Today I am going to share My Lake House Hideaway- Part 1 Renovating A Lake House On A Budget. During all this COVID mess, it has been a blessing to be able to escape and go hideaway from all negativity.
My Lake House Hideaway- Renovating A Lake House On A Budget
We took over the lake house in 2006 when my mother in law passed away. It was the typical style of “grandma” house built in the late ’60s/early ’70s. The appliances and bathrooms were all avocado green. Dark brown faux wood paneling and carpet were all over the house. It was basically dark and dated.
From the outside, it looks small, but this house has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, and 2 dens. Perfect for large groups, family, and friends.
Before we renovated, we took a good look at value. This is a weekend retreat and we did not want it so nice that we would worry the whole time that someone would “mess things up”. I wanted a house that people could feel very comfortable in. No high-end materials, everything was for durability, our theme became “faux nice”
Do Not Open Pandora’s Box
We are NOT renovators, nor did we want to start a long and drawn out project. Each room was carefully analyzed, finding a way to give it an updated look without a huge renovation project. We quickly realized that “paint goes a long way”.
Painting the ugly outdated faux paneling gave the rooms an immediate “cottage-style look” and accented the gorgeous rock fireplace. We kept the stained trim moldings because it just enhanced the cottage feel- warm and cozy.
The kitchen makeover that was once overwhelming, became simple. Add panel molding to increase the cottage feel, new “fish theme” drawer pulls, but most of all- remove outdated spindles to open the kitchen up. But the biggest change came in paint! The light bright airy kitchen was created.
Durable And Cost Effective
Like most renovation projects, a budget is an extremely effective tool. It helps when picking out materials. Out of budget, don’t even look at it. But for this lakehouse, durability was also important. It needed to be able to handle large groups, wet kids, and dirty dogs. This is our life!
There is something about hardwoods that give a home a warm cozy look. But hardwood floors and wet kids don’t go together. A cost-effective compromise was laminate. We installed laminate “hardwood” flooring throughout the house. Wet kids and dirty dogs, no problem, just mop it up.
For the bathrooms, I chose tile for the flooring. I shopped around and found so many great choices in tiles that were very budget-friendly. Before tile, the bathrooms were an avocado green laminate.
Bathroom Renovation- A Tricky Project
Here is where the whole renovation project gets tricky. The bathrooms are extremely outdated, but to tear things out would open up “Pandora’s Box”. So again, the budget helped make decisions for us. We kept the cabinets, the old stained look work with our “cottage feel”. For countertops, the budget-friendly tile was the answer.
The tub/shower area was our concern. I did some research and found Rebath. They were able to install an acrylic shell surrounding on top of the existing bath and shower. That way it was an updated look, without tearing out everything. The material is waterproof, resistant to mold, and mildew. So this falls into the durable category. I probably could have got it cheaper, but this company had great reviews. After several years of use, I love how it has held up. You just use Scrubbing Bubbles Foam Cleaner per manufacturer’s instructions.
Another Look At The Kitchen
With the kitchen painted and cabinets updated, it was time to pick out countertops. Granite was out of budget, so I chose a laminate. The company I chose, Wilsonart, have great laminate choices. The one I went, Deepstar Agate, gave me the feel of granite without the cost. Plus, low maintenance and high durability.
For the kitchen backsplash, I used the same tumble marble time from the bathroom. Give the house a cohesive look, plus the tiles were cheap.
I found it was very easy to find good quality appliances and still stay in budget. As matter a fact, I got a very good deal on my refrigerator. It was a floor same that got scratched on the side and was sold as damaged. It fit perfectly and because of my cabinets, you can’t even see that side. Winning!!!
More To Come- But First Some Thoughts
We will call this Phase 1 of our lake house renovation. Getting the house, up-to-date and ready to use, with minimum time. This renovation project took place back in 2006. In the past 14 years of use, I have been extremely pleased with my choices.
Next, we are going “towards the water”. That is where the value is. Oh, and my husband decides to throw the budget out the window. Winning!