The Amazing Before And Afters Of Our Renovated Beach Condo – Part 1

We have a little home-away-from-home on one of the beaches here in NC.
And y’all, when I say little, I mean little.  We’re talking barely over 500 sq. ft. of little.  But that’s perfectly fine with us because it. is. on. the. beach.
Here’s a shot from our deck that I took while we were there last week.

From our deck in Aug (11)

Can you tell how hazy it is?  That’s because it was 105 degrees the day that I took this pic!

I’m going to show you what the condo looked like when we bought it in 2008 and what it looks like today.  But first, take a look at the floorplan to help you get a feel for where all of the rooms are.  Did I mention that we are on. the. beach?  😀

As you look at the befores, imagine a place where nothing resembling any housekeeping had been done, walls that had cracking paint because old wallpaper had been painted over, rusty, crusty, nasty appliances in the kitchen, mildew/mold behind the old wallpaper.

To top all of that off – imagine carpet that was dirty, filthy, sticky, icky, smelly and every other form of nasty that I can think of.  You may ask why I would even consider a place so utterly GROSS?  Did I mention that it. is. on. the. beach?  😀

When you enter the condo, you immediately walk into the hallway that leads to the living room and kitchen.  This is what greeted us when we entered the condo for the first time…….prepare yourself.


This is what that same hallway looks like today.  I’ll talk about the bunkbeds in a minute.

That little black thing you can see on the couch is Diva Dog.

She insisted on making her debut in this blog post.

Step on into the living room.  Diva Dog and Ferocious Guard Dog graciously agreed to put themselves on display for you.

The couch pulls out into a bed.  We had it made using a 6″ thick mattress instead of the standard 4″ ones that you usually find in sleeper sofas.  Now it’s just about as comfy as our bed.

This chair is so cozy.  It’s a great little nook for reading, watching tv or just enjoying the view of the beach.

This is what that same area used to look like.

Turn around to look at the opposite wall…

…that used to look like this.

Update:  This wall looks totally different now thanks to the bookcases we built using off-the-shelf kitchen cabinets.
bookcases afterbookcases_012_600

I refused to sit on this couch while we talked when we first looked at the condo.  It was almost as gross at the carpet.  They told us that all of the furnishings came with the condo.  Um….no thank you.

Let me take a little pause here to tell you the major renovations that we made throughout the condo:

  • removed all of the wallpaper, killed the mildew/mold, sanded and painted the walls
  • ripped out the carpet and padding and replaced with laminate wood floors
  • replaced the air conditioner
  • replaced the sliding glass doors
  • added and replaced ceiling fans
  • replaced the water heater
  • replaced all of the corroded doorknobs with brushed nickel ones
  • added additional electric circuits to the breaker box

Turn around one more time and here’s the kitchen.

Update:  Here’s what the kitchen wall looks like now that the bookcases have been added.

bulletin board_013

I love this backsplash.  It’s made up of different colors of iridescent glass tile with travertine marble sprinkled throughout.

I love this little fishy canister too.  So do Diva Dog and Ferocious Guard Dog because they know that this is where their treats are kept!

Found this little spit of a rug at Ikea.  It’s the perfect size for my tiny kitchen.

Hold your breath…this is the before of the kitchen.

Don’t ‘cha just looove this little stencil that was above the sink?  And hey – what a great place to hang your keys!

In the kitchen we:

  • replaced the refrigerator and stove
  • added a microwave above the stove
  • replaced the laminate counters with SileStone
  • painted the cabinets
  • replaced the hinges on the cabinets
  • replaced the sink and faucet
  • added a backsplash

Now back up hallway…

See the built in bunkbeds on the right?  The grandgirls love ’em!
Here’s a little closer look.  The wooden dowel rods are waiting for me to make and hang some privacy panels.
We replaced the mattresses and went about trying to make the bunkbed cubbies a place where the grandgirls are in their own little world when they’re in bed.  So we added a cute little light with it’s own light switch at the head of each bed.  Each switch has an electric outlet on it to plug in video games or whatever.  You can see that I added some cute dotted ribbon to the shades.
I made these oversize bolsters and added a pop of orange with the throw pillows.


At the foot of each bed, we added these little shelves that we already had.  I shopped around til I found some cute little baskets.  Oh – the little clip-on fans work perfectly when it gets too warm.

And lest you forget – here’s what the view back up the hallway looked like before.

And since I don’t want to leave you with an image that burns your eyes, here’s something a little cuter to look at…

Madeline on the deckThis is my sweet little Miss M sitting on the deck a couple of years ago.  It’s one of my favorite pictures of her.



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  1. wonderful. I love this little place, so pretty and light filled. I bet the kids do love the bunks. those shelves just work perfectly.

  2. LUCKY you to have a beach place, ON THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have TRANSFORMED it beautifully!!!! A slice of Heaven to me!!!!! Enjoy those greandgirls! XO, Pinky

  3. I was there when the backsplash was born! I fell in love with it & hopefully one day can do something similar at my house. I also somehow was volunteered to climb up to the top bunk & it was very cozy!

  4. I love it!! You did an excellent job making it over. That tile in the kitchen is gorgeous!! The bunks are soo sweet too. I wish I had a little place by the beach. Unfortunately I’m land-locked in Canada. I do have a sunroom though that I’ve done up in a beachy cottage style. Stop by and check it out if you like. Have a great day! ~ Catie

  5. Oh, this is great! Congrats, you’re a lucky girl, a house all your own NEAR THE BEACH, to sleep deliciously listening to the tide! I love it, girl friend and thanks for sharing.

  6. Quite a transformation! You did a wonderful job on the condo and I love the kitchen tile. Miss M is a cutie! Thanks for joining the Open House party this week.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love the rope trimming out your Aunt’s canvas. Now where’s YOUR boat painting???

  8. I love the way you maximized the layout! Very clever

  9. Wowee!! What an amazing transformation! I absolutely love the bunk beds and truly everything you did is fantastic. You helped that condo live up to its full potential and we are so glad you shared this with us at Inspiration Friday!

  10. Hi Suzy, you did an amazing job transforming your condo ! It’s my first time visiting, great blog you have. I’m in NC and have a custom workroom too.

  11. Summerland Cottage Studio says:

    Congratulations on a beautiful transformation !

  12. What a beautiful house. You’ve made heaps of improvement. And it’s on the beach!! Nothing nicer.

  13. That is such a cute little beach house. Awesome job, Happy Monday!

  14. Wow, what a difference you’ve made in a such a small space. Thanks for sharing. We hope you will consider helping kids with cancer by linking into the Miracle Makeover party this coming week
    at Together we can change things! We appreciate you.

    Sherry, DGB Team

  15. Oh that looks sooo nice. And the fact that you live on.the.beach just makes it sooo much better! Love the transformations you have done, you have done such a great job! : )..

  16. Your transformation of this space really is awesome! Thank you so much for linking up and partying at Home Savvy A to Z this week!

  17. Little Miss M. is adorable. I know she loves those neat bunkbeds. This condo is fabulous. What you have done is fantastic. I know you are enjoying your investment of time and money.
    I am hopping over from Debbiedoos. I am your newest follower. Please come by to see me and enter my great giveaway. It ends tonight. Ginger

  18. I found your beach post through Between Naps on the Porch, and I was awe stricken by the fact that your first picture looked so much like Topsail Beach, NC. Then I saw your condo, and I know exactly where these are. In fact, my husband and I almost bought one there last year. We are still considering one. The one we looked at was on the foreclosure market and an unbelievable deal. Is this located at the end of Topsail beach by any chance? I am a Realtor in Jacksonville, NC. I would love to get your info so I could use your services. Excited to hear from you. Your newest follower…..Barb 🙂

  19. Hi all. Regarding the furniture – the couch, all three chairs and the ottoman were made at a place located in High Point, NC. The prices were very, very reasonable. Everything is well made and is sturdy. I believe all the total price for all four pieces was around $1000. That price includes the fabric for the couch and two blue side chairs and an extra deep mattress configuration for the sleeper sofa. I provided the fabric for the matching chair and ottoman. I’ll be happy to provide more information if you’re interested in contacting them.

  20. It looks absolutely amazing. This is the good blog with good images and good details. If you feel bored, just swim in the relaxing beach. Please keep on posting the more stuff. I will like to hear more from you.

    I dream of having a beach condo and hope someday I own one too like yours. 🙂

    condo in Philippines

  21. Kelly @ JAX does design says:

    I’d be willing to overlook all that mess so I could buy a place on the beach! The transformation is amazing, and great use of space with the bunk beds.

  22. Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops} says:

    I LOVE that back splash and the awesome built in bunk beds!

  23. Suzy, thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. I love what you’ve done with the condo (read both posts)….it’s so cute! Coastal decorating is my fave decorating….love love the bunkbeds!

    have a beautiful Sunday….

  24. That house is gorgeous, you decorate beautifully, Thanks for sharing it at the Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Photo Challenge.

  25. Christine says:

    Could you please tell me the color of the creamy yellow wall paint?

    1. Hi Christine. I’m sorry, but I don’t have the paint color here at home with me. It’s at the beach! I’ll try to remember to look for it the next time that we’re there.

  26. Wow! Nice place and very relaxing area. I remember our house in this beach condo it is because in our province our house is near the sea and I really love our place. Thanks for sharing.

    Nehv @ condominium makati

  27. The Refeathered Roost says:

    Just took a tour of your beach condo. What a transformation! I love the bedding… how I wish I could sew if it means that is the result, and the tile in the kitchen is to die for! Thanks so much for the sweet comment and visiting me. Will be dropping by your inspiring blog often!

  28. What a great job on the condo renovation! We, too, have a tiny condo at the beach and have been pondering a renovation for a couple of years. My idea folder is huge and I am adding your comfy pullout sofa with a custom mattress to that file. Please provide more details on how you added a thicker and more comfortable mattress to the typically very uncomfortable pullout sofa bed.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Great Job! How did you paint do the cabinets? I have the same and want to update them. And what color is the yellow?

  30. Marty Walden says:

    Oh my word, Suzy. This is a stunning makeover! I would have been overwhelmed at the before but you did an amazing job!

  31. Hi Suzy! I love what you did with your beach condo. My husband and I are looking for a place at Atlantic Beach, NC. You have really inspired me to look at condos for sale which I had not thought of at all! My family has had a place at AB since 1986 and I just love it but am now looking for a place of our own.

    Could you please share more info on the backsplash in the kitchen? I LOVE IT!

    Thanks, Jennifer

    1. Hi Jennifer. I’ve spent lots of time at Atlantic Beach! My mom used to own a place in Salter Path before everything became so built-up. The backsplash tile came from Home Depot’s website. They didn’t have it in the store, but I was able to order a sample of it before I committed to anything. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the name of that particular style, but hopefully they still carry it and you can find it. Good luck searching for your special place! I’d love to hear what you find.

      1. I did not find anything like yours on Home Depot but I did find one laid out similar on Lowe’s that led me to a tile brand. Does Elida Ceramica sound familiar? Through that brand I found “Emperial Coral Reef”. The only thing that is throwing me is where it looks like yellow or gold in yours. Is that because it is reflecting your wall color? Thanks for the little help you did give, it seems to have led me in the right direction!!! Can’t wait to see all the neat things you continue to do at the beach!

        1. Sorry, but the names just don’t ring a bell. I did look at the brand though on Lowes website and the one in this link looks very, very similar and may be the same one. I’d have to actually see it to be sure. The yellow/gold color isn’t really like that – it must just be the way that the camera “translated” the colors. Some of the tiles are stone and some of those are slightly off-white. Those must be the one that the camera made look yellow/gold. Some of the glass tiles have an iridescent look to them which I’m sure are reflecting the light.

  32. What an amazing transformation! Love what you have done with this condo. My husband and I have just purchased a condo at a NC beach. From looking at your pictures I think our condo is near your NC beach condo. Maybe across the street if your condo is where I think it is in NC. Our condo is 1200 sq ft, but the floor with the kitchen/living/dining is laid out like yours without the bunks. I love the “build in” made with the cabinets. Hope to do the same in my NC Beach condo. Thank you so much for sharing!

  33. Suzy, this is simply fantastic! What an unbelievable before and after….and all that attention to detail. Love that blue in the shelving unit! It was so great that you could see the diamond in the rough under all the clutter and dated decor. So many people would have passed it by.

    1. Thank you so much, Jenna!

  34. ooooh the backsplash feels beachy. Great transformation. The before reminds me of Flip or Flop DIY show, they take it from the nastiness to beauty. LOL

  35. How wonderful to have a place like this. And I wouldn’t have been able to see past the “before” – it looks so nice!

  36. Lots of work, but well worth it. Looks so nice!

  37. Sandy Hunter says:

    I love this little Beach Condo! How can you bear to leave it after all that work you put into it?

    1. Thank you so much, Sandy! You’re right – after so much work, it was hard to leave, but we are super excited to have a larger place where all of our family can join us!

  38. My family has an identical condo to yours here in NC as well! I stumbled on your blog in a search for ideas as I’m planning an overhaul of it since my mom’s passing last month. Love the entertainment center idea!

  39. I’m glad you were able to find some inspiration! Enjoy your condo!