Monday, July 6, 2015

Cabin Is Finished--Living Room

I had three hours to myself at the cabin, and I spent the time taking photos of everything--finally ready to share all of my hard work over the last year. It has been a joy, and I'm satisfied with the results.

Today I'm spotlighting the living room.

Part of the joy of this enormous project was the thrill of the hunt for each piece of furniture and each tiny detail. I wanted the cabin to look like it had been there forever--a mix of new and old, auction finds alongside IKEA purchases, mixed with Target tchotchkes and HomeGoods treasures.
Every detail has a story, and strangely enough, I remember the story behind every single piece. Like the area rug, for example. I knew I wanted wood floors (actually laminate), but it would be too noisy and too cold without an area rug. This room is about 18x22, and a new rug that size would be prohibitively expensive. I found this one at an auction for less than $200. When I brought it home, I didn't love it, but the second it was spread out on the cabin floor, I knew it was perfect. It is really worn in spots and faded in others, but it makes the room feel instantly lived in and ages the newness of the place like I had hoped it would.

Just inside the front door is this console table. The painting was a wedding gift from Brad's artistic Grandma Cardon. I never could find the right place for it in my house, but I think it was meant to hang at the cabin.
Console table, lamp and stools, Target. Red box, auction find. Stick ball, HomeGoods.

The morning light in this room is magical, but it makes it difficult to photograph.
Candlesticks, HomeGoods. Clock, gift.  Painting was commissioned--for the story behind it, click here. Stool on hearth, auction find.

Two of my favorite pieces in the cabin are the chairs that flank the fireplace.
This chair was an ugly pink vinyl duckling auction find that my upholsterer transformed into a cowhide-covered swan. Pillow, antique shop in Wyalusing, PA, from our Summer Grand Adventure three years ago. Cowhide, IKEA.

And this rocking chair has a personality all its own.
I've never seen anything like it. Look at the curling metal springs underneath that give the chair a pleasant rocking action remarkably similar to a spring rocking toy ridden on a playground.

But watch out!

If you don't sit on it carefully, the chair will throw you over the back and onto the floor!

We bought this armoire almost two decades ago when Brad's Grandma Brown left each grandchild money in her will. She wanted us to buy something we would love with the money, not pay bills or use for some other practical, forgettable necessity. When TVs got slimmer and armoires no longer necessary, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. It fits perfectly in this little space behind the front door, and it holds all the games, puzzles, and drawing supplies.
Coat rack, Wisteria. Basket, Pottery Barn. Awesome cube end table, Wisteria.

The slate around the fireplace was a last-minute change from cultured stone, and Brad especially loves it. I love the texture it gives the room.
It's hard to pick my favorite thing about the cabin, but the wood trim would be on the top of the list. Our contractor is also a finish carpenter, and he trimmed out each window and cut each baseboard himself. He is such a perfectionist and so good at what he does that when I measured these windows for blinds, they all came out with exactly the same measurements.
Chandelier, Restoration Hardware. Coffee table, Wayfair. Leather couch, DownEast Home.

I have a dream that everyone who ever comes to stay at the cabin will bring their favorite book so that we can build an eclectic library for guests to peruse while enjoying the pines and the weather. In order to house a library in the limited space, I had to figure out a place to house the collection. This was the solution:
Our contractor installed three shelves on the wall above the kitchen and constructed an oak library ladder for access. The ladder may look fun, but it's pretty high up there, and I think kids won't find it very fun. When the ladder is not in use, it stores against the fireplace wall and hangs a few extra quilts and blankets for extra cozy moments.

Brad calls this chair "Gran D's chair." I love this chair. I try to make a cup of chamomile tea and just sit here every evening--listening to the sounds of my family settling in for the night. The chair itself was another ugly auction find. I went to the SAS fabric outlet with my mom one day, and I instantly fell in love with this wool fabric that looks and feels like men's suiting. My upholsterer happened to have a slow week the week I dropped it off, and I had it to the shop, reupholstered, and at the cabin in four days.
End table, HomeGoods. Frame, Tuesday Morning. Lantern and Native American basket, auction finds. Lamp, Target. Pillow, Wayfair.

When I sit in Gran D's chair, I need a place to put my feet up, and there was just enough of the IKEA cowhide left over to recover this little stool.
Loveseat, Checked pillow fabric, IKEA. Striped pillow, HomeGoods.

Here's another angle of the room.
Oil can vases, antique store. Geometric pillow, Tuesday Morning.

I tried to incorporate as much seating into this room as I could, and when I saw these salvaged seats from a movie theater in India, I snatched them up, knowing they would fit this half wall just right.
Theater seats, Wisteria. Construction ruler, left behind as they built the house. Pillow, Pier 1.

Another angle of the room. I envision many games played and puzzles assembled in this room, so I knew I needed a flexible space to play. This gateleg table nestles easily behind the couch most of the time, but there's plenty of room to expand it to play, puzzle, or eat if necessary.
Table, auction find. Chairs, IKEA. Curtain fabric, SAS fabrics. (If you look closely at the edge of the rug closest to the window, you'll see that we cut off the excess 12". I hesitated to do it, but it was too big, and what ya gonna do?

This shot is the unedited morning light of the living room and a teaser of the kitchen . . . tomorrow.
What do you think?


  1. Love every detail. You can tell you put your heart and soul into everything.

  2. I love it! What a blessing to have somewhere to escape with your friends or family!
    Hey, is your husband of the Logan, Utah Cardons?

    1. Brad has family all over the West that are Cardons. I don't know of any direct relatives that live in Logan, but I'm sure he's related somhow!

    2. Too funny. My grandmother was a Cardon, so I'm sure we're family! :)

  3. It looks terrific. I love the backstory of every piece.

  4. I LOVE your mix of old and sure nailed it! The living room looks like it's been in your family for years...and the fireplace sure adds to that feeling! I cannot wait to see the rest of your cabin! I think you should let your blog readers send you a book to add to your collection! A book pertaining to each state your readers are from would be fun! :)

  5. Looks lovely! I must admit that I gasped when I read about cutting a foot off the carpet!!! Is it wool? It looks very similar to one that my husband inherited from his grandparents that is worth....a great deal of money....

  6. So beautiful. I love the bookshelves! I'll definitely remember your cabin as I start working on mine sometime in the coming years.

  7. You have done an incredible job! And I love all that feeling of openness with the windows and high ceilings!


  8. It really looks as if it wasn't new! And I love the idea of everyone bringing a book :)