When we bought this house, Ty referred to the second floor as "Paul Bunyan's cabin in the woods." Knotty pine paneling and dark wood flooring made this space feel cramped and dreary. We knew that there was a fun, whimsical space hiding beneath the old pine! The scariest space in the house soon became our favorite. When we moved into the house, we slept up here for a few days (our queen mattress had not yet been delivered). Yes, we slept in the little twin bunks (Ty and his 6'2" stature managed to fit!). Those first few nights were memorable as we stayed up playing Scrabble and chatting late into the night. Something about the slanted ceilings and built in bunks made us feel like we were at summer camp!
The first thing we did was paint the paneling (Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace). Honestly, this was one of the most tedious, challenging tasks of my renovation life. I'll share a detailed blog post about that process next week. Essentially, I caulked for 62 years. When I think of this past February, all I think of it the smell of oil based primer, fingers burning from hours of caulking, and the feeling of dog hair plastered to my skin via wet paint.
Did I mention that the previous owners had multiple German Shepherds? We are pretty sure they lived up here exclusively. I had to pull dog hair out of the grooves between each plank! RENOVATING IS FUN!
I know what all of you millennials are thinking....did they really install carpet over the hardwood? ARE THEY CRAZY?
The existing wood was horribly scratched up (from the dogs) and there were large gaps between the planks from the wood expanding and contracting with the season changes (this space does not have great ventilation so it is difficult to maintain proper humidity). The cost and time required to refinish the hardwood flooring would have been substantial. At the time, I also worked for a carpet manufacturer, so it made sense to take advantage of that connection! We picked out the softest, cushiest, silkiest carpet on the market (Subtle Aura Snowfall by Shaw). I wanted something soothing, but with a subtle pattern. Carpeting this space made the room feel much cozier!
The new light fixtures are one of my favorite details. We wanted something whimsical, but needed it to be flush-mount due to the ceiling height. Most flush mount lights are rather boring, so I had to hunt! I also wanted to embrace the nautical elements of living in a town near the water. These fixture are playful, nautical, and yet are not too loud or distracting. They come in a variety of colors, too! We almost went with baby blue....maybe in the next bunk room! That may or may not be a hint about our next project ;)
The built in bench provides extra storage (the perfect spot for my sewing machine!). Soon, we will make a long cushion and add plenty of pastel pillows. We would also like to reconfigure the built in drawers. They are adorable, but don't function well. We have some funky plans for those! Oh, and those darling wood knobs? They are the original ones that came with the house!
The bunk space consists of two rooms, separated by (an adorable) door. The lake facing room (which will get a much better view when the leaves on that Japanese maple fall!) has two twin beds, the reading bench, and our office. Originally, we had planned to make the other room our office. After contemplating the layout, we decided we wanted our office space to be in the room with the lake facing window! That left the other room empty, so we built a queen bed and made it another guest bedroom, which we will be sharing next week! This little abode comfortably sleeps 6.
This space is the perfect environment for music, writing, blogging, and most of all, hosting guests! Nothing warms our hearts more that filling our second floor with people we love!
Hannah & Tyler
We are a home renovation and real estate duo currently sharing the renovation of our Holland cottage, along with flips and new builds. We created this blog as a resource for our readers, helping home owners, travelers, and future friends to learn how to renovate efficiently, and affordably!