Basement Kitchenette

Basement Kitchenette

My parents property in SE Idaho mountains has two houses, one that they have been renting out as a traditional month to month lease and the other where they live. About a month ago, based on the success of my Hawaii Treefort as a vacation rental they decided that they would give airbnb a try and rent out their rental house as a vacation home. Now not a lot of people are spend their vacation time in Pocatello, ID but with little competition and travelers coming to town not so much for leisure but a myriad of other reasons my folks have been doing quite well. You can check out their listing here:

The rental house is booked for the next few months but they were still getting requests so they decided that they could convert the basement of the home that they live in now and rarely use to accommodate guests. And thats where I came in, I headed to Pocatello last Monday night and by Thursday morning the three of us designed, built, plumbed and wired a kitchenette in the basement. Now I plan on my parents moving to Boise soon so I designed the space fairly casual in the event of selling it as a single family dwelling the kitchenette can be transformed into a wet bar really easily. When we stage the house I will replace the coffee mugs for barware and wine glasses. Instead of herb sketches on the chalkboard backsplash we can do Movie Night art and such.

The whole thing came in under a $1000 which seems like quite a bit but there were several $100+ items including the sink, faucet, sub pump, refrigerator, and cabinet.

The Before Picture. The family room in the basement is a long rectangle with french doors on one end and a storage room behind the wall pictured and the guest room to the right. 

First we added a 2′ stud wall to define the new wet bar space. 

Next we placed the only pre-made cabinet in the center and used 2x8x10’s for the countertop. This was extremely inexpensive as far as countertops go and gives it a more casual feel too. We used flat metal straps on the underside to link them all together and finished it with stain and a butcher block treatment. 

We hung beadboard up on the backsplash backwards so that the smooth side faced out for a non textured surface to paint our chalkboard onto and because it wasn’t quite big enough we framed it out in 1×4’s. We used a couple of 2×12’s for the shelves.  We built some custom cabinet space for the microwave and refrigerator space.  

We painted the cabinets a flat black and sanded the paint away on the edges. Added a little sink and accessorized with white. 

Ahh the Finishing touches. These wall lamps with the adjustable arms were a little tricky to adapt for my use but I am obsessed with them so I had to make it work. Before adding the lights and the cabinet hardware the silver faucet stuck out and now it blends seamlessly. 

14 Responses to Basement Kitchenette

  1. Mike says:

    What can’t you do!

  2. woody says:

    Looks amazing. Good job

  3. Ynot says:

    I love the counter top, but what is a ‘butcher block treatment’?

  4. JackieRuth says:

    Quite impressive!

  5. Mike says:

    Great job utilizing the small space at such a low cost, I really respect those that can accomplish simple things like this

  6. Dan says:

    Pretty cool. As a former apartment manager of 10 years and someone who hopes to build his own apartment building in the next 2-3 years I can say that… if your prices are reasonable enough and your advertising is good enough… people will drive a little farther to rent from you. A unit can be small and it can lack some amenities but if the price is right it will still rent. It’s like Field of Dreams. Build it and they will come. The biggest mistake I saw owners make was squeezing renters for the maximum that the market would bear. Give people a great deal and they will return and tell others. Or in the case of a full time renter, they will stay a long time.

  7. Mo says:

    Do you do private work or offer workshops on “Building small”?

    • kristiewp says:

      I don’t host any as of yet. I do speak occasionally at tiny house conference & at the tiny house jamboree which is coming up in August in Colorado

  8. Kim says:

    Terrific stuff….how did you plumb the sink?

  9. David matautia miller says:

    Hi Kristie I saw your blog love it, say can I ask a small request if I send u a picture of my kitchen can u suggest how I should finish it , I really like the way u did yours but my has like a marble countertop. Thank you .. For your time.. Much aloha..David

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