My Design Plan for Our New Cabin

A full tour + all the renovations I want to do!
Introducing the design plan for our new cabin! Decor inspiration for our a-frame log cabin in the North Cascades including paint color and techniques, to do list, renovation plans, interior design inspiration and more!

I think we could all use some eye candy and a happy distraction today, so what better than to talk about the design inspiration I’ve pulled for our new cabin?? Designing this home is going to be a totally different process than our old bungalow. Not only is it WAY bigger, but there are two stories! Imagine that. The home itself is also an entirely different style, while the location is also vastly different. Plus, I’m also just really excited to try out new design ideas and stretch my aesthetic more!

The Design Plan for Our New Cabin in the North Cascades

Naturally, I turned to Pinterest to organize my ideas and find more decor inspiration, so be sure to check out my full pinboard, embedded here:

Aesthetic and vibes

I have been throwing around so many ideas for how I want our home to feel once we start making it over. In fact, I even have them scribbled on a piece of paper. Here is some of what I want to incorporate into the design of our new home:

  • curation at a slower pace
  • a focus on cozy nooks and places to unwind
  • modern homesteading, but without the crunchy granola aesthetic
  • nostalgic schoolhouse vibes
  • touches of midcentury modern juxtaposed with store-bought (like our sofa)
  • color!
  • small touches of kitschy, traditional cabin decor

Accent window trim, baseboards, and interior doors

I dabbled a little bit with this in the bungalow when I painted the front door and french doors black. But I want to take this look to a totally new level in our new cabin! I’m currently selecting a paint color to use on our trim, interior doors, and baseboards… and it’s not going to be white. I want the walls to be a creamy, cozy white. Nothing too stark or cold. Then, I’m considering a few different darker hues for the accent. Maybe a pine free? A terra cotta? Or even a true taupe.


On the topic of color… I am CRAVING it in such a big way. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the consistency of the blue, white, and black of our old home. It make the space feel peaceful and pulled together, especially given the small footprint. But now… I am ready to PLAY. I want colorful vintage rugs, unexpected color combinations, and bold pops in all the right places.

Paint some of our log ceilings white

The weird thing about living in a house made of logs is that a lot of them are exposed… and that means some spaces feel really, really dark. Our dining room, for example, has a wooden ceiling. Even though it’s 15′ up, the overall space just feels dingy and dark. So I want to paint the horizontal slats between the logs white in order to bounce light downward a bit more. I also think this will help our home feel a bit more modern. I don’t plan to paint every wooden ceiling white, but there are some key areas where it will help a ton.


Aesthetics are always the best part, but I want this house to work for us. For example, I am going to deck out our entryway area and make it super-functional. We need firewood storage, a spot for muddy boots, coat hooks, and so much more. Another project is to create the ultimate outdoor gear storage room! So expect a lotttt of posts coming your way about getting our new home super-organized and ready to serve us.

Bring in more vintage and antique elements

The problem with living in 640 square feet was that I couldn’t thrift shop with reckless abandon. Instead, I had to be careful about what I bought and make sure there was actually a need or spot for it. But now that we have about 2000 sqft and a 860 sqft shop, I can collect and gather and store until I’m ready to use a piece… especially furniture! To me, this means I will be able to slowly curate pieces I love and incorporate them into our home as we work on each room. I also want to source a few actual antique pieces… nothing too fussy, but I would love a few touches of true heirloom-level antiques, like a great hutch.

My design process here is going to be totally different! It’s going to be a slower, more considered designing and renovating strategy. I want to focus on what works best for the space and how we can maximize pieces to make this home as cozy as possible. You’ll definitely recognize pieces from our old home, but styled in new ways.

In terms of what we plan to renovate and makeover, the answer is the entire house… but in case you’re a list person like me, here’s what that means:

  • entry area/living room — they blend into each other
  • staircase + open hallway upstairs that we call the catwalk
  • dining room
  • kitchen — don’t even ask me when we are going to gut that!
  • main bedroom suite
  • guest room
  • guest bathroom
  • laundry closet
  • gear room + guest room
  • my office

Then there are spaces outside of the house…

  • loft in shop (eventually another work space for me)
  • chicken yard
  • vegetable garden
  • cut flower garden
  • patio with hot tub
  • fire pit area
  • front porch area

So, yeah… lots to do, but I’m excited! And if you haven’t seen what our house actually looks like, be sure to check out this post where I shared a video tour. That should give you a good frame of reference for my overall cabin design plan!

Top photograph by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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