the cabin

cabinat long last we have a place of our own for a to-the-studs project! we could not be more thrilled. this woodsy little confection was built in 1963, at the tail-end of the mid-century era, in the California Sierra foothills. after a 3-month search through the pine forest with our realtor, we settled on the one: it was the right size (800 sq ft) not oversized like some ski-houses tend to be; in a good location we’ve visited with friends – it has access to a lake; and most importantly because it hadn’t really been touched much since the 60s and needs work – nothing major, but work that we’re anxious to do. a real vintage fixer-upper. below are photos of the other sides. rear-facadegable-roofa-frameit was affectionately referred to as ‘cigarette house’ by our realtor because it was beyond saturated with the smell. but that only ‘fueled’ our interest more – we knew we could do a job on it. I like the board-and-batten siding but not the lemon color. so un-woodsy! it’s nestled into a gentle hill with a deck in front and a cute guest cottage / toolshed out back – perfect for our unwanted guests lol! guest-cottageI assume it was used for sleeping because it’s insulated, carpeted and has lighting. Inside the house, it’s wood-on-wood-on-wood. another big selling point was the vaulted, knotty pine ceiling….which we love and think really makes the cabin. knotty-pine-ceilingthere are three truss-beams running through the living area. my engineer colleague took one look and said they’re not structural. but we’re keeping them, of course.vaulted-kitchenthe kitchen is quaint, and came with no refrigerator. that’s OK – we have coolers, for now. seems like a mircrowave was taken too – but we don’t care – less things to throw out because it would probably not been one we liked the look of. the cabinets are not original, maybe one of the only things updated in the house, but they’re OK for now. we have plans. dropped-ceilingin the bedrooms, the vaulted ceiling disappears….WTF. why are these ceilings flat / dropped? the first time I saw this, I was certain that the vaulted pine must continue above, and this is only a cosmetic lower ceiling. we also did not love the built-in closets that took up floor space in the cozy bedrooms. accordian-doorhow about those faux-wood accordion doors? oh my vintage! there’s no way they’d make the cut. camp-bathroomThe Bathroom…pretty basic…you can’t tell but the toilet is on an angle – we’ll call it the V8 toilet. I’m glad there’s a wall-hung sink, I often prefer them over vanity cabinets that can make a small space feel cluttered (like that shelf!). wood-toilet-seateven the toilet seat was wood-grain. the entire bathroom was paneled, ceiling and all. I actually like this curved-corner medicine cabinet and think with a little spray-paint it can stay. that outlet is not GFI = good thing I don’t use a blowdryer 🙂 vintage-light-fixturessome fun light fixtures. old-west scalloped realness above, and the lower one is the same as was in my childhood bedroom – and I’m sure many bedrooms across the USA.. eames-shell-chairthe original wood wall paneling: to keep or not to keep?? it’s ‘real’ wood, as in very thin sheets of plywood. not plastic printed woodgrain that came along later. this is genuine wood..and wood makes the CABIN. we are at once charmed by it, and yet could also see painting it white to brighten the place up. for now we’ll keep it, other things to do first. we’re also unsure if all exterior walls are insulated. the ‘Woodsman’ fireplace is so damn awesome. we’ve already built many fires in it. woodsman-fireplacewe like to think we are becoming woodsmen…ha. 6a00d83451ccbc69e201156f66c1c7970c-400wivintage moment: maybe we should keep the paneling in the bathroom? she doesn’t seem to mind it.cabin-interiorand as for this short, but obtrusive wall: I suspect there is a structural post within it, supporting the ridge beam. but it’s in a bad spot. we think this is where a refrigerator once was (on the kitchen side) but we don’t plan to put it back there. this wall irks us but I have a solution.

f2d5d29e207cca0499fe5f0fb85026b1your homework is to think about the paneling! should it stay or should it go?! more to come!

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6 Comments

Filed under the cabin

6 responses to “the cabin

  1. Ilya

    Have your followed your blog for years but have never spoken up. Congrats on the place! Keep the wood as wood – it’s a cabin afterall

    • mcelroyarch

      thanks Ilya! you’ll be happy to know we’re leaning in that direction. we would only paint the paneling IF anything at all. the ceiling & beams will remain as-is. down the road, we’d like to install hardwood so that will be more wood. like being inside a tree 🙂 thanks for following us!

  2. Karen Schwartz

    Hi Tom, congrats on your cabin! I vote no on the paneling, too dark & maybe saturated with nicotine? This is Karen , thanks for the consult on our Noe st. place. Couldn’t find a proper email address so I’ll fill in my details below…

  3. Lynn Glocker

    Tom & Scott…Welcome to the neighborhood. Always excited to see new homeowners and their renovation designs.

    • mcelroyarch

      Thank you! It was great to meet you too. Looking forward to spending more time up there as we get into Spring..

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