Beach Cottage Before & After Photos

When we got to the Mess Hall on Tybee Island last month, we walked in to a cottage full of all kinds of different colors, patterns, styles and textures.
Homeowner, Pam, craved a more cohesive look, but didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money re-doing the place.
And to make matters even more challenging, we only had 9 days to pull the place together with her.

I love a good design challenge though, and fortunately, we were able to spruce things up just in the nick of time, and without spending very much moola either!

In the living room, we replaced the existing green, wicker sofa table/TV stand with a free, wooden sideboard painted “Tradewind” (SW6218) by Sherwin Williams…

(Living Room/Kitchen – Before)

(Living Room/Kitchen – After)

We temporarily hung a painting on the wall above the TV. (We snagged it from “Screened Inn” next door- which, because it’s a part of the same building as the Mess Hall, is also owned by Pam)
Pam commissioned a local artist to paint a piece to use up there permanently, but it wasn’t done by the time we snapped these pics.

We also decked out Pam’s Hoosier cabinet with a bunch of stuff from around the house…

(Hoosier cabinet – Before)

(Hoosier cabinet – After)

We hung theย “Coastal-Inspired Flag” we made for our Summer mantel on the wall above it.

As far as seating goes, we looked at SEVERAL sofas and armchairs while we were there. But in the end, Pam decided to custom order a slipcovered sofa and chair from Four Seasons.

She’s gonna get the sofa covered in this mocha-colored fabric, and the armchair covered in this beige-colored fabric…

She used a pillow she found at HomeGoods (pictured underneath the fabric swatches) as inspiration while choosing her fabrics.
Unfortunately Pam could only find one of those throw pillows though, so I’m going to check out our HomeGoods, and do some searching online, to see if I can round up a couple more for her.

And while the new furniture is on order, we talked her into using this old, wicker chair (from the front porch) in the living room…

I think she thought we were a little nuts at first, but look how great it cleaned up with a little antique white spray paint and the new cushion & throw pillow she picked up at Pier One…

Pretty sweet, eh?

Over in the “dining area” of the room, we painted the black chairs white, added one of Pam’s vintage tablecloths, and topped the table with some clippings from around the yard…

(Dining Area – Before)

(Dining Area – After)

Pam also had an electrician hang the little wall sconce on the wall above the table, but she’s still on the search for the perfect shade for it.

Up at the front of the house, we made a few changes in the Twin room too…

(We donated the chalkboard I made for our Spring mantel for the door between the rooms)

Before, one of the beds had a headboard, and one the beds did not.

(Bed on the right side of the room- no headboard)

(Bed on the left side of the room- headboard)

We told Pam about a couple of seagrass headboards we knew were for sale at another cottage on the island ($75 each), and she drove over and picked ’em up, pronto!

(Bed on the left side of the room)

(Bed on the right side of the room)

We found the bedding at various locations in Savannah.
The blue and white striped sheets and the aqua throws at the end of each bed came from TJ Maxx.
The reversible euro shams, periwinkle accent pillows, and paisley-patterned pillow cases came from Macy’s.
Pam brought the vintage, tan and white quilt with her from her home in North Carolina.

The “nightstand” next to the bed on the left was one of two she had picked up a while back…

They had some great-looking, vintage pulls on them…

I asked our friend, Willie, to sand one of them down, with the intention of re-painting it a lighter color, but when I saw the chevron pattern on the drawer fronts, I changed my mind…

I just had him coat it with some satin-finish polyurethane instead…

I love it next to the seagrass headboard…

We used a little, blue desk Pam brought over to encourage the little ones to draw pictures for the fridge…

…and I donated one of my “Radiate Love” Quoteboxes for the wall above it..

And because she loved the little rubber ducks we used in Screened Inn

(The duckies next door, at Screened Inn)

…Pam brought a few more to use at the Mess Hall…

I loved the “It’s always nice to say Hello to someone as nice as You” message I found inside one of Pam’s tiny, paper-covered books, so I folded it open and used it to add a little color (and cheerfulness!) to the edge of a mirror in the room.

Over on the other end of the Mess Hall, in the master bedroom, we made a few simple changes too…

(Master bedroom – Before)

(Master bedroom – After)

Pam bought a 20″ flat screen TV and a wall-mount bracket from Walmart, so the back door is no longer blocked by the side table/TV combo.

And although the color of the shutters was GORG before, Pam craved a softer, less green, shade of blue- so we coated them with some of the Tradewind-colored paint she got from Sherwin Williams.ย The new color works really well with the patchwork style duvet cover she brought for us to use on the bed.

The lamps came from HomeGoods, and I loved how their pale yellow bases spoke both to the pale yellow found throughout the duvet and the pale yellow, pick-stitch, standard-sized shams we picked up at TJ Maxx.

The white, pick-stitch euro shams came from Bed, Bath & Beyond, and the periwinkle accent pillow came from Macy’s.

The blue and white striped pillow cases came from TJ Maxx. They were actually part of the sheet sets we used in the Twin room.

(Yes- we shopped til we dropped that day, and, no- I don’t plan on doing anymore hardcore shopping for a very long time. That stuff is exhausting!)

We got creative with the artwork in the room by using a couple of old, framed prints that came with the house when Pam bought it.

(Art – Before)

Pam had color copies made of a couple of two, colorful pages from the vintage LIFE magazine collection I blogged about the other day

…and we simply swapped out the prints inside each frame, with the color copies she had made…

(Art – After)

I donated the little “shell shelf” on the wall above the frames.
I bought it at a flea market a couple of years ago, but I had never hung it up anywhere.
And you know what they say- if a shelf doesn’t act like a shelf within two years of purchasing it, it’s got to go!
(Okay, “they” don’t really say that…….But I do!)

We temporarily taped some of Pam’s vintage postcards to the wooden dowel attached to the shelf, and once she’s ready to start shoppin’ again, Pam’s gonna see if she can find some little clips to hang them up there with instead.

The nightstands were previously stained black, so we had Willie sand them down and coat them with some “Country White” paint from Walmart. Pam found some pretty, green knobs at Target to use on the drawer fronts…

And last, but not least, I clipped some little lavender lovelies from the side yard, to use on the top of one of the nightstands because the night we left was going to be Pam’s first overnight stay in the house. I wanted to make sure she woke up to something sweet after all the exhausting work she did!

It was a fast & fun re-do, and it’s definitely got us inspired to work on our own house this week!
We’ve already painted two of our master bedroom walls “Blue Hubbard” since we’ve been back, and we’re looking forward to cladding the other two walls with white-painted wood sometime next week.

I’ll be back soon with updated pics of the room, AND my Fall-themed mantel!

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  1. alison spangler says

    just love it all. everything is perfect. i need you to come to my house and dig around in all my stuff and make my house look cute. when are you guys coming to the northwest? and did i hear kevin’s song in a restaurant last night? i couldn’t figure out where i heard it and then i finally got it, your blog!

  2. says

    So I was just reading through your post and noticed I too have one of those very pillows Pam got from HomeGoods. It looks like the same fabric …and is a small rectangular shape.The pillow captured my attention because of its coloring and how it ties in to my living room. I hope you were able to find more…. if not… let me know..

    PS thanks for your comment love :) you made my day!!


  3. says

    We got to be the first vacationers in the Mess Hall after its makeover and may I say that those aqua throws are to-die-for soft! I want to buy one for everybody on my holiday list. ๐Ÿ˜€ The whole place was charming!

  4. says

    Wow! That is a terrific transformation. It so reminds me of the old vintage beach cottagle we had growing up. How I miss that place. And the bedding finds are great. Love Robin’s Egg blue.

    Cheryl at My Own Snug Fireside