The Woodhouse Lodge: Kitchen-Lounge Before

You know that feeling when you just want to read a blog post with pretty pictures? SORRY. Prepare yourself for a lot of not so beautiful before views of The Woodhouse Lodge Kitchen-Lounge. We started this project back in May, but I didn’t want to share the interior before image until I had a good idea about where we were going with it. I’ve had a few months to make mood boards and play around with ideas, and I’m finally ready to show you what I’ve been doing with myself the last few months.

Let’s get started on a tour of the first-floor Kitchen-Lounge of the lodge. As a reminder, the front of the lodge is a massive A-frame structure the second floor is our living space. We are working on making the first floor one large open room with a kitchen a considerable fireplace and hopefully really inviting vibes. This space will be a communal area for our guests and also a place to snack, drink wine, eat breakfast and occasionally have dinner. I’m trying to pack a lot into 800 square feet! 


When we first got the lodge, the previous owner had built an utterly useless lobby that took a massive chunk out of the first-floor footprint. Aside from the waste of space, this is a pretty unwelcoming view.

One of the first things we demoed were the two walls that partitioned off this space from the rest of the first floor.

See, It’s better already! The previous owner also installed cheap laminate flooring that we already got rid of.  

On the opposite side of the lobby, is the kitchen. The kitchen was not original it is an addition made by the previous owner. The row of cabinets in this picture is the kitchen side of the lobby wall we removed.

Having a kitchen in the lounge is a fantastic idea, but I’ve got a few issues with the execution.

Issue #1: crammed in a corner

AIl the cabinets are shoved to one side of the room, and it drives me insane. A “local” informed me that this kitchen came out of the apartment of an “oil mogul,” I’m not sure how accurate that is, but the kitchen did have a previous life on Park Avenue. The cabinets are well made however the installation is baffling.

Issue #2: counter space

In spite of the gigantic island, yes we are keeping it, there is very little usable counter space. I have a plan to reconfigure the existing cabinet boxes that will hopefully make the kitchen more open and user-friendly.

Issue #3: countertops

I think the reason the previous owner kept the configuration in this maddening arrangement is that he didn’t want to invest in new countertops. Luckily, my hatred of the granite countertops FAR outways the cost of new ones. I already ripped them out and gave them away on Facebook Marketplace.  To eradicate the 90’s vibes of the cabinets, I’ll be installing new hardware, and painting them. I think the slab front is kinda cool. I see a lot of that cabinet style lately.

The rest of the updates are pretty simple; we are painting the ceilings, installing new overhead lighting and redoing the floors. This picture is from early in the processes before we removed the “lobby.”  See how dark and cut up the room is? We also ripped off that ridiculous crown molding. It has NO place in a mid-century lodge.

The other half of the space is all about the fireplace. We have to do some minor repairs to get it up and running, but we will be maintaining its original look and feel. Guys, I’m so excited to have a working fireplace, finally! Try and see past all that hideous molding and baseboard radiators. The last renovation of this place was utterly half-ass and soleless!

This is a view looking back at the kitchen from the fireplace wall. Just imagine how open the space is now without the lobby wall. I do have one bit of lousy renovation news; we could not get rid of the large collum in the center of the room. I think I can work around it and maybe even turn it into a feature? I’m still trying to figure it out. Part of me thinks mirroring the whole thing could work, is that an insane idea?

To save money, we are installing a DIY plywood plank floor. I’ll fill you in more about later it deserves its own post. Above are a couple of flooring option tests. I was considering a chipboard floor as well, it can look amazing, but ultimately we opted for the cleaner look.

Heres a look at the action as we reconfigured the cabinets. See, I tould you we are making serious progress! I’ll go into more detail about the plans for the kitchen, but in the interested of keeping this post a reasonable length, I’ll save that for next week. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some mood boards that I’m working on for the seating areas near the fireplace.

I have 90% of the furniture in the lounge worked out. I’m divining the seating around the fireplace into three seating zones.

Leather sink back chair // ceramic geometric garden stools

On the north side, I’m using a sofa and a bench that doubles as extra seating.

Sofa // bench

On the south side, I’m creating a smaller seating arrangement with the two club chairs.

club chairs // side table

I’m super excited about the kitchen, so next week I’ll update you on my plans for it, and hopefully, I’ll be finished painting the cabinets. Wish me luck tackling Woodhouse Lodge Kitchen Lounge & Happy Thanksgiving Friends!





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