My Little Corner of the Net

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cozy Cabin

I purchased this cabin kit at a garage sale during State Day in Oklahoma City a few of years ago.  The 'bulking' box was full of what looked like big Lincoln Logs from my childhood and the tattered box was held together with duct tape.  The seller assured me all of the pieces were there, as were the instructions.  I have not really worked on the cabin in a while, but as I have been gearing up for my Victorian house project, the cabin has been calling to me.

Whenever I pick up a item at an 'estate sale' or a 'garage sale' or even something eBay that kind of have a 'cabin feel', I stick it in the cabin.  I was looking at it the other day thinking, "I should really work on that."  I have accumulated quite a collection of stuff for this place:
fabric, a canoe, a sled, a 1940's Strombecker grand piano, a bear skin rug, lots of fishing gear, books, and even some snow shoes !

The large grid window is the enclosed breezeway that I turned into a small kitchen.

When I brought the kit home, took out all the pieces and compared them to the parts list.  The parts list had a brief history of the house and a photo of the Kenneth W. Keller.  The note with the following text was included: 

"Kenneth W. Keller died June 26, 1988 at the age of 14 years of cancer.  He was treated at OMH Childgren's Hospital from December 1985 'till his death.  The log cabins were in part, his idea.  As a living memorial to our son, a portion of each cabin will go to the hospital.  The research and development must go on if we are to spare our children - signed John and Debbie Keller"

I studied the homemade, yellowing instructions and layouts that came with the kit and decided immediately that I wanted to change the layout to allow for more rooms. .

Page from instructions

Page from Instructions

Fireplace instructions

The original kit called for the kitchen to be located in a separate building connected to the main house by a breezeway or "dog run".  I decided to enclose the "dog run" and locate the kitchen there.  This would allow me to locate a master bedroom in the space that is supposed to be the kitchen.  It would have a great big cozy fireplace.

I experimented with paper clay when my daughter Carolyn and I built her house.  I plan on using paper clay again to create a lot of the stone-work for this project, including the porches, fireplaces, and column bases.  Carolyn's place and our paperclay rocks can be seen here:

Another change I made was flipping the upstairs floor to the middle of the house instead of locating it on the end.  I figured it would look more symmetrical.  I plan on building a rustic staircase with half-log steps and twig railings.  I have added real logs here and there to help get a rustic feel.

I added a front porch to the house to define the front entrance and give the cabin a little more character. ( note my paper door - I am working on a kind of Arts & Crafts design for the entry with some sort of art glass)

I cut some cedar strips from a large board and made some decorative trusses for the roof/ceiling.  I also bought some wood strips to use for the roof.  The original plan had some pre-cut pieces of old wall paneling. I also added copper flashing to the roof valleys and will probably trim the edges with it as well or maybe create some sort of rain gutters.

I converted a standard formal brass light fixture into a deer antler chandelier. for the living room.

More posts to come - I welcome your comments and suggestions!


  1. It looks like a very interesting project and I like your ideas but where will you put the canoe? It will be exiting to see your progress and changes although I like the original plan also. Good luck with your project.
    Miniature greetings

  2. Troy, what a great project, I really like the front entrance trunk columns.
    You might want to take a look at a book-Adirondack Home by Ralph Kylloe.
    I always go to it for inspiration when doing a rustic interior.

  3. Hi Kleine, I was thinking of attaching the canoe to the wall in living room, up high and out of the way.
    I will look for that book Philip, I was envisioning the cabin as sort of a old structure that has been around since the 1900's with a few modern ammenities also kind of Arts & Crafts with some bohemian artsy touches here and there.

  4. It's going to be a great cabin and I'll love following your work progress. You may want to visit Gonda's blog -
    Gonda made a beautiful cabin. She is a great wood carver and created lots of wonderful wooden items for the cabin.

  5. Thanks for the tip Drora, it does have a few neat ideas.

  6. This is such a different looking kit! I love it! I think it will be gorgeous with the kind of details you're putting into it! -ara

  7. I am delighted with your cabin, fantastic! You did a great job reversing the layout of the upper floor, it was great!