Modern or Traditional Cabins?

As the temperatures start to rise in the Midwest and winter finally starts to release its tight grip, people start dreaming of being at their cabins. But with the current pandemic and stay at home orders it’s not possible right now to travel. So why not use this time to start planning a cabin makeover for when you can finally get back to that little piece of heaven on the lake?

Living in Minnesota, the vacation rental market is all about cabins, lots of them! Something I’ve come to realize is that to be a true Minnesotan, you have to vacation in a cabin ‘up North’ at some point during the year. Before the pandemic happened, my husband and I and our two dogs went to stay in Biwabik, Minnesota at the Giants Ridge Ski Resort in one of the lakeside cabins. I soon began to understand why this type of vacation is so popular.

A frozen lake at Biwabik, Minnesota
A frozen lake at Biwabik, Minnesota

The purpose of our trip was actually to purchase one of these cabins as an investment property, but after a lot of back and forth we concluded it wasn’t going to be a good deal for us. But it did get me thinking about design…

So many of the cabins I’ve seen are of the traditional style – log walls or golden timber cladding, plaid, a moose picture somewhere, or maybe even a bear, giant stone fireplaces and furniture made out of logs. It’s certainly cozy, and don’t get me wrong I do like it, but what about the alternatives?

Big Moose, New York Log Home rustic-living-room

I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to shopping for houses. I’ve already decorated the bathrooms, and laid out the soaps in my head before I’ve even made an offer! This was no different. I started to research ‘modern cabins’ online and found my new favorite style. Here’s a collection of my favorite.

Like this simple, cozy and elegant bathroom by Baucos Group.

Cabin Master Bath modern-bathroom

Or this amazing modern kitchen by PurParket Inc.

PurParket Porcelain- CABIN Project Sales Centre modern-kitchen

Or this kitchen design by CLB Architects. I love that they’ve transformed the chunky traditional log cabin walls just by painting them white.

Yellowbell Renovation rustic-kitchen

I love the juxtaposition of the modern clean lines against the traditional log cabin wall here in this design by Haus.

Scandinavian Rustic Cabin scandinavian-powder-room

Or this cozy little reading nook by Fernau and Hartman. They’ve kept the warm golden wood cladding but styled it in a more modern feel.

Outdoor living in Palo Alto scandinavian-family-room

This bathroom by First Lamp Architects is a beautiful balance of warm wood and clean modern whites.

Herron Island Cabin Master Shower / Tub modern-bathroom

This design by Marcusse Construction is a little more transitional with the shaker style kitchen cabinets, but definitely has the muted pallet and warm Scandinavian vibe.

Blackshire scandinavian-living-room

A beautiful entrance way by DeForest Architects. I love how everything is so simple and clean, except for the beautiful piece of old gnarly wood they’ve used on the wall as decoration.

High Desert Modern modern-entry

The Scandanavian style can even translate to the staircase. I love this design by Texas Construction Company.

Clifford Residence scandinavian-staircase

And don’t forget about the exterior. This bold barn style cabin in black by Alchemy Architects is just about as perfect as it gets.

Winhall Barnhouse farmhouse-exterior

So which do you prefer? Are you a traditional log cabin lover? Or do you prefer the clean lines of the modern Scandinavian style cabins? I hope this post has inspired you to re-think the traditional cabin look just a little bit. To see the possibilities of what else they could be.

Thanks for reading.

Jo @Britflipper

 

Coastal Make-Over: Part 2

It’s time for the grand reveal! If you read ‘Coastal Make-Over: Part 1’ you will have read about the initial consultation of this project, what the clients wanted from their space, and the process to get to the final design.

Here are the finished photos…

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The arch is accentuated by the navy paint.

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I didn’t change a lot in the dining area. Just swapped out the old bar stools for wicker versions, and changed the island lights for handmade glass pendants, and added some navy and gold lamps to the buffet. I also re-orientated the table to fit the space better.

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I added coastal decor to the mantel, coffee table and shelves.

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The new TV area is much larger and cozier with the new L-shaped sofa with linen performance fabric removable slip covers.

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“We want to thank you for helping to make our home into an inviting, cozy, sophisticated space, it’s really what we were looking for. You really listened to us throughout the whole process and were very patient and willing to work with our requirements (stain-proof furniture and unbreakable items to accommodate kids) and style requests (look like Pottery Barn, but not cost like it!). We’ve gotten lots of compliments from friends too.” 

Here are some before and afters…

“We love it! I look forward to seeing this space every day. Bonus points if there aren’t toys everywhere! It feels like a grown-up space, while still being comfortable for the whole family.” 

If you’re interested in a free design consultation please contact me.

Thanks for reading! Until next time…

Jo (@Britflipper)

Coastal Make-Over: Part 1

A few months back when I was asking for willing volunteers to be my Guinea Pigs as my first interior design clients, my friend from the gym bravely raised his hand! He and his wife and three young kids have a new-build home in Roseville, MN that they had built for them around 7 years ago. They wanted to make-over the main floor living area, which is an open-concept kitchen, dining and living area.

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When I first assessed the space, I noticed how light-filled and airy it was, even with all the dark wood. The space was cozy, but had grown a little tired over the years. The layout was generally good, it just needed a bigger seating area.

The clients used to live in Florida and wanted to bring the light and airy, comfortable coastal style to Minnesota. They also wanted it to be more of a grown-up, coordinated and clutter-free space, with hard-wearing fabrics and more storage for toys. They loved the arch feature above the fireplace and wanted to accentuate it more. They also wanted a more comfortable TV viewing area, where they could all curl up and watch TV together. They had a decent budget for these rooms at up to $10,000.

After learning more about how they wanted to use the room, their style and their hopes for how it should look, I created three moodboards for them. I like to create three as I don’t feel any of us have a purist design style, we all like elements of different styles, so by offering three options that lean different ways, it gives the clients better choice and helps me as a designer to see which way they lean most.

The first moodboard was ‘Classic Navy’. The styles they liked most were coastal, but with a mix of more traditional elements – the classic ‘Potterybarn look’. So with this moodboard I brought in more traditional elements with the navy and dark wood, and kept the more traditional coastal feel.Slide5

The second moodboard was a little more contemporary, even a little bit farmhouse with the more rustic woods and textures, but definitely still coastal in its feel. The pallet was monotone with warmth added from the natural wood.Slide7

The third moodboard was a bit of a ‘wild card’. It was a fun modern take on coastal, using pops of yellow to liven up the space. Whilst still preserving the coastal feel through uses of lots of white, linens and handmade glass.Slide9Slide10

When I presented the moodboards to the clients they leaned more towards the traditional coastal feel with the navy and dark wood accents. They loved how the navy highlighted the arch over the fireplace. And how the dark woods tied in with their existing kitchen and flooring. They also loved the pops of yellow in the wild card design. They had both attended the University of Michigan, and unbeknownst to me, navy and yellow were their school colors!

I moved onto the next stage of the process which was to create a revised moodboard. I stayed with the classic navy design and added the pops of yellow and gold to liven it up and make it more contemporary. I kept the natural linens and handmade glass of the true coastal style, the dark wood and navy of the more traditional coastal style, and now with the pops of yellow and gold the design felt fresher and livelier.Slide7Slide8Slide10

The clients loved it! My first happy clients! It felt so good! I’d underestimated just how much pressure I would feel designing spaces for other people. They look to you to be the expert, and perfectly translate what they want in their heads onto paper. When you design for yourself, you can experiment and make mistakes; but when you’re designing for somebody else, you want to get it right first time, or at least soon after. There’s also the worry that they’re afraid to tell you their true feelings, especially when designing for friends. That’s why it’s important to spend plenty of time up front understanding the verbal and non-verbal cues from what they truly want from the space.

There were a few more tweaks to the moodboard to arrive at the final design, this was mostly when we started shopping for the items. The sofa and wallpaper we were able to save money on by shopping around, and opting for paint instead of the grasscloth wallpaper. The TV unit in the moodboard was a dark wood design with textured wicker panels to the front. However we swapped to a white unit with dark wood top, which looked equally as good and still fitted with the coastal feel.

Stay tuned for my next blog to see the grand reveal!

Thanks for reading.

Jo (aka Britflipper)