This Living Room Makeover Uncovered the Most Stunning 112-Year-Old Ceiling

published Apr 15, 2024
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If you have a rustic design style, you probably have an affinity for wood-paneled walls, iron stoves, buffalo checks and plaids, big brick or stone fireplaces, and all things cabincore and cozy. (Scroll through these rustic Before & Afters for some major woodsy-meets-chic inspiration.)

In this living room redo designed by architect Kerstin and Andrew Fischer of Fischer Architecture, what was once already cozy with cabin vibes got an upgrade that made it peak rustic design goals. In fact, the 112-year-old home was originally used as a weekend hunting cabin. 

The goal in the redo was to create a cozy, collected-over-time look for the homeowner, his three kids, and his dog.

Upcycling the existing furniture made it match the rustic vibe. 

“Combining recovered furniture with new unique pieces, a layered collection of furnishings and textiles create the sense of an interior thoughtfully evolved over time,” Kerstin says, adding that several pieces of the light-colored modern furniture from the “before” were repurposed “to match and flow with the cabin’s antique, rustic vibe, thus minimizing waste and dollars spent.” 

For instance, Kerstin and her team designed a new wood base (with storage!) for the once-stainless steel coffee table, and they had the living room sofa reupholstered “taking it from a light gray to a dark green,” Kerstin explains. She adds that it helps reduce the stark contrast in the room and makes everything feel just a bit more warm. 

One of the homeowner’s previous chairs was recovered in the new “reading nook” zone too, Kerstin says. “Multiple ‘zones’ were introduced where previously, furnishings in the living room had been limited to a single seating group,” she adds.

Incorporating new items added functionality. 

Placing an antique cabinet near the entryway also added function for the family near the entryway, as it’s now a “key drop/shoes on spot,” as Kerstin calls it. 

She also says incorporating layered lighting (table lamps, floor lamps, and new wall sconces) added “mood lighting with an extra-cozy feel,” and “armchairs from stylistically different periods were included to create a balanced timelessness.”

The original redwood ceiling stuns. 

The biggest change in the living room is overhead. “At some point in the home’s history, an owner had covered over the living room’s original old-growth redwood-paneled ceiling with painted drywall, puncturing it with a series of recessed downlights,” Kerstin says.

She and her team at Fischer Architecture worked with a redwood salvager in Northern California to restore the redwood ceiling and patch missing boards and other irreparable damage caused by the drywall and lighting. “In order to match the original look, the salvaged old-growth redwood boards were milled with old-style band saws that replicate the blade markings common in lumber milling technology from over a century ago,” Kerstin says. 

Kerstin says the new (old) ceiling makes the whole living room feel more open. It better matches the grandeur of the rustic fireplace in the room too. Check out the full home renovation here, and if you don’t have the space or savings for large-scale wood beams or a statement-making fireplace, check out these seven small-scale home projects that can add rustic, cozy vibes to any home.