Vicky and Todd love to ski, so snatching up a cute property in the ski-hill-kissed city of Thornbury, Ontario, made perfect sense. It also made sense to rent out the property for half the year in order to offset some of the costs. However, with an outdated and cramped layout, a lack of theme, only three bedrooms, and just one bathroom, they needed a bit of help to spruce up the space. So they called up Scott McGillivray for his vacation rental expertise. See how Scott and designer Debra Salmoni transformed this tired property into a gorgeous, Scandinavian-themed ski chalet that’s full of hygge.
Watch Scott’s Vacation House Rules Season 3 Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada. It is also available on the Global TV App and on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels and Rogers.
Getting Hygge With It
Hygge, which is a Danish term for a state of comfy contentedness, was the word of the episode. Scott and Debra let it drive them when it came to creating this new ski chalet-inspired space, which is all about getting cozy and comfy. That’s particularly true in the new living and dining room space, with soft blue and wood accents bringing calm and natural tones to the overall décor. Add in a cozy fireplace and lots of plush seating, and this is definitely where you’d want to unwind after a day on the slopes.
Opening Up the Space
To create a new open-concept kitchen, Scott saved some money by keeping the original layout. He removed the old wall, which made the space feel closed-off and cramped, and installed new cabinets that fit the overall flow. The painted wood beams above add to that chalet vibe, while the matte black elements and wood finishes give the space a modern but Scandinavian feel.
Improving the Flow
In the dining room area, Scott took out what used to be a window and installed this new door to the patio, injecting the space with even more brightness. A glass table and woven chairs help to keep the room open and airy, while dark accents like the hutch and centerpiece art tie it all back to the overall design.
A Bright New Entrance
In order to deliver a more open-concept layout, Scott also took down the wall to the living room and created a half-wall surrounding the staircase to the basement. The result is an easy flow and a unified two-tone design throughout the main, one that’s complemented by the lighter floors below and uniform plank ceiling above.
Creating an Inexpensive Feature Wall
In one of the four new bedrooms Scott and Debra created this mountain-inspired feature wall while playing with the same colours featured throughout the rest of the design. It’s an inexpensive but creative way to add personality to a room, allowing guests to feel as though they’re truly staying somewhere special.
Soaking in the Experience
In order to expand the pre-existing bathroom and make it feel like a Scandinavian-inspired, spa-like space, Scott borrowed room from one of the bedroom’s closets (because when you’re renting, you really don’t need a closet in your room). As a result he was able to fit an enlarged walk-in shower and this free-standing soaker tub, which is the epitome of luxury after a long day on the hills.
Creating a New Primary Bedroom
Heads in beds is one of Scott’s mottos, and he didn’t disappoint here. In order to create a fourth bedroom the team insulated and completely updated the garage. Here, in what used to be a cold and dank space for cars, now sits a gorgeous new primary retreat — complete with a three-piece ensuite. Now, you’d never know it wasn’t a part of the original home’s flow.
Out back, Scott and Debra upped the luxe potential of this ski chalet by creating a functional heated deck that’s perfect for any après-ski party. Not only is there ample seating and heat lamps to keep the party going well after the last lift shuts down, but there’s a large hot tub renters can enjoy as well.
A Porch With a Purpose
When you’re advertising a rental property with ski lodge potential, you have to consider how the renters will use the space. To avoid wet skis, boots and other belongings from coming into the house and making a mess, Scott and Debra transformed the porch into a ski locker space — complete with a lock that any renter can easily use.
Tons of Income Potential
Before Scott arrived to help Vicky and Todd with this renovation they probably could have snagged the average rental price for the property. However, with a brand new theme, an extra bathroom and a new primary ensuite (not to mention that gorgeous back deck and hot tub), this couple can easily ask for $600 a night. It’s more than enough to help offset this major investment, while still allowing them to enjoy it by themselves for half the year.
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