Over the river and through the woods to…Brian’s family cabin. We both love spending time outdoors and we’re really fortunate that his family has a cabin in southern Utah that we absolutely love to visit a couple times a year. The family goes skiing in the winter (I’m more of a lodge bunny) and ATVing in the summer (I could ride and explore for hours).
Brian’s father, Lynn, built the barn-shaped cabin about 40 years ago as a hunting retreat for him and his buddies. They’d come up every year to go deer hunting and Lynn was resourceful in how he finished the cabin since he worked in the new home building industry. He reused materials like cabinets and mirrors and light fixtures that were going to be discarded from houses that were being torn down. Talk about being thrifty, green, and creative!
Since the cabin was just a yearly hunting haven for “the boys”, naturally it was in need of some decor and interior design as it morphed into the family vacation home over the years. Slowly, new carpeting and flooring was installed and the bare walls even got a coat of white paint. Kathy, Brian’s mom, would spend weekends in Big Bear searching for the perfect “cabin-y” sofa and tables to make the place feel more like a home.
The room Brian and I stay in was very sparse with just the essentials like a bed and dresser. While it was functional, after a couple years I asked if his parents would be ok with us decorating the room since we started coming to the cabin with the family more frequently. Luckily we were given the green light, so the ideas I had rolling around in my head could finally come to life.
I wanted to design our room to feel like “us” while still fitting in with the cabin. I wanted it to feel like a modern retreat in the middle of the woods. I like to call the idea that I was going for “cabin chic”: an upscale version of your typical cabin decor. I was mindful to steer away from brown as the dominate color and weighty wood and log-inspired furniture to keep the room from feeling too heavy.
I took note of our surroundings for inspiration which were obviously very earthy and rustic. In winter, the cabin is covered in nothing but an icy white glaze with little pops of wood peeking through the snow from the naked tree limbs. I also thought about what colors were absent in our environment and thought that a dark blue and stark white would be the perfect juxtaposition against the mostly cocoa-colored backdrop of Utah. Then I started a Pinterest board to see how the ideas I had in my head all looked together.
One of the biggest focal points and challenges in the room is the slanted back wall behind our bed. Since it dominates the space already, I decided to embrace and highlight it rather than try to hide it. With this in mind, I made the bold decision to paint the entire wall a deep blue hue for dramatic effect and to contrast with the white bed spread and dresser we picked out.
We also had to work with the existing brown carpeting, small window, outdated closet doors, and electrical panel on the wall.
the final look
After painting the prominent accent wall, we chose a very light grey called “Evening White” by Behr for the remaining three walls in order to soften and brighten up the space a bit. It also created a very subtle contrast against the white baseboard, furniture, and decorative accents.
Since Brian is great at woodworking, he made us a rustic headboard by hand that helped to anchor the space, break up the dark wall, and add some texture. Then we layered in a white linen bedspread from Restoration Hardware that has delicate blue stitching along the edges and blue satin sheets that feel like heaven after a long day of ATV riding. We topped the bedding off with a shearling blanket and pillows for added warmth in the winter and to also bring in that “cabin-y” vibe. For another texture touch, we added a geometric cowhide rug underneath the bed to hide some of the wall-to-wall chocolate carpeting too.
We added a large white dresser for storage that is a better scale for the room and long wall that we placed it on, opposite the bed. Above it, we hung a fun geometric triptych picture and accessorized with woodsy accents and a few of Brian’s favorite cowboy books, natch. A chair in the corner is both functional and pretty and to hide the unsightly electrical panel, we hung a light-colored tapestry over it so that it was hidden but still accessible. Blue and white sheer panels from Pottery Barn helped to frame the small window and soften the lines of the wall.
All images: The Suite Life
Now when we walk into our room, it feels like us. It feels very comfortable and inviting. And there’s no better feeling than home – even if it’s your home away from home.
Paint by Behr: “Dark Navy” I “Evening White” I “Ultra Pure White”
Bedspread I Sheets I Shearling Blanket & Pillows
Rug Similar Here I Curtains I Nightstand (Vintage)
Lamp Bases Similar Here I Lamp Shades Similar Here
Faux Plants I White Pots Similar Here I Picture Frame
Dresser I Artwork Similar Here I Blue Vase I Clock
Book I Book I Basket I Chair (Personal)
What do you think of this room makeover? Let us know in the comments below.