kitchen reno

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 - After Pictures

Well guys, we made it here to the fun part - after photos! Getting to work with my parents as clients was such an amazing and unique experience. We had a few tense moments and many fun ones, and I am so happy with the final product. More importantly - they are happy. For over 30 years my parents have been putting me and my brothers first, and it makes my heart so glad to see them do this for themselves. They really deserve it!

The space feels so much brighter, lighter, bigger, and up to date. It also functions better and has way more storage. I know we will make many more memories together as a family in this kitchen!

Taking out the railing and bringing the cabinets right to the ceiling really increases the feeling of space. The light cabinet colour helps with this too. The cabinets are solid maple and sprayed in Simply White by Benjamin Moore. It is a slightly creamy white, which is warmer, more traditional, and works better with the style of the rest of the house than a cooler white would.

We went with polished nickel as our metal finish. It has a warmer tone than chrome, so it works great if you want to mix in brass finishes as well (we didn't do that here, but mixing of metals in the kitchen is becoming increasingly popular and is a look I personally love, so I'm passing on that handy little trick). Our hardware is the

Studio Collection

from

Hickory Hardware

in

3"

and

5"

.

The hardware selection is actually one of those tense moments that I was talking about, as my parents and I had differing views on what the hardware should be...and by different views, I mean they were picking out some crazy 90's looking curvy things. When we found the Studio Collection, however, we all knew that we had a winner. It has nice clean lines with just enough detail to keep it from feeling modern or trendy. We were mindful of picking classic elements that would stand the test of time.

This is true of our backsplash as well. The oriental white marble backsplash from

Creekside Tile

in Toronto will never go out of style. The classic subway tile pattern in a slightly smaller size (2"x4") is simple and clean, and the natural material has beautiful variation in tones of cream, white and grey.

The quartz countertops are speckled to hide crumbs so my mom isn't constantly scrubbing. I had to push my parents into quartz a bit (it has a higher price tag), but it is the best product on the market in terms of durability without compromising appearance.

This feature of the microwave cabinet coming down to sit on the counter adds extra storage and function. It also makes the microwave look more built in without the high price tag.

The old kitchen had a desk on the end of the run of cabinets. We still needed a spot for the phone and stationary items, but we chose to end the run of cabinets with a deep pantry. This way, the (sometimes messy) 'office' area is neatly tucked away as opposed to being the first thing you see when coming into the kitchen. Also, no one actually sat at the desk so we opted for a bottom cabinet for more storage.

Vintage glassware in shades complimenting the wall colour (Amalia by Beautitone Paint) is displayed in the angled glass cabinet. It's a bit of a tight squeeze here and we walk by this corner to get to the patio door, so angling it provided a less hazardous solution. 

I really love the polished nickel pagoda lantern. It doesn't have any glass sides, which is key in a kitchen where grease and smoke in the air can be an issue. It was purchased at Universal Lighting in Toronto. It's large and makes a statement - perfect as it is in the direct sight line when you walk in the front door of the house.

What a transformation! I love you Mom and Dad!

xox
Tiffany Leigh

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

Project Northlake: Kitchen Reno - Before Pictures

I'm excited to announce that I'm working with some clients very near and dear to my heart on a kitchen reno...my parents! My parents still live in the house I was born in, so it's been very different taking on a project that will change a room where so many fond personal memories have been made, but it is definitely time for an update.

Today I'm sharing the 'befores' with all of you, so the blog is about to get decidedly less cute! The honey oak cabinets made the space feel dated so we are replacing with solid maple cabinets painted white. We are more or less keeping the current layout as it works well, but we are upgrading finishes throughout to include hardwood floors, quartz countertops and marble backsplash. 


We are removing the railing separating the kitchen from the family room to open up the feeling of space.
The bulkhead is also coming down to make weigh for 42" uppers and a nice chunky crown molding.
As a cost savings, we are keeping the existing fridge and stove, which are in good condition. Plus, my mom is not a fan of stainless steel!


The pantry will be moving to the end of the run of cabinets.

I can't wait to share the afters with all of you, it's going to be a huge transformation. The plan is to really lighten, brighten, and modernize the space, create additional function and storage, and add value to the house. I'm so happy for my parents - they really deserve this!

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