A New Look for the Dacks Room

(Disclaimer: This post was ready in November but due to our buying a house, it was completely forgotten until now.)

Another summer at the Burrow and another list of projects. This year, we didn’t have too many projects in mind. After a crazy pandemic year, the supply and prices of well, everything kept us thinking about what we could do for minimal cost. So we kept it simple.

Last year’s final project was redoing the kitchen and it has served us wonderfully this summer.

So we moved on to The Dacks Room – what is now the second bedroom. This bedroom named for its Adirondack-esque decor was actually the room we slept in when we first got the cabin. It was the room that was in the best shape – wood paneling, plaid curtains, a cute retro headboard and a fairly sleep-able bed (if, of course, you’re the type that can handle a true cottage mattress). The room is 8’x10′ and with a double bed, a small nightstand and a dresser there was hardly any space left over. Since we’d redone the Big Room with the queen-size bed, dog beds and Cubic mini-stove, this room had been neglected and had become a very unorganized storage room. Which is not what we had intended at all. So it was time to show it some love.

The first job was to simply empty out all the stuff that we had packed in there – the insulation, the boxed up Adirondack chair, the ice auger, the toilet paper, the old slippers, sweaters, and bedsheets, etc. and we needed to get rid of the bed. We decided to replace the full bed with the sofa bed from the city house so that the space in this room would be more usable when it wasn’t being used as a bedroom. The sofa bed folds out to a double bed, and despite it been a bit worn from having been loved for many years, it is still very comfortable. It also has storage underneath it, which is a huge bonus in our tiny cabin.

Once the bed was dismantled and the room emptied, we took a ride to the dump. Ahhh…I love cleansing! Now I had space to start working. The first thing I did was remove the droopy and water-stained ceiling tiles. That was not a job for the faint of heart. I wore an N95 mask because the amount of mouse poo I found was horrifying. The plan was to keep the ceiling joists exposed. We have no plans to insulate this room since it can’t be heated in the winter anyway. No more hiding spots for little critters! Already the room looked cleaner and nicer.

Then I moved onto painting the panelling white (and repainting the walls that had already been painted white). I used leftover wallpaper on the short wall to cover up the seams in the drywall and to add some visual interest. We had used this design in the kitchen and loved how it looked. We also knew that it would withstand the extreme cold of winter as well as the near 100% humidity of where we are located because it was still on the walls and sticking strong in the kitchen after a full year. The peel and stick wallpaper is really easy to apply. It is removable to a degree and it is slightly glossy (but not shiny) which means it’s easy to clean.

Last January, when we had to work from home, I had to buy a real desk because of all the tech that was necessary to do my job from home. The antique Singer sewing table that I had been using for blogging, journaling and my tarot cards was no longer big enough. So it was sanded down, re-stained and found a new home at the cabin. As did an old wooden chair to make a writing desk in front of the window, that looks out onto our new fairy trail through the woods.

The floor was the next big job. I had enough laminate flooring leftover from the kitchen to install it over the cracked linoleum in this room as well. I already knew how to install the laminate from having done it in the kitchen and but I actually hate installing it so I limited myself to only a few hours a day. We kept the dresser, the nightstand and eventually put the snowshoes back up on the wall. We still hadn’t brought the sofa bed out so when we had friends out, we simply used a camping air bed for the summer and that worked fine. Eventually, we were able to borrow a truck and bring the sofa bed out to complete the room. Now, we have a cozy space to have friends stay.

Every year, our cabin – lovingly called The Burrow (borrowed from the Weasley’s) – becomes more and more us. Other than buying an additional roll of wallpaper, this room cost us nothing to redo. The laminate was leftover, the furniture was repurposed from the city house, the wallpaper was mostly leftover as was the paint. Our cabin continues to embody the values that we hold dear – creativity, sustainable living, reducing our carbon footprint, a place to reconvene with nature. When we are here, we live as if life were as it should be, to remind us of what it can be.


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