Sunday, January 2, 2011

Condo renovation

Apologies that it's be so slow on this's really been due to the fact that most of our main home has been completed (and shared!) already.  But as I have alluded to over the past few months, Mr. Big and I recently undertook a renovation of a vacation condo.  No, we can't seem to just sit still...

As a bit of background, the vacation condo was originally designed and decorated by the resort in which it resides.  It was really never a style that matched either of our preferences, but it worked and was comfortable enough.  But most importantly, it was required to allow us to rent the unit to resort visitors (to ensure consistency with all other units).  Recently we decided to take the unit out of the rental pool to keep just for ourselves, which allowed us the opportunity to renovate it if we wanted (imagine how quickly these wheels started spinning...).

While not everything is entirely completed, it's probably far enough along to share at this point.  You may have to imagine a few chairs, pictures on the walls, etc., but hopefully you'll get the gist of it.  Because it's a vacation get-away, we attempted to go for a cozy cottage, vintage, comfortable feel layered with a bit of a sports/recreation theme.

So let's start with the kitchen.  It started out looking like this:

For a rental unit, it worked satisfactorily.  Behind the upper cabinets in the last picture was a wall.  On the opposite side, there was an owners closet and hallway.  While it worked okay, it didn't seem to be the best use of space.  The most significant modification that we made in the renovation was to remove that wall and owners closet to open up the kitchen.  Ta da!

I hunted high and low for appliances on Craigslist and ebay to keep costs manageable.  It is just amazing the deals that you can find...although it does take time to find them.  I used the Ikea kitchen planning tool to determine the cabinetry layout, but at the last minute, Mr. Big went with a local cabinet supplier.  He did a good job and everything seems to fit well.  

And in a fairly substantial style change from our main house, we did a lot of open storage.  Over time, we'll fill up with some more colorful finds from my new-found antiquing hobby.  I'm shocked to find myself enjoying all the "stuff" out, but it really does contribute to the more cozy feel of the condo.  It reminds me of my grandmother's open shelves that always had fun colorful treasures within.

You can also see in the "before" photos that the dining table was previously in the living area, which resulted in a bit of a cramped space.  We went for a big picnic-type table in the kitchen, which leaves substantially more space in the living area.  The Emeco Navy chairs came from a local restaurant that was closing down.  They are so light and versatile that they move effortlessly throughout the unit.  What a great find!  And an extra large vintage salmon poacher serves as our "junk drawer" holding all our scissors, tape, and just general necessities.

It's difficult to see in the larger photos, but we went with a painted brick paver backsplash in the kitchen.  I was inspired with the beautiful job that Kim at The Twice Remembered Cottage did with her kitchen.  It adds to the vintage, imperfect feel that we were seeking for the unit.  And one of my favorite antiquing finds was this traffic sign from Napa, reminding us to slow-the-heck down.

This last image shows how we removed the walls between the kitchen and living room to open the space up.  We're really pleased with how much larger the unit feels/looks.  The style certainly is not for everyone, but it's working so far for us.

I'd love to hear any further suggestions or comments that my talented family and friends have.  Let us know what you think.  More photos to come, but this is the start!

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