A Cabin in the Forest Has Colorful Wallpaper, Patterned Tiles, and All My Envy

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Post Image
(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

Name: Ayanna Barton, family, and short term rental clients
Location: Kerhonkson, New York (Hudson Valley)
Size: 820 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months, owned

Our vacation cabin is located in Kerhonkson, a hamlet in the Catskills only two hours from New York City. Initially, I hesitated for a long time to purchase the little cottage. I had recently purchased another home and did not have any plans of buying another property so soon. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the little cottage; it just felt right—like my own little personal retreat. I loved that the home came with 15.5 acres of private grounds. With a private tennis court, pool, and hot tub, it is a perfect retreat. With the cottage being so small, I had a clear vision of the look and feel of the home. I didn’t feel overwhelmed with the prospect of renovating the house on my own. I knew I could handle the upgrades by myself.

(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

The biggest DIY project was painting the tile floors in the kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. It took me about four straight weekends to finish those floors. It came out amazing but it was a lot of hard work.

(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

First, I cleaned the floors thoroughly and sanded the tiles to rough them up to help absorb the paint. I painted the floors white (four coats of basement concrete white paint). Then I started the stenciling (insert stress emoji). That took me a very long time. After the first weekend, I found a system to move along quicker which made a big difference (I bought a small fan and multiple stencils). Stenciling the corners was a whole different beast. The level of stress was painful by the end! All I can say is I pushed through it and listened to the entire “Criminal” podcast while stenciling.

(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

Once I finished painting and stenciling the floors, I sealed it with a concrete sealer. Honestly, I would not recommend stenciling floors. They look amazing but do not hold up well at all over time. I do understand that the kitchen and bathroom are high traffic rooms so probably not the best place to paint floors. However, I can’t see painted tile floors lasting a long time at all no matter the room. I had to eventually bite the bullet and have the floors retiled. It looks amazing and I have no problems cleaning, walking, or moving furniture on the new floors!

(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

How long have you lived here? I purchased the cottage May 2018 and finished the repairs and renovations by August 2018. I’ve been enjoying the house along with guests ever since.

(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

What is your favorite room and why? The dining room is my favorite room. With the large screen doors and sizable window, it’s forever bright in the dining room. I added the mirror and banana wallpaper to bring the forest inside. I can sit in that room all day just enjoying the view.

(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last item I bought was the bench in the master bedroom, which I found on Facebook Marketplace for a very good price.

(Image credit: Chris Daniele)

Any advice for creating a home you love? My word of advice for someone trying to create a home you love would be to have lots of patience with your vision (which will probably change during the process). Once the work is complete, you will love the space, even more, knowing that it was your vision that finally came to fruition. My advice to homeowners wanting to do a DIY project: just do it! If you hate that dated room, floors, wallpapers, whatever, don’t feel discouraged by the aspect of money. There’s always a way to do what you envision on a budget and a little sacrifice.

Thanks, Ayanna!

• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour & House Call Submission Form.