Beach Bedroom Makeover: From Small Study to Summery Guest Retreat

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Completely changing a room’s look and function may not give you that kick-ass rush that I get. It might even be a bit peeving to you that some people get so much of an actual high rehabbing a room that they proselytize to all the nations.

 

The "before" photo of the small study we made over into our summery beach guest roomBEFORE:  The best room in the house was a peaceful, neutral study

 

An "after" photo of our summery beach house guest roomAFTER:  Not neutral anymore, but a bright summery guest room retreat!

 

Certainly there are risks in tackling what may feel like a mammoth decorating challenge. But it’s your house, your room. If you hate the new paint color, change it. If that dresser you found by the side of the road doesn’t fit around the corner of the narrow hallway, have your resourceful husband saw it up for another project, another day.   If Cousin Olive raises a gray eyebrow at your theme-y decor, well then, there is always that Red Roof Inn on the highway forty miles away that overlooks the landfill. (She never liked the beach, anyway, why would she force herself into your beach house, your cheerful guest room and your sunny life??)

 

When we bought our little beach house the former owners used the best bedroom as a darkish, quiet study. I get these kinds of rooms; a peaceful oasis from sandy, sunburned kids arguing over board games and grownups pouring their fifth margarita. But the best bedroom should be revered and treated as such, dressed up thoughtfully and spun around for all to exclaim over. And given (temporarily!) like a gift, to cherished visitors.

 

beach-mirror-pics-collage

Mirror frame made with driftwood, a good place to stick old photos etc.

 

Through thrift and gift, driftwood found on the beach, family treasures kept for eons, a little hard work and yes, stuff found by the side of the road, we pulled together our Summery Retreat Guest Room. (Yep, the dresser I found by the side of the road was too big and CH sawed it into pieced to use for something else later!)

 

For our beach bedroom makeover a retro swimmer Welcome to the Beach sign went perfectly with our theme

 

We call it “the pool bedroom” – it overlooks the pool – and so the decor naturally followed. I used to swear I wouldn’t do “theme-y,” no shellacked marlins mounted on the wall, no paintings of shells like in 1970’s grandma condos. But just as we started calling it the pool bedroom I found the pillowcases at Garnet Hill of the vintage swimsuits (no longer available) and we were given the “Welcome to the Beach” swimmer sign by my daughter’s best friend.

 

Handmade Esther Williams decorative pillow; the focal point of our beach bedroom makeover“Esther Williams” – the look on her face says it all

 

A longtime talented friend created the beautiful throw pillow above – one of my very favorite things in the room. Everything just came together:  old family photos of us when we were kids at the beach in Ocean City, Maryland; photos of Mom in her swimsuit when she was young ( oh my gosh so beautiful, not to brag); and even her mom, my grandmother Muddy, who was blind, climbing up onto a lifeguard stand. You go, Muddy! She faced and conquered so much, raising two children she never was able to see.

 

A photo of my grandmother, who was blind, climbing up onto a lifeguard standNo one could tell Muddy she couldn’t accomplish something!

 

A favorite black and white photo of my beautiful mother in a swimsuit when she was youngMom, on the right.

 

swimmer-figurineA gift from another great friend – I love the serene look on her face

 

The "before" photo of the nightstand made from an old suitcase and luggage rack for our beach bedroom makeoverNightstand BEFORE. Not sure who took this bad photo! But you get the idea.

 

suitcase-nightstand Nightstand AFTER

 

We used a paint peely, authentic buoy as a doorstop for the beach guest roomCrusty old buoy turned doorstop

 

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Telescope photos from ancient times

 

pool-bedroom-after-with-ceilingAnother view so you can see the blue ceiling, and the boobie-looking light fixture that was already there – and it was cream with a brown tip! Yikes!

 

A view of the private deck and lush foliage, looking out from the beach house guest room

 

This little bedroom has its own private deck overlooking lush foliage and a curvy, beckoning swimming pool. The deck is perfect for sipping coffee in the morning, listening to the calls of wild parrots, and thanking God or goddess for the steady Florida sunshine, the chance to do whatever the hell you want for another beach day. In the evening with the string lights glowing, the deck is the place to sit and chat about your plan for tomorrow, a tub filled with ice and beverages at your feet.

 

Either the deck or just back in bed!

 

Our summery beach bedroom makeover, complete with a glass of wineAt the end of the day this is where our guests can be found…

 

 

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