An ambitious remodel ensures a California home is worthy of its breathtaking waterfront location.
Brielle M. Ferreira Produced by Sunday Hendrickson
1 of 10Photo: Courtesy of Homeowners
Living Room: Before
Spare change was all it took for one West Coast couple to overlook the flaws of an oceanfront home that had been passed over again and again. Its gray carpeting, stained walls, and dingy aluminum windows had made it a difficult sell. "But I could have thrown a coin off the balcony and heard it hit the water," homeowner Sherry Klein says. "So I made an offer the next day." From there, her mission was simple—to transform the sad 1950s beach shack into the light and bright family-friendly jewel box that she and partner Catherine Williamson had always wanted. Klein's first order of business was to replace the foggy, filmed-over windows with new versions that allowed water views to truly shine for the first time in years. Here's how the homeowners took a forlorn house from want-not to can't-miss.
Reinvent Family-Friendly Style
New driftwood-finish oak flooring and a few gallons of white paint on the walls and hearth give the living room a modern face-lift. The furniture's thick denim slipcovers ensure that the space is ready for anything—a must with kids and dogs in the house.
Create the Illusion of More Space
Enlarging the kitchen's footprint would have eaten into the narrow dining area, so Klein did her best to make the minimal square footage appear airy and spacious. She switched out full-size appliances for smaller, apartment-friendly versions, introduced subtle texture and sparkle with clay tile, and expanded the pass-through to the main living area.
The kitchen sparkles with white subway tile and built-in cabinetry, including integrated fridge, which makes the space feel larger. A classic apron sink with gooseneck faucet provide ample room for doing dishes.
Get the Look: The wall and tiles are hand-made Mexican subway tiles from Discount Tile Center, 310-202-1551. The jute rug is from Crate & Barrel. The custom cabinetry is by Expression in Wood.
Build in Storage Space
In the narrow dining area, Klein opted for a slim, rectangular table and carved out some much-needed storage courtesy of a new built-in buffet and open shelving. "This works a lot better for our family," she says. "Everyone has a view of the ocean when we sit at the table together."
Dress it Up
Floor-to-ceiling wainscoting completely transformed the children's bunk room, taking it from a cramped, closetlike space to charming sleeping quarters reminiscent of a cabin on a ship. "It actually turned out to be one of my favorite spaces in the house," says Klein. "It's super nautical, and it has so much character."
Put the View First
Klein replaced the worn wooden railings that once defined the balcony with thick glass panels, which serve as a welcome update to the home. Providing nearly unobstructed views of the ocean, the panels also allow natural light to flow into the adjacent living spaces.