If designing a modern getaway in an existing log cabin sounds like a challenge, you’d be right. Now make it vegan. That’s what interior designer Michelle Dirkse signed up for when her clients asked her to remodel a vacation home in the Cascade Mountain Range outside of Seattle to serve as their weekend getaway, a place to host guests, a place to recharge and connect with nature, as well as a place to find inspiration and create art. “Visually, they wanted the space to honor its surroundings, but they also shared inspiration imagery with me from the Victorian Era. They weren’t looking for a simple cozy cabin, they were looking for something special and out of the ordinary,” Michelle says.
Because they frequently host guests, Michelle designed the bunk room and living room to accommodate large groups. The drawing room has a desk for creating art and a large vintage armoire to hold art supplies as well as a daybed that is perfect for naps or for guests.
Michelle started by painting all of the walls in the entire cabin. Since the cabinets were in good shape, Michelle decided to paint them rather than replace them. The goal was to use as much of the existing architectural elements as possible to stay true to the cabin and avoid wasteful changes.
While wanting to stay true to the structure, Michelle and her clients didn’t want to draw from the “common log cabin formula which consists of taxidermy, vintage outdoor gear and fake Native American blankets,” she explains. “I normally only mix one or two styles for each project, but for this project we broke all of the rules. I layered a mix of Victorian, bohemian, modern and industrial furniture and decor on top of the existing log cabin architecture.” The result, other than the logs themselves, there isn’t much in this project that says “log cabin.”
Instead, to honor the client’s request for vegan and environementally friendly products, Michelle sourced many made in the US, vintage and antique items. (The new daybed mattress is made of natural latex and it’s boxspring is made of coconut!) She says, “This project is by far one of my favorites because the clients wanted something so different. I’m honored that they trusted me to understand who they are and to visually represent that- especially since they are artists.”