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?

Wondering how to design your child’s room?

Hope you enjoyed your weekend. It was a long one if you are reading from the US and a Happy belated Thanksgiving to you all!

If you are wondering how to design your child’s room…well, then, I have some great tips for you.  This article was published in Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen and it has the top five tips from some local design pros, me included..(insert smiley).  Lots of great articles in the Homes section of paper this past Saturday, dealing with decorating children’s rooms from infant to teen.

Here’s my tip:

Lisa Goulet, Lisa Goulet Design

Talk to your child about her likes and passions — it’s her room after all and it should reflect her personality. Let your child choose the colour; if you’re nervous that it will be too “out there,” give her three versions of her favourite colour, all ones that you can live with, and let her have the final say.

Click here to read the full post.

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Farrow and Ball’s 2013 colours & some media

If you are having any thoughts about repainting in 2014, be sure to take a gander at the gorgeous new colours from Farrow and Ball.  I’m posting all about them over at the TBB blog today.

Click on the picture below to read.

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Photo courtesy of Farrow and Ball

And for some other exciting news, I was one of the Ottawa area decorators/designers mentioned in an Ottawa Citizen Style article on how to deck your halls.

Click on the picture below to read it and see some of my pictures.

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Under the Pines concert, power outage and getting published!

Well, what a weekend.  We spent the entire weekend with no power or running water.   After a huge storm and reports of a twister or micro-burst (not too sure what it officially was or will be classified as) very near to our cottage on Friday afternoon, we still did not have our power back on when we left on Sunday night.  Many cottages and homes in the area were damaged by falling trees, so we were rather thankful that it was just a power outage we were dealing with.  Really hoping everything gets fixed up soon for all those still toughing it out there.

The weekend started out great with some good friends coming down to spend it with us.  They arrived just as the power went out and managed to tough it out with us for the entire weekend.  So happy we had our BBQ as we did all our meals on it, even boiled water for tea.

We had tickets to Coronation Hall’s Under the Pines Music Festival opening night and 100 Mile Dinner, catered by Cafe 349. And like troopers the show went on, albeit with a couple of generators.  Musicians and talented singers and a fabulous and delicious dinner, which was sourced within 100 miles.

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The venue, Coronation Hall was built as a dance hall in the 1930’s and named to celebrate King George VI’s coronation.  Coronation Hall has been the site of many dances, wedding receptions and was a central part of the community.  It was closed in the 1960’s when business was slow and then used for storage and forgotten.  In early 2003, Coronation Hall was bought by the Graham family who wanted to process apples into ciders.  By 2008 Cider Mills was opened and became the Pontiac’s first licensed winery, making Bristol Light Cider. Jams, jellies and baked goods are also made here and equally delicious! It now includes a tea room and gift shop and runs tours, tastings, orchard visits and high tea.  Be sure to stop by if you are in the area and pick up a tasty treat.

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The menu which as I mentioned was catered by Cafe 349.  The TBBs enjoyed dinner here in June.

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And look!  Lavender Ridge’s Brise was one of the wines on sale for the evening.

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What a magical evening (sorry for the blurry picture but this was the best one of the lot).  This is Under the Pines’ second year (after a very successful first year) and it runs all week, so if you are in the area be sure to see a concert or two.

Also some wonderful excitement for me as my Ottawa Citizen article was printed up in the Saturday paper.  Very thrilling for a small business owner to have such great media coverage!

Click on the photo to read the entire article.

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All in all, a really fabulous, exciting and interesting weekend!  Hope you had a great one as well!

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Exciting things going on

Well, this year has gotten off to an absolutely great start for me.

First off, I received a great invite, just before the Interior Design Show in Toronto, to join the Beige is Dead blog team from Masco on an Instagram walk through IDS led by Margot Austin.  I wrote all about that here.

And the good things kept going, I received my beautiful new sofa and ordered some chairs for my sadly neglected family room.  So that room is getting some love this year.

Then I found I had a won the $1000 shopping spree from Urban Barn that I entered at IDS.  WOO HOO!  Still trying to decide what loveliness I will purchase, but this coffee table for the cottage is a strong contender.

Timber coffee table – Urban Barn

Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition has also started for the third year in a row. This time the recipient is the Youville Centre for Young Mothers.  It is heating up with all the TBBs looking for donations of items and cash to ensure that a classroom is all fixed up into a cozy and calm lounging room.  If you can help with any of the items still needed (click here for to like our FB page and to see the list) or a cash donation it would be so appreciated.

And I recently received another piece of wonderful news.  It has put a great bounce in my step and I will be sharing once details are all worked out.

Not to worry, I didn’t forget and I’ll be posting my next IDS post this Wednesday all about lighting!