Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Ongoing Quest for Unique Cabin Stuff

The finish work on the cabin is trudging along at a snail's paste and I am ready, ready, READY to start decorating.

We missed our February deadline.  I was able to negotiate a one year extension to next February with the water board (day job skills kicking in here), but this just gives us permission to dawdle even more.  

If you aren't familiar with the big, scary deadline that has been looming over us for the last several years, click here. The short story for those who can't tear themselves away from this riveting tale of OCD shopping: keeping our water permit is contingent on us getting our certificate to occupy by a specific deadline.

So, because I'm frustrated with the slow pace, and because there is little I can do to help finish the cabin (I can paint, apply wood stain, and stand around and dictate design decisions...we'll see how that works out; I'm feeling a little iffy about the shower, which was my idea), I've been shopping madly.  Systematically scouring all the local antique stores, looking, looking, looking for all those elusive items that will spell unique, cabin perfection and guarantee a lifetime of relaxed happiness in our little place far from the madding crowd.  

Things on my list have included:

Two bedside tables

Two easy chairs and a side table/coffee table
Table and two chairs (for eating)
Deck furniture
Vanity mirror or cabinet for bathroom

Thanks to some really terrific finds over the past few weeks, I've been able to cross several of these items off of my list and add to the growing pile of cabin stuff waiting to be transported to the finished cabin.  

My husband and I are so delighted that our house is turning into a warehouse for the storage of cabin furniture and other related items.

Read on for an overview of my latest haul of cabin loot...

Bedside Tables

I'm so excited about this little table.  This is probably the one and only time that I didn't go through my normal indecisive routine where I walk around the store for 30 minutes trying to decide whether I really want the thing or not (or leave, think about it for a few days, and then return, to look at it again and think some more).  

It was absolutely the right size and shape, had enough storage options, and had the right look for what I have in mind.  So I bought it immediately.

It is solid wood (looks like oak) construction and simple, geometric details leads me to believe it is likely an Eastlake piece (probably mass produced in the U.S.), a type of furniture produced between 1870 and 1890.  According to this website (click here), the creation this style of furniture was in response to English architect Charles Lock Eastlake urging late 19th century designers to veer away from the over-the-top, intricate ornamentation typical of Victorian-era furniture and decorating styles.

The simple, straightforward detailing of this table will be perfect in a mildly rustic cabin setting that has a touch of vintage style.

Still looking for a companion bedside table to go along with this one.  

In the spirit of recycling and re-using what we already have, I'm going to paint/re-finish a bed frame that my husband made years ago (no photos available right now).


I found this table last summer (click here for more on this). I'm planning on painting the base and re-finishing the top.

I found two chairs which seemed perfect at the time (for painting-see photo below), but now am having second thoughts since I broke the cardinal rule and bought rickety chairs.  

So we'll see if I end up using them.

Bath Vanity Mirror/Cabinet

I've been hunting long and hard for something to go over the bathroom sink.

I found this a few weeks ago and thought I was done with my bathroom vanity mission.  It's vintage.  It has the right amount of simple ornamentation.  Its rich brown finish will contrast nicely with the white painted ship lap on the walls and galvanized metal shower.  The mirror is beveled (for some reason this is very important to me; I think it has something to do with wanting an extra bit of elegance in the wilderness)....

And then I found this last weekend....It has all the criteria I list above plus storage.  I can never resist storage.  However, it will likely not work with the vanity light that I have already purchased, which doesn't stick out far enough from the wall. 

Which means I may need to buy a different kind of vanity light.... we'll see.

Shown below are other odds and ends that I've picked up and that seem to say 'cabin' to me in one way or another...

This very unique little silver pitcher.  Love the little frieze of birds that runs around the middle... 

...and the intricate detail on the feet, which look like animal paws.

No cabin can be complete without antlered stags in one form or another....

My husband told me that this delightfully banged up metal bin is a minnow bucket.  It looks like someone dragged it down the road for a few miles.  Since I don't plan on storing minnows in the cabin, I will use it to store something more useful (linens? cleaning supplies? magazines?)

Another old vanity cabinet that I will use somewhere for open shelving (living/bedroom area? kitchen?).  I had initially planned on using this on the bathroom wall opposite the sink, but if I end up using the mirrored vanity cabinet, that might be too much shelving hanging on the walls of a very tiny bathroom.

The ugly linoleum backing will definitely be going away and be replaced with??

I immediately fell in love with this mule, and apparently the feeling was mutual, because he insisted on coming home with me.  

Perfect for a cabin located in rugged, rocky country where sure-footed mules and burros were once used to transport people and goods (think pioneers forging westward in their covered wagons or scruffy miners prospecting in remote mountain areas).

So many fun things that I can't wait to start playing around with!


Thanks for visiting!


Linking to the following this week....
Roses of Inspiration Linkup at The Enchanting Rose
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Sunday, April 10, 2016

More Cabin Fun: Designing the Deck

I watched A River Runs Through It (Brad Pitt looks like he's 15 in this movie) last night, and as I sat there with my iPad on my lap, I tried to come up with some words for a post about designing the deck for our cabin.  

The story takes place in scenically spectacular Montana (which is also where the movie was filmed), and it certainly inspires all kinds of cabin- and deck-related words. Such as.....





Words that were certainly on my mind as I worked on the deck design over the last few weeks. 

The purpose of a deck is to extend the indoor living space outside and to connect the structure to the surrounding landscape.  

In our case, we also need a way of safely entering and exiting the cabin that doesn't involve using either a plastic step-stool or the ridiculous temporary stairs that my husband built (and which collapsed under me as I was walking backwards up them while helping my husband carry the small, but very heavy refrigerator into the cabin last fall).  

So I fired up my ever-so-handy Home Designer program and designed a simple deck.  A very simple deck.  Approximately 27 feet long by 11 feet wide and 30 inches above grade at the most.  

That's all we really need to relax, enjoy the view, and bask in the feeling of escaping to a wilder, more untouched place.

Read on for what I have in mind for the finished deck and surrounding landscape and to see how Home Designer's perspective view function says the deck is going to look once it is constructed. 

It will likely have a railing at the east end to meet code, unless my husband is able to raise the grade enough to keep the deck height at less than 30 inches above the ground.

I'd be thrilled if we could leave off the railing entirely, since it obstructs the all important view...

But if we do need to install a railing, I like the idea of using tree branches for the balusters, instead of the pedestrian-looking stock balusters supplied in Home Designer's materials list, which is what is shown here. 

I've found a couple of examples of tree branches-as-balusters on Pinterest, which are shown here, here, and here.

We want to hide all the ugly concrete supports under the deck.  I anticipate accomplishing this by using a combination of dry stacked stone and informal planting.  

Native planting will be used to eliminate the need for any kind of maintenance.  I can't get enough of the bright, cheery yellow of the prolific rabbitbrush that grows everywhere in south-central Utah, so I'm sure I will be using this plant liberally around the cabin.

The colors and textures in this part of the country are amazing.  Lots of soft gray-greens, grays, sage, and yellows contrasting with bright green, volcanic black, and bold sandstone red. Rugged cliffs and spectacular red rock formations.  Old, weathered wood and rusty wire and metal. 

I tried to incorporate all that into the exterior colors and finishes of the cabin, as well as the interior, for that matter. Click here for more on all the inspiration that went into the initial design of the cabin and here for my ideas on what the cabin decor might be.  All this will look so pretty with the local plants.


I'll end this virtual tour of our future deck of a summary of what we plan on doing once the cabin (and deck) are finally complete.

Sitting, relaxing, reading, enjoying a view of seemingly limitless wilderness.

Yes, and we will be having many meals outside...I'm seeing us having breakfast on the deck in the summer, if the mornings aren't too cool.  

Dinner on the deck in the evening when everything is lit by a golden light and the cliffs across the valley are blood-red in the setting sun (but not in late spring, when a couple zillion near-invisible gnats arrive to make every one's life in this area a living misery).

I'm sure I will have pretty ceramic-ware plates for meals, but, as sure as the sky is blue, I will also be bringing out the pretty, festive plastic plates that I am so gaga about because they just shout out 'picnic on the deck'.

But most of all, I see my husband and I sitting on the deck, being so grateful to escape our crazy, too busy day-to-day lives for just a little while... 

Can't wait.


Thanks for visiting!


Linking to the following this week....
Roses of Inspiration Linkup at The Enchanting Rose
Bouquet of Talent at Life on Lakeshore Drive
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Five Star Frou-Frou at a Tray of Bliss
Something to Talk About at Karen's Up On The Hill
Share It One More Time at DesignThusiasm

I was featured at....

Tweak It Tuesday #189 at Cozy Little House