All the Before and Progress Photos from the Cabin

March 25, 2019

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

We had to meet with a builder last week for insurance purposes. One of the things that insurance takes into account after a total loss to fire is the cost to rebuild. So we had to sit down with plans of our beloved a-frame and go over every inch and tally up what they would estimate it would cost for them to rebuild it today. Having never built a house from scratch, we asked all the questions. One thing they said was realistically, purchasing land elsewhere and rebuilding (something we’re considering for a few different reasons), would likely be 2 years before we would have a rebuilt cabin. Which feels like a long time! 

It inspired us to come home and browse Zillow and see what else was already out there. And then spend hours laying in bed, just talking about how it feels like there’s something in our future and we just aren’t there yet. Everything feels like it’s up in the air. Our flip house fell through (more on that later this week), and there just seems to be a lot of road blocks lately. But reflecting on all the times in our marriage where it felt like it was a road block and it turned out to be something so much better for us down the road (job opportunities, the spacing of our children, etc), is helping us keep a positive and hopeful perspective about the future–whatever it holds.

Today, I really wanted to share all the before and progress photos I took of our A-frame before it was gone. I took a lot of pictures and I still wish I took more. Like, I can’t find any photos of the downstairs family room because we didn’t really get too far in it and I’m kicking myself for not at least snapping a progress photo even though the walls were still poop brown with large white spackling dotting it. The fireplace and sofa and rug were so cozy! We miss it all terribly. Here’s what I did capture from Nov 2017–Feb 2019 (I put all the sources under each section):


Black Stain – Cabot’s solid acrylic stain in black

Living Room

Walls – Benjamin Moore China White
Beams – Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook (see the DIY here)
Doors – Cabot’s solid acrylic stain in black (see the DIY here)
Chandeliers with these bulbs!
Green Chairs
Blue Pillow
Plaid Pillows
Buck custom from Faraway Lovely
Fireplace with Greypearl Craft Orchard Limestone by Creative Mines (see the whole post here!)
See more about the living room here!

Dining Room

Serving Board


Cabinet Doors

The Great Room


Fireplace with Greypearl Craft Orchard Limestone by Creative Mines (see the whole post here!)

The Loft

Walls – Benjamin Moore China White
Trundle Bed
Sherpa Blanket
Red Blanket
Green Blanket
Stuffed Bear
Stuffed Deer
See more about the loft here & here!

Loft Bathroom

Tile (this is the Grout we used!)
Spray Paint
Towel Ring
Toilet Paper Holder

The Mountain Room

Walls – Valspar’s Victorian Tapestry
Duvet Cover
Orange Pillows
White Pillow
Leather Pillow
Blue Pillow
Side Tables
Mounted Antler Trophies
DIY Cushions & Shelves
See more about the mountain room here & here!

The Forest Room

Walls – Benjamin Moore’s Castle Peak Gray
Lamp Shade
Fur Blankets
Night Stand
Lamp Shade
Hanging Rug
See more about the forest room here & here!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Edward Sanford says:

    This is the most beautiful A Frame I have ever seen. I’ve been scouring online looking at A Frames. Do you guys have the house plans for this house? How many beds and baths is this home?

  2. Susan says:

    How durable was the Bettina table? Did it get destroyed by kids or careless water stains?

  3. Mary Brady says:

    We also owned an A-Frame cabin in Gatlinburg, TN. We loved it. It was an old cabin that we bought for a vacation home. My husband and I, along with our two girls, did a lot of work to get it to our liking. We so enjoyed going often. Especially, while our oldest girl was in college in TN. It allowed us to visit with her.

    Sadly, our cabin burned in the Gatlinburg wildfires in November of 2016. Our hearts were so broken. We had spent a lot of time there and let friends and family use it whenever they wanted to. We are so thankful no one was there when the fire came. Someone had gone the week before and we were scheduled to go up the next week.

    We have rebuilt. Actually, we are still rebuilding. Same lot. It has been a journey. Code changes, weather, slow workers, etc.

    I found your blog because I was looking for ideas for painting the ceiling in an A-frame cabin. I cried for you when I got to the part where your cabin burned. I understand your pain.

    I so related to you talking to the insurance company. We had to do the same. Who knew they would need so many details?
    Because, we had done so much work in the cabin, we knew everything they wanted to know. I even had drawings, with measurements, of some of the rooms. And, lots of pictures.

    I’m sorry my post was long. I wanted you to know our story. Why? I’m not sure.

    I will continue reading your blog. I’m hooked!

  4. Jenna Swartout says:

    First off, I love your A-frame house! The house itself is amazing and your decorating is incredible. May I ask, do you have the house plans? Thank you for sharing such a great project!

  5. Fantastic cabin! It has such a unique balance between the rustic nature and modern comfort! I am in the process of finishing up my own project and found a cool unique piece for my place. I got it here (https://www.casthorndesigns.com/)

  6. Stephanie says:

    All of this is so beautiful! I love how you have a hanging rug in the bedroom! That is such a great idea, and I am totally taking some of this for inspiration to finish our cabin.

  7. Caterina Sosso says:

    Can I move in?!! Such a great job and a great taste as always <3

    Caterina | http://www.caterinasosso.com

  8. Mary says:

    I am really sorry your cabin killed herself.

    There’s a 100% chance that things will not go your way all the time. But it doesn’t make things easier until some time has passed.

  9. Marsha says:

    I’m curious, did the two chandeliers you put in the living room cast much light for the space overall. We are looking for a lighting solution for our A-frame and this seems like a good option but I’m wondering if it would cast enough to read by. We of course have lamps but can’t get them to cast light into every sitting space in the room, arghhh. Thanks for your insights, to a fellow Idahoan slowly fixing up an A-frame. ☺️ I’ve appreciated your ideas so much!

  10. Adk says:

    Access is a huge issue. I used to dream of owning a beach house on an island, until I met people who did and learned about the exteme stress when off the island worrying about every hurricane during storm season. Plus the ravaging effects of ocean water and sea air: new things look 10-20 years old in no time. Pass! Will just visit, not own.

  11. Adrienne says:

    The views from the cabin are breathtaking, but I completely understand why it might be hard, emotionally and mentally, to rebuild in the same location. I look forward to following whatever happens next for you all. Have you ever shared the source for the cabin kitchen pendant lights? I may be overlooking it somewhere, but I love them!

  12. Vicki S Williams says:

    One blessing that I just thought about today for you is…almost everything in your cabin had already meticulously been inventoried…for insurance purposes! Wow! That is hugh, most of us would have to think of every little thing to write down and research, etc. and you have already done that with all your sourcing on the blog! A Tender Mercy after all.

  13. Cara says:

    Those spaces continue to bring so much inspiration to others. I’m sure it may feel like all your work was lost but by capturing it and sharing the process you have influenced a whole new generation of design. Thank you for letting us in your home.

  14. Katy says:

    I have a random question – is there a reason on the main floor of your cabin that some of the walls were squared off, and some were left to complete their slope to the floor? For example, behind the kitchen table has a squared-off wall about three feet high, while behind the couch it continues to slope.

    Excited to see where your journey takes you next. Love from NZ. x

    • Chris says:

      The cabin didn’t have heat, so we ran a chase along the length of the house on the main floor for new duct work, then had it framed out with a wall.

  15. Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves.

  16. Brooke says:

    I recently listened to Oprah’s Super Soul podcast titled “Own Your Truth”. In it, she said if you don’t know what the “right answer” is, be still. Do nothing. Be with yourself and find what nourishes your soul (yoga, prayer, the ocean, nature) and wait until you know. It resonated with me on the simplistic and most practical level. Wanted to share that with you in case it helps remind you that you’ll know what to do as soon as you know, because the answer is within you. The reason you have such a wonderful community is because you’ve owned your truth thus far. Keep up the great example for the rest of us! :)

  17. Debi says:

    It WILL get better Julia! Yes, life is upside down now, the grief is unbearable at times, decisions are overwhelming and the pressure is on. Rebuilding costs are shocking (a reminder to all to make sure your insurance covers rebuilding costs plus!) The time it takes seems unimaginable. But, you and Chris ARE putting one foot in front of the other, focusing on your blessings, and open to all the possibilities. You deserve every kudo for that. You will get through this and it will be better yet!

    Frankly, while I enjoyed the cabin renovation, regularly drooling and lusting over each photo, I just couldn’t relate the way I could to your earlier years on the blog. I was thrilled for your family to have that gorgeous cabin to enjoy! With your incredible, well-deserved success, three kids and your health issues, it has made so much sense that more and more work was contracted out. Yet, I can’t imagine ever having the $$$ to buy, let alone renovate and furnish a cabin. So, it was refreshing to see the makeover of the Pugmire’s bedroom because it was so accessible, achievable, relatable – just like every step of your home. (Saving my pennies for my master bathroom remodel!).

    That said, more than anything, I want you to know I’ll always be a faithful reader who will read whatever project(s) you take on. It is most important that you do what is best for you and your family. Take your time to grieve, to investigate options, and make decisions. I know whatever you do , it will be gorgeous, and I’ll be here, drooling still.

  18. Leslie McKee says:

    Hi Chris and Julia,

    Any chance you can talk a bit more about how you made the cushions and covers on the windowseat in the Mountain room? I have 2 bench seats to make this Spring and I’d love to know how you chose fabric and any tips you have on the process.

  19. Vicki Williams says:

    The pendant lights you show in your kitchen here, you never seem to source. I so want to know where to find them. I have looked and looked. I think you changed them before you lost the cabin to something similar but I love these. Please help! Thank you!

  20. Julie S says:

    Blergh, these things never seem to go smoothly, do they? I hope there is another flip house in your near future but totally get what you mean about feeling like the future has something for you that hasn’t found you yet. On another note, it was hard to see the after photos and think how all that is gone now~ you guys really did so much beautiful work on it.

  21. Ashley says:

    My heart aches for it for you guys but ESP that black and white bathroom tile you had JUST finished and hadn’t quite had enough of. ????

  22. Jeanna says:

    So many awesome photos to document your journey! You poured so much love into the space, and it showed :) I’m curious why if you are thinking of rebuilding, you don’t use that wonderful site you already own? The views are stunning, and this time you could make it exactly the way you want it from the ground up!

    • Julia says:

      It’s not completely off the table but there are a few reasons. One is I have really bad anxiety around the location. I’m not sure I’ll be able to ever shake it. (I still get nauseated when I walk into our guest room because we renovated it while I was sick and pregnant!) The mind is so powerful. The other reason is it’s not exactly all season access. We spent A LOT of money on snow removal this last winter and are considering a location that wouldn’t require so much of that.

      • Bethany says:

        I was wondering the same thing, the views are breathtaking! Your reasons make perfect sense, especially the snow removal. I’ve never considered Idaho for a vacation before but your cabin and those views have put it at the top of my list!

      • Julia says:

        Idaho is one of America’s best kept secrets. It’s breathtaking.

  23. Jamie says:

    Your transformations of each space are so good. I have seen them along the way but all in one place like this has even more impact. You have so much to be proud of with this amazing place. It shows that you poured your heart (and talent) into it????

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

There was a 10-year-period where everyone (including me) was doing black or almost-black rooms or walls. These days, we want something moody and romantic, but we want warmth back in our lives. We want the “grown-up” version of that look. If you are craving a rich, moody paint color that’s a warm, inviting neutral, then […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations