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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Last week marked the third year that Jeff and I have been cabin people! I thought it would be the perfect time to look back and see what’s been happening during the last three years. Sometimes I don’t realize it, but it’s been a lot. We’ve really made this cabin our own, and I’m so happy to see how far it’s come.

I will try to link to projects as they come up throughout this post, if I’m missing something feel free to ask! You can find every cabin post right here too, if you’d like to dig into the archive.

For those of you who are new around here, let me bring you up to speed. In the spring of 2017, Jeff and I realized that having a cabin on a lake was something that we really wanted in our lives. We scrimped, saved, and budgeted – before we knew it, we were on the hunt. I’m so thankful we took inventory of what was important to us, and figured out a way to make it happen.

For us to afford a cabin we had to make some concessions. The big compromises that we made here were that it was in need of a lot TLC, there is no garage, and it’s on a small lake. On the bright side, it had a lot of character it just needed to be dusted off, it was on two acres of land, and it had great views because of its proximity to the water.

Okay, let’s begin. I hope you folks are ready for an image heavy before and after photo fest!

We bought the cabin fully furnished so this is how it actually looked when we took ownership! Buying the cabin furnished was not an incentive to us, but it was a negotiating point for the seller. The cabin had been a rental and they just wanted it off their plate.

Just last month we finally got rid of the last of the furnishings – it has been a lot to take on the weight of someone else’s stuff. When we moved in, we basically moved all furnishings to the basement and have been slowly picking away at selling, giving away, recycling, and removing them from the property.

We love our little efficient cabin kitchen, and we feel like we’ve made the most of it. To start we removed a row of upper cabinets that were blocking the view of the lake (and the rest of the living space). I painted the remaining cabinets, built some drawers where a cupboard had been, installed a hidden dishwasher and most recently upgraded our range.

We made the most of every useable space, including our small lofted area above the stairs, which we turned into a space for a record player and small cabin record collection.

The most recent big project that I took on over last winter, was a complete overhaul of the main floor bathroom. This is a highly used space being that it’s the only full bathroom and it serves our guests as a changing room during the summer. Even though it’s small, it’s super efficient. There is loads of space for towel storage, and lots of hooks to hang your swimsuits on.

Both bedrooms on the second floor are identical. They are divided by a half bath that is nestled in the middle of the a-frame style roof line. Most of what’s been done here is cosmetic. We exchanged the beds for new queen size beds, loaded them up with tons of cozy bedding and called it a day.

I’d really like to add large dormers behind the beds so we can make the most of the unused space behind the knee wall. That’s a someday plan – but I really look forward to when that day comes.

The guest room doubles as Jeff’s office, used a ton during quarantine.

This is the upstairs half bath that sits right between both second floor bathrooms. It’s simple and sweet, and I’m thankful we found a place with a bathroom near the bedrooms. Just as we did in the main floor bath, we tried to make this as accommodating to our guests as possible. Hooks are such a great help for people hanging their clothes in between swimming sessions on the lake.

The bunkroom previously was the master bedroom. Eventually I’d like to turn it back into a bedroom but that won’t happen until we we build out the basement and transform it into a bunkroom / rec-room! For now it is the bunk room, and it does a great job of being one! We swapped out the bed for two bunk beds. With the addition of the bunkroom we can now fit at least 2 families comfortably and have been even known to pull out a cot or two to squeeze one more into this space!

The outdoor spaces at the cabin are equally as important as the interior spaces and we’ve put a lot of time into making a little magic outside of the cabin. Whether it’s summer or winter we spend a lot of time outdoors. We sled down the driveway, go ice fishing and have bonfires all winter long. It’s the only way we stay sane! In the summer we boat, swim, eat all our meals outside and have bonfires!

We painted the cabin black last year, and I am still working on staining the deck – it might take me three summers before I get it all done. Don’t even ask me! It’s the worst job and I dread it. We built out our dock turning it into a “dock-deck” and now the kids can jump into the lake on repeat and the adults can lounge on the chairs and soak up the sun.

That about wraps it up. If you have any question feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer them. You can check out the Cabin Tour page for a list of sources as well! Thanks for being here.

in The Cabin
20 comments… add one
  • Kristi July 31, 2020

    It looks amazing. You have done such a beautiful job with it.

    • Scoops July 31, 2020

      Thanks, Kristi! It’s been fun to have this cabin, and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to take care of this place.

  • Brenda July 31, 2020

    Amazing transformation to a magical place!

  • AnnMarie July 31, 2020

    This is such a beautiful and welcoming space! I’m so happy for you that you’re getting to live your dream.

  • Katherine July 31, 2020

    This is an AMAZING transformation! Looks so incredible and you did such a great job highlighting the good bones and connection to the lake/forest. I also love how discipled you are with the color tones & palette – incredible example of how it makes it the space feel calm and pulled together.

    Do you recall where you got those green velvet chairs by the fireplace? The shape is incredible!

  • Bridget August 1, 2020

    This looks like such a fun place to be–especially now that traveling is off the table!

    I do have one question: I have gorgeous redwood paneling throughout my mid-century modern house (here in the TC!), and love the coziness but struggle with lighting temperature; have you found that to be an issue in your cabin? Anything too yellow looks orange, but when I try white it looks too clinical. I bought hue lightbulbs to try out a bunch of different things, but haven’t really found a great solution. Any brilliant ideas? Thanks!

  • Lauralou August 1, 2020

    Hi Scoops,

    I’m a long time follower. It’s great to see all the projects together like this. It’s so gorgeous. Love it!

  • Erika August 2, 2020

    Absolutely wonderful! Beautiful execution.

  • Sara August 3, 2020

    Your photos were such an inspiration to us in pulling the trigger on a very dark color for our cabin/chalet (Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green). What color is the door color? We’ve been struggling to choose a door color for what is essentially a black house and I LOVE this look. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Andrea August 3, 2020

    This is such a wonderful lifestyle you’ve set up for yourself. I only just came across your site from the MV FB group but it’s a topic that’s really interesting to me. I’d love to have a place away from the city and I’d love to be off the grid and self-sufficent one day as well. Beautiful photos btw!

  • Ana Rocadas August 5, 2020

    Absolutely gorgeous. What a transformation and such an inspiration! A cabin is definitely in my someday plans.

  • Kristy August 6, 2020

    Gorgeous design! Where are your couch pillows from (particularly love that fuzzy diamond one)?

  • Kelsey August 16, 2020

    I’m in love with everything! We are actually painting our house the Black Forest green you considered! I know you’re working on the deck – what stain color did you use? Having a hard time finding what that looks grey vs. silver! Thanks!

  • Sayra Butterfield November 1, 2020

    Thanks so much for sharing this! We also just bought a cabin on a lake that needs some love – this is great to see! You have done amazing work!

  • Wendy April 23, 2021

    I am so grateful for your sharing your journey. This last year we’ve gone through the same process of evaluating priorities with the added challenge of “everyone” leaving the city and moving to northern Wisconsin seeking lake life. We were fortunate to find a for-sale-by-owner through a friend and plan to close in June. The footprint of our place is almost exactly the same as yours, and while I dream of what it could look like someday… I devour your photos for beautiful inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing ❤️

    • Beth September 21, 2021

      Hi , I just sent you an email before checking your site. My cabin is wanting a black/green paint
      from Ben Moore. The grey green I thought about went pale in the sun. So I thought maybe
      a black green. I want it to be dark, all one color, no trim, like Danny Seo’s which you also
      used for inspiration.
      It is surrounded by gardens and mature trees, lots of shades of green.
      Any advice, suggetions. helpful.
      thank you

  • David Kunugi August 2, 2021

    What color exterior paint did you end up deciding? Looks good!

  • Sarah Sivright March 10, 2022

    Hi Alison,
    I check your site every once in a while and loved seeing the sauna up and running! The other finished projects over the last two years are wonderful and heartwarming to see–so much thought and care and beauty–and hard work. You are amazing. The shed by the back door made me smile–I assume that’s for the garbage cans? We could have saved ourselves some exciting nighttime visits if we’d thought to add that! I hope to see you all when we’re at Klaver’s in August. If we have a basketball game we’ll be sure to invite Jeff and any sons who want to play.
    Sarah Sivright

  • Tammy December 23, 2022

    Love it! We want a similar cabin. How big is it? Sq ft?

  • Christy June 27, 2024

    I love your cabin! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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