January 16, 2015

Cabin Living Room Planning

Hello there old friends.  You may have noticed that I've slowed down a bit in the past month or so, and that's because, well, this blog is about reality, and in reality, I slowed way down.  After a long year of renos up at the cabin, work got busy, then the holidays got busy, and we took a little break from building.

But like most of the time, I can't stay away for long.  There's nothing like cold weather and cabin fever to draw me towards a project. (Last year at this time we built the third bedroom and the year before that we remodeled the basement.)  I mean, you can't go outside anyway, so why not tear apart the inside of your home? 

So I've got the itch, and it's time to start planning the cabin Living Room reno. We've already come a long way- remember this guy?

We spent hours and hours of my life that I'll never get back removing the wall paper and painting, and then adding the wood floors to get to this fresh, clean slate.  Not to mention removing the couch from hell.

And then late last fall I removed the small window.


Why you ask?  To make room for this:

 We'll build a gas fireplace in the center with a TV mounted above it and flanked by built in shelving. I'm not usually a TV above the fireplace kind of gal, but sometimes you really don't have a choice.  (We could choose to loose the television all together, but I've been overruled my friends.  The family has decreed that the TV will stay.) 

If you prefer a floor plan to get your head around it, here's what we have now.

With the addition of the shelving we'll loose the large slipper chairs that you see in some of the photos above.  We'll center the couch on the larger picture window, put a smaller lounge chair tucked between the bookcase and window, and build a console table for behind the love seat to push that over and increase the opening into the room.

And for those of you that prefer a visual, here's some inspiration I'm working from.  I love the solid cabinets at the bottom for concealed storage of games and blankets, and the crisp white shelves above.

  Initially I really loved this more rustic approach with the reclaimed wood mantel and wood paneling.  In fact, we have wood just like the rustic blue pieces just begging to be used.  But now that the TV needs to go above the mantel, I'm not sure that we'll even see the wood, and it may be used better elsewhere. 
Which lead me to this look.  Painting the back of the shelves a deep, rustic blue really helps the items on the shelves pop and bring character to the space. And even though I know it will be a lot more work, I'm really intrigued with the idea of hiding the TV behind a pair of bi-fold doors.  This inspiration seems like just the right combination of rustic cottage yet crisp and white. 
So that's where we're headed, and I can't wait to tell you all about it.  Luckily we have a little practice building a wall for a fireplace insert and rocking a fireplace face. I literally can't wait to get up North and get started!


  1. Plan looks wonderful - can't wait to see it happen!

    If you are going to cover the TV, please consider that you may eventually have to replace the TV and make the doors larger and maybe a bit deeper than necessary. Then you have some wiggle room in case you can't get another TV exactly the same size.

    1. Good advice Cheryl! The new TV is 50" (true story- my parents won it in a raffle!) so I refuse to allow for anything bigger than that. I couldn't possibly take any more square feet of mind-numbing noise. :)

  2. FWIW:
    Yes! Hide the TV. Nothing like escaping that all-consuming, voracious black maw for a few hours, esp. at the cottage. IT is there for YOU to watch, not the other way around. How about a roll-up? For the TV door, I mean.

    In the sample picture, the blue backing on the shelves makes the items disappear. It's nice to have a colour though - depends on your room/lighting/objects I suppose.

    Can you remind again - what software do you use for floorplans and the overlay you drew?

    And just out of curiosity - are you "losing" the chairs or "loosing" them (upon an unsuspecting public or to roam free)? ;)

    Always eager to follow along. Believe it or not, yours is the first house reno blog I started reading - after a search for "mudrooms". Now I know about more of course, many through your links, but I still start here!

    1. I use Floorplanner.com for floor plans, and Photoshop for mock ups. Thanks for the nudge, I'm definitely "losing" the chairs, and apparently my ability to spell check. Truth is I've always been a terrible speller, so there's not much to lose. :) Thanks for following along on the blog over the years- I can't tell you how honored I feel that you're interested in my little square of the internet. You are too kind!

    2. Thanks. I think I recall you mentioning Floorplanner. I'll have to check it out again. And Photoshop of course. I'm leaning towards learning GIMP too - better economics for me!
      No worries about the spelling - it's always funnier when the "other" word works just as well - and conjures up different lines of thought ("loose" = unwanted wing chairs roaming the countryside)

      FWIW, among the reasons I follow are:
      - inertia (sorry) ;)
      - you give a good level of detail, and are clear in laying out your thinking and construction - both for design and building
      - you face the same climate as here (Ontario), and the same challenges in design and working (toques in today's post!).
      - you're doing to same level of projects as I need to - not a complete gut/rebuild, but upgrades, additions, changes, etc.
      - to see how the other half (US) lives. choice! more good-priced outlets than just HD/Lowes/RONA/Canadian Tire! online shopping! (maybe that's just me)
      - you make what can be large projects look achievable. Not saying "easy", but when you break it down - thought process and build - you show the logic and manageability of each step
      - your writing style of course! (that one's there only if you need it ;) )

      Anyway, thanks for continuing to post. It's interesting and appreciated. I'm going to go give my tools and scrap wood a few really meaningful looks.

      Oh, and thanks for the advice in return! You're right, I'll stop being kind. I'll tell them you said so. ;)

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