Beach-loving homeowners take on two seaside home renovations, adding their personal coastal style to a new home and a short-term rental.
Living on or near the beach is not a requirement to consider yourself a “beach person.” Some people are just born with a natural love of the ocean and the laid-back atmosphere of coastal living.
When homeowner and Instagrammer Ann Osborn lived in Texas, where the beach was 10 hours away, she had to get creative to fulfill her need for seaside style.
Coastal Touches. Grace Cottage’s exterior was in good shape when Ann and Keith bought the home, but they made a few tweaks to personalize it to their style. “We painted the siding a lighter gray than what was there initially and painted the door a more coastal color,” Ann explains. “We also added the coastal-style shutters and window box.”
“I used my daughter’s bedroom as my ‘beach room’ when she went off to college,” she says. “I painted it coastal colors and filled it with my thrifted beach finds. The rest of the house was traditional Texas style. I prayed that God would give us a beach house.”
Sea Stars and Stripes. The brick fireplace was also part of the home when Ann and Keith purchased it, but they replaced the wood mantel and hung an ocean-themed American flag art piece above it. “The same man who built the vent hood built the mantel piece for us,” Ann says. “He used aged wood with lots of character.” The living room also has a window seat that displays a variety of fun pillows.
Ann’s prayers were answered on a trip she and her husband, Keith, took to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
Repurpose, Repaint, Recycle. Giving old and useless items new life with colorful paint is one of Ann’s favorite ways to bring character to her home. The vintage side table used to belong to her mother, and she painted it green to fit in with her décor. She also repurposed an old doorframe into an art piece. “The turquoise grid used to be on our back door,” she says. “I spray-painted it and used it as a background for two art pieces by my daughter, Karley.” The white couch and jute rug help balance the more vibrant colors in the living room.
“We fell in love with the area and bought Grace Cottage for a good price,” Ann says.
Six years later, they came across—and purchased—another property that they felt could be used as a short-term rental. Both homes received renovations and now portray Ann’s take on eclectic coastal style.
When Ann and Keith first moved into Grace Cottage, it was a second home, because they still lived in Texas. They didn’t move to Hilton Head Island full-time until their daughter moved there, and they’ve been working on upgrades ever since.
“Grace Cottage was one of the original beach cottages built there,” she says. “It was one of those places where people only stayed for a couple of nights, so it doesn’t even have a garage. I just love the history there.”
Sun Shade. The casual hangout space in the backyard is perfect for lounging after a long day in the sun. Ann chose blue accents to brighten the space and made a sign that points to their beach path.
However, with older homes come outdated features: “We ripped out nasty carpet, put down new flooring, redid the kitchen and completely renovated the primary bedroom and bathroom,” says Ann.
Pattern Mixing. The guest room shows off Ann’s love of vibrant color, which is mixed in with traditional blue-and-white coastal colors. “I had started collecting décor for my Texas beach room, so I already had a lot to work with when we moved in,” she says. The fish art is by local artist Mary Ann Ford.
Calm and Collected. While the rest of the home showcases Ann’s love of bright colors and casual comfort, she wanted the primary bedroom and en suite to have more of a calming, traditional coastal vibe. “We took a breath in this room,” she says. “I wanted to keep it calm in here.” Despite the traditional color scheme, Ann managed to throw in some whimsy with the patterned wallpaper … in keeping with her eclectic vibe.
Teal Tones. What better way is there to make a statement than to hang a bike on the wall? Ann thrifted it and decided it would make a great addition to her dining room, along with a bright-teal table. “The table was from a restaurant, and we asked if we could buy it,” she says. “It never hurts to ask!”
The upgrades resulted in a fun, laid-back beach vibe and traditional coastal colors mixed with vibrant hues.
Small Changes, Big Impact. Although the kitchen didn’t need any major work, Ann wanted it to reflect her colorful coastal style. As a result, she added a blue tile backsplash, had their trim guy custom-make a wooden range hood and added glass fronts to a couple of the cabinet doors to showcase colorful dishes. “The kitchen didn’t blend with the rest of the house until we added the pop of aqua tile,” Ann notes.
Storage Solutions. This little area is more than just a cute, organized hallway space. Ann uses the storage piece to house her family’s beach supplies. “It’s where we keep our sunglasses, earbuds, towels, keys and things such as that,” she says. The beach art on the wall is by local artist Judy Saylor McElynn.
“I kind of veered from traditional coastal with all the color and pattern in both houses,” she says. “Maybe one day, I’ll go with blue and white completely, but for now, I’m having too much fun with the other ‘crayons in the box!’”
Bathe in the Ocean. The spa-like primary bathroom has plenty of natural light, a private tub and a sizable shower. “The tile for the shower was the fastest decision I ever made,” says Ann. “I fell in love right away.” When they purchased the home, this space was “living” in the 1970s and looked dated. The couple was able to give it a fresh look with a relaxing, ocean-like atmosphere.
Shelf Storage. Ann and Keith replaced a wall of mirrors with open shelving to store bath products. “It really helped open up the space,” Ann points out. The skylights are original to the home and bathe the room with natural light.
Welcome Home. An aqua door with a shell wreath greets you when you walk through the front door of the Carolina Breeze Bungalow. Ann used a thrifted chair to decorate the entryway and reused an old item to add some personality to the space. “The previous owner left the mirror here, so I painted it white and hung up some beach décor,” she says.
Carolina Breeze Bungalow
Six years after living in their little cottage, they happened upon another charming property.
“We weren’t looking for it,” says Ann. “We were riding our bikes one day, saw a for sale sign and looked around. We fell in love with its charm and thought we could use it for our ministry and as a rental. But it needed a lot of work.”
Fun in the Shade. “This is a great hangout space for guests,” says Ann. “There’s a hot tub and a ceiling fan, and the covered patio provides shade.” She thrifted all the furniture in this space, which features an eclectic mix of textures and colors.
Which Way to the Beach? The vibrant colors continue outside with Ann’s handmade wooden signs on a post. “They’re names of actual towns and places to visit in South Carolina,” Ann notes.
They named it the Carolina Breeze Bungalow and set to work. Some of the home was dark and dreary, so they added white flooring, some shiplap and wallpaper to brighten it up.
Relaxed Living. Because of the living room’s soothing, blue-and-white color palette, its beachy vibe invites guests to relax. “We found the two sofas on Facebook Marketplace and had slipcovers made for them,” says Ann. “The blue-striped pillows are tea towels we made into covers.” Wicker ball lights hanging from the curtain rod create a peaceful atmosphere at night.
It’s All in the Details. Due to the smaller size of the guest bathroom, Ann decided to add vertical shiplap paneling for texture and extra storage. “We added the pegs so guests can hang their swimsuits, makeup bags and towels,” she says. Details such as the wooden beach house, sea stars, beach art and stone pebble flooring bring the feeling of the beach to this limited space.
Old Made New. Mismatched chairs and a bamboo pendant light give the dining area an eclectic touch. “The table and bamboo chairs are thrift store finds,” Ann says. “I had our painter spray-paint the table white, and I covered the chairs with new fabric.”
“I tried to match the light-aqua color the previous owner had in place with the walls,” Ann points out.
Dark to Light. A mixture of natural textures and colorful fabrics brings balance to the second guest bedroom. “This space was really heavy, with dark, floor-to-ceiling bookcases,” Ann points out. “We tore those down and put up shiplap to brighten it.” The thrifted decorative stools provide extra seating and can act as luggage racks for guests.
They had to redo the kitchen, replace the tub in the primary bedroom with a walk-in shower and install barn doors. It now has a similar vacation vibe to Grace Cottage, with a welcoming atmosphere and pops of color.
Beach Blues. Ann and Keith used leftover blue tiles from the primary bathroom in Grace Cottage to use as a backsplash for the Carolina Breeze Bungalow kitchen. Glass doors on select cabinets allowed Ann to showcase her colorful, display-worthy dishes, and she hung mugs that spell out “Beach” for a themed accent.
Palms Aplenty. “The Lillian August wallpaper kicked off the design of the primary bedroom,” Ann says. The fun vibes of the palm pattern continue with the faux plant in the corner and the blue zebra-patterned rug on the floor. The gray tile was already part of the home when they moved in, so they made sure the new color scheme would complement it.
Color Me “Palm Tree.” Colorful palm tree artwork breaks up the soft, aqua-colored hallway leading to the guest bath. “I found an art piece I liked that was unfortunately too expensive, so I had my friend, Patty Friesen, recreate it for me,” says Ann.
This is Ann and Keith’s first time investing in a short-term rental property, but they’re already off to a great start with their philosophy.
“Go with what you love,” Ann says. “I always kept in mind that we might have renters like us who didn’t grow up around the water. I wanted to give them something bright, fun and charming but also accessible and comfortable—a place where they wouldn’t have to worry about sand and wet suits, where they would walk in and know they were at the beach. They would simply have to kick off their shoes and enjoy it.”
For more about Grace Cottage, follow @gracecottagehhi on Instagram. For more about Carolina Breeze Bungalow, follow @carolinabreezebungalow on Instagram.