[Wellness] The Margaretville cabin demolition.

Designing and building it from the ground up, to call it our own.

Chapter 5 — The interior.

Let me give you a visual refresher: this was a hunters lodge with a lot of do-it-yourself (DIY) thumbprints and lots of wooden panelling. Let me guide you in a static 360° — picture yourself entering the cabin and starting from left, scanning the space, from left to right:

Welcome. You are in the dining area looking at the kitchen.

(If you are new here, go to the first chapter of this story!)

Scanning upwards and to the right, you will notice the ‘cathedral ceiling’ design of the space leading you to the master bedroom upstairs and the loft. Also, meet the old not-up-to-code staircase.
Scanning over to the right, you see the full length of the loft and this unfinished ceiling business.
Scanning back to the main floor you can see the living area and an entrance towards the bathroom and second bedroom.
Welcome to the party room. By party, I mean the different types and colors of wood that have joined us on this tour.

The previous owners had the place for 7 years and it looks like they worked on the place in phases. Don’t ask me what strategy they had in mind because we couldn’t figure it out ourselves. We knew it was all coming down; demo at first sight.

I’ll be focusing in this main area for this post; we’ll dig into each of the rooms in separate posts to follow. I know, the suspense is killing you but hang tight!

Now *blink*. Open your eyes and you will see that potential we saw behind the funky lodge interior design:

A blank canvas. A wide open space. And hey! that’s Alex, our lovely realtor who joined on closing day!
Take it all in. Yep, even that HOLE in the ceiling. Also: squint and you will see a ‘shadow’ of an old staircase!
DEMO-DAY! (well, it took a few weekends but it was SO much fun!)
One-by-one each beautiful old panel someone had once put up, came on down.
We were going for the bright light look vs the old-school-dark-and-cozy cabin look. It’s getting there!

The first layer of demo was done by us but the next was done by a team of 6 to blaze through the process faster. We timed it so that the demo of the guts of the walls would happen at the same time as when the new windows would be delivered so that the windows could be framed and the place could be sealed in between demo sessions.

Down to the guts! Also, that chandelier stayed there the entire time of the demo. It was charming.
We also said buh-bye to this 40+ yr old stove (we were convinced it had remained from the original owner from 1970).
This is the kitchen. (Separate post coming for this section of the renovation!)
View of dining area from the top, at the loft.

A couple of key learnings, tips and notes to leave here from this chapter:

  1. Demolition attire: Wear gloves, clothes and glasses to protect you. Besides nails and other gross things, you have no idea what creatures may pop out or other toxic residue you may find during the process.
  2. Staying overnight in a gutted house: Just don’t do it. We were too excited about seeing progress so we went for it. We slept on an air-mattress in the middle of the rubble, in sleeping bags — also: with no working toilet — and loved and hated every minute of it. I tried to avoid the thoughts of bugs falling on my face during the night by snuggling up in the sleeping bag and hoping our dog would protect us from any gross critter that may appear (haha, right, have you seen Rufus?).
  3. Timing and communications with contractor and supplier teams: was everything in this phase. We had some hiccups along the way but we learned and tweaked as needed; everything fell into place! (Example/fun memory: we were told one weekend that a toilet had been installed for us to use, but in reality, no toilet was to be found 😂).
  4. Emergency supplies and first aid kit: Have them handy, for you and your crew during this phase; in the house and in the car. Also treat your crew to a nice lunch or surprise them with snacks (or good ol’ cold Budweiser too)

Thanks for tuning in! (Catch the next chapter here!)

Sneak peek into the full cabin reno: https://www.instagram.com/margaretvillecabin/

I am in flow when I mix program management, leadership development & wellness — and I’m here to write about all three of these areas. Thanks for stoppin’ by.