Lodge decor

Grand Haven project - a lodge refresh part 2

For those of you that have been following along (thank you ;) a few weeks ago I shared photos and our process for updating bedrooms and the main common spaces for The Khardomah – a lodge my friends hired me to help refresh and redecorate in Grand Haven, Michigan. If you haven't yet, check out part 1 of the Grand Haven design project. We kept all of the neat old stuff, took out some of the more dingy things (pinecone wreaths & fire hazard lamps). We then freshened it up with new bedding, pillows, throws and window treatments... among a lot of other cool old and new things. For those of you who like vintage charm that doesn't make you sneeze, I think you'll really love the updates to the suites and bathrooms... keep reading!

SUITES: This is where the really big changes took place. Here are a few before photos of the two larger suites so you get a full understanding of where we began.


Gabagouache Suite (aka Gabby) and Dune were both a priority for redesign since the majority of the owners' friends and family would stay there. This part of the lodge was also an add-on. The goal was to make it look more cohesive with the rest of the lodge while also providing the comforts of home for guests – functional kitchenettes, comfy places to sit and sleep and a nice place to freshen up. 

To make that happen, carpets were torn out and new wood floors were installed to match the existing hardwood. This was not easy might I add. My partner in crime, Gayle, told me the guys spent a lot of time getting the stain color just right. I loved these guys for this and many other parts of this project. They are all true craftsmen and you can tell they love what they do. If you've ever done any sort of renovation you know that isn't always the case but these guys were the real deal.

In addition to the floors, the 80's kitchens were demo'd and replaced and bedrooms were treated with the same decor as the rest of the lodge. Easy, right? ;)

For the common area decor we wanted it to look like this...  

Sleeper sofas would be essential for extra guests and kiddos. We chose one with fairly forgiving performance fabric (La-Z-Boy), and new comfy chairs and pillows and decor in the same vein as the main common space. For the windows, we had custom flat roman shades installed in a natural linen. I might be mistaken but I'm pretty sure the previous ones were bed sheets so anything was an improvement. But I do really love how these cozy up the room -- nice and bright to help offset the darkness of the wood paneling and that darned forest ;) Dune had a giant bookshelf similar to the one in the main common area so I painstakingly styled that and left strict instructions DO NOT TOUCH for the cleaning crew. They sort of took it seriously. 


The kitchenettes that were demo'd were replaced with white shaker cabinets and black leathered granite countertops. They are a major improvement to which I can only credit to their architect. I did select the subway tile backsplash although I think if you asked anyone walking by they would have recommended that; it wasn't rocket science. Scroll up for a second to see the before again. Ok, come back.


These were a nice, fresh improvement and also helped to lighten the space. There was a LOT of discussion over the countertops. Black? White? Marble? Granite? If you've read this post you know how I feel about marble. In the end, black granite won and really helps to tie the kitchens and living areas together. 


BATHROOMS: Though not all of the bathrooms got a shiny new facelift, three of them did and did they ever. Well, actually two of the bathrooms didn't even exist before. A portion of the lodge that was previously four bedrooms was turned into a separate suite (The Yerkes Suite) – three rooms and an ADA accessible full and half bath. This suite does not have a kitchenette but is really perfect for a family that would rather not cook on vacation. The rest of the bathrooms got makeunders. We took out a lot of accessories and replaced bright plastic shower curtains with white seersucker and changed out the window treatments. 


The goal was to have the bathrooms look classic and original to the era of the lodge. For the new baths, I chose black and white hex tile for the floors and vintage looking sinks, mirrors, toilets, lighting and hardware. Subway tile was, again, a no-brainer that we had installed as a chair rail with black pencil trim. We also used the subway tile up the walls of one of the showers. 

Custom plantation shutters in a soft white were added as a finishing touch and in the Dune bathroom the old registers were fitted with custom made wood registers that are just straight up art. So pretty. Oh and that clawfoot tub was reglazed and painted black which works so well with the other black accents in the space.  



All in all, the bathrooms feel bright and inviting all while staying true to that early 1900's feel. And the best part is that the hot water is free with your stay! 

So there you have it – The Khardomah with a period appropriate facelift. Still quaint, still creaky old floors, still a peaceful oasis (truly) but breathing much easier now. I can't wait to see how my friends fill it in with their own vintage finds and make it their own. I think every year it will just get better and better because now there's room for new memories and a new era of families and friends to share in the wonder that is The Khardomah. So happy to have been a part of it's rebirth. 

Grand Haven project - a lodge refresh part 1

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. 

Khardomah Lodge - Est. 1919

Khardomah Lodge - Est. 1919

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. 


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 ;)).


New layered rugs. Lacquered and shabbied chest. New pillows, throws and lighting. 
Styled bookshelves for miles! Hudson Bay chairs we found at Brimfield Chicago.

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. 




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.


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!