The Design Plan | My Whimsical Cabin Makeover

Once we purchased the cabin, I went to work trying to figure out how to decorate it. I knew this would be my biggest challenge: trying to keep the cabin feel, but bring it to life without painting any of the wood.

I started on Pinterest. I created a board and added many different folders to separate all the fun things I was finding.

Then an amazing sofa caught my eye. It’s rare, but every time a striped sofa comes across my feed, my heart melts. I saw one in the movie, La La Land and felt so envious. I knew this striped sofa would be the centerpiece for all the other decor throughout the space.

From there, I had to pick out curtain fabric. What colors do I want to work with the red/white? I decided on blue and this cute block print from Schumacher by Molly Mahon. (I have all these products linked to my LTK shop at the bottom.)

Next, I had to decide upon the rug. I went through several options before deciding on a rug. I used a whiteboard in Canva to help me visualize how it would all look together. Here’s some of my options.


Finally, I decided on the one below. It had all the right colors and worked really well with the curtain fabric.

From this, I knew my primary colors in the main room would be red, blue, and pink. I began layering in other items and ideas on my wishlist. It began looking something like this…

Coastal meets circus chic. Since we were near a lake, that seemed to make sense to me. I turned to the exterior for more inspiration. I love the idea of putting up some painted canoe oars on the outside as well as buoys and brightly colored Adirondack chairs. I thought I would like to add a striped umbrella too!

We also thought about painting the cabin. I really like the Sherwin Williams color Salty Dog. It’s a bright but dark shade of blue. I played around on their visualizer and here’s what I came up with. Not sure what color the door will be.

For the long bedroom, I started with the floral curtain fabric from Spoonflower. Then, I added in some fun bedding from Annie Selke and a rug in their Gray Benko collection. After measuring, only a full size bed was going to fit. (And I know many of you have suggested Murphy beds, but the ceilings are not tall enough…that also goes for bunkbeds!)

Our bedroom is small, but it can fit a queen-sized bed. (It’s the only room that can!) I started with the curtain fabric, and built the ideas around it. The bedding and rug are both from Annie Selke, the lamp from Stray Dog Designs, and the fabric is from Schumacher…Molly Mahon again.

For the 3rd bedroom, I started with this fun block print from Schumacher by Studio Bon. Then, I added the rug from Annie Selke and a fun quilt. I’m still not sure what I’ll do here…it can manage a twin sized bed, but it might become my closet/office. That seems like a more practical use for it since it’s so tiny and we aren’t planning on having tons of visitors.

The tiny bathroom needs a dose of color too. The walls are white but there’s nothing else there. So I selected another Molly Mahon block print for the cafe curtains (to give us privacy when we need it, but open for light when we don’t). I also found some fun towels and a rug…all in pink and red!

The kitchen is open to the living room, so the design needed to blend in with the red, blue, and pink color scheme. I would love to have a pink fridge and range or even wrap the appliances in these colors, but not sure if that will work out or not. I selected another Schumacher block print fabric by Molly Mahon for the cafe curtains. I’m dreaming of some whimsical decor in that space.

As these ideas began coming together, I saw an online article from House Beautiful about “circus-chic” design. It’s funny how I think of something in my head and then realize it’s a thing in the design world! It was great confirmation that I was on the right track. I feel that circus-coastal chic is my style for the cabin.

If you want to see a video of me talking through these ideas, head over to this link.

If you are interested in seeing any of these products, head over to my Like to Know It shop by clicking here.

Next week I’ll be back with more makeover sneak peeks!



I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

Check out my online courses to spark your creativity and upgrade your joy, starting today!

10 Best Statement-Making Fabrics from Spoonflower

10 Best Statement-Making Fabrics from Spoonflower

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