With the summer weather upon us and cottage life in full effect, if you are thinking that this is the year to finally give the kitchen at the cottage an upgrade, here are 5 essential strategies to keep in mind:
- BEGIN WITH A GOOD FOUNDATION
Older cottages can sometimes present a bit of a mystery in terms of how they were built. DIY additions and not-so-strict building code of yesteryear might leave your new renovation susceptible to potential damage. In this kitchen, we opened the walls up to find an insufficient amount of insulation (especially since this wall was formerly an exterior wall)! So we fixed the issue by installing Certainteed insulation to ensure the cold stays out and the heat stays in. You can put as many gorgeous interior finishes in a space as your heart desires- but if the space doesn’t have a good foundation you could encounter expensive issues down the road. So before you start to renovate, check for things like proper structural support, correct electrical work, water and mould damage, and proper insulation.
- STRETCH YOUR BUDGET STRATEGICALLY
For many people the cottage is an investment in addition to their primary residence, and therefore renovation funds need to be used with great strategy. In this kitchen, one way we stretched our budget strategically was to keep the original cabinets which were still in great condition. But we wanted to give them a modern upgrade, so we changed out the interior cabinet hinges and drawer slides to quiet close hardware by Grass Canada. Now slamming doors and sticky hinges are a thing of the past and the homeowners got a luxurious update at the fraction of the cost of brand new cabinetry. In addition, we replaced the dated and warped counters with a beautiful grey Belanger laminate counter that was a wallet-friendly investment. The key to using laminate is to use a modern edge profile and keep the colour neutral for the most modern look. Lastly, with the help of some on-trend, well-priced overhead light fixtures and pendants from Bouclair, we were able to infuse some current design elements without breaking the bank.
- BE WHIMSICAL WITH AN ACCENT COLOUR
The cottage is of course a place where you can really play with colour and whimsy- and we did this in small touches throughout this cottage kitchen. Instead of replacing the drawer and cabinet pulls and knobs, we sprayed them out Oxford Blue by Krylon and then colour matched an interior paint and gave the interior of the glass front cabinets a hit of blue. We picked up the blue again in a simple paisley window covering and large area rug. Decorative accessories on the floating shelves and breakfast bar from HomeSense continued our colour story in fun patterned mugs and striped table linens. To keep your colour story cohesive, use your desired colour at least three times in a space whether it be in paint, decorative accessories or textiles.
- INVEST IN RELIABLE APPLIANCES AND FIXTURES
In addition to the homeowners enjoying this space, this cottage kitchen is also used as a rental unit for many families to enjoy. So for the range I was looking for dependability and ease of use and selected an electric front range by Maytag. With a fast pre-heat option and flat cooktop, cooking and clean-up are really efficient for the many families who use this space. In a similar way, I went with the beautiful Delta Trinsic faucet with an integrated pull down spout that provides great function along with a touch sensor allowing you to just tap the faucet anywhere to turn it on. Where possible, appliances and fixtures are where I like to invest my renovation dollars in kitchens as they are the elements that get so heavily used and enjoyed for functional purposes.
- USE A LOT OF WHITE
For me, white is so essential to a cottage space. White reflects natural light so well, it acts as a neutral for other elements and really is a timeless and classic design principle in a kitchen. A great way to add in white is by using a very simple white long subway tile for the backsplash from Creekside Tile. Even if your renovation budget only includes paint this year, consider a coat of fresh white paint on the walls, trim, and ceiling to freshen up the space and allow the natural beauty of the outdoors to bring in all the colour.
About the author: Lisa Canning runs Lisa Canning Interiors specializing in 2-hour interior design consultations.