February 6, 2014

Poof! Third Bedroom

Last week I gave you a little run down on our big cabin plans.  As a reminder here's what we have:

 And here's the insanity of projects I'm hoping to accomplish:

In typical fashion, I couldn't wait to get started.   Let's get right down to business on Project #1- Build the Third Bedroom.

As you can see above the plan was to build a wall between the Dinning Room and the Den.  The first step for us is to get this wall and new door in.  Later this spring we'll put in the new front door in the Dinning Room/Entryway area, and take the old front door out of this space and replace it with a window.  But for now, with a couple of other exterior doors to this cabin, this room can work as a (albeit awkward) third bedroom. 

I started by making a plan and a pretty insane list of all the items we would need.  An hour round trip to the nearest home improvement store makes good planning a necessity. 

This list is mostly long because of all the electrical items we planned to buy to replace out the old brown/brass/dirty tan ones.
Next we cut our first 2x4 to the length of the room, and cut out the carpet right where we wanted the wall to go, using the 2x4 as a guide.

Hello blue/gray wood floors underneath!
Then we could attach the first, full length stud to the ceiling, and cut another shorter one for the floor (subtracting the width of the door.)  Then it was pretty easy to cut studs to the distance between the floor and ceiling stud, and nail into place on 16" centers.  (Which is a fancy construction term that means the centers of your 2x4s are 16" apart.) You can see in this photo below that we cut a piece of wood to 14.5" (16" minus .75" on each side to get to the center of the stud), which made the measuring much easier.

My Dad and I worked on this project together, and it went pretty quick and surprise free.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was a pretty fun time actually.  Just me and my Dad, working with tools together, building a wall.  I know I'll always look back on this space in the cabin and think the awesome time my Dad and I had building it together.  And really, that's what this place is all about for us.  Building memories.  It wasn't long until the wall was up, and the door was going in.

Once the wall was in, I filled in the studs with insulation to help with noise. We bought a pre-cut pack that is meant to fit exactly between 16" centers, and it was magical how easy it was.

You can see in the image above that I also added an outlet on the bedroom side of this wall and a light switch.  I went up to the attic and down into the crawl space to confirm that there is power above and below that we can tap into, but instead of wiring all this right now, I just pushed enough wire up and down into each space to do the work down the road once we pull the permit.  The important part was snaking the wire while the walls were still open.

Then even more magic happened.  Usually, this would be the point in DIY that I would start whining like a baby: Drywall.   (You may remember some of my worst moments here and here.) But I got to thinking... since this whole cabin is already built of paneling, and since we kind of like the cottagey vibe of painted paneling, why not just cover this new wall with paneling?  Genius!

We found these 4x8 panels of "white oak" for just $10 a piece at Menards.  The color isn't important since we plan to paint them anyway.  So in just a few minutes we were nearly there.

Sure, we had to slow down for a moment to apply my pink lip gloss to the edges of the electrical outlet to cut the paneling around those. 


We just pressed the panel back exactly where it needed to go, which left a perfect outline on the back of my panel.  I used my Dremel to cut the hole.
This is the sorriest looking "after" that I have ever seen, but trust me friends, this is going somewhere good.

The roll top desk is temporarily in this space for now.  I plan to build a coat locker to go here in the new entryway.

And please forgive the tight space and bad lighting, but here's a look from inside the new room.

Look at all those different colors of paneling and wood I have to deal with... I can't wait to paint.

Up next: trim and paint.  But for right now I'm going a little dance for the fact that in one weekend we took this property from a two bedroom to a three bedroom.  Holla!


  1. Love your plans for the cabin! All really smart changes. Are you thinking about leaving any of the paneling unpainted wood? If I were you, I would leave the beautiful (well, looks beautiful on a screen) stuff on the diagonal (ceiling, wall) and paint the vertical stuff. I'm sure it'll look great no matter what you do, can't wait to see! :-)

    1. You are reading my mind Meredith! The plan for right now is to paint any fake wood, but to leave all of the real wood as is. Once we do that first step we'll have a better idea of what we're dealing with. I love the idea of leaving the real wood natural where we can though- this is a cabin after all.

  2. Just wanted to say I've really enjoyed reading your blog (been marathon-reading since I found it). Even if your style isn't always my style, I love that you keep things real instead of trying for the Pinterest look. =) I'm so excited for your cabin adventures, even as you still conquer all the layers of the Lodge! My in-laws bought a lake cabin a couple of years ago, and it's been really fun watching them make it theirs and cozy it up. My FIL has it in his mind to knock OUT a bedroom (there's 4 total) on the first floor to make a master suite ... in the hopes of convincing his wife they can retire out there! Somehow he thinks he can do it in secret ... I think she'll catch on, since she's out there every other day. I'll just sit back and enjoy the show.