Launched in October 2020,The Cabin is a beautiful and luxurious Airbnb retreat for those who need to get away from it all and recharge the batteries. Clad with beautifully knotted timber and looking out onto Slemish Mountain, it’s an idyllic little haven with a bit of a colourful (literally!) history…
The Cabin began life over thirty years ago as the home of Niel & Catherine McMillan’s Interior Design Studio & Workroom. It was a place to meet clients, showcase homewares, and make up bespoke soft furnishings for homes around the UK and Ireland. However, the business quickly expanded and The Cabin was vacated in favour of a more spacious premises in Ballymena Town Centre.
Meanwhile The Cabin became a Recreation room for family & friends until in 2018, it began another metamorphosis. By this stage, McMillan Interiors had been established and plans were made to turn The Cabin into a compact and cosy Studio for the business. In the Autumn of 2018, after having undergone extensive internal and external surgery, The Cabin officially opened as the new home of McMillan Interiors.
The story could have ended there….but it didn’t! Just over a year later and The Cabin was itching for another metamorphosis. McMillan Interiors Design Studio was packed up and relocated to a spacious converted barn and The Cabin began its transformation into an Airbnb retreat. It was a transformation we were thrilled to get stuck into!
The vision for The Cabin was to create a cosy, moody and super comfortable place for those who needed respite and to recharge the batteries. A place to turn off the phone and hideaway, but equally a springboard for exploring the wilds of Northern Ireland. We prioritised plentiful seating, a decadently comfortable bed, and colour & texture to create a real sense of home comforts. Let us show you around!
We made sure to squeeze in a John Sankey sofa for a supremely comfortable seating experience and upholstered armchairs in fabrics from William Yeoward and Designers Guild for a pop of quirky colour and pattern. A paisley patterned Ted Baker rug creates a lovely moody blue pool on the floor.
Superfast Wifi and a full sized dining table allow our guests a space to work – as was the case for our first guest who used The Cabin as a hideaway for a writing retreat! Alternatively, light some candles, turn the lights down low and enjoy an intimate and quiet dinner with a loved one!
We clad the partition wall with Pierre Frey wallpaper to add character and interest. A quirky bulls head sculpture and faux foliage add whimsy and colour.We also ensured there is plenty of low-level lighting with floor lamps and table lamps to create a lovely cosy atmosphere.
Walls of soft grey wrap around our guests in the bedroom while the headboard partition wall features a soft pink textured-effect wallpaper from Matthew Williamson. Curtains from Chelsea Textiles add whimsical pattern and ensure the bedroom is dark, cosy and the perfect spot for a good night’s sleep.
KITCHEN & WC
Nina Campbell wallpaper paired with a green and grey fitted kitchen creates a soft and bright corner for grabbing a coffee and a light bite. We’re in Northern Ireland so an abundance of tea on hand was a must! For coffee-lovers, a French Press and Nespresso machine will give you the caffeine kick you need!
Bathrooms can be real hidden gems of the home – a space where you can indulge in a bit of bold colour and pattern and it’ll look amazing! In The Cabin, a bright and warmly lit shower room gives way to a deliciously dark WC. We laid patterned grey tiles from local tile supplier J&R Keys Tiles and wrapped the walls in a beautiful navy blue wallpaper from Matthew Williamson featuring hundreds of softly glinting stars.
A final flurry of finishing touches and we were done! We ensured our guests had privacy by fitting ivory sheers and soft grey curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the cabin. Sitting areas were softened with cushions, the bookcase was stacked with books, the cupboards filled with boardgames and puzzles, and the basket topped up with firewood for a weekend of lounging, reading, and relaxing by the fire!
It would be remiss of us not to mention the private lake and secluded woodland on the doorstep of The Cabin….not the work of our hands but a real draw of this place! Between coffees and chapters, our guests can pull on their wellie boots and stomp around the trout filled lake and lush woodland featuring native Irish trees and wild critters!
Transforming The Cabin for guests to call home for a few days has been such a joy and privilege! At McMillan Interiors, it’s long been our heart & vision to create HOME…meaning a safe and welcoming place that is comfortable, functional, and full of personality. A place to make cherished memories. Our wish is that The Cabin will be this type of HOME for many guests and visitors over the next months and years.
If you have any enquiries about your own home renovations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At McMillan Interiors our services include product sourcing – including furniture, hardware, lighting, wallcoverings, soft furnishings and accessories – and fitting. We partner with you to make the design and decorating process as simple as possible. Whether you have a room that needs updating or a whole house renovation, we want to help. Contact us by:
Most people have heard of Airbnb. But for those who haven’t, let us give you a quick recap – Air bnb operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, hostel beds or homesteads. Basically, they’re a platform for property owners to advertise their property (whether that’s a single room in their house, or an entire apartment or house) for hire. With over 300 million check-ins since its inception ten years ago, Air bnb is a favourite amongst business travellers and holiday-goers.
At the beginning of this year we worked with a couple who were turning their recently converted garage loft space into an Airbnb apartment. Situated in the Glens of Antrim, with stunning views of Slemish, it was the perfect place to indulge in a cosy log-cabin aesthetic! The brief was to advise on layout and furniture, and supply wallpapers, soft furnishings, floor tiles and lighting. Here’s the design scheme we came up with:
You’ll hear us say this more than once here…we were going for ultra cosy in this apartment! We didn’t have a real log-cabin to work with so we went for the next best thing – wallpapers giving the effect of rustic, aged, textured wood! The fire-place wall would be clad in that lovely warm logs paper and the two low side walls covered in the blue-and-ochre wooden planks paper. The clients had a grey sofa-bed, a couple of leather armchairs, and a tired beige armchair to use in the space. We recovered the back and seat cushions of the leather armchairs in a warm woollen tartan and on the beige armchair we used a textured blue weave with that fabulous Jane Churchill misty trees printed velvet wrapped around the back of the chair!
Again….ultra cosy was the goal here so we hunted down warm and rustic plaids and soft velvets and rich, autumnal colours! We made a feature wall using Linwood’s warm cream and taupe wallpaper depicting mountains, forests and deer and we loved it so much we used it in the printed velvet fabric on cushions! Elsewhere, we framed the doorway in heavy, luxurious Zoffany curtains with oversized tiebacks for fun! And we injected pops of plaids and tartans to ramp up the rustic log-cabin feel!
BATHROOM & KITCHEN:
The bathroom was mostly kitted out so we supplied a velux blind and that lovely marble-esque wallpaper (top left hand side). It’s important to have easy-to-keep, easy-to-clean materials in a bathroom (like tiles/porcelain/stone etc). But a durable, good-quality wallpaper shouldn’t be overlooked. It adds texture, pattern and warmth!
Likewise, there wasn’t a lot to be done in the kitchen, but we made up a pair of curtains for the window using the cream and taupe colours that feature throughout the whole apartment and re-clad a couple of bar stools in a sweet cream and turquoise butterfly fabric. Gorgeous cottage-y, rustic charm! Have a look at some in-progress shots!
Living Room wallpaper up and furniture recovered and going in! We found that large rug full of fresh turquoise and rusty red colours and we think it’s just perfect for the space! Cushions in a textured paisley embroidery add pattern and interest.
Bedroom paper up, curtains fitted, rug down and bed dressed. Note the green and red tartan trim on the leading edge of the curtains – as we love to say, details matter! This little two inch trim just finishes off these lovely, heavy curtains perfectly. This rug full of warm reds, oranges and greens was another winner find and just how cosy does that bed look!? Pile your bed high with cushions and throws for an instant cosy, boutique-hotel look and you’ll look forward to crawling into it every night!
Kitchen curtains fitted and framing that window beautifully. Again, note details at the top of the curtains – the inch high strip of plain turquoise fabric and the perfectly cottage-y white and beige gingham check…all adding pattern, colour, variety and interest! We couldn’t help but finish it off with a cute little pom-pom tie back. Warm, fresh, cosy! (there’s that word again!)
We left our clients a few months ago to finish off the space, add their own personal touch and ready the apartment for their first guests. Since then, it has proven to be a very successful holidaying venue! We’re delighted with how the space looks and we are excited that so many people are getting to use and enjoy it. Have a look at the client’s photos!
Stunning! Find more information or book to stay here.
If you’d like help with redesigning and decorating your home – whether it’s one or two rooms, or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch! We offer a service that includes design, supply and manufacture, and fit-out. We’d love to advise, listen to your ideas and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic. Call us on 02825 880012 or email email@example.com. You can also find us on Houzz, Instagram and Facebook!