Months back, some good friends approached me to help freshen up and decorate a lodge in Grand Haven, Michigan. I immediately said yes. It was a great opportunity to style a large space and it was chock full of vintage goodness (to which I am A-no.1 sucker for). The goal was to uncover the charm hiding beneath a somewhat random collection of old things and with some thoughtful planning I knew we could breathe new life into it. I was thrilled to be asked to help.
My friends spend their summers in Grand Haven and love nothing more than to get everyone together for great food, equally great wine and the not so infrequent dance party. They bought Khardomah as a place for friends and family to stay when in town, to rent out to big groups of vacationers (think family reunion) and also a place for the community to use for art exhibits, meetings and anything that requires a decent sized space for gatherings.
What started out as a very simple refresh (new bedding and towels) quickly grew to oh so much more. But, isn't that the way it goes? You make one thing look nice in your home and then look around and think, hm, maybe we need a new kitchen? I minded zero.
I can't take all of the credit. There was a lot of collaboration with my friend and her Pinterest board, her architect that worked on the kitchens and of course the contractor and his team that we bossed around for months. And I cannot forget Gayle – a local woman with a ton of knowledge about Khardomah. She was helping to get the place ready for rental season and without her this remote project would have been extremely challenging. It was the ideal teamwork scenario. I got lucky. And although we were not as organized as this during the process, I'll share our changes space by space. For this post, I'll focus on the main common areas and bedrooms.
MAIN COMMON AREA: While not terrible (ok, the rugs were terrible and don't even ask about the TV perched on the wheelchair) it mostly needed some love and attention and good old fashioned purging. They purchased the lodge furnished with some really cool pieces and some not so cool. We tagged and donated a decent amount of stuff and sighed a collective sigh of relieve to have it feeling less cluttered.
MAIN COMMON AREA - BEFORE
Once we had more of a clean slate, I got to work putting together their theme. She wanted a vintage chic feel and he wanted summer camp. I secretly dubbed it #campychic ;) This is the mood board we worked off of. It stayed mostly the same with a few exceptions along the way.
A lot of the old furniture that we kept was weirdly painted but otherwise in good shape so we had most of it painted black or white and shabbied up to feel rustic. We held onto an old Jenny Lind daybed to have refinished (one day) and most of the wicker pieces stayed. New pillows, rugs and throws were added and I found some fun antiques on my drive over one day which I sprinkled throughout the place. Lamps, chandeliers and sconces were updated. Window treatments were chosen for the main common space but with potential construction in the works for the next year everyone felt it was better to hold off.
We freshened up the common dining room by painting all of the tables white, adding new metal chairs, a deer shrine (my personal favorite) and window treatments (sadly, no photo of the window treatments since they arrived after I took these pictures but trust me they are black and white buffalo plaid perfection ;)).
MAIN COMMON AREA - AFTER
BEDROOMS: When we began, every room was a potpourri of chenille bedspreads and crazy curtains. Though it was charming in that sort of great grandma way, we wanted a more united and fresh feel.
BEDROOMS - BEFORE
To update the rooms, I was under strict orders to remove any doily or seashell that crossed my path. Done and done. Once those pesky things were out of the way we replaced the crazy curtains with linen ones in a natural color. White coverlets took the place of the old mismatched bedspreads and new solid quilts were added at the foot of each bed with matching shams. New rugs were on our list but we ended up using the old rag rugs and I actually love how they helped to keep the cottage-y charm. Most of the beds were replaced with the white metal beds you'll see in a lot of the photos.
As for the art in the rooms, much of it came from artists local to Grand Haven. These guys have great taste in art and had a large collection that they put aside specifically for this space – I think they look right at home at Khardomah.
Every room had it's own kitschy vintage lamp when we began and while some were really cool, they were all deemed fire hazards by the contractor. Instead of rewiring, we opted to do new lighting and again mostly used the same lamps from room to room for cohesion. I put together a big lamp round-up and we settled on the few shown in the photos – channeling vintage but with a bit of an update.
BEDROOMS - AFTER
That's about half of the space in a nutshell and I'm positive I'm missing a lot of details. It was a race to get it ready in time for summer rentals but so worth it. What was once a sort of hodgepodge of old things is now a thoughtful mix of old and new. It's peaceful and fresh but still has that inviting cottage-y feel. You're gonna want to go there. Trust me – your soul needs it.
Stay tuned for Part 2! Bathroom and suite updates!