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How We Turned a Backyard Shed into a Dream Bunkhouse

THE HOME DEPOT ORANGE TANK COMPETITION

HAVEN DIY BLOGGER CONFERENCE 2018

Last year I received an email from The Haven Conference announcing that The Home Depot would be hosting an Orange Tank Competition. Imagine a  Shark Tank competition for DIYers. This was the perfect opportunity to pitch my Shed Turned Dream Bunkhouse project.  Our little Upstate NY Finger Lakes cottage needed a place to house more campers! Now, we have our own shed bunkhouse to share the Summer fun! 

The first step was to fill out an extensive application consisting of our pitch idea, Home Depot supplies, and a time frame for the completed project.  Shortly after all the applications were received The Home Depot chose 11 finalist and myself to travel to Charleston, SC to pitch our ideas in person.  I packed up the SUV with all my visuals, practiced my live speech and bit off just about every nail by the time we hit the South Carolina border. The rest was history.  Just  hours after my pitch they announced that the Itsy Bitsy Bunkhouse project was the grand prize $5K winner. Time to breathe… and SHOP!

LET’S DO THIS!

I had already done all my homework customizing the Tuff Shed online so when it came time to shopping at my Penfield, NY Home Depot ordering the shed was a breeze. My dad and I loaded up all the supplies in a van and waited for our custom shed to arrive at the lake. In just  6 weeks a crew delivered the shed pieces and in a few hours it was assembled onsite.

SHEDDING LIGHT

I couldn’t wait to get started. We first ran electricity form the main cottage out to an electrical  box in the shed. We then wired for outdoor lighting, a chandelier, and three outlets.

PROJECT CENTRAL

If you follow along on my instagram feed you will know that this Spring was brutal in NY. Almost every weekend was either freezing, raining, or snowing which made working outside virtually impossible. Here was the one day that we set up shop outside. The main cottage was getting a mini facelift too. We added a small 4′ by 12′ deck off the front. If you’d like to see the inside of the cottage … come on in!

After the electrical was done Dad and I started working on the Eucatile white bead board panel walls. These sheets were exactly what I was looking for and you couldn’t beat the cost at $23. for a 4 by 8 sheet. It took us 11 sheets to complete the 10 by 12 shed walls.

FARMHOUSE STYLE PANELING

Next up was the rustic farmhouse reclaimed wood paneling. The wood planks compliment the flooring and add just the right amount of interest when looking up!  Lattice trim pieces would cover up the seams and flat stock hobby wood and pre-primed trim lumber, and good old caulk tightened up and made the the interior polished.  Pre-painted vents covers covered vents and still allows the heat to escape.

LIGHT BRIGHT WHITE

All the trim and bead board along with the bunks were painted in a semi gloss bright white interior finish paint.  The color was going to come from the accessories and bedding.  Just two coats covered it all. Time to tackle the bunks….

DON’T LET THE BUNKBEDS BITE

We built the bunk boxes in my dad’s workshop and assembled them to 2- 2′ by 4′ pine boards  for support. With the 7 foot walls and peak at 10 foot we were able to raise the height of the top bunk and still have plenty of room.  I never wanted to bottom camper to feel claustrophobic. We wrapped the 2 by 4’s with pre-primed boards in varying sizes.  I filled in the screw and nail holes with wood filler and caulked the seams. I hated having the underside of the top bunk unfinished so we cut a plain white panel and nailed it to the top slats creating a finished look. Simple slatted ladders painted in the gray were attached to the ends of the bunks. Black metal handles were added for an extra place to grab when going up and down.

LIFEPROOF VINYL PLANK FLOORING

When the kids come in from the lake with sandy and wet feet I needed a product that would not lonely withhold the moisture and dirt but would camouflage it. I chose Life Proof vinyl plank flooring in Sterling Oak. In an hour I installed the floor all by myself. I started at the front door and worked back. The only tools I needed was a matte knife. Simple click tiles that finished the whole look. I was in love.

EXTERIOR SHED BUNKHOUSE PAINT

Because our little lake compound is small I planned to paint the exterior barn red to match the main cottage with All in one paint and primer ultra white trim. I enlisted my painter friend Hank and the three of us painted the exterior in under 4 hours. Hank primed, my husband Ross cut in and I took over the rolling. I knew that the double door we going to stay open a majority of the time so I painted horizontal gray stripes to give them a nautical flare. The shed came with shutters but after we took them off to cut in around the windows we all decided that we liked it better without them. What do you think?

LANDSCAPING THE BUNKHOUSE

My dear friend Ginny donated to rocks from her farm. We took advantage of the Memorial Day sales at HomeDepot and planted a variety of flowering annuals and perennials. Ross relocated stepping stones from the side yard to create a path from the bunkhouse to the cottage. Tall arborvitae hide the canoes, paddle boards and kayaks.

THE FINISHING TOUCHES

For the past several months I have been stock piling decor and furniture in our basement at home. It was time to decorate. Matching bedding, nautical decor and navy furniture and accessories make it warm and inviting. I share all my decor resources in another bunkhouse post.

WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS

The Itsy Bitsy Shed turned bunkhouse is now ready for Summer lake life living. For weeks neighbors, family, friends and social media followers have been watching the transformation. All the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it. This project will forever be dear to me since it was a joint effort with my father. He taught me so much about planning, building and the  necessary carpentry skills needed to create this dream bunkhouse. Thanks to Haven Conference for hosting a wonderful event that brings bloggers and DIYers together and The HomeDepot for believing in project!  All the details on decor and furnishings are in my post Nautical Essential for down at the LAKE. 

Now grab your swim suit, oar, kayak and let’s go jump in the Lake. Summer’s here!  xox Amie

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO PIN THIS POST OF OUR NEW SHED BUNKHOUSE!

Fabulous photography by Kristin Leighton @KNYFIVE