kitchen design

The Amabel Beach House - Kitchen Progress

Hey readers and fellow design/reno dreamers.

Today I’m going to share with you the progress and plans for the kitchen at the Amabel Beach House. I will go through the ‘before’ - what was working, what wasn’t - and the changes we have planned and executed to maximize the rental potential and dollar value of this space.

She’s not finished, but she’s come a long way. Progress shot of the Amabel Beach House.

She’s not finished, but she’s come a long way. Progress shot of the Amabel Beach House.

If you are thinking about purchasing a short term rental vacation property and fixing it up - this is the post for you! Much like purchasing a home, people look at kitchen and bathrooms when renting a vacation home, so it’s absolutely vital that they are pretty, clean and functional.

I would argue that functionality is most important, and for reviews after someone has spent time in the house, this is most definitely true - they will rate you on how well the kitchen was able to meet their needs during their stay. But to really hook a renter and make them dream of staying in your home, the pictures need to sing, and that requires some good design.

Let’s start with a floorplan.

ORIGINAL LAYOUT:

KITCHEN BEFORE.JPG

Pros:
-opening in wall over the sink (plan to make bigger to add in more natural light)
-door to side deck (increase size of side deck to be able to fit bbq, perfect for prepping and grilling on a summer night!)

Cons:
-blind corner, almost unuseable
-very small, dangerous gas stove with exposed gas line and burn marks on small adjacent counter (we will be keeping a gas line in the cottage, but putting in an electric oven to avoid open flames and potential fire hazards for the renters)
-fridge covering door casing, looks cramped and ill fitting
-table in kitchen makes space feel tight and traffic flow awkward, can only seat 3
-peninsula makes space feel cut off and small
-very small sink
-dated colour scheme and cheap finishes
-water stained ceiling

NEW LAYOUT:

KITCHEN AFTER.JPG

In the new configuration, we moved the dining space to the sunroom (where we can seat 6-8 and have a big table for puzzles, games, and family meals) and eliminated the narrow peninsula to really maximize the size of a tiny footprint and max out the number of people who can be in the room at once. This allowed us to move the fridge, incorporate a huge pantry (perfect for renters to store all of their food for the week), and center the stove between the door and side cabinets. Increasing the opening over the sink also made the space feel larger and brings in more natural light.

SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON:
See how much more open and usable the space feels!?

SIDE BY SIDE.JPG

FINISHES:
The plan for the kitchen is to incorporate hard wearing and easy to maintain products and materials, while keeping the costs low.

-simple ceramic subway tile is very inexpensive and looks fresh, using grey grout will help to maintain the clean look
-a mix of metal finishes makes the space feel cottagey and not too serious
-'Montauk’ quartz countertops by Hanstone Canada are a larger upfront cost, but they have a lifetime warranty and will stand up to any careless renters (I will be doing a post about countertops soon!)
-white cabinets (from Home Hardware and Cutler Kitchen and Bath) in a classic profile help to make the space feel larger and airy
-gorgeous brass lighting and convincing wood look laminate flooring to add warmth (will talk more about the flooring in another post)
-open wooden shelving in the corner for display and to keep things light and easy to reach

For the cabinets, I am working with Home Hardware and Cutler Kitchen and Bath, using the Lindsay line of cabinets. These come flat-packed (similar to IKEA kitchen cabinets), where you have to build the boxes and attach the doors. The price point is really excellent for a rental kitchen, and the look is great - the simple shaker style door is a classic that will never go out of style. I will be doing a more detailed post on the cabinets later, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to build and install, and they look like a million bucks!

PROGRESS PICS:

The kitchen before was dated, ill functioning and had a lot of wasted space. The fridge covered part of the door, there was a strange electrical box in the middle of the wall, and the carpet was unsanitary. The popcorn ceiling was brown with water stains and the cabinets were full of mouse droppings!

The kitchen before was dated, ill functioning and had a lot of wasted space. The fridge covered part of the door, there was a strange electrical box in the middle of the wall, and the carpet was unsanitary. The popcorn ceiling was brown with water stains and the cabinets were full of mouse droppings!

A bit of the demo done and you can really see the carpet in all its glory!

A bit of the demo done and you can really see the carpet in all its glory!

The new drywall is up and painted (Beauti-Tone’s ‘Here Comes the Bride’), and the opening over the sink has been enlarged! Ceiling are planked and painted.

The new drywall is up and painted (Beauti-Tone’s ‘Here Comes the Bride’), and the opening over the sink has been enlarged! Ceiling are planked and painted.

Flooring in, cabinets started!

Flooring in, cabinets started!

We are really getting there! Countertops are in now too but I need to save something to keep you coming back for more! Backsplash, shelves, hardware, appliances, and styling all still to come!

We are really getting there! Countertops are in now too but I need to save something to keep you coming back for more! Backsplash, shelves, hardware, appliances, and styling all still to come!

KITCHEN AMENITIES TO BOOST RENTAL INCOME:
-Dishwasher (major bonus points! more and more renters are looking for hassle free living, plus, a dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand, so its a win win)
-Pantry (ample storage)
-Quartz Countertops - heat, stain, and scratch resistant, low maintenance, and LUXURY
-High end, well designed look that will photograph well and attract renters!

Also importantly, all mouse poop and gross carpet in the kitchen has been removed - so that’s a major plus too ;)

I hope some of these tips and tricks will help inspire you on your own journey with renovations, especially if you are renovating an income property. I can’t wait to share the final kitchen reveal with all of you!


Disclaimer: This post contains sponsored products from Home Hardware. All opinions are my own. I would never promote or endorse a product I do not fully believe in and wouldn’t pay for with my own money.

Project Northlake: Kitchen Reno - Progress Pictures

So much has been happening in my childhood kitchen since the last time that I posted! Although by no means a glamorous post, I thought it might be fun to show you some of the behind the scenes moments and fill you in on a bit of the realities of the reno. My family has been doing most of the work on the kitchen so far. The progress has been quick, but not without its share of setbacks.

We needed to find a new tiler, the hardwood installation got delayed, a hole got punched through the wall into the dining room during demo, we painted the entire first coat of paint before realizing that the colour was mistinted and drying far too bright, our area rug was cut to the wrong size by the binders. What I've come to learn in this industry is that projects rarely, if ever, run perfectly smoothly. When embarking on a renovation, you need to be prepared for things to go wrong, but sometimes managing expectations is easier said than done. Luckily, we are back on track and the finish line is in sight!

We started by tearing out the dated railing that separated the kitchen from the sunken family room. This is really going to help to open up and modernize the space.

My parents ripped up the linoleum floors and carpet and my older brothers pitched in with the demolition of the kitchen. I was especially excited to see the bulkhead go. The new cabinets will reach to the ceiling, making the room feel much bigger and taller, as well as adding extra storage.

My dad took care of the new insulation and moving some outlets. While he had originally planned to do the drywalling himself, we thought it best to bring in a professional to patch the walls seamlessly.

The last time I was home, the painting had started. We are really lightening up the space with a soft, muddy blue/green colour rather than the coffee colour seen in the

'befores'

It's hard to believe that when I'm in Waterloo next weekend we will have our hardwood floors and new cabinets installed! Then it will be a couple of weeks for the new quartz counter tops to be made and installed. I can't wait to show you the big reveal!

xox
Tiffany Leigh