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My sister bought a fixer-upper beach house almost two years ago which we’ve slowly but surely been hammering back into shape. In addition to a long list of structural changes, we needed to find a house full of beachy furniture and accessories on the cheap. I hail from a family of bargain hunters/diy-ers so the beach house has been a fun challenge for us.

Before: We started in the main living area which was dark, crowded and just plain sad. Sunny yellow trim did nothing to brighten up the driftwood gray paneling. Unfortunately, you can’t see the pitiful greenish-gold shag carpet which, thanks to leaking windows, had mildewed and actually smelled worse than it looked (hard to believe, I know). Dark, dated and dingy beach house living room before makeover

Mid-Makeover: First we removed the decades-old shag carpet and padding (yuck!) then got to work sanding, priming and painting the paneling a creamy golden tan: Valspar’s aptly named Sand Between Your Toes. For about a year, we slept on air mattresses and sat on folding chairs while we spent long weekends and family vacations replacing or repairing things one room at a time.  Beach house living room after painting and removing carpet

 After: And here’s how it looks today. We waited until all the painting was finished (including the bedrooms and bathrooms) to install the flooring and bring in “real” furniture. For the flooring, we chose SwiftLock Brazilian walnut 12mm click-and-lock which has a rustic, handscraped look. All the furniture and accessories you see are fruits of our bargain-hunting labors: the chairs ($250 each) and ottoman (just $25, a real score!) are from the Broyhill furniture outlet in Hickory, NC. The long black console is our parents’ old stereo cabinet which my sister, Dad and I made-over for just the cost of a quart of paint and the handblown glass lamps were scored on sale at Stein Mart. Open, bright and sunny beach house living room after makeover

Before: Here’s another view of the living room when my brother-in-law first went to check it out. In case you’re wondering what sold them on a house that needed so much work — see that little patch of blue beyond the sliding glass door? Yep, that’s the Atlantic Ocean. The house is a short walk to the beach on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other.
Cramped, crowded beach house living room before makeover

After:  The living room is open to the kitchen and dining room — which is perfect for family entertaining. Keen observers will note my Schnoodle, Sophie, napping on the ottoman: Open, bright and sunny beach house living room after makeover

Quite an improvement, don’t you think? The house is still a work in progress with more indoor and outdoor fixes to come. I’ll share more photos and project ideas as we go.

Adventures in Antiquing: Easy Beachy Candle Update

26 Responses

  1. “They were going a nice pace and I knew I would need a bit of luck in the straight no matter what happened, but I knew I had the pace to go anywhere I wanted. He’s a phenomenal horse.”

  2. Incredibly applicable and interesting items. I concur with yourself on this area.

  3. I think so. I feel your write-up will give those folks a excellent reminding. And they will express thanks to you later

  4. MarcioWilges says:

    Wow! What an amazing transformation! The previous interior did look sad and gloomy indeed whereas the new improved touchup gives off such a pleasant homely ambience perfect with a beach house concept. After house removals have completed their fair share in my house move, I will use your ideas to try and refurbish mine. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Carol says:

    Thanks for repeating yourself! I probably would have caught that had I read a little bit more of the descriptions. I was too busy admiring the pictures. :-)

H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...


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