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Need help with log cabin kitchen/dining room
kabiej
January 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My husband and I recently purchased a lakeside log cabin for a family retreat. It was built in 1980. It is extremely dark inside. The room is a fairly large (13X 35) combination kitchen and dining room.The walls are dark stained logs. The ceiling is tongue and groove with log beams in a medium brown stain. The floor is brick tile. The countertops are real butcher block that we have refinished in a light yellowish stain. We have removed the fluorescent lights in the kitchen. There is a small brass chandelier over the breakfast bar that could definitely go and a larger brass chandelier over the rustic table in the dining area that could also be replaced. The appliances are almond color and will have to stay awhile, but I would like to have suggestions for the eventual change. They are still in excellent condition and don't look bad. (Could have been avocado or gold!) The pictures I have were not taken for this discussion, but I hope they will help. There are dark stained shutters on all the windows. I have removed the 2 over the sink and replaced them with a Roman shade. I keep all of the others open to let in light. I am planning to paint the cabinets and I am tryng to decide between a nice gray (BM's new Metropolitan) or a rustic faux finish that I have a picture of. I will replace the hardware on the cabinets and the sink faucet. I am thinking either brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. The furniture that you see came with the cabin and can eventually be replaced. I would like to have a completed plan, even though I will have to work in stages. My decorating style has always been traditional and fairly formal, so this is a real change for me, but I think we need to embrace the rustic style. Please give me your suggestions.
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kabiej
I have a few more pictures that may help with the discussion. One shows the Roman shades I have added and the fabric, one shows the faux finish I am considering, and the last shows a serving piece on the wall between kitchen and dining room. Thanks!
January 19, 2013 at 10:56AM   
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elklaker
What a great retreat! I love your shade fabric. Would you consider keeping the cabinets simple and going with a cream/ivory that is similar to the background of the fabric. That will blend with your appliances and keep things crisp.
Take your time with your decorating and remodeling. We are 10 years into our lake house and are constantly working on something (which we love). I do, however, have to remind myself that we go there to relax and it doesn't have to be perfect. "Lake living"! Have fun.
January 19, 2013 at 11:16AM     
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kabiej
@elklaker, Thanks so much. I'm sure it will take us a while to do this, but we ae enjoying every day we get to spend there. I do like the idea of the cream cabinets. The rustic faux finish's main color is the color you suggest. We could go with the solid color. What color hardware?
January 19, 2013 at 2:56PM   
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elklaker
If you are staying more rustic, I would say the oil rubbed bronze. I love the dresser. That came with the house? All that our previous owners left us was a cat-scratched nasty old couch that promptly went to the dump. Yours is a treasure.
January 19, 2013 at 3:27PM     
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
I love living at the lake and the whole rustic vibe. This however doesn't mean that it has to be dark. Remove all the shutters you paid for the view. Paint the floor with a garage paint a pale grey would be nice. White kitchen cabinets, light granite counter tops and new white appliances this never goes out of style. Replace or refinish/upholster all the furniture. Use durable fabrics like Sunbrella. The place will look great and the light will be inviting and not oppressive like it is now.
January 19, 2013 at 3:37PM     
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kabiej
Thanks, Interiors International for the great suggestions!
January 19, 2013 at 3:53PM   
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Your very welcome. Where is this great lake place? Mine is in MN. "Land of 10,000 lakes" ;-) I have a large clientele that have cabins. I love doing them they bring me joy. If you want to hire someone let me know. Designers need not be expensive. I have been know to save my clients money by looking outside the box. I like using materials in new and creative ways. Check out my page. My website is www.idesignintl.com
January 19, 2013 at 4:00PM     
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kabiej
@ Interiors International. Our cabin is in MS. I will check out your website. Thanks again for your input.
January 19, 2013 at 5:04PM   
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PRO
OasisDesign&Remodeling
Love your cabin. You are in need of contrast. Cabinets & light fixtures need to be an antiqued white/cream. Floors need to be wide planked hand scraped hardwood. Flea market finds. Paint the shutters white. Your floors would be the biggest investment, everything else can be painted yourself that I suggested. Hand your dining room chandalier lower. Look for quaint unmatched chairs at the flea market that can be painted an accent color like aqua green.
January 19, 2013 at 7:44PM     
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kabiej
@ OasisDesign I love your suggestions! I am sure I will have to wait on floors, but can do everything else. What color cabinet hardware and kitchen faucet? What would you think about painting the chandelier over the bar the accent color? The door and window facings are 1980's country blue, what color would you paint them. The door to closet under stairs is beside kitchen and is painted that color also. I also have a pantry beside backdoor in kitchen with double louvered doors that are brown. Paint?Thanks so much for your point on suggestions!
January 20, 2013 at 6:27AM   
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Dar Eckert
Interiors international, love the idea of painting the floor. Painted wood floor has that laid back lake feel so I'm thinking that painted tile would too. It would really brighten the room. I'm also thinking of painting the ceiling but not the beams.
January 20, 2013 at 6:49AM   
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
@Dar Eckert, you are in my area You can meet me at the home show in MPLS. this March. I will be at the PAF Architectural booth. We work together on some projects so we share space at the home show to save money. I would really love to talk with you please come and see me. It will be a pleasure. My # is on my website www.idesignintl.com
PS: my cabin is in Annandale I grew up in St. Cloud.
January 20, 2013 at 6:58AM      Thanked by kabiej
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cyn222
I would lighten up the wall with a soothing green. Do not paint all the walls. Leave some log accent areas. I would choose a stone look vinyl plank flooring. Easy install and super easy to clean. The countertops can be painted as well. Rustoleum makes a great product that can transform a room. Just brighten up the inside with some green & white. This way you can change out pillows, comforters, etc to change the feel of the home throughout the seasons. Put in some florals for spring and summer and for winter add some fall tones and geometric prints.
January 20, 2013 at 7:13AM        Thanked by kabiej
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PRO
OasisDesign&Remodeling
Thank you for the comments!!! I would paint all of the trim & doors that is currently painted a soft cream or white, whatever you choose for the cabinets. I would do black iron for the hardware & sink fixture. (You want it to look very organic) DO NOT paint any of the ceilings or walls if they are logs!!! Whatever you choose for flooring, it must be a natural product...stone, wood, etc. I would change your kitchen ceiling fixture to a more open look semi-flush open iron look. And...even though I LOVE the pattern & style of the roman shades, I would've preferred to see some cool tones rather than warm. That would help to set a more "lakeside" feel.

DO NOT do grays though. Keep it clean with cream, white, etc. Then accent with touches of blue.

A hand hooked rug in the DR with brighter colors would be great. Even though I'm suggesting paint colors, the actual color should be chosen last, after you replace furniture & rug. You'll choose the actual paint color from your furniture palette. So this is a long term plan with the accent color. Start with painting the cabinets & replacing the hardware, then paint your trim. Next will be your furniture & rug choices, then move onto your accent colors.

Changing your flooring would be last, & your best investment, believe me.
January 20, 2013 at 7:47AM        Thanked by kabiej
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sjkingston
Solid ivory/creme cabinet paint over the rustic as there is so much variation in all the wood surfaces and the cabinet's vertical channel that the eye needs a calm place to rest. Bronze hardware to support the rustic vibe. Our Lowes usually beats HD for inexpensive terrific selection of cabinet hardware. Check the appliances fronts as the dishwasher and compactor probably have reversible panels you can replace with a sheet of stainless or use a stainless film to temporarily update. Oh for appliances that last. The idea to paint some areas of vertical paneling to lighten up is terrific, as is painting linoleum with a good paint for a temp fix. I'd get a designer to give ideas on colors (color speciaist would be good) to with the wood. Those chairs have a fabulous back design. Consider painting them in a light color or bright from your fabric, perhaps the table ivory and chairs orange, green or yellow. For the light fixtures, wait the paint work is done and browse pics to see what would work with rest of your decor. Use ivory slipcovers on your furniture and pillows in colors from the shade and "Bob's your uncle."
January 20, 2013 at 7:56AM        Thanked by kabiej
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apple_pie_order
I think improving the lighting would make a big change. There are new styles of track lighting that are unobtrusive that could run alongside the beams.

A cream paint with color taken from your shade would be attractive on the cabinets. You can reuse the hinges if you don't paint them. I can't quite see what the finish on the door pulls is, but you can probably find something you like if you don't want to reuse them after painting.

When you change out the appliances, I suggest you get a good vent to the outside over the gas range. It will improve air quality and keep the cabin walls and ceiling from getting dirty.

Although the brick vinyl flooring is quite practical, in this case I'd go with something much lighter because you say the whole cabin is dark. The color of toast or bread crust would be about as light as practical (basically, the color of dropped crumbs).

If you can buy extra fabric in the shade pattern, you might consider having it laminated (Calico Corner will do this for a fee per yard). Then cut foamcore board to fit in front of the logs between the top countertop edge and bottom of the cabinets, wrap the board in the laminated fabric and wedge it tightly into place. The laminate finish will be easy to wipe down and the foamcore can be removed when you redo the kitchen.
January 20, 2013 at 8:16AM        Thanked by kabiej
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apple_pie_order
Here's a photo of unobtrusive track lighting that is quite modern.
January 20, 2013 at 8:19AM        Thanked by kabiej
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kabiej
Thanks to every one for your suggestions. We are going to paint and change the cabinet hardware first. When we finish that, I will post pictures.
January 31, 2013 at 5:57PM   
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PRO
OasisDesign&Remodeling
That's an excellent beginning!!! Looking forward to the pics!!! Best of luck & keep us updated!!!
February 1, 2013 at 9:40AM      Thanked by kabiej
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kabiej
Thanks again for your suggestions. I would like to post pictures to date of this makeover. We painted the cabinets and changed out the hardware. We bought some new appliances and changed color of old ones to stainless steel. We added mason jars to the chandelier over the bar counter and changed out the chandelier in the dining room. We still have the same vinyl "brick" floor. We still need better lighting and will be working on that next. Thanks again to all!
November 17, 2013 at 4:35PM     
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PRO
OasisDesign&Remodeling
The white cabs look soooo much better!!! You've made great progress...keep up the good work!!!
November 17, 2013 at 5:03PM        Thanked by kabiej
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apple_pie_order
Looks great! The cabinets are really brightened up.
November 17, 2013 at 5:17PM      Thanked by kabiej
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decoenthusiaste
If you ever want to rent it as a vacation rental, I've managed properties in NJ, AR, TX, NV for 13 years. I am currently looking for additional opportunities, and you can make the cabin pay for the upgrades by letting others enjoy it when you can't be there. Our cabin looks to a view much like yours but with mountains and a creek in the bottoms where we often see elk.
November 17, 2013 at 6:43PM      Thanked by kabiej
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kabiej
@Cat Rowe I don't know if you can see it or not, but the chandelier over the dining table is faux antlers. Are you suggesting I change it out or put additional chandeliers somewhere else? Where? Thanks for your input.
November 18, 2013 at 9:45AM   
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RosemaryR
What a great job you have done so far, love the antler chandelier though it should be lower. Keep up the good work, enjoy the journey and remember to breathe!
November 18, 2013 at 10:10AM      Thanked by kabiej
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juliewatsonklassen
A lot of good suggestions so far - and painting the cabinets has really lightened up the room. You may wish to consider changing the counter top with a black granite to compliment the black trim in your new appliances, or if not a granite then corian or laminate. And new backsplash. I like butcher block - but the colour doesn't seem to go with the white cabs & ss & black appliances. Alternatively you could maybe stain the butcher block in a darker stain (teak) or walnut ? Suggest you take a piece of poster paper and paint one black and one darker stain and lay it over the existing counter between the fridge and stovetop to see how it looks. Also some lights under the upper cabinets would provide more light on the counters.
November 18, 2013 at 10:33AM      Thanked by kabiej
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novicenoodler
So far so good! I think the white cabinets really lighten the place up and make it feel less like a wooden cave.

I think the next logical step would be the floor, maybe also in a lighter color but a natural material -- perhaps stone or hardwood? A lighter colored floor would help to complete the transition to a much lighter feeling area.
November 18, 2013 at 10:37AM      Thanked by kabiej
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juliewatsonklassen
P.S. Shd you decide to change the countertops - keep a piece of the butcher block for an island in the middle (maybe a stainless steel frame/shelves on wheels). There appears to be enough space for that .
November 18, 2013 at 10:40AM      Thanked by kabiej
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PRO
OasisDesign&Remodeling
I love the white cabs...white isn't only for cottage. They can be for any style. The contrast was very much needed...now it actually highlights those awesome wood beams!!! I meant to say that I think the back of your front door also needs to be white. Please keep in touch!!!
November 19, 2013 at 8:31PM      Thanked by kabiej
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kabiej
@Rosemary R how much should I lower the chandelier? I lowered it to 30" above the table when I put in the new one? Thanks.
November 27, 2013 at 7:05AM   
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Victor
kabiej, we bought a 60 year old chestnut log cabin in Orange County NY in Feb 2013 and had to do a lot of interior remodeling. It was if 1980 threw up in the place. The kitchen was stained cabinets with yellow countertops and linoleum floors. A very small kitchen but fine for our needs. I also painted the cabinets after prepping and while it was a lot of work it was well worth it and a lot cheaper than new cabinets. Plus the originals were oak so they were solid. All of the old flooring tile had to be removed so we replaced it with a travertine. We also went with a lighter granite countertop to further brighten the kitchen. One hurdle was a low ceiling so lighting options were tricky. We also did a ledgerstone wall in the entry. It's an open floorplan so it helped break up the spaces.
November 27, 2013 at 12:38PM        Thanked by kabiej
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PRO
The Color People
It is a place for fun, why not make it a little bit fun- with color.
November 27, 2013 at 2:36PM        Thanked by kabiej
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Dar Eckert
The white seems a little out of place with everything else so dark. A cream might be better or how about a butter or blue.
December 5, 2013 at 7:28PM        Thanked by kabiej
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kabiej
@Dar Eckert I know the picture looks white, but the cabinets are really an antique white that is a cream color. Thanks.
December 6, 2013 at 8:12AM   
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PRO
Mint Design
It is not easy to completely change styles and be comfortable. I am attaching 4 photos which are in log homes but have more of the formal or traditional style you say you prefer. Please not the one with the stone veneered bar is to show the stone veneer, not the black cabinets which I think stand out like a sore thumb. I prefer to see appliances fully integrated. I like the combination of wood (some can be painted the green in the last photo), stone, and copper. Copper makes an attractive countertop and/or backsplash and has antimicrobial properties. Please get it raw and let it age naturally. Patinated iron hardware should add to the look. I hope you will keel us posted as you progress! Hope these ideas help. :)
August 11, 2014 at 1:06AM   
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