Rustic retreat redo

Greg and Laura live just around the corner from me and recently transformed their dated dining  room and awkward kitchen into a modern rustic retreat — complete with a wood stove. It’s all the best things about a cabin but smack dab in the middle of town. Here’s what they started with in the diningroom:

Already an addition to the original home, the dining area ‘featured’ a lowish stucco’d ceiling, just one window, faux brick, and dated panelling. And, while there was plenty of room for dinner parties, it wasn’t an inviting space.


The kitchen too had already been renovated but was an add assortment of pieces — with an inexplicable gap under the window! Read on to see the transformation.

The project started by removing the wall between the kitchen and dining areas to create one large space for cooking, dining, entertaining, and just hanging out. Then, in the dining area, the existing window was replaced with a larger one and a new window and garden door were added to the east wall. The result was much more light and connection to the back yard. A built-in bench was also added, creating a ton of seating for dinner parties or a space to stretch out with a good book.

And that low-ish plaster ceiling? Just turned into one of my favourite elements of the new rustic modern design! (Ceiling boards salvaged from a friend’s reno and installed as is.) And what cabin is complete without wood heat?

In the kitchen, Greg & Laura improved the original layout by filling in that gap (obviously!) and moving the sink under the window. The dated lino was replaced with marmoleum throughout the kitchen & dining area for a modern yet natural effect.

So, now that you’ve seen the bones of the make-over, here’s how it all came together with Greg & Laura’s beautifully chosen finishes.

Industrial yet elegant pendants from Restoration Hardware
Clear view now from the kitchen through to the back yard
New cabinets in the dining room add needed counter and storage space and tie the two rooms together.

And were you wondering about the fabrics for the cushion covers and roman blinds? They come from Tonic Living, an awesome little Canadian shop which is often featured in Canadian House & Home and Sarah Richardson’s design projects. (For my last home, I ordered custom roman blinds and drapes in a couple different gorgeous linen prints. They sell fabric but will also sew custom blinds, drapes, cushion covers, bench seating covers, and futon covers!) Cool company with excellent customer service.

And…voila! Isn’t this the coziest and most inviting space ever? I’d seriously like this room added to the back of my house!

Table hand-crafted by Laura’s brothers

Thanks so much Greg for providing the photos and to both of you for sharing your home with us.












Rustic retreat redo

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