Renovating an old, heritage log cabin, DIY style (and inexpensively), isn't really something I had on my bucket list.  Nor did I ever think I'd ever even live in one.  But in 2008 when I decided to pack up my son and finally leave the city to pursue my dreams of rural self-sufficient living, our old cabin was sitting there, waiting for us - and almost begging to be brought into the 21st century.

In case you haven't read the story of our little cabin in the woods, it's essentially this:  back in the mid-to-late 1990s, my dad found an old homesteader's cabin while exploring the woods adjoining a piece of our family's property and I was lucky enough to be able to buy it (or what was left of it) and have my dad step in to restore in 1998/1999.  At that time, it really was just a cabin, with a roughed in kitchen and no indoor plumbing.  

Over the years, it served as a guest house (for visitors OK with sharing the outhouse with spiders!), and later, after a working bathroom was put in, a home for my brother for a few years, and finally a rental.  By the time it came for my son and I to call it home, it had been empty for awhile, with bats, weasels and mice living inside, and was in need of a serious renovation.  Being the city girl I'd become, I just didn't see myself living in a rough, or as real estate agents coin it, 'rustic', cabin.  I wanted some style, some pizzazz, a home that would be featured in a magazine one day.

So we set to work, planning and visioning what it would look like by the time we moved in.  And there was a lot of work to do.  Paint, new furniture, new draperies and finishings, wood floor refinishing, modernizing the bathroom, and most importantly, a new kitchen.

Here's what we did.

The Kitchen

The original kitchen was never meant to be used full time.  It was really rough, and not very serviceable (it had virtually no counter space).  As I worked through figuring out how I would put a brand new kitchen into an old log cabin and have it look like it belonged there, without spending a tonne of money, the guy who rents from us to have his carpentry shop on the property came to the rescue!  

6/27/2014 5:50:17 AM - - offering a fantastic quality designs & products of bathroom basin, counter top basin. - Natural gifts and home decorations which are fair trade too, have an instant appeal to eco-aware shoppers buying in a responsible way that gives back to the world.

nancy blackwell
10/17/2012 5:55:08 PM

What a wonderful healing process too.You found how strong you are.The home I was raised in was falling down , awful dark paneling, smelly my dad had built to in stages.I always remember something needing fixed.My mother passed and the choice came keep it or ? I decided to keep it fix it up and make my dad proud.That all the years meant something. Everything had to be removed redone the wiring plumbing flooring in some places.A year of gutting it out and almost 2 years of re building.The neighbors could not believe I would be restoring this old house.The place was awful for 12-15 years.I worked on the yard then the house then the People would stop and tell me how nice it was looking .What was I doing inside?Oh just working on it I would say. There were times I would say "really dad" nails and screws? or don't you think one spike could have held it? In the end I am proud and I see thing I know my dad would just say Wow to.The neighbors stop by and are amazed it is the same old house.Bright cheerful and homey. Oh I am 62 now and 60 when I took this job on.Thanks to helping hands and all my questions .

Mary jo McAvinchey
10/17/2012 4:36:15 PM

When we moved into our 120 yr old house in '95' the kitchen was an puke olive green on the backsplash, and countertops. The cabinet doors were plain white painted plywood. I bought 1/4" x 3" strips of craft wood and framed out the doors using liquid nail to attach them. Then I had a company make me a new countertop that resembles granite. And last I sanded the backsplash and put up 4x4 Tuscan like tiles all the way across. I think it's beautiful although now I would rather I had a homemade concrete countertop. But maybe in my next home.

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