The Poplar Room Renovation


The Poplar Room Renovation

Located on the second floor of the Inn, Poplar is a finished attic bedroom with warm wood paneling and slanted ceilings. Its the kind of room that makes you think of rain storms, a hot cup of tea, and a good book.

Of the three room in the Inn, the Poplar was the room with the least amount of issues.  (Hey, we had to have one, right?) The hardwood floors just needed shining and while wood paneling is not our favorite, it was in good condition and suited the space.  The room needed very little except cleaning and a new light fixture.  The bathroom, this one a faded lemon yellow, needed the same attention that the rest of the bathrooms had with a yellowed sink and outdated, peeling laminate flooring.

The 70’s yellow bathroom with bucket under the sink for extra ambiance
A nice cedar lined closet with a not so nice pool table green carpet!
A second closet just outside the bathroom

The main challenge with the Poplar room was furnishing as the low ceilings take away usable space in an already compact room.  Since furnishing was not a priority during early stages of the renovations, we started in the bathroom, pulling out all the fixtures and taking out the laminate flooring.

Sampling vinegar stains using balsamic, white, and red vinegars and rustic finishing techniques using screws, chains, and bricks.

Next, we painted the walls with the same faux stone finish that we used in the half bath downstairs.  We wanted to use the same finish in this bathroom and the pink bathroom next door in the Dogwood room in order to reduce waste, so we picked a sandstone color that would hopefully look good if any of the pink or yellow bled through.  The color did not bleed through, but we picked such a coordinating color that the base coat was almost the same shade of pink as the Dogwood bathroom, causing just a little stress as to the finished product.

In the end, the color worked well and we moved on the building a custom vanity and mirror to fit into the space beside the shower.  Once they were built, we aged both pieces and stained them with a homemade vinegar and steel wool stain.  Then we re-enameled the shower stall white and replaced the door with a curtain.  A new floor was laid with ceramic tile and a few finishing touches later – curtains, a new towel bar, and a repainted door – and that bathroom was done.

Vinegar stained vanity – color variance is due to the acid reacting to the wood
Finished faux stone tile walls and re-enameled shower
Handmade vanity and mirror with basin sink and waterfall faucet

With that, we turned our attention back to the bedroom.  Of course, we had to walk past that pesky extra closet to do that…  What ever could we do with that space?  Oh, right, maybe this –

Closet converted into a cozy reading nook. However did people renovate anything before Pinterest?

So, can we get a bed in here, maybe?  After much deliberation and a whole lot of time spend on pinterest, we decided on a four post bed.  Since the bed was going under a window, we couldn’t do much in the way of a head board, but went with some nice detail on the foot board instead and color scheme of cream, chocolate brown, and deep red.  A couple of bedside tables and a matching cafe table with chairs along with a narrow shelf under the television finished the furnishing of the room.

Two bedside tables and a narrow console round out the furniture in Poplar. All the pieces are painted cream with dark brown stain and accents in deep red, chocolate brown, and burnt orange.

Every time we finish a space, it becomes my new favorite and the Poplar Room is no exception. Although our smallest room, the clean furnishings and light colors make this finished attic bedroom cozy and relaxing. Meanwhile, the view of the upper lawn and poplar tree from the private balcony is expansive.

red leaf river inn poplar

Welcome Inn, y’all, we hope to see you soon!


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Chef Victor Johnston, Owner of Red Leaf River Inn in Waynesville North Carolina

Thanks for visiting! I’d love to host you during your stay in North Carolina!

– Victor

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