Some run-down beach homes deserve new life! These before and after images show why the Wilsons' Tybee Island home was well worth the effort.
1 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
Full of Life
Daughters Emma and Grace hang out with their dad, Tad Wilson, on beds suspended from the ceiling.
2 of 18Courtesy of homeowner
Before: Undefined Space
The once bare-bones porch is 12 feet deep and close to 50 feet long.
3 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
Open for Activity
Now the screened space boasts dining, seating, and outdoor sleeping areas.
Shop the look: Exterior paint in Tybee Grey, custom mixed by Jane Coslick; 912/354-8602 or janecoslick.com. Painted Adirondack chairs, Joe Inglesby, Tybee Classics; 912/786-5428. Ceiling fans, Johnson Lighting; 912/355-3852. Pull shades, David’s Décor; 912/351-0322. Coral Bay fabric in Pool, Copacabana fabric in Parrot, and blue-and-white polka-dot fabric, Kravet; kravet.com. Mineral Blue hanging bed cushions with Macaw piping, Sunbrella; sunbrella.com. Custom upholstery, Davis Upholstery; 912/354-2238.
4 of 18Courtesy of homeowner
Before: Century-Old Exterior
“The Wilsons’ home is the most loved house on the island,” designer and preservationist Jane Coslick says. “People were afraid it would be torn down, but it was saved.”
5 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
Just Like New
“After the last board was put in place, the woman who grew up in the house paid a visit,” Jane says. “She said it looks and feels just like it did when she was a child. That’s the best compliment I have ever received.”
6 of 18Courtesy of homeowner
Before: Dark and Dingy
“It was never about having the most up-to-date kitchen or the fanciest appliances,” Jane says. “We wanted it to feel just as it did when it was built.”
7 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
Light and Bright
Glass-tile countertops in iridescent sea shades play up the room’s shoreside charm, but it’s the screened pantry door with a conch shell knob that really turns heads.
Shop the look: Cabinetry built by Bruce McNall; 912/355-3103. Pendant lighting, Johnson Lighting; 912/355-3852. Oceanside glass tile, Modern Tile & Stone; 912/234-8224. Appliances, Livingood’s; 912/352-4392, 843/379-5800, or livingoodsonline.com. Faucet, HD Supply; 912/351-0636. Barstools purchased with house; unavailable.
8 of 18Courtesy of homeowner
Before: Back to Basics
“Look for original wood beneath carpet and behind drywall or cheap paneling,” Jane says. “Wood gives a house its character.”
9 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
Homeowners Erica and Tad Wilson purchased the home furnished and kept the original pieces. The couple slip-covered the original furniture and painted and refreshed as necessary.
Shop the look: Rowe Fine Furniture sofa and chair, Whelan’s Home Furnishings; 912/925-5604 or whelanshome.com. Multicolor pattern pillows by Jane Coslick; 912/354-8602 or janecoslick.com. Sea-grass rug, Pottery Barn; 888/779-5176 or potterybarn.com. Coral table lamp, HomeGoods; 800/614-4663 or homegoods.com. Oil painting, Molly Wright, Skidaway Art Works; 443/465-6448 or skidawayartworks.com.
10 of 18Courtesy of homeowner
Before: Covered Up
Over the years, the home’s character had been compromised by aluminum windows, cheap paneling, wall-to-wall carpet, and acoustical tile ceilings.
11 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
Breath of Fresh Air
All white is always right at the beach. From the kitchen, you can see views over the sound to neighboring Little Tybee Island.
Shop the look: Flooring, original heart pine; unavailable. Dining table and chairs, antique; unavailable. Tim Adams oyster-shell chandelier, The Paris Market; 912/232-1500 or theparismarket.com. Blue Mason jars, vintage; unavailable. Wooden fish paintings above door, unknown; unavailable.
12 of 18Courtesy of homeowner
Before: Blocking the View
The original bedrooms were small and crowded, and dark woodwork made the home feel outdated.
13 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
The Wilsons enclosed a wraparound porch to allow for their master suite. With painted gray flooring, a sloped ceiling, and abundant windows, this master suite retains its porchlike feel.
Shop the look: Bedding, Pottery Barn; 888/779-5176 or potterybarn.com. Table lamps, Target; 800/591-3869 or target.com. Ironstone bowl and pitcher on dresser, vintage; unavailable. Black-and-white family photographs (throughout the house), Christine Hall Photography; 912/897-9155 or christinehallphotography.com.
14 of 18Courtesy of homeowner
Before: Lacking Personality
Outdated fixtures and cabinets had to go, as did the uneven flooring in this bath.
15 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
In another bath, Jane refinished an original freestanding claw-foot tub and made it the room’s focal point.
“If I can’t see it when I walk in the door, I don’t do it,” Jane says. “With this house, I saw it finished before construction ever began.”
17 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
The ceiling in the detached guest suite had caved in, but the original windows were salvageable. Jane used a door panel in lieu of a traditional headboard.
Shop the look: Simply Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell bedding and table lamp, and shower curtains (window treatments), Target; 800/591-3869 or target.com. Most vintage items purchased from Cameron, North Carolina, antiques fair (first weekend in October and first weekend in May).
18 of 18Richard Leo Johnson
Old Made New
Unpainted boards saved from the original house now cover walls in the dressing area adjacent to the outdoor shower.