Welcome to our Beach Cottage Reno
Sunday night, we watched the first episode of Beach Flip the HGTV series. (When I say we, I mean everyone in my family was forced to watch the first episode because I was in control of the TV viewing Sunday night.) I’ve been waiting for this series with great anticipation because I’m totally and completely obsessed with the beach and just a few short months ago we finally took on our very own Beach Cottage Reno. From week to week, I thought it would be fun to follow along and post photos of our Real Life Beach Bargain Renovation.
For a couple of years now, I’ve been pitching the idea of Beach Flips to my husband. I’ve been telling him, we need to do a Property Brothers / Flip or Flop type business at the beach. Scary ugly home spaces don’t scare me. Fresh paint and décor can do wonders for an outdated space. And believe me when it comes to beach homes, I’ve witnessed the good, the bad, the ugly and the over-the-top tacky, tropical décor! I keep thinking, wouldn’t it be fun to help people pick their diamond in the rough and turn it into their own little glorious beach retreat.
That brings me back to Sunday night and HGTV Beach Flip. When I initially saw the promos, I thought “Hey, they stole my Beach Flip idea!” After watching the first episode, I had a few other humble thoughts.
Where’s the Ocean?!
What’s the point of an ocean front Beach Flip without the ocean? We are no strangers to Gulf Shores, Alabama. People are drawn to the beaches in this area because of the sugar white sand and the beautiful ocean. For a beach lover like me, it seemed like the renovation couples gave very little attention to the stunning location when creating their design plans.
Is This a Vacation Home?
One of the judges made a passing comment about most beach homes doubling as vacation rental homes. As the owner of a beach home vacation rental, I know this to be a true fact. However, none of the design or décor appeared to be focused on how well the home would rent or how well the furnishings would hold up in a rental. A vacation rental home needs extra touches unique to people choosing a home away from home.
This is Not Real Life!
Let me get this straight. HGTV purchased the beach homes and gave each couple $40,000 for their renovation budget. In real life, we purchased our own beach property and we had a renovation budget of $10,000. We had one week for our entire update and needed to get it listed on VRBO.com for vacation rentals ASAP.
Real Life Beach Flip
Ocean Front Master Bedroom
Okaloosa Island, Florida . . . Island Princess 215
We’ve been vacationing along the Florida Gulf Coast for over 20 years and have long dreamed of taking on a beach home renovation and vacation rental. Let me start by confessing, we purchased a beach condo, not a cottage. So why do I refer to it as a Beach Cottage Renovation? When vacationing at the beach, I’ve often been surprised at how beach homes are decorated with dark heavy furniture or in themes like a Tuscan Villa. I’m always thinking, “We’re in the South. We’re at the beach. Why not decorate like a Southern Beach Cottage?” So that is the style of our beach condo: Modern Beach Cottage. It’s a mix of new, shabby chic and one of a kind antiques and décor.
The Quick Before Tour
Living, Dinning and Kitchen
- All three rooms have a view of the Emerald Coast, the sugar white sand and amazing clear water. Sold!
- Bonus tile throughout condo. No carpet! I do not like carpet. Especially at the beach. Especially in a vacation rental.
- Condo was clean and in good condition.
Bedroom #1 Before Photo
- Yellow and dark. How can a bright yellow room be dark?
- Does this décor say beach or what?
Bedroom #2 Before Photo
- Look familiar?
Bathroom #1 Before Photo
- All 3 bathrooms look similar with the Master Bath being bigger.
- All 3 bathrooms feature those lovely Hollywood lights!
- The Master Bath light has 8 lights! Yes, 8 light bulbs in the fixture!
- I found an ingenious solution for that eyesore.
Master Bedroom Before Photo
- Big dark furniture overwhelmed the room
Master Bedroom Before Photo
- Furniture was nice quality but big, bulky and dark. Not very light and beachy.
The After Photo Tour
Disclaimer . . . These are not professional photos.
I took these without any thoughts of posting a Beach Flip Reno.
Master Bedroom After Photo
- I went with white and airy with a few punches of color.
- The day we viewed the condo for the first time, we did a bit of furniture shopping. I immediately fell in love with this handmade bed from Mexico. I knew if all went through with the purchase of the condo I had to have this unique rustic cottage style bed for the Master Bedroom.
- We’ve renovated a number of homes and I know two things are important. You must stick to your budget and you don’t need to change everything at one time.
- The bedside tables that matched the bed were amazing and I really wanted them. I dreamed about them. I adored them. Did I mention I REALLY wanted them. But the two tables cost more than the bed. So they were struck from the budget. Sometimes reality hurts.
- I do not like the wall color in the master bedroom. However, considering we had one week for our DIY Beach Flip we did not have time to paint. I had to let it go. The paint color will change in the future.
Master Bedroom After Photo
- Wake up to that ocean view right outside the window. Once again, sold!
Master Bedroom Shopping Guide ($2000 Budget)
I special ordered the king bed prior to our DIY Reno Week. Everything else was purchased during a whirlwind week of renovation and shopping in the Fort Walton Beach and Destin area. I had to be flexible and creative on the spot.
- King Bed and Chest of Drawers from International Furniture Direct
- Bedside Tables from Tuesday Morning
- Bedside Lamps from T.J. Maxx
- Painting from Ross Dress For Less
- Mirror from Khols
Master Bedroom Linens
I did a great deal of research when selecting my linens for our vacation condo. One of the aspects I noted about the HGTV Beach Flip was no consideration was given to the fact that the home most likely will be flipped into a beach vacation rental. Some linens might be pretty but totally unsuitable for a vacation rental home.
I wanted a white duvet that could be freshly laundered after each guest and I needed sheets that would hold-up through many washings and feel new for each guest. While high thread count is all the rage it tends to pile easily. Additionally, many sheets labeled with an unusually high thread count are mislabeled. Finally, I found the site Distinguished Guest and the owner Allana had my perfect hotel sheets! I first ordered a set of sheets to try out at home. Both my husband and I loved them! They are crisp and clean and feel freshly washed by your grandmother and hung on the line to dry.
Be Our Guest
You are invited to be our guests at the Island Princess 215. Our goal was to create a home away from home for our guests rather than just a rental. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share more renovation photos and details about our real life DIY Beach Flip. You can find more photos and information about our beach home on Okaloosa Island, Florida at vrbo.com #673339.
Where The Heck is Okaloosa Island?
Okaloosa Island is one of Florida’s best kept secrets. Located on Florida’s World Famous Emerald Coast, Okaloosa Island is only 6 miles away from the attractions of Destin but miles away from Destin’s crowds. Same sugar white sand and beautiful clear water but more peace and quiet and less hustle and bustle than Destin.
Just Another Gorgeous Day on Okaloosa Island!
Now you know why I’m in love!