Inside a Restored Midcentury Log Cabin We All Want to Retreat To
It's about this time when the New Year settles in and the workload ramps up that our minds naturally start to stray from our laptops to the windows adjacent to us. Who else is feeling seriously wanderlusty right now? It's not that we don't feel ambitious (we're all happily hustling for success), it's just that 2017 has had a pretty tumultuous start, and we're all looking for an escape to dull the noise.
Enter the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Seattle. When this gorgeous midcentury log cabin first came across our desk, we fell hard and longed for a vacation home of our own in this dreamy location. But the cabin didn't always look this good. While the original log structure was maintained, Lisa Staton of Lisa Staton Design was tasked with overhauling the bedrooms and bathrooms (both upstairs and down), the mudroom, and kitchen, including the home's flooring throughout, all while keeping the home's heritage firmly intact.
"Our goal was to honour the quiet elegance of this location and to keep the home thoughtfully integrated with the natural surroundings," Staton told MyDomaine Australia. "Even though we were adding modern amenities to the original log structure, we wanted the home to feel authentic to its past. This location is on a private island that's not accessible by ferry ride (you need to take a ferry and then row over by boat), which keeps the home feeling deeply rooted in nature. We wanted the inside to feel this way too. We also wanted to create an all-season retreat that's cosy in winter and airy in summer and could handle small and large gatherings easily." We think she nailed it. Let this striking sanctuary fuel your wanderlust, and shop the look to bring it home.
Having an open loft-like space can be challenging when it comes to zoning each room, but Staton nailed it, fusing the whitewashed backdrop with her client's collection of American Indian décor. "We covered the walls of these areas with ship-lap siding to make them harmonious to the existing log walls," she said. "All of them were whitewashed to keep them feeling too open and airy."
While there were many renovations made, many of the original features were kept, including the stone fireplace, choosing to accent the space with elements of the area. "The living room is accessorised with natural curiosities collected on the island, including the clients own Native American art collection, textiles, books, and board games," she said.
Even though the log cabin is technically one big open space, Staton styled each of the common areas with their own individual flair to separate them, something that has become her signature. "I strive to create rooms that are soothing but still warm, a little modern, crisp, and cleanly edited but also have age, patina, and history to them," said Staton. "I am a native New Englander, so I always love incorporating vintage items into a home, but I am compelled by mixing them with modern forms and architecture."
Timber counters add a touch of warmth to this monochrome kitchen with industrial touches. "We wanted it to feel warm and rustic, but also clean and uncluttered," she said. "Cabinets are classic Shaker style. We choose not to have any upper cabinets and instead made custom fir shelves with hand-forged brackets that are scribed into the log walls. The countertops are made from recycled old telephone poles."
While it's hard to tell from looking at this polished interior, Staton said sourcing the right furnishings that were the right scale and patina was challenging. Instead, she commissioned the large rustic custom island design to have an open space underneath. "We wanted it to hold lots of pots, pans, and bowls so that cooking could easily be a team effort for family and house guest."
While there is a rustic flair, Staton made sure it never strayed from modern, elevated territory. She did this by pairing differing eras together and sitting new pieces alongside the old, such as this antique farm table with modern industrial pendant lamp overhead. "We wanted furnishings to feel rustic and natural but also open and airy," she said.
The master bedroom is perfectly positioned under the peaked timber ceiling. Staton painted it all white to tone back the rustic elements, layering in some simple linen bedding and fur throws to finish the look. "All the window treatments are natural linen, and the rugs are a chunky wool too," she said.
When you're surrounded by nature and water, you need a mudroom to store all the extra clothing, footwear, and weather accessories. Staton wanted to make sure this space was as elevated as the rest of the home. She paired rustic hand-forged hooks with a long custom rustic Americana style bench and a striking vintage rug. "It was important for us to have a bench that filled the whole wall of the mudroom to handle the hustle and bustle of family life on the island," she said.
If Staton was ever in need of inspiration, all she needed to do was look outside. In fact, nature served as a key influencing factor on the entire home design. "It was all around us on the island," she said. "Those colours and textures were the starting point."