room - BEFORE

Dining Room - AFTER

We added a fun, unique light fixture about the dining room table. I love how the modern look of the Edison light bulbs compliment the rustic wagon-wheel wood base.

Andi and I completed the kitchen renovation in several phases. During Summer 2014, we replaced the laminate countertops with granite. Around the same time, we also selected a rugged stone back-splash, updated the appliances and sink to stainless-steel, and installed a dishwasher. After much contemplation, we decided to breathe new life into the existing cabinets by painting them a bold blue color (Benjamin Moore Newburg Green). Painting the cabinets seemed like the right option since they were still in good condition, and we liked how the blue color mimicked the lakefront. Finally, the dark wood floors were added at the same time as the living room and dining room.

Kitchen - BEFORE
Kitchen - AFTER

We removed the existing rock on the kitchen bar and carried the dark-wood wainscoting over from the dining area to create a cohesive feel between the two spaces. 

Perhaps one of my favorite details of the kitchen is the circular divided metal shelf we added to store bar glasses and bottles of wine. It brings in a modern edge amongst the rustic wood.

So, that's the upstairs of our lake cabin remodel (minus the upstairs bathroom, which I'll detail in another post). Andi and I are absolutely in love with the changes. So much so, we have an even-harder time leaving the lake to go back home.  

Coming up: "After" photos of the upstairs bath, entry way and mid-level bar area. Stay tuned!


  1. It looks so great! You've done an amazing job!

  2. what an amazing transformation! It's incredible how much hardwood floors alone can update a space. I love how you sectioned off an area for carpet to designate the living space though. And the barn wood wainscoting and the dining room chandelier are PERFECT! I don't know if I would have thought to use a darker stain for the trim, but it really does break up the monotony of the pine so much and makes a huge difference. Looks great!

  3. Looks like a new place!! I really like the divided living room/dining room, same reason we did it at our house, plus so much more comfortable to play on the floor with kids in carpet, I think! I especially like the new dining room table, the table you had before was super restrictive, can't believe the owners thought that would ever work for any type of family. But, the place looks much bigger and much more "you guys" now! Good work!

  4. AMAZING! I love the dark trim - it really just adds something! The dining room is night and day different. I never would have though to paint the cabinets blue but it's perfect for a lake cabin! Looks so awesome!!!

  5. I am LOVING this!! You guys have to just love heading to the cabin now that it's all your own. Great work mama!

  6. Do you guys ever think this would be your primary residence? You did such a great job with it, kind of a shame to leave it just as a vacation property!!

  7. I love this Heather! The barn-wood wainscoting and chandelier look amazing, and I too love the divider for glasses on the wall! Can't wait to see it in person

  8. It looks AMAZING!! Love, love, love the bright blue cabinets! I always enjoy reading about how your family makes such special memories at the cabin and now I'm sure it'll be even sweeter since you've made the place your own.

  9. Wow, it looks great! I love the blue cabinets and the backsplash. Can't wait to see the other updates!