MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION

Greetings from beautiful Fawnskin, California, a village on the shores of Big Bear Lake. Today I’m going to share with you my log cabin living room renovation. The very first day I laid eyes on Stone Hill Cottage, this is what the living room looked like. “Grandma Chic” wouldn’t you say? And while I happen to be a grandma, I’m talkin’ my grandmother’s idea of chic, not mine!

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Those are recliners you see in the photo. And not just reclining chairs but a reclining couch!! Call me ignorant, but I didn’t even know they made reclining couches until I saw this one! This, folks, is what I call a complete sacrifice of design and style in favor of someone’s idea of comfort. In my way of thinking, comfort over style is so unnecessary because it is quite possible to have them both. You simply do not have to sacrifice one for the other. And it is completely possible to have both comfort and style affordably.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

My log cabin living room renovation had to be done on a strict budget, as did the renovation of the entire cabin. That’s because I bought this cabin as an investment property, and for eventual resale purposes, I didn’t want to over do it. Plus, once renovated, it would be used almost entirely as a vacation rental which would likely sustain a lot of abuse. So, I couldn’t remodel it using materials or decor that would not be somewhat expendable. But that did not mean I would have to resort to the use of ugly reclining furniture upholstered in synthetic fabric.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

You will also notice that beige, wall-to-wall, shag carpeting had been laid in the room. Someone at one time thought that was more favorable, and probably more comfortable, than exposing the beautiful hardwood floors that lay below it. I was delighted to find those floors underneath that ugly, dirty carpet! So the first thing I did the minute the cabin became mine was to rip out that carpet, and I’m proud to say that I did that very cathartic exercise all by myself. However, what I found below the carpet, in addition to hardwood floors, was very old sheet linoleum. At one time folks used to lay linoleum that was designed to mimic area rugs, and that’s exactly what was done here.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So up came the linoleum, along with the hundreds of nails holding it in place.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The original hardwood floors had been painted brown, except in an area against one wall where there had been some sort of built-in cabinet or piece of furniture, as evidenced by the outline of it that can be seen in the photo below. What do you think it was?

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The next project was to refinish those 84 year old floors. To do so we rented a sander and went to work.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We sanded and we vacumned and we sanded again and vacuumed again, repeating the process over and over until we finally decided we had done all we could do. In the end we didn’t remove all of the paint, choosing to leave it in a distressed sort of condition which I thought was entirely appropriate for the old cabin.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

In the next phase of the project we varnished it using a low sheen clear acrylic that would protect the wood but leave it with a matte finish. It also brought out a lot of the color in the original wood.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Once that was done, we covered the floor to protect it from the next project which was to paint the walls.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The decision to paint the roughhewn, natural wood walls was not an easy one. I went round and round with the decision, consulting friends for their opinions and looking at inspiration photos until I finally took the plunge and did it. It was the photo below from Country Living magazine that convinced me it would look good if I simply painted the walls, leaving the window trim, ceiling and floor the natural wood color.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Image Via

And boy am I glad I did! The first coat was the hardest, but once I could see the effect I loved it.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

In the end, it took about 4 coats of paint to achieve the look I was going for. The old, dry wooden walls sucked up the paint like a thirsty sponge.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

But in the end I was very pleased. What do you think?

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

While I wasn’t in love with the existing ceiling fans, I decided to keep them as both a cost saving measure and for practical reasons. While it never gets too hot in Big Bear/Fawnskin to require air conditioning, for a couple of months during the summer the fans would be nice to have. And they were a good sourse of light as well. But I decided to paint the blades and change the shades.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint I transformed the fan blades.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And now I love them, especially with the addition of white glass shades in place of the clear glass shades they once had.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comMY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The next project was to furnish the space. I felt I could repurpose a coffee table that had been left behind by the previous owners. Again, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the coffee table went from this…

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

to this!

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I replaced the horrible recliner couch with this one from IKEA. It’s the EKTORP Loveseat and Chaise in Tygelsjo Beige: $499.00

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Adding some IKEA throw pillows (Stockholm $14.99)

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and one I sewed myself, I transformed the dark, dated living room into a cheerful, light filled, comfortable space. The area rug is also from IKEA (Gaser $149.00), as are the picture frames. I sewed the cafe curtains and hung them on copper pipes, eliminating the wooden shades that covered up too much of the lovely vintage windows which are original to the cabin. The antique farm tools on the wall come from a quirky shop in Big Bear called Big Bear Thrift & Treasure House, and were one of the first purchases I made for the cabin. The black iron accent table is from my own collection, The Hill Ironworks. Email me if you’d like to purchase one for your own home.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comMY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Adjacent to the couch, I placed a matching EKTORP Chair from IKEA, only $249.00. I bought an extra slip cover for both the chair & couch so I can launder one while the other is on the chair. And we hung a 50″ TV on the wall next to the pot belly stove.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

That’s an IKEA sheepskin on the back of the chair, along with a handmade needlepoint throw pillow I purchased here for $39.00 on Ebay.

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, taking a last look back at the BEFORE…

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and the AFTER, can you believe it is the same space?

MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So there you have it: MY LOG CABIN LIVING ROOM RENOVATION

I hope you enjoyed the transformation. If you’d like to stay in this Big Bear Lake, California cabin and enjoy this living room you can! See my listing here on VRBO.com/804397.

MY LOG CABIN RENOVATION IS COMPLETE | Rent it here: VRBO.com/804397 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Want to see more of the cabin renovation? Click on the photos & links below:

MY LOG CABIN KITCHEN RENOVATION| Rent the cabin here: VRBO.com/804397 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comMY LOG CABIN RENOVATION IS COMPLETE | Rent it here: VRBO.com/804397 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comMY LOG CABIN DINING AREA RENOVATION | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Thanks for dropping in!  Do please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you! Just scroll all the way down to the comment box.

All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission. 

Comments

  • music lover

    Wow, great decision painting the walls. I love that you purchased two slipcovers for the furniture for quick turnover. And the consistent, elegant black, white & wood decor is easy on the eyes. I hope to visit this area some day and rent this beautiful
    cabin.

  • Yes, I was so relieved to see that my decision to paint those wall white ended up being a good one. It was just too much wood, wood, wood and needed lightening up. Glad you agree. And yes, do please come visit us here on our lovely mountaintop.

  • Thank you Juliet. And thank you for the great tip about the mirror. My husband bought me a hand held one but it seems too bulky to pack. I’ll check out your suggestion!

  • Katie Clooney

    Positively gorgeous!! I am in awe.

  • Hi Kate, what a nice thing to say. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to get positive feedback on this project. Thank you!