A MAMMOTH REMODEL
Winter at this Montana cabin means cross-country skiing and quiet weekends around the woodstove.
Although eager, neither had ever renovated a cabin nor any kind of home, for that matter.
They soon learned that the process entailed more than a few challenges. “We gutted the house, and then even gutted the guts!” Felesha recalls. “Every time we pulled down a wall, we discovered another problem behind that problem.” The)’ ended up replacing all of the houses innards, including wiring and plumbing. They also reconfigured floor plans, moved walls, cut doors, added bathrooms, demolished the kitchen, and other Herculean tasks.
The owners saw their outdated farmhouse as a blank The end result of the remodel Is a cozy picture-perfect slate, ready to be tailored to their precise needs and retreat. wants.
Felesha admits that she’s not sure what first attracted her to rhe cabin, given its unpromising appearance. Built in 1920, the place had been remodeled in the ’70s and it showed from the wood paneling to the garish wallpaper to the turquoise tub. Yet the fact that it wasn’t a traditional Montana cabin resonated with this Ohio native. “There was something about it maybe the wraparound porch that felt like home as soon as I toured it,” Felesha recalls. Maybe this was a place where she and Jeremiah could live full-time at some point, with room for additional family as well.
LABOR OF LOVE
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Despite early misgivings, the McAfees stuck with the project. A year and a half later, their sweat equity paid off. Tire result is a two-bed room, two-bath cabin as charming as it is comfortable.
The aesthetic is a perfect blend of midwestern farmhouse and western rustic. Wide floorboards pair nicely with new shiplap paneling throughout much of cabin. White Hoors, walls, and ceilings reflect the light, brightening what was once a dimly lit space. A reclaimed tin ceiling in the kitchen highlights the same earth tones as the new tiled backsplash. An old ladder, festooned wirh lights, hangs above a doorway. The built-in cupboard wirh screen doors is a nod ro the pie safe of a bygone era. Understated beams and reclaimed barnwood lend an air of history and warmth,
SOURCING THE GOODS
“We were luck)’ enough that Jeremiah was able to barter labor for materials with a company here that salvages old grain elevators and barns, says Felesha, referring to Wild Wood Eccentrics, a reclaimed wood business based in Columbia Falls, Montana. He’d work all day, then go and wrork more for them,” she recalls. “All that material became our trim, our floors, our barn doors.”
With an eye toward maintaining an authentic, rustic feel, Felesha combed antique stores and Craigslist for furnishings and finishing touches. One old cabinet was repurposed as a vanity. Other accessories came from consignment shops or from family in Ohio. Her favorite find is the cast-iron pedestal tub that plays a starring role in the spacious first-floor bathroom. “It’s so beautiful, and we only paid a few hundred bucks. It came out of an old home in Kalispell, which I love from one farmhouse
The owners opened up their living space by removing walls and a chimney and raising the ceiling.
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