This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of my links, I will receive a small percent of the sale at no additional cost to you.
We’ve been working away on the cabin bedroom (if you follow along on Instagram stories, you know!) but I can’t say I’ve always had a clear plan. I’ve known overall what the room needs to do for both us and our future short term renters, but I couldn’t quite see what I wanted it to look like. We knew we wanted to carry the Stuga Shell engineered hardwood from the rest of the main floor through to this bedroom, so we started there. And then I found the perfect modern plaid fabric which somehow led me to green contrast trim, but I’m getting ahead of myself! If you’ve designed a room before too, you know it often just takes that one design element that sets the tone for the whole room and I’m so glad it’s finally coming together.
In classic Emily form, I’ve got a big ol’ post for you here where I’ll walk you through what the room looked like before we got the keys, how we made it work for us for almost a year, where we’re going, and where we are now. Get yourself a cup of tea (or coffee, or whatever, I’m not the boss of you) and settle in for the whole journey.
The Cabin Bedroom Before
Like most vacation homes, the sale of our cabin included nearly all of the furniture. This is good and bad, good to have something to start with, and bad to get rid of if you don’t love it and need to move it all off a mountain. Here’s a look at the bedroom before we got the keys and while renters were still using the home.
The previous owners outfitted this room with a queen bed, a slipper chair, nightstands, and a large dresser. The room felt crowded and had an uninviting flow. And (as my husband says I can’t stop mentioning) with all the furniture pressed up against the walls, the carpet trapped a surprising amount of mouse poop from what looks like quite a mouse situation from years past.
The Middle Stage
When we got the keys, we quickly rearranged the bedroom to fit a king bed (we upgraded to a king-size bed in our bedroom in Pittsburgh and now we can’t go back).
The rearrangement made a huge difference in how large the room felt. A layout tip from me to you: if at all possible, set up a bedroom so the bed invites you in rather than blocks your path. We moved the large dresser out to make room and, admittedly, kept our clothes in piles on the floor. The nightstands came from another room in the house. Here are a few more angles for you:
When I see those closet doors I just yell hollooooow cooooore doooooooooors in my head.
This wall is just full of door after hollow-core door. The one on the left goes out to the rest of the main floor and the door in the middle goes to the en-suite. The bedroom worked well like this for us for almost a year before we decided to get to work.
Cabin Bedroom Wishlist and Challenges
Because the cabin is not our primary home and will hopefully be an Airbnb in the future, I’m approaching this bedroom differently. One of the biggest differences between how I’m approaching this room and how I’d approach a bedroom in our main home is storage. I want guests (including us!) to be able to unpack and feel at home but I also want the room to feel spacious and uncluttered – plus, the more drawers there are, the easier it is to leave things behind by accident. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about what I want this room to do and be, so here’s my favorite thing, a bulleted list:
The cabin’s primary bedroom should have or be:
- The good bits of a boutique hotel experience (USB ports, wall sconces, smart use of small space)
- Easy to clean quickly
- A king-size bed
- Summer-y but not beachy
- Room for up to 1 week’s worth of clothes for 2 people
Challenges and problems to solve:
- 8ft ceilings with a stipple finish
- Ceiling fan vs. no ceiling fan
- Soundproofing (I’m still getting used to drywall vs. plaster)
- Half-hot outlets (half of each outlet is controlled by a switch and it drives me crazy)
- Closet with a diagonal wall
- Greige (not the good kind) sliding glass patio door
- Hollow-core doors
- Builder-grade wood trim
A note on the wood trim since you KNOW I am a wood trim enthusiast: there is a big difference between historic, properly proportioned, old-growth wood trim and what we’re seeing here. The craftsmanship is different, the intention is different, and the character is different. That said, you can absolutely make trim like this work in your house with the same tips I’ve used to make the honey-toned woodwork in our Pittsburgh home! And while I absolutely could have painted this trim and it would have been lovely, I wanted to add additional character to this room with more substantially scaled trim. What about the rest of the cabin? I have decided that at least for the main floor, we will replace the wood trim in the cabin where it is installed against drywall, and any wood trim that is installed on pine v-groove paneling will stay.
The Cabin Bedroom Design Direction
Design ideas for the cabin’s primary bedroom have come to me in fits and starts. We started working on it even though I didn’t have a clear vision for the end goal but it has slowly been coming together in my mind. It was a plaid fabric that pulled it all together for me, and then green trim made so much sense – but I’m getting ahead of myself!
Whenever I don’t know where I’m going design-wise and I get lost in one Pinterest rabbit hole after another, I recenter myself on my cabin design direction post. Revisiting the textures and cabin color palette I put together helps me remember what I set out to do here in the first place. Let’s take a look.
The Cabin Color Palette
Warmth, neutrals, oak tones, leather, terracotta, v-groove paneling, shades of green, and black and brass metals. So how does this translate into a bedroom? Here we go:
Cabin Bedroom Mood Board
[ 1. BM High Park | 2. BM Simply White | 3. Ceiling Fan | 4. V-Groove Ceiling | 5. Sconce | 6. Andy’s Lake Photo (sorry no link!) | 7. Side Table | | 8. Bed | 9. Quilt | 10. Curtain (fabric) | 11. Bench | 12. Rug | 13. Flooring ]
The mood board above shows the general idea of the pieces I’ll be looking for, though, as with everything else, it’s sure to evolve. It’s a modern, rustic mix of natural materials with a hint of summer camp. As I mentioned earlier, it was the plaid curtain fabric that pulled the vision for the whole room together for me. A rabid consumer of the internet, I saw my dream fabric in Studio Laloc‘s stories of her tour of Gropius House. I searched the internet for days, trying to find the same plaid with no luck. I told Andy about it and within minutes, he’d found the fabric for me. After that, things just started to make sense.
Cabin Bedroom Layout
Now that we know what’s going into the room, let’s see where it’s all going. It’s SketchUp time!
The Overhead View
The size of the room allows ample space for a king-size bed. I struggled with the decision to include a small dresser, which would mean shifting the bed to the left and off-center so that the drawers could be opened easily. This ended up creating an awkward empty corner that I just couldn’t figure out, no matter how much stuff I put along that wall. In the end, I decided that an in-closet storage unit could provide enough clothes storage for short term stays.
The Bed View
Oh hi, look at that ceiling. After waffling on it forever, my solution to the stipple ceiling is to cover it with v-groove paneling. I chose this over removing the stipple because I wanted to bring the v-groove element from the living room and dining nook into this room as a cohesive element. I’ve added a ceiling fan but I’m not yet 100% committed, we are not ceiling fan people but learned that SO many people are and we want our guests to be comfortable. The fan pictured in my mood board (and the similar one in the drawing above) are great examples of low profile, modern fans.
I love the look of the green baseboards and the tall curtain panel for the patio doors. We are going to do our best to figure out how to install hardwired sconces. I want this room to feel uncluttered and easy to clean, and wall-mounted sconces will help on both counts.
The Closet Wall View
I am so excited about this closet wall. THE GREEN TRIMMMMM! It started as my least favorite wall and I think it’s going to be my favorite. Removing the doors and adding the curtain allows for another moment with my favorite plaid. For storage, I’ve got my eye on the simple AURDAL (like this one but with just one clothes rail) from IKEA. I wanted something that had just enough storage and would look good with the curtain open. It has easy open shelving where we can store extra pillows and blankets but also drawers for guests’ folded clothes. The short clothes rail should be all that’s needed.
Peg Rail View
This is a view of the wall that gave me all that trouble. The solution, as with most things, was to just keep it simple. I knew all along that hooks would be so important through this house. With the nearby lake, summer is the peak season so guests will have towels, bathing suits, and beach bags to hang. I’m hoping to overwhelm them with so many hooks that no wet towels will end up on the floor. A long DIY peg rail oughta do it, plus, it helps break up that big empty wall with a touch of trim.
Our Progress So Far
We ripped up the carpet and put in the same Stuga flooring in the color Shell to match what we’d already installed on the rest of the main floor – you can read all about how to install Stuga flooring here.
Then, I protected our beautiful floors with Ram Board and painted the walls my favorite shade of white – Benjamin Moore Simply White. I had the folks at Home Depot color-match Simply White in Behr Marquee paint in their flat finish.
And here’s that green trim! We picked up 1×6 pre-primed pine boards for the baseboards and 1×4 for around the doors. I painted it all in Benjamin Moore’s High Park in a satin finish before we started cutting and installing. We’re making great progress and it is so rewarding to see the trim up on the walls. A million tiny more steps to go but we are getting there.