The kitchen in our family's Upstate NY vacation home hasn't been the most functional space. Let's face it, nobody goes up there to cook gourmet meals, but we do enjoy making big breakfasts up there so Billy and I knew that there had to be an affordable way to make it look nicer.
Here is the before. The major issue in the space was the hot water heater in the corner. The hot water heater needs to remain accessible for shutting down the house in the winter months (to avoid freezing pipes). Also, if (when) the hot water heater dies, there needs to be access to replace it. So the kitchen had looked like this for MANY years. The top of the hot water heater was used for storage. The metal cabinet that came with the house was now rusting and the wallpaper was peeling off the walls and being held up with thumbtacks. This before shot was also the first thing you see when you enter the house...
We have been considering tackling this project for a while, and now that we see how quickly and affordable the makeover is proving to be, we wish we had done it years ago. This is a work in progress. Our plan is to do a little work each time we go there, and then spend lots of time doing some fun stuff. We decided to begin with the wall that faces you when you walk in the door.
We started by removing the wall paper and adding the planked paneling. I love the cottage-y feel the planks give...and how easily we are covering up all that wallpaper glue. We have done more than our share of wallpaper removal in our own home so we were not anxious to remove it at the cabin. We also replaced the metal cabinet with an unfinished one from Lowes that we painted Spruce Green. The cabinet is not fixed to the wall so that it can be removed to get to the water heater. We purchased the countertop at Ikea, cut it to size, and it sits on the cabinet and a wall cleat above the water heater. Nothing is affixed and it is all completely moveable when we need to get to that pesky water heater. I shouldn't call it pesky..more like essential. I love spending time in the woods, but I love coming home to a hot shower too!
We then realized that the small piece of countertop we had left over could fit next to the stove. I love DIYing things on the fly and figuring out solutions as you go. So Billy added another wall cleat and built legs for the countertop piece from 2x4's. We are thrilled with how it is turning out so far. We added 2 shelves made out of stair treads, painted and place on Ikea brackets. Now this is what you see when you walk in the door...
We also added a curtain tier on a tension rod to further conceal the corner.
Next up, we plan to panel the rest of the kitchen, paint it all, and eventually replace the floor. Here is our breakdown of this project so far:
Countertop: Ikea $59
Cabinet: Lowes 30 inch unfinished base $118
Shelves: $10 each (stair treads from Lowes)
Paneling: $22 per sheet Lowes
Paint for cabinet: Rustoleum Spruce Green