How I designed and updated a log cottage living room on plan and on budget

Since lots of you had questions and wanted to see a bit more about our log cottage that was published in Ottawa at Home summer edition, I thought I’d share how I designed and updated the cottage living room on a plan and with a fairly strict budget.

Here’s how it looks now.

Log home living room with white sofas and blue swivel chairs

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

Since it is a large living room, I worked mostly with the furniture left behind and what we brought from our other cottage. By repurposing and reimagining a number of pieces I was able to keep within our budget.

Pictures do say a thousand words so here’s a quick breakdown of what changed in the cottage living room.

Before picture of log cottage living room with design changes

The sofa and love seat were great quality and in perfect shape, so I quickly decided to slipcover them in a white denim. Slipped off and washed at least once a year they stay clean and fresh. And putting throws where they are likely to get soiled helps keep them clean longer. I love that they make the room a little brighter as all wood interiors can get dark.

Donating the traditional area rug to a shelter allowed me to have a faux sisal wall to wall rug cut and bound to size. This is the perfect thing to do when you need a specific size or a very large area rug. It has held up nicely and it hides sand very well.

Removing the swag drapery treatments lets the view speak for itself. Privacy isn’t an issue and with the large roof overhand that is typical of log buildings, sun damage isn’t either. Simpler and more light, both big pluses in my book.

Even if the large clock and console were left by the previous owner, I would have removed both of them,  as there was far too much furniture in the space.

I relocated the existing occasional tables within the cottage and purchased an end table and coffee table from Urban Barn, with a lucky gift card win. Made from repurposed wood they have the rustic feel and look I was going for. Though they do strike a bit of a challenge when placing your drink on them, with their uneven surface.

My grandfather’s travel trunk from the early 1900’s replaced the other end table. I just had a piece of glass cut to fit the top and it has been the perfect thing. If you want to learn more about cottage decorating click here to read an Ottawa Citizen article that I contributed to.

Antique trunk fitted with a glass top to use as a table

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

And on the other side of the cottage living room.

Before picture of living room with design changes

We upgraded the wood pellet stove for a wood burning insert. Well worth the change both aesthetically and financially, as it has lowered our heating bills substantially in the winter.

The two pink swivel chairs were functionally perfect for the space. Even more so after I added the tv behind them, so now you can swivel to watch the fire or tv. With their threadbare pink fabric, they needed a makeover.  By raising them up a few inches (they were quite short) and reupholstering them in an exterior fabric they will be used and abused for many years.

log home living room with white slipcovered sofas

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

New foam and a durable exterior fabric completely updated the window seats. The pillows are a combination of ones I have made, knitted or picked up at various shops.

Adding my own decor items, like the large clock above the mantel, makes it feel more like us. Since this picture was taken this clock has been switched out for an even larger metal industrial one. Antique books, candles and other decor items are displayed on the mantel itself.  You can’t quite see them in these pictures,  but I used images from a great desk calendar and put them in inexpensive frames. By stacking them on top of each other, it gives them a bit more presence on the wall.

Originally this floor lamp was gold plated and very dated. I painted it black and bought a new drum shade to give it a new lease on life.

Cottage living room with stone fireplace

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

The cute little turquoise cabinet, a hand me down gift from a neighbour, got a fresh coat of paint. The swing chair lives right here in the winter and in the summer it is enjoyed on the back deck.

Obviously, budget wise we didn’t do this all at the same time. However, it was high on the priority list since this cottage living room is one of my family’s most used spaces. I had a plan and as cash became available I just kept going down my list. That is really the key…to have a plan. You may find things as you go along that aren’t in the plan. That’s okay just as long as you have a good idea of where you are heading. That will also help you to avoid getting off track by spending more money then is necessary.

How can I help you design your living room?

Published and made the cover!

 

I have some very exciting news over here for my small business.

I was published in Ottawa at Home’s summer edition. And not just that but my log cottage’s front porch made the cover!

If you are in Ottawa you can pick it up at Farm Boy, Bridgehead Coffee, Tagalong Toys, Tamarack Model Homes, Chapters, etc… and also apparently it is in the Globe and Mail as an insert.

There should be an online version out soon and when it is, I’ll update this page so you can read it online.

A bright and fresh country kitchen – CDECA Silver award winner

Not a very humble title but I’m a little stoked to have my bright and fresh country kitchen win the Silver award for CDECA’s Decorating and Design Awards.

I thought I’d share the Youtube video showcasing my cottage kitchen.

Very exciting for me! And I’d like to say a big congratulations to all the 2017 winners.

Lisa

Modern, rustic and slightly industrial kitchen reno update

After a loooonnnnggg Christmas break, I’m back.  Hope you all had a great holiday with family and friends.  We finally got winter here and let me tell you, I didn’t miss it.  But, now onto more fun updates.

So there’s been lots of progress with my modern, rustic and slightly industrial kitchen reno.  Cabinetry fronts finished….check, hardware added…check, appliances installed and working…check, sink and faucet done…..check.

A little sneak peek at the cabinetry that was installed just before Christmas (obviously before the hardware was added).  I’m absolutely loving the blue/grey cabinetry, it is such a refreshing change from the overwhelming presence of honeyed wood in the house. Please excuse the dust on these as I was so excited to take a pic and share that I didn’t even wait to dust them off.

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Together with the grey/black island, it’s pure GORGEOUS!

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What are we still working on?  Well, the backsplash and therefore the rest of the electrical outlets, lighting and live edge shelving are still in line.  Trying to figure out how to install floating 100 lb+ maple wood shelves onto a tiled backsplash wall has been quite the learning experience.  In the end we got lots of advice from our contractor, our cabinet maker, a steel company, fellow designers and our local welder.  We, actually my  hubby did most of the legwork on this problem, hey…I just come up with the ideas, the implementation…well that’s a whole other issue.

So they came up with a custom made steel bracket that has three rods that will fit into the corresponding holes that will be bored into the wood shelf.  These brackets will be lag bolted into the wood logs that form the frame of our log home, and the shelves will then slide onto the rods. Presto……magic!  Apparently we will be able to park a car on the shelves 🙂

So since we couldn’t finish the tiling until the brackets are totally completed and installed, my hubby just tiled the areas where he could.  We are really hoping to have both the brackets installed this weekend and that the tiling can continue.  I will then resume the sanding of the shelves….which is a joy, let me tell you. Then a coat of a clear finish and we will be ready to get them up there and start using them.

We also have some trim work that needs to be completed. I’m going to be trying to match 24 year old wood stain, so that the new trim is not too noticeable against the original pieces…wish me luck!

The electrician was also hoping to have this large lantern installed over the island and all the switches and outlets finished this week as well.  I can’t wait to see it actually hanging in the space!

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That will just leave the articulating sconces and of course, the shelves, to be installed on the backsplash wall after all the grouted is done. So exciting!  I am seriously dreaming (no, not kidding) about styling those live edge wood shelves.

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I’ll leave you with one more pic that I shared on my Instagram account recently.

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****Some design inspiration coming up, I’ll finally be sharing some pictures from my recent trip to Miami for #ModenusTalksMiami and #DesignMiami in my next post.

Lisa

‘Modern meets rustic and tangles with industrial’ kitchen reno update

Well, if that title isn’t a mouth full, I don’t know what is.  Obviously, trying to come up with catchy titles isn’t my strong suit…so modern/rustic/industrial kitchen it is.

It’s been awhile since I posted any updates on this ongoing reno, but not to fear things have been moving along, slowly…but still moving forward.

When I last left you, I had posted about the finishing touches and we were patiently waiting for the new cabinetry boxes to be done.  Well, they were finished up fairly quickly and installed.  Which meant lots, lots and I mean lots, of boxes filled with various kitchen paraphernalia, most of which will not be making their way back into the new kitchen.

Once the cabinet boxes were installed, the counter fabricators came in to template the kitchen and about two weeks ago the new counters were installed.

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Swoon……(excuse the reflection in the photo, my bad…)

The Caesarstone quartz looks exactly as I had expected it to look, warm, calm and natural. The perfect compliment to the busy, stone island wall.  The stone, black island cabinets, hardwood floor and the quartz make me very, very happy.

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And speaking of counters, I had originally wrestled with the thought of putting butcher block (which I had in my previous cottage kitchen and loved) on the lowered cabinet area (under the windows) to break up the quartz and to also make this area look even more like a piece of furniture.  Well, I had decided to keep things simple and just go with quartz everywhere. But when my fabricator came to measure, we discovered that we would be short with two slabs and we would need to order a third to complete all the counters. Well, I felt that it was a big neon sign that I should go back to my original thought about the butcher block and it would also keep our budget in order.

So, off I went to Ikea and I picked up the Hammarp countertop in Oak, the best match with the oak flooring and the golden oak stained pine.

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I also received this stunningly gorgeous runner from West elm that I had ordered a few weeks ago and placed it up against the blue/grey cabinets. Isn’t it charming?

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And for my November birthday, I asked hubby for some new everyday dishes. The current ones at the cottage are a hodge podge of my first set of dishes, my Mom’s old dishes, my sister-in-law’s, mother-in-law’s old dishes (I knowwww) and the previous owner’s dishes.  I mean…really…..it was time to move them all out to their new homes and get some fresh new ones.  I knew I wanted white, organic, matte and durable.  It took quite some time to find and commit, but I’m thrilled with my new dishes.  I think they will be so pretty sitting up there on the wood shelves.

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And speaking of the wood shelves, when I was in Miami last week for Modenus Talks Miami (stay tuned for a future post), we spent some time at DesignMiami.  And when I saw this vintage 1950’s credenza in all its live edge loveliness, I knew this was exactly the look I wanted for the shelves.  So, I will be sanding my little heart out to get the rough maple slabs, currently in my garage, to get to this look.  But it will be well worth it, don’t you think?

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That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in the previous posts on the kitchen, here’s the links.

Appliances, lighting and faucets, oh my!

Changes, compromises and cabinets

Industrial farmhouse kitchen reno update

Rustic/industrial/farmhouse kitchen makeover

 

Lisa