Before & After: Small Kitchen Renovation in our Tiny Cabin

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We finally did it! We renovated our small kitchen in our tiny cabin and we are so happy with the results. It was a lot of work but well worth it in the end. If you’re interested in small kitchen remodeling, I hope you feel inspired by this makeover. Keep reading to see the before and after pictures and get all the details on our renovation!

This Spring, I introduced our latest project to you: the Tiny Lake House renovation! We’ve finished painting the exterior of the cabin and completely remodeling the front porch, and then we completed the small bedroom makeover. Most recently, we made over the tiny entry in the cabin. This week, we’ve finished renovating my favourite room: the kitchen!

Here’s how this little kitchen looked BEFORE:

When we first saw the small kitchen, it was cramped, outdated, and in need of major renovation. We also needed to move its location in order to add a bathroom and mechanical room to the cabin. With some elbow grease and a clever layout design we knew we could make this small space something truly special.

We moved the kitchen to where the bunk room used to be, and created a design featuring a peninsula and all the appliances along the back wall. (See the original cabin layout right here.) At only 9 feet by 7 feet (64 square feet), we had to be creative with this little kitchen layout to incorporate everything we (and our guests!) need.

Here’s the kitchen DURING the renovation process:

How we gutted the kitchen and started from scratch

After all the demolition of the cabin was finished, we were suddenly ‘starting from scratch’. My husband, Sean, reframed the kitchen in its new spot. The walls had to be insulated, drywalled, primed and painted. We installed a shiplap ceiling, luxury vinyl plank flooring, and IKEA cabinets. Sean created a custom bulkhead for over the range hood, and we tiled the entire back wall of the kitchen. A contrasting grout was used to make the tiled wall pop. We created a peninsula out of more IKEA cabinets, and added vintage inspired lighting and small-scale mint coloured appliances. Floating shelves for more storage, some simple trim work, and a black runner complete the look.

Here’s how this small kitchen looks NOW:

The after pictures of our bright, airy, and vintage-inspired kitchen

Our small, 64 square foot kitchen renovation turned out even better than we could have imagined. The after pictures of our bright, airy, and vintage-inspired kitchen make us smile every time we look at them. We’re so pleased with how our small kitchen has been transformed – it’s truly become one of our favorite spots in the Tiny Lake House! It’s a whole new kitchen that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Small scale vintage look appliances

The muse for this entire kitchen were these gorgeous Classic Retro vintage-inspired appliances from Unique Appliances. When I found them in the Summer Mint Green colour, I knew they would be perfect for this space! I reached out to Unique Appliances, and they agreed to sponsor our kitchen makeover by gifting us the gas range, range hood and fridge. Not only are these appliances gorgeous, but they’re smaller in scale so they’re perfect for a tiny kitchen like this! They’re also very budget friendly compared to any other vintage-look appliances I’ve found. To me, they look very high-end for their price!

We also found this tiny 18″ wide dishwasher to fit by the sink. In our experience, it’s essential for our guests and our cleaners to have a dishwasher in the kitchen.

Multi-purpose budget friendly sink

I found this sink on Amazon, and I love how it comes with a cutting board, strainer, and draining rack that fit right into the sink! For a small space with limited counters, this is ideal. The cutting board can be used as a bit of extra counterspace for prep work, and we don’t have to store a strainer or drying rack in the valuable cupboard space. I wanted to add some copper tones to the kitchen, so this copper coloured faucet was the perfect addition!

There’s enough counter space on either side of this sink for a toaster and kettle with room to work. These lovely walnut colored countertops are these ones from IKEA.

IKEA cabinetry for a small kitchen

Considering IKEA kitchen cabinets have been hard to source lately, I was lucky to find a new line of IKEA drawer/door fronts called the ENKOPING. They’re a classic shaker style with a white wood grain finish. I like how IKEA has a lot of clever storage solutions for their cabinet interiors, so I knew these cabinets would be perfect for our tiny cabin kitchen. You can learn more about the cabinet installation here.

Since there’s no pantry in this kitchen, we can use one of the sets of drawers in the peninsula for food storage. The other can be for coffee station supplies, cutlery and cookware (pots, pans, cookie sheets etc.) to reduce counter space clutter.

DIY shiplap peninsula with floating shelves

To create the 5 foot long peninsula in the kitchen, Sean braced a couple of IKEA cabinets together with some 1x6s. Then, he clad the front and side of the peninsula with leftover shiplap we had from the ceiling installation. I installed floating shelves on the wall over the peninsula to store bowls, mugs and cups. Beneath the shelving was the perfect spot for a small microwave and a Nespresso machine.

Watch my YouTube video to see the whole kitchen makeover from start to finish:

Tiny Lake House Kitchen Source List:

How much did this kitchen renovation cost?

Kitchen remodel costs vary greatly. You can pay anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands for a kitchen renovation – even a small one! This remodeling project cost us about $4000 Canadian dollars, and that doesn’t include the appliances and our labour. If you hired a contractor or professionals to remodel, you can count on their labor cost being at least the cost of the materials needed for your renovation. We also reused the old crown moulding, window casing and baseboard from our first lake house rental to save some money.

What we learned from renovating this small kitchen ourselves

Sean and I have renovated several kitchens over the years – for ourselves and for friends and family members. This kitchen in our Tiny Lake House has been one of the most challenging yet! Even though it’s small, we had to take more time to figure out exactly how we were going to fit everything in this space. Plus, it’s a challenge to work together with piles of tools everywhere in such a tiny room! Like always, we were reminded how important it is to measure everything 3 times before doing anything.

Things I love about the kitchen:

  • it looks so much bigger than it actually is with all the white tile, trim and paint
  • I love that we left a little extra space than what’s standard between the counters and peninsula – it feels great
  • the sink with all it’s extras looks and functions well
  • the mint green coloured appliances are beautiful and the perfect style for the space
  • the open shelving looks cuter than I thought it would!

Things I don’t love about the kitchen:

  • the back counter is slightly higher than the peninsula counter because the floor slopes down from the walls
  • I wish we could have found a slightly deeper peninsula counter top so we wouldn’t have had to trim out the front (however, IKEA is limited with its counter depths!)
  • I wish the fridge opened the other way, but we had to put it here because of how the stove gas lines are installed

Overall, I’m thrilled with how this small kitchen design turned out and I’m SO glad it’s finally done. I can’t wait to finish up the rest of the rooms in this little cabin and start renting it out to guests… and enjoy it ourselves!

What do you think of this small kitchen renovation? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for more room makeovers in our Tiny lake House!

More Tiny Lake House:

More Tiny Lake House posts —>


  1. WOW! The Kitchen is drastically and beautifully transformed to its best version! The colour of the oven and fridge is eye-catchy as well as unique and attractive! Keep sharing and inspiring!

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