Last summer my Mum and I started gathering ideas and a few items to decorate the new bunkie at my parents cottage (remember, I gathered some inspiration from Pinterest here?). Anyway, we got part way through things and then I went and had a baby and the bunkie got put on the back burner – you know, wasn’t a huge priority when caring for a newborn, healing after birth, and all that. When this summer rolled around we were totally keen to get back into the space and finish it off. To start with though, I need to back up to last summer (pre-baby), when we began the project and chose the cottage bunkie exterior finishes.
The bunkie used to be my Dad’s workshop. But because he’s got a big workshop at my parents’ home now, this one at the cottage wasn’t getting used much. And the need for more sleeping space has always been an issue – so project turn-shed-into-bunkie was born.
Here is how the shed looked on the inside to start with – my Dad’s workshop chaos. Just packed full of tools and building supplies.
Since my Dad still needed a small area for tool storage, one of the first things he did (with Dan to help) was to frame out a small space on the back side of the bunkie.
They cut space for a new door, so it’s kind of like a walk-in-closet for tools. Clever.
The main door was moved from where you can see it in this photo below…
…to the real front of the building – mostly to capitalize on the view. When it’s this pretty, you can’t have the front of the building on the wrong side.
My Dad filled in the old door (but left space for a new window), and cut a big opening to install a sliding patio door. It was about as wide as it could be in that space – 5 or 6 feet, I think. Oh, and they actually bought the sliding door over at the Lowe’s in the States (we live pretty close to the border at Ogdensburg). Saved them a couple hundred bucks compared to the same one here in Canada.
Next up was to put new siding on the structure. My parents wanted something long lasting and low maintenance, so they went with KWP – an engineered wood product. They chose a neutral taupe colour (“Pine” by KWP), in the “Provincial” style, with white trim, and 5 inch vertical boards. The product isn’t cheap, but it’s meant to last for a long, long time.
On the front, my Dad also got started on building a small deck and new steps. For the decking, they went with Azek – a composite product that, like the siding, is hard-wearing and low maintenance. After years of pressure-washing and water sealing the big cottage deck, and re-staining the cottage wood siding, they have realized that the lower the maintenance, the better.
The colour they chose for the decking was the “Slate Gray” from the Harvest Collection (found here).
As you can see by fall of last year, it was already starting to look like a completely new building from the outside. Although it’s a bit dark in these photos, the new siding now pops so nicely against all the greenery, unlike the wood used to. Eventually, the long term plan is to put this same siding on the main cottage. That’s waaay down the road though, as the wood siding is still in okay shape and cladding the whole cottage is going to be a high priced project.
As you can see, there were still a few things to be done on the exterior: Build a retaining wall at the back of the bunkie, install railing on the deck, build the steps up to the deck using the same composite decking product, and lay down some sod. My parents have been making mad progress on the bunkie this summer though, so I have more updates to post shortly!
Oh, and wait till you get a glimpse at what we’re doing in the interior. I’m in nautical-meets-scandinavian heaven.
Do you guys have a family cottage that you go to? Love being out by the lake? As a kid, my parents and I went to our cottage just about every weekend from spring until fall. I haven’t been out as much over these last few years, but I’m hoping over the next few years we can get out there more with Maya. Doesn’t get much better than swimming and outdoor adventures (oh, and ice cream!) for the kiddos.