My Lake House Hideaway- Renovating A Lake House On A Budget.

Hello, Darlings!

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

My Lake House Hideaway-Part 1 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.

Dark faux paneling make the house dark and depressing
Dark faux paneling make the house dark and depressing
Odd shaped rooms that are small and dark but have great views of the water
Odd shaped rooms that are small and dark but have great views of the water
Paneling and old carpet date the home.  Odd stone planter with fake plants
Paneling and old carpet date the home. Odd stone planter with fake plants
Before - Outdate Kitchen
Lots of cabinet space but dark stained cabinets and avocado color appliances make this kitchen dated.
Lots of cabinet space but dark stained cabinets and avocado color appliances make this kitchen 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.

Waterside of the house shows a small screen porch (very low ceiling) in disrepair. But the house is only 50 steps to the water and an incredible view. So many possibilities.
Waterside of the house shows a small screen porch (very low ceiling) in disrepair. But the house is only 50 steps to the water and an incredible view. So many possibilities.

Faux Nice

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Painting the ugly outdated faux paneling gave the rooms an immediate “cottage-style look” and accented the gorgeous rock fireplace.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.

Before- Outdated cabinets and hardware.  Remove spindle details and add panel trim to give kitchen an updated cottage feel.
Before- Outdated cabinets and hardware. Remove spindle details and add panel trim to give the kitchen an updated cottage feel.
Using both beadboard paneling and trim molding, the outdated kitchen is transformed into an updated cottage kitchen without replacing cabinets.
Using both beadboard paneling and trim molding, the outdated kitchen is transformed into an updated cottage kitchen without replacing cabinets.
Finished cabinets painted Benjamin Moore's Lenox Tan.  Door knobs were purchased at Home Depot.
Finished cabinets painted Benjamin Moore’s, Lenox Tan. Door knobs were purchased at Home Depot.
Fish drawer pulls (found online) give the kitchen a fun, whimsy feeling.
Fish drawer pulls (found online) give the kitchen a fun, whimsy feeling.

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!

Flooring

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.

Laminate flooring was budget-friendly and low maintenance
Laminate flooring was budget-friendly and low maintenance

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.

We decided not to tear out the cabinets and the sinks were in great condition.
We decided not to tear out the cabinets and the sinks were in great condition.
Finish product - tile countertops and flooring.  Kept the original sink and fixtures along with cabinets.
Finish product – tile countertops and flooring. Kept the original sink and fixtures along with cabinets.

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.

Bathroom was painted Benjamin Moore- Lenox Tan. Tumble marble tiles were added to countertop. Stone element adds warmth and texture to the room.

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.

Stone look, the acrylic tub/shower covers give ease of maintenance, without total demolition of the bathrooms

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.

Appliances

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!!!

It was easy to find good quality appliance to give space and updated look and still stay in budget.
Finding appliances to fit my space was not an issue.

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!

About Nifty 50 Fabulous

Embracing and loving the life of an empty nester, I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger currently living in Birmingham, Al. I enjoy spending my time with friends and family including my sweet miniature schnauzers Gracie and Emma.

9 thoughts on “My Lake House Hideaway- Renovating A Lake House On A Budget.

  1. Hope you are feeling better! When I saw the first outdoor pic my thoughts were how ‘calming and peaceful.’ I loved this post and will look forward to more lake house updates. Have a great day.

    1. Thank you, Peggy! This week has been a very good week. I have slept like a baby. I am currently doing the Keto Diet which seems to help with my stomach issues and is giving me tons of energy. Taking it “one day at at time”
      Regan

  2. Regan, I love these renovations! The fact that they are 14 years old and look brand new is a testament to the fact you made the right choices. I move around in my real life often (new house every few years) so I have always been good with budget renos – yours are right on. Can’t wait to see the next phase!

    1. Thanks, Lori! I love how the house feels cozy and comfortable. We LOVE to have Thanksgiving up at the lake. The Internet can be spotty and there is no were to run off to, so family spends quality time together. Because it has 2 kitchen and multiple dining areas, it is perfect for large gatherings. No-fuss, no worry, everything just wipes off. The next part of the series is scheduled to post on Tuesday.
      Regan

    1. Thanks, Lena! Everything is better at the lake. I swear, my coffee tastes better (same brand, same creamer. Just got finished doing my “finishing touches” on part 2 of the lake house renovation blog series. It is scheduled to post on Tuesday. HINT- my hubby blows the budget (no me… I was good)

  3. Regan, We’re renovating our getaway condo on the Wisconsin River in the Dells and I loved reading your creative, beautiful renovation ideas! This was great inspiration. You’ve done such a beautiful job! Hope you & your family enjoy your lake house for generations to come.

    1. Thank You Regina! I have heard about how beautiful the Dells are up in Wisconsin. My next part of the series is going to post on Tuesday. As the years have gone by, we are still “tweaking” our lake house. Started out with kids in grammar school, now those kids are married. Our next step is to plan and making plans for grands.
      I am glad I can inspire you.
      Regan

Leave a Reply