See This Coastal Condo's Amazing Makeover
Dining Room Before
We found a condo in Rosemary Beach®, an oceanfront community along Florida's Gulf Coast, that was ripe for a revamp. It's perched above a prominent corner of the town center and is just a quick walk to the beach, but the dark kitchen, anemic drywall, and disconnected great room weren't exactly attracting renters in droves. So we teamed up with local contractor Thomas Gallion (whose projects range from small renovations to oceanfront estates), the Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental Company, Stanley Furniture, Wayfair, and other generous providers to transform the 1,200-square-foot space.
Dining Room After
Get the Look of the Dining Nook's Makeover: In the dining nook, the wicker armchairs, jute rug, and linen draperies (and rods) are from Wayfair. The étagère is by Stanley Furniture. The art is from Wendover Art Group.
Here are our style director's seven secrets for turning a plain Jane condo into a character-rich rental.
1. Behold the Light Kitchen Makeover
Yes, there is such a thing! Gallion and Beatty didn't have to gut this small, eat-in kitchen to give it serious style cred. Instead of replacing the plain brown cabinetry, they painted it (Natural Choice by Sherwin-Williams) and swapped out the original brushed-nickel hardware for a more sophisticated antique brass. (The new pendant lighting has the same finish.) The team replaced the speckled granite countertops with sleek white quartz, and added a marble tile backsplash "to help better reflect natural light around the kitchen," notes Beatty.
Quick Style Fix: Add a patterned-tile backsplash to the small area above the stove—minor expense, big impact.
Living Room Before
Living Room After
2. Display Cool Collections
Objets d'art and othercuriosities deliver personality in spades. For example, Beatty outfitted the living room console with a collection of sculptural white ceramics. "Uniformity, whether in color or material, form or texture, helps turn lots of little objects into a great focal point," she notes. The funky vases below and stacks of books on the coffee table (above) are also loosely grouped by color family. "I like to choose a shade from nearby art or fabrics and use it as the spark for a collection," adds Beatty.
Living Room Before
Living Room After
3. Channel Beach Cabana Mojo
The natural grasscloth walls call to mind a sandy setting reminiscent of an oceanfront lounge. "We really needed to make this room more conversational and bright," says Beatty. So in addition to adding texture to the walls, she replaced the upholstered furniture with a white slipcovered sofa and pair of swivel club chairs positioned to catch the sea breeze. Then she layered on the color with a rainbow assortment of pillows and a striped cotton rug. "That final layer is what makes the room come alive," she says.
Quick Style Fix: Frame multiple windows and glass doors with the same simple linen draperies.
Living Space After
Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After
4. Decorate for Beach Sleep
Is there a better kind? Before, the master bedroom was at odds with the feel-good nature of its breezy setting, so the team repainted it a dreamy light gray and replaced the black furniture with lighter, softer pieces: sandy-hued nightstands and an upholstered linen bed, which "brings a much-needed layer of softness to the room," says Beatty. Teal table lamps, sea green pillows, and turquoise wall details bring in the vivid greens and blues of the nearby Gulf of Mexico.
Get the Look: The bed and nightstands are by Stanley Furniture. The Euro sham fabric is by Quadrille, and the bolster fabric is by Raoul Textiles. The lamps are by Safavieh, and the pendant and rug are from Wayfair.
Quick Style Fix: Wake up neutral walls with inexpensive brackets and a bright, monochromatic collection.
Bunk Room Before
Bunk Room After
5. Turn a Weak Spot Into a Win
At just seven feet long by six feet wide, the bunk room is a squeeze. "I love the tucked-in, escape quality of cozy bunks—and you always need the extra beds!" Beatty says. So she and Gallion replaced the austere wooden bunk beds (which stopped short of the walls) with custom millwork fit to the space's dimensions. They added wallpaper in a teal lotus pattern, and painted and lacquered the bunks and trim to match. "The metallic painted ladder makes it more fun," says Beatty. "It adds a bit of shine to the room."
Guest Bedroom Before
Guest Bedroom After
6. Find Great Art
"Beautiful art is a game-changer for condos," says Beatty, who hung a mix of abstract paintings and sculptural pieces throughout the rental, including in this minty guest room. In addition to shopping for unique local art, she suggests checking out reputable online sources for high-quality prints. Choose two or three colors as your guide (in this condo, pink, blue, and green are her palette guides) and look for pieces that convey a sense of individuality and place.
7. Don’t Skimp on Salt Air
Outside trumps indoors along the coast, so make sure balconies and patios are outfitted for everyday use. (Warm sea breezes and the rumble of the surf come standard.) Even on this relatively small, triangular terrace, beatty was able to carve out two separate seating areas—one for dining, and one with deep-seating chairs for reading, visiting, and cocktails. "But don't forget to add color," says Beatty, who mixed in turquoise dining chairs and solid sunbrella pillows. "Balconies and patios need to be as inviting and vibrant as indoor rooms."
Get the Look: The wicker and teak furniture is by Lloyd Flanders.