River Cabin


Remodel Type: Kitchen & Dining Room

Design Style: Modern


  • Dark cabinetry, doors, and finishes were retro without the cool factor
  • Two closets closed in the entry and restricted flow
  • Peninsula location left wasted space in the kitchen and lacked seating options
  • Older cabinetry lacked sufficient storage
  • A dumbwaiter in the kitchen wall wasted space and needlessly divided the space
  • Lighting was dated and insufficient

Client Objectives

  • Update finishes throughout embracing the colors of nature outside the windows while retaining casual cabin living style
  • Open up the view from the entry to the rest of the living space and the river outside
  • Create an island for better flow, function and lacked seating for casual dining
  • Add functional storage in the kitchen while utilizing original perimeter cabinetry
  • Improve storage on fireplace wall while limiting display space for a cleaner aesthetic
  • Update hallway with new doors, flooring, lighting and a brighter palette

Design Solutions

  • Removed one entry closet and created a half wall with storage integrated to delineate the entry while opening views and flow
  • Added a window to the living room that provides views to the river from the new entry
  • Created a new island that comfortably seats 4 and sits inside the kitchen
  • Transformed a small closet into a microwave, coffee and waste station
  • Created a walk-in pantry where the dumbwaiter and a single base cabinet used to be, dramatically increasing their functional storage space
  • Designed a custom vent hood that anchors the range and pulls the eye up, minimizing the impact of the soffit
  • Updated fireplace wall with new custom base cabinets, shiplop wall detail, floating shelves and a custom mantle featuring wood from the homeowner’s hometown.
  • New LVT flooring runs from the entry through the kitchen and hallway, providing a more cohesive palette and flow
  • New doors, hardware and casing updated the dark hallways


  • Earthy palette of watery blues, sage greens, rich chestnut browns, and creams is soft and inviting. A perfect fit for this second home that’s all about enjoying the views of nature and relaxing with friends and family to recharge from busy city life.
  • Shiplap ceiling in the kitchen allowed us to reconfigure lighting to add pendants over the island and recessed LED lighting
  • New trim throughout kitchen painted to match the upper cabinets, minimizing the soffit and refreshing the original cabinets
  • Soffit between the living room and kitchen was eliminated to highlight the high ceilings and allow more natural light into the kitchen
  • The dumbwaiter nook was transformed into a bar nook
  • Solar shades and vertical blinds add texture and solar heat management


Remodel Type: Kitchen, Living Room, Bathroom, Entry, and Hallway

Design Style: Transitional

Trade Resources and Partners

Photography: Alyssa Lee Photography

Contractor: Bach Construction [let me confirm]

Counters: Cambria from Select Surfaces

Tile Backsplash: Tile x Design

LVT Flooring: ProSource

About Colleen

I live in Minneapolis with my landscape architect/urban designer husband, my daughter who believes she’s my design assistant and sous chef, an independent Siamese, a feisty grey-striped kitten, and a menagerie of turkeys and other wild animals who visit our backyard for the free food. When I’m not designing, you’ll often find me cooking up a Paleo feast, cheering for my daughter's volleyball team, playing pickleball, or hiding in a corner with my nose in a book.