Fall 2020 One Room Challenge // Week 2

By Kylee Niederhauser

If you’re new around here, welcome! I’m Kylee and I am an interior designer and property manager specializing in vacation rental properties. I’m putting a bit of a spin on the One Room Challenge this fall by making over not just one room, but my entire house as we convert it from our full-time home into a vacation rental property. Follow along here and on Instagram as we transform one room each week from October 8th through November 12th!

Catch up on previous weeks here:

week 1

The Kitchen – Before

Week 2 of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge is wrapping up and we are officially done with our first room of the house – the kitchen! But before we go into what we worked on this week, I want to take you back to November of 2017 when we first purchased the house. Here are a few shots of the kitchen from the original listing photos.

Can you guess how long it took me to peel all of those stickers off of the fridge?

Demo + Rebuild

We lived here for a little over a year, only making a few improvements, before tearing the interior down to the studs and starting fresh.

February 2019 – Demo begins!

Steven did most all of the demo and reconstruction himself with the exception of the drywall because, have you ever seen drywall professionally installed? Those guys are FAST.

We kept the layout of the home mostly the same (it’s less than 500 square feet so there’s not much wiggle room to begin with!). The few changes we made were:

First – We moved the location of the front door (details on that coming in Week 3)

Second – We widened the bathroom and changed its layout (I’ll go into more detail about the bathroom reno in Week 5)

Third We changed the layout of the kitchen a bit by moving the sink to the peninsula. We also moved the back door about 18″ to the left. We did this so that we could utilize the entire length of the back wall and push the fridge all the way to the left (see photo above).

Cabinets + Countertops

I had originally planned to use the same cabinets and countertops as the upstairs unit we renovated (it’s a duplex property), but the countertops had been discontinued. Instead we went with a grey, leather-look quartz. For the cabinetry we chose a white, shaker-style and matte-black hardware.

March 2019 – cabinetry and countertops installed

The After – Kinda

Fast forward to today, and we’ve been using and loving our new kitchen for about a year and a half. But there were still a few items on our to-do list before it would be guest-ready.

Kitchen To Do List:

✔ Clear all of our personal items out of the cabinets (and the whole house, for that matter). I’ve been working on this slowly over the past few weeks.

✔ Restock the kitchen with all the essentials for a vacation rental home

✔ Paint the side door the same color as the front door

So, What Are The Essentials?

What you choose to stock your vacation rental kitchen with really depends on the amount of storage space you have and what your max occupancy is going to be. Here’s what we stocked at Rockaway, where we will host a maximum of four guests at a time:

  • Dinnerware: 2x max occupancy, because no one wants to have to run the dishwasher after every meal
    • Large plates
    • Small plates
    • Large bowls
    • Small bowls
    • Silverware
  • Drinkware: I don’t really have a hard rule when it comes to counts for drinkware. Ideally 2x occupancy of glasses, 1x of plastic tumblers (always buy dishwasher safe!), 1x wine glasses and 2x coffee mugs. If things come in a set and may be discontinued, I like to over-buy so that when (notice I said when, not if) things break we have a spare replacement to put out and keeps the sets matching. If it’s something that I know a store keeps in stock and I can buy singles as-needed, I’ll just buy what we need. For Rockaway I bought:
  • Kitchen Tools:
    • BBQ utensils
    • Can opener
    • Cooking utensils
    • Cutting boards
    • Grater
    • Knife block
    • Mixing bowls
    • Peeler
  • Cookware/Bakeware:
    • Pots + pans
    • Baking sheets
    • Glass baking dishes
    • Oven mitts
  • Serveware:
    • Salad bowl + servers
    • Outdoor dinnerware
  • Kitchen Electrics:
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Kitchen towels
    • Tupperware
    • Dish drying mat
    • Dish soap dispenser
    • Hand soap dispenser
    • K-cup carousel
    • Glass canisters for creamer/sugar
    • Hand broom
    • Trash can
    • Recycling bin
    • Olive oil, cooking spray, vinegar and spices

The list above is comprehensive, but also simple, which I think is important. If you have too much “stuff”, too many “gadgets”, then the kitchen is going to start looking cluttered and messy. There’s a sweet spot for amenities and it’s different for every kitchen (again, depending on max occupancy and storage space).

Everything we purchased for Rockaway has been put away neatly and organized, but the key to keeping things organized is labeling the cabinets and drawers. Then there is no confusion finding things or knowing where to put them back after using. It’s always interesting to see client’s reactions when I tell them I’m going to reorganize and label their kitchen cabinets. Either they politely chuckle (and probably talk about how nuts I am later) or their eyes light up as my label maker starts printing out MIXING BOWLS. To each their own.

We just bought a Cricut Maker a few weeks ago, so my label game is about to climb to a whole new level. Cue more talk about how nuts I am. 😉 I’ll show you the new labels once they’re installed.

Painting the Door + Finishing Touches

Our last to-do was painting the door, which we finished this morning. We used the same color as the front door – Elephant Skin by Behr – which is a warm grey.

That’s it for this week! It’s nice to be one step closer to bringing this property to market.

Coming Up in Week 3

During Week 3 we will be working on the living room. This will mostly be furniture and decor, but I’m also going to be designing and finishing an unfinished wood surfboard to hang on the wall. So excited for this! I’ll keep the design a surprise for now, but remember that Cricut I mentioned before? I’ll be putting that to use! 😉

Follow along on Instagram for some behind-the-scenes details, and don’t forget to check out the other ORC featured designers and guest participants. There are some incredible transformations happening this fall!