Before & After: The Shack Kitchen

With The Shack being ready for visitors, it's time to start sharing the Before & After photos and giving you guys all the sources!

(Affiliate links ahead...)

The truth about this kitchen is it was a fairly easy update, but the difference is major! The pieces were there, they just needed a little tweaking. Before the facelift, the kitchen felt disjointed and colLet's revisit what the kitchen looked like before the tweak.

This is an IKEA kitchen, I recognized the stuff immediately. I applaud what the previous owner did to get some creative storage in here, but it just wasn't feeling clean and inviting. Also, as a vacation home, it didn't need all of this storage. First thing I did was remove the upper cabinets and storage since it wasn't necessary and was contributing to a lot of chaos visually. Then I brightened and de-yellowed the space by having the entire home painted Dunn Edwards Whisper. It's a nice white that is bright but not blinding. It has a softness to it. Now I had a blank canvas. The kitchen was starting to feel less heavy.

 

Next was setting up the space to accommodate guests. I obviously needed a new range as the old one was broken. I had also taken down the stubby looking hood and cabinet, so I had to figure something out there. I originally wanted to just leave it open without a hood, but changed my mind later, bc that's what I do. There was a hole that vented the outside so I thought eh, might as well put in another hood. There really is no good reason for this change of mind because in the end the hole needed to be filled and a new one made for the new hood. That happens sometimes. I'm still happy with the outcome.

Since I was trying to make this kitchen feel nice and open, I opted for a white hood. Hoods can feel so heavy and bulky, especially in a small space. I wanted it to blend in with the wall. It also feels clean and bright without a big stainless hood hanging overhead.

Hood | Wood Utensils | Cement Tile turned trivet

This side of the kitchen was pretty much finished after figuring out those appliances. The only other thing I did was move the microwave. Next was the coffee bar area. I loved the stainless table with shelf rack that were already there. I moved the microwave over to this area so I could make room for dishes, pots and pans on the other shelf racks by the range. It just seems to me, too, that these days the microwave is mostly used for warming up your coffee. AMIRIGHT? Made sense to me. Aside from outfitting the area with all the coffee needs, the only thing left was to dress it up with some decor.

State Eye Chart | Coffee Pot | Mug Stand | Frame for Vintage Map | Round Cutting Board | Toaster

Use code FW17 for a discount on State Eye Charts!

If you followed the Insta stories I posted while putting this all together, you know it was not just as simple as throwing some stuff in and BOOM it's done. So often in blog posts and on social media it comes off like the designer or DIYer just whipped some shit up and it was done. As if every piece was planned ahead of time and went off without a hitch. 

GUESS WHAT....THAT'S A LIE.

Sure, I had ideas. But many of them I abandoned or changed in the process. For instance I had every intention of putting floating shelves above the coffee bar. But, then the $200 price tag and a week delay came and I was like UM NO THANKS. It may be only $200 and it may have been a great idea, but at this point in the project I was feeling the squeeze on my wallet. So, instead I opted to spend way less. The frame was buy 1 get 2 free, so that cost about $17 bucks for this one frame. The map was free-ish. It was laying around at my house (read forgotten) and not originally intended for this property. I think I paid $5 for it at a garage sale 5 years ago. The money was already spent. But, let's include it for shits and gigs. Then there were the two hooks I used to hang the boards, that I already had leftover from another project. Those were probably $3 each at Home Depot. The cutting boards I had already purchased for this house and were just going to lean against the wall. Hanging them up just filled in the space visually. So, the cost to fill this wall was $17 for the frame I bought specifically for this wall OR actual cost of around $28. Better than $200. Do that several times on a project and the savings really start to add up!

What was also not so easy was hanging these things. The walls in The Shack are block with plaster, so nothing hangs easily. I broke 3 drill bits, made many gashes and unnecessary holes, sweat like a mofo and dropped a good amount of F bombs. So yeah I think the kitchen is cute and simple, but that doesn't mean it was easy. Hanging the shades alone made me want to murder everyone. Even just the thinking about I was going to do to replace the original shelf idea took some brain power. Constant. Laying in bed. Driving. Thinking. Thinking. You get the picture.

No one talks about the tax all of this thinking takes on you. Seriously, though.

If you're ever renovated or updated a space, you know the drain.

Other projects that were cut in the final days were replacing the tile counters, the faucet and covering the underneath of the sink. The tile counters, while not my favorite, had to stay. The wall juts out strangely here which is difficult to see. The tile counter wraps from the left of the sink to behind it just under the window. So, the counter would have to be extra deep. It's something I'd like to replace some day but not now. The faucet is not great at all. It should be replaced soon. It works but eh. And then the area under the sink is still exposed. I hung a curtain there and I just didn't like the idea of it. I envisioned people kicking it or touching it with their dirty hands to access the trash can. It put some fluffiness into the room where I didn't want it. All in all I just didn't like it. I didn't want to have something that would just turn into a bigger eyesore due to grime. Cleanliness is a big deal when staying in an unfamiliar place in my opinion. I want to put our best foot forward.

So, with the run through wrapped up, it's time for the BEFORE & AFTER!

I loved this project because it was a house with good pieces I could work with. Aside from paint and HVAC work, there really wasn't much more to this house than cosmetic updates. And what a relief! I'll take this kind of project ALL. DAY. LONG.

I could piece some numbers together to give you an idea of what I spent, but in reality the update was in the paint (whole house), hood, range and decor. And if you're really looking at this kitchen, the decor is actual functioning kitchen items aside from the stool and rug (which I already had). The plates I bought for staging 2 years ago at a thrift store. it's not a full set but who needs a full set for a vacation rental meant for 2 (4 max with sleeper sofa)? The black and white trivets are leftover cement tiles from another project that I put felt stickers on. The small appliances, the knives, the mug stand, the utensils, cutting boards and pots and pans, and other kitchen essentials were all purchased new for this home, but I find that difficult to add into a renovation cost. A "normal" person would already have those. The microwave and the fridge both came with the house.

Let's add the up numbers.

Range $200, Hood $265, Rug maybe $150 2 years ago, Stool $5 at a Safeway that was closing, let's allocate a generous fraction of the whole house painting at around $400.....totaling $1020.

If it were just the kitchen I would've just painted it myself. Not too shabby, though!! I'll be putting together the other areas of the house so stay tuned for those. Below is a list of the sources for this house. Comment with any questions.


Meet The Shack!

If you've been following my Insta stories, you know I keep saying it's done or almost done....but for real this time, it's done! Ok no it's not done done but it's ready. Because what project is ever done? Let's just say Phase I is complete.

The Shack is finally available for vacation stays! I'll get into each part of the house and exactly what I did with sources....soon. But, not today. Today is celebration day that a project is done and I didn't lose my mind! Hooray! 

The Shack is a 700sf STUDIO HOME. I've never seen one of those before in my life, but I knew it had to be mine when I saw it. It's actually quite like a large hotel suite with a queen bed, sleeper sofa, TV and dining table/workspace in the main living space. 

There's plenty of room to spread out and get comfortable just like in a very spacious hotel room, only you won't have to worry about noisy neighbors in the room next door or above you.

The Shack also comes with a full kitchen. I've set up a coffee bar area, complete with microwave to warm that cup up after it's gone cold. 

There's a also a full oven, stove and fridge so you can make any meal you like. I've tried to think of everything you'll need including providing knives that cut! :) There's also bottle openers, skillets, a Magic Bullet blender, storage containers for leftovers, oil for cooking and all the utensils you could need! Also in the kitchen is a closet for the washer and dryer. 

For a studio house, the bathroom is huge! There's plenty of space at the vanity for getting ready to go out on the town. When you're back from your excursions, enjoy the jetted whirlpool tub. 

The front porch is great for chillin' as is the back patio (which is still enjoying a little facelift). 

The Shack is available now for booking! To grab your spot, click the button below to go to the Airbnb listing. I'll be back with more updates on each area room and it's before and after soon!

 

 

Before & After: Clarendon Kitchen

Ahhh this kitchen. One of the things I love about flipping and designing is there are always new projects to tackle... starting from scratch. If the project drags on for a long time, like it does when doing an addition, I get antsy. I change my mind. I redesign. This kitchen was 9 months in the making since this house had an addition added to the front and the back. Since it took so dang long, I'm really shocked that this kitchen didn't change too much throughout the process. The cabinet color changed about eleven-teen times and the lighting and hardware is different but the bulk of it is pretty much what was planned. 

But I digress. Let's go back to the beginning. Below is the original kitchen in this home.

REtro Kitchen Before Renovation

This is not the same room mind you. This room was gutted and eventually became a study. As mentioned in the exterior before and after post, we added on to the back of the house and part of that addition was the kitchen. Having the kitchen at the back of the house made more sense. It's nice to be able to look out on the backyard and be closer to the outdoor entertainment area. Plus, as mentioned in that exterior post, I desperately wanted a servery window. More on that in a minute.

I started by drawing out the floor plan of the new room and then put together the design board. I try to do this even for my own projects because it makes it so much easier for the contractor to "read my mind".

Clarendon New Kitchen Floor Plan and Elevations

This post contains some Amazon affiliate links for products used or originally intended to use for this design.

Top Kitchen: Lauren Liess, Middle Kitchen: Hale House , Bottom Kitchen: CKS Design Studio, Bar stool, Sconce, Faucet, Hardware, Espresso Machine

Side note: I'm pinning like a mofo. Follow me on Pinterest if you are an obsessed design badass, too.

I'm not an artist but it gets the job done. The sketches are necessary so everyone from architect to contractor can see what I'm envisioning. A floor plan alone can't always show these kinds of details. I'd like to say that I can do a 3D rendering but why bother with that learning curve when a pencil and a ruler are much faster and just as effective? Plus I like drawing.

You can see that there is a gray color in there for the cabinet paint color but of course that didn't stick bc...time. I don't even remember what color that was. Other things changed as well, such as the hardware and the sconces because I ultimately decided against brass in this kitchen. For the design board I also threw in staging items to finish off the look. Usually it's just a "suggestion", like the bar stools. Those would have been dope AF to put into my flip but with the cabinets ending up blue and that price tag, I decided to abort that mission. 

--> Links to what I did actually use are at the bottom of this post.

Guys it's AGONY to wait for 9 months to see your creation come to life. LIKE TORTURE EVEN. I'm serious. I lose my shit. I'm not even going to try to pretend I don't. I start staging when the house hasn't even been finished or cleaned yet. I have piles of furniture in a side room waiting for the right time, which still isn't the right time but it is MY time. Not convenient for anyone but yet I still do it. Anyway....it was eventually finished.

I am very happy with the results. I made quite a few decisions in this kitchen that were a little bolder than usual. To have one out there idea is fine but 4 is nerve racking.

Out There Decision One

At the time I was designing this kitchen, I was catching quite a bit of flack about my Haver Home's kitchen and its lack of upper cabinets, thus prompting me to design yet another kitchen without upper cabinets. Wahhahahaha!!! I'll show you guys. I'll stick a giant pantry in the middle of the kitchen and you can store ALL THE THINGS....AND I'll add an actual pantry closet. Nobody can tell me no upper cabinets. NOBODY. It's sad this is how my mind works but it does.

Out There Decision 2

Something that was a stretch for me, and felt quite naughty, was the backsplash. It felt so fancy to be putting in a full slab backsplash. Mind you I've been renovating houses mostly in the $100,000-$200,000 range for a decade now, so to be pushing the luxurious limits in this kitchen felt wrong but oh so right. This house would list for $600,000 so I wanted to make sure the kitchen fit the price tag. I went for it with the marble. MARBLE EVERYWHERE. And even MARBLE to put things on. So fancy.

Out There Decision 3

Another custom design element was the hood. Custom hoods are one of the easiest things to put into a kitchen without much cost or effort. All you have to do is build a box and install a hood insert. Boom. Done. This concept is not so "out there" for me at this point, but spanning it between the pantry and fridge and forgoing any upper cabinetry here felt like a bold move. I had a bunch of cedar that we tore off of my Haver Home so we wrapped the hood with that. It brought in a nice warm farm-y element. 

Out There Decision 4

The final fun design piece that was planned from the very beginning was the servery bar window. This had to be accounted for in the architectural drafting phase. From the get go this window was going to be implemented, but for some reason was very difficult to come up with a budget friendly solution. In the end my contractor had the cabinet maker build it out. I love how it swings open all inviting like.

So there you go. An out there farm-like kitchen. Let's get one final look at this house's original kitchen (not the same room) and the new kitchen.

Clarendon Kitchen Before & After.JPG

And just for fun I'll show you the original room, or at least part of it before the addition, and the new kitchen in the same area.

Farmhouse Kitchen Before and After
Dining Room Turned Farmhouse Style Kitchen

It's all worth it for those Before and After shots! Details and finishes for this kitchen are listed below.

Get your very own Before & After starting at $250. Click here for more info.

Click through here to see more of this house.


Color Palette:

Cabinets: Dunn Edwards Long Lake

Cabinets: Dunn Edwards Long Lake

Walls: Behr Whisper White

Walls: Behr Whisper White

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy

Counters: Arabescato Carrara

Counters: Arabescato Carrara


Finishes Used:

Click on any photo to learn more. Some of these are affiliate links, yo.