Single dad Marc spent years in his Muskoka farmhouse, where he raised chickens, made maple syrup, and kept several hives of bees happy. But with his daughter Megan out of the house and him travelling for half the year, he decided it was time to make some money off his property and open it up for renters.
So he called Scott McGillivray and designer Debra Salmoni for a little help. See how this Vacations House Rules dream team turned the lakeview property from a series of hallways and confusing rooms into a flowing home with tons of farmhouse charm and rental potential.
A Farmhouse Kitchen
In any home, but especially in a farm home, the kitchen is the heart. So it was essential that Scott create a cozy and warm space that gave off those farmhouse vibes but also appealed to renters. So he flipped the original dining room and kitchen, and then opened the space up to maximize seating area and flow. The result is a modern but practical farmhouse take with plenty of room for renters.
Farm to Table
In addition to the island seating, Scott and Debra added this dining room setup into the space so large families can gather and enjoy a meal together after a long day vacationing. The large wood table and dramatic black chairs are a total farmhouse mood, especially thanks to the elongated light fixture above and the decorative candles below.
Cozying Up at the Farm
In the living room, Scott completely transformed this space by opening up the walls and covering half the stone fireplace, which used to feature a creepy moth design that would probably have renters running for the hills. Instead, he covered the top half with shiplap and painted the stones on the bottom. Behind the walls he also sealed the unit properly, because as they discovered during renos, that fireplace was one fire away from lighting the whole house up.
A Pretty Entrance
A large mudroom is the epitome of farmhouse vibes, so Scott and Debra ensured they were making the most out of this cozy offering. They divided it up into sections so renters could use it for a variety of activities: Games, lounging, or even catching the sunset. Meanwhile, the painted planks above and the continuous floor below help the space easily transition into the rest of the house.
Keeping Some Original Touches
On the other side of the mudroom, Scott and Debra set up renters for a meal or a hangout (literally) thanks to this hammock. The cool thing about the piece is that it’s attached to hooks from the original house, which adds to the overall history and feel of this rental for those coming in for a true experience.
One of the big inspirations for this design was the beehives, so it seemed only fitting the new main floor powder room feature a bee-utiful wallpaper. It packs a design punch but doesn’t feel like too much thanks to the shiplap below, adding the charm and theme renters crave without being overwhelming.
A Bathroom Retreat
Upstairs, Scott and Debra tackled the washrooms as well, modernizing them for guests with some of those same matte black finishes featured throughout the rest of the design for a continuous but spa-like space. The double vanity is practical for families sharing a washroom, and even the shelving unit above the toilet ties it all back to the beehive theme.
A Colourful Space to Sleep
Scott and Debra kept the new bedrooms fairly simple, as a true farmhouse also would. The sleek bedframe and yellow finishes are completely on-theme with the rest of the house, while the shiplap below and the thought-out design elements (the lamps, the light fixture, the hardware on the dresser) all translate to a modernized take on tradition.
A Primary Ensuite to Remember
Scott and Debra went all-out in terms of the finishes in this primary ensuite, which is perhaps the most dramatic and modern part of the entire design. The black subway tiles in the shower add immediate impact while the hex tiling below fits in with the rest of the home’s bee theme. An updated vanity, a small console table, and a shower stool complete the polished and spa-like vibe that any renter would love.
One Memorable Stay
Outside, Scott and Debra ensured there was a nice space for renters to hang out in with these Muskoka chairs and firepit, which add the needed outdoor element any Ontario rental of this size needs. At the entrance, they also painted the doors a cheery yellow that immediately welcomes guests to this newly designed space. It all adds up to a beautiful lakeview rental that Marc can now charge $600 per night for during the busy season, helping him to finally turn this charming home into the rental unit of his dreams.