Our Cabin Bedroom Suite Renovation: Before + Design Plan (Part 1)

Does it feel like I’m throwing too many renovation projects at you? I hope not! This house is just wayyy bigger than our last one and has SO much work that needs to be done. Plus, you know me… I can’t just sit by and look at ugly interiors. So back in November, Sean and I began round 1 of our main bedroom suite makeover… and have yet to finish it. A lot got in the way (more on that here), but we’re finally back to it. So today I want to share the before photos of the space, my design plans, the to do list, and a bit about why we are renovating this room in stages.

All About Our Cabin Bedroom Suite Renovation, Part 1

Before photos

I know it can be challenging to understand a floor plan from photos, so I tried my best to provide notes whenever possible about where the image is!

Why we are renovating in stages

Before I dig into the design plan, let’s talk about why we are doing this project in stages. The first is because of our budget. We are just not able to fully tackle the bathroom portion of the main bedroom suite right now. It needs a lot of work, especially since we have to deal with the super-duper cool vanity in the bedroom. Ideally, we’d like to be able to move a few walls around in order to make a proper main bedroom suite bath. But that takes time and money… and we just are not there yet!

However, we DO want to move into the space sooner rather than later. So for now, we are going to focus on energy on the bedroom area itself and make that as good as possible until we can renovate the bathroom.

The Design Plan + Moodboard

My biggest design dilemma with this room is that it feels very disjointed and disconnected from the rest of the house. It feels almost like a basement, especially now that we’ve stripped it down to the linoleum layer. So my biggest goal is to make it feel more like an actual bedroom while also making it match the rest of the house. Adding charm is the name of the game!

To do this, I have a few tricks up my sleeves:

  • Add paneling: this is literally a timber cabin, but there is absolutely no evidence of that in this room. Adding paneling will bring some of the texture in from the rest of the house (like the dining room ceiling) to make it feel more united.
  • Create sexy ambiance: the key to a really good bedroom design (especially for a ‘grown up’ main bedroom suite) is to pay close attention to the ambiance and sexy vibes. To me, that means the right amount of lighting, moody colors, soft textures, and evocative artwork.
  • Embrace the weird bathroom… for now: we’re going to paint the vanity the same color as the walls in order to basically “disappear” it and just make it go away visually.
  • Temporary flooring: this project isn’t sponsored, nor do we have a big budget. So we are making do by putting down sheets of plywood for the floor. We’ll paint it to seal the surface texture and make it look more refined and livable until we’re able to commit to longterm flooring. I’ve also bought a few truly gorgeous rugs that will totally distract you from the plywood!
Cabin bedroom makeover and main bedroom suite renovation in our PNW cabin

So this is my moodboard that I created in Photoshop. I do this to help visualize how all the items I’ve bought and want to get work together. It’s especially helpful when mixing patterns like with the rugs!

Sources for products shown on moodboard:

The To Do List

We’ve actually tackled quite a bit of this already as you might have seen on Instagram. If you haven’t been following along, I highly recommend catching up with the Highlight.

  • Remove carpeting
  • Install paneling and moulding
  • Trim out the windows with moulding
  • Install plywood flooring
  • Patch holes and imperfections on ceiling and walls not covered in paneling
  • Paint
  • Install new hardware, lighting, curtains, mirror, vanity light, etc
  • Layout furniture and style surfaces
  • Organize closet

So yeah… yet another big project!! And another green room. Am I nuts to go green again?? We will see… I just know that I’ve always been obsessed with Current Mood and desperately wanted to use it. Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this project!

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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