The Rhododendron House Renovation

Rhododendron House Living Room

The Rhododendron House Renovation

What do you do when you want the service of a bed and breakfast and the seclusion of a private cottage in the woods? We set out to provide the answer to that question as we started out (hopefully) final major renovation project this spring.

The carriage house adjacent to the Inn is a much newer structure, built over the top of the original stone carriage house. Theoretically, this should be easy, right? Right?

Ahem. So, with a gap of almost two years between opening our first room and beginning renovations on our last room you might think we had learned something in that time. Sadly, we entered this last renovation project with the same starry eyed optimism that we entered the first. Or maybe it was just delirium from the idea of having to open even one more can of paint.

01 rhododendron reno bedroom before
New laminate flooring already installed – not too bad so far!
02 rhododendronrenoclosetbefore
Missing closet doors, but those are easy, right?
03 rhododendronrenofireplacebefore
Ok, the colors need a little help, but check out that hardwood floor!
04 rhododendronrenokitchenbefore
*Sigh* chipping cabinets and concrete counters. At least they match?
05 rhododendronrenobalconybefore
The balcony – just needs some sweeping. And paint. And concrete resurfacer. And light fixtures. Oh, never mind!
06 rhododendronyardbefore
Hey look, its the pool! Want to go for a swim?

We started with the interior of our private cottage. Most of it was actually in great condition even if there were a slightly alarming number of lights. I think there may be more lights in the 1000sq foot carriage house than in the entirety of the Inn. But I digress. We decided to change the color scheme slightly and repainted the entire interior since most of the walls were a little dinged up. We chose a pale green for the walls of the living room, dining room and kitchen with a chalky blue for the bedroom.

Since parts of the ceiling had to be patched and we really did not want to paint the entire ceiling, we color matched the existing paint and used it to patch the ceiling as well as for the window trim and bathroom walls.

The kitchen offered a few challenges. For one, the countertops were poured concrete that had pitted and chipped in quite a few spots. For another, the cabinets were a dark pressboard that had also begun to chip. We painted the countertops with a liquid stone product and did a rustic paint job on the cabinets with white cabinet paint.

07 rhododendronrenokitchen
Starting on the cabinets!

The Handy Innkeeper also got to work building beautiful new pieces of furniture including a dining table with inlaid star pattern and a gorgeous grid patterned headboard. The Artsy Innkeeper meanwhile worked on new curtains for the many windows as well as some new art pieces and, oh, finishing all those beautiful new pieces of furniture.

Coffee is required to get through all the painting!
09 rhododendronrenodiningtablestain
Dining table and chair, stained a light maple.
10 rhododendronrenodotmandala
One pair of dot mandala to frame the bed. And cover up a really poorly placed electrical panel.

The bathroom needed little work except a quick repair to the jetted tub drain, a fresh layer of grout in the shower since it, too, was inexplicably pink, and a paint job for the dated light fixtures.

Once the interior was well underway, we turned our attention to the exterior. The carriage house still had the white and green paint scheme of the original Inn, so we painted it a matching light gray with dark grey and red accents. There also used to be a pool in front of the carriage house, however, due to both the poor condition of the pool and the presence of the main powerline about, oh, fifteen feet above said pool, we filled it in rather than try to repair it.

There was a little patchy grass growing and the old pool deck still looked like a, well, old pool deck. The Handy Innkeeper built a floating wood deck over part of the pool deck and put a fresh layer of cement over the rest. He also planted more grass and several flower beds to make the outdoor space more usable.

Okay, we’re almost there. Just some random speak wires to remove, some light fixtures to replace, and, oh, please no – more paint. We spent a day moving in furniture including a new queen sized sleeper sofa that the Handy Innkeeper actually let me buy(!) and an amazingly comfortable king sized mattress. A quick shopping spree at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and another one online to outfit the kitchen with all the essentials and we were just about ready.

We proudly present our newest addition – a private cottage that is pet and child friendly. Welcome Inn to the Rhododendron House.

Bedroom in the Rhododendron House Bed and Breakfast Suite
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Chef Victor Johnston, Owner of Red Leaf River Inn in Waynesville North Carolina

Thanks for visiting! I’d love to host you during your stay in North Carolina!

– Victor

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