Our Beach Cottage {Living Room Renovations & a Kitchen Sneak-Peek}

Welcome to our beach cottage living room, friends!

So glad to have you here!

Here is a reminder of what the space looked like when we moved in a little over a year ago.  Dark wood paneling, thick textured carpet, drop ceilings, and swingin’ plastic saloon doors separating the living room and kitchen (my husband actually fought to keep the saloon doors-we compromised and they are in the basement).



And here we are now, all brightened up!

Our projects in this room included painting all of the wood paneling white, removing the carpet/refinishing the hardwood floors and replacing the drop ceiling with tongue and groove beadboard.  Our sofa is slip-covered and washes up well (and frequently) with regular detergent and oxyclean!



Here is the staircase leading from the living room to the upstairs bedrooms, which I shared here over the summer:


Original pine floor, now restored.  We hired a professional to sand them down (they had lead paint in places) but did the many coats of poly ourselves.

This framed photo in the picture above is one I took of my toddler boy running on the beach.  It is five by six FEET! It’s huge!  I wanted something BIG to be a statement piece.  I took an old, unused  framed painting from my parents’ basement and ordered my photo printed on canvas (not mounted) and then used spray adhesive for photographs to mount my canvas photo on top of the old painting.  If you have questions about this project, I will do my best to answer them in the comments!




For some soft texture and detail, I hung white drapes on either side of two interior doors.


And because the living room opens up to our kitchen, here is a quick first peek at our kitchen renovations.

The before:

And in it’s current state, with white paint on the cabinets, blue porch and floor paint on the old linoleum floor and updated hardware.


Still lots of projects to tackle around here but it already feels very cozy and fun and like us.

We are so blessed to be here.

Life is good.



  1. Beautiful! I think one of my favorite things about your home is that it seems to announce “we live here!” Some many times I see beautiful homes (like yours)but they are almost sterile. I love all the photos of your sweet boys that tell you, in no uncertain terms, that little boys make this house alive!

    • Oh bekah, that is the best compliment a girl could hope for when it comes to decorating. Thank you!

  2. Just like every other space you have lived in, you have transformed this house into a home and it is lovely! I wish I had your talent.

    • Thank you Vada, I am so glad God gave me the gift of creativity, I do have a ton of fun with it.

  3. SO incredibly gorgeous and lovely. What a transformation: from the ugly duckling to the swan. Very inspiring. (And I am still giggling about the swingin’ saloon doors.)

    • Ginny, I am willing to ship them anywhere in the continental united states. Haha 😉

    • Thanks Mandy! The floors really sold me on the house before we bought it, they were a lot of work but definitely worth it. I love having something you couldn’t walk into home depot or lowes and buy off the shelf.

  4. What a beautiful renovation so far!! Light and bright makes a perfect beach house. 🙂 The large photo of your son is just perfect! It’s fabulous. 🙂

  5. Love what your doing with your beach house, Erin! One thing that you mentioned, you used porch and floor paint on your linoleum? We have cushion flooring in our kitchen, and it wasn’t looking so hot when we purchased our “diamond in the rough”, and with all the knives I’ve dropped on the floor while cleaning up after meals, it is looking even worse now, lol! My husband has been considering what type of flooring we could put down that would stand up to ME (I’m worse than our 5 year old daughter, lol), and you have me thinking…I’m curious, why did you choose the porch and floor paint? Just more economical than replacing the flooring at this point in time, or you liked the look of the painted floor better? Just trying to gather info. to make the best decision.

    • Hi Sue!

      I definitely picked the porch and floor paint because it cost me about $22 to “redo” the floor and we were on a serious budget! But I also love the look of painted floors as well, especially in a cottage, so the choice was easy for me at the time. I have a mixed review of painted floors after actually living with them. They tend to show absolutely everything and I find myself having to mop them down on my hands and knees more often than I have any other floor. I’m not sure why that is, maybe it’s just the bright blue color that shows crumbs so well!

  6. Good job, Erin! It looks very cozy and welcoming. It would be fun to come over for tea and cookies and holding James awhile, bringing a new toy for Wynn…would be such fun….one can only dream.


  7. Hi Erin,
    I am also curious about the floor paint. I have some old linoleum that I would like to paint. It was probably put down in the 1950’s. When we peel it up slivers of wood come up with the linoleum. So, we need to have it professionally done. In the meantime I would like to paint it,however my husband keeps asking me not to because he believes that it will not adhere properly. The floor is not slick, but it is smooth, not rough at all. What is your experience? Such as, does the paint hold up where chairs are pulled in and out?
    I think your living room looks lovely. I love the color palette you’ve chosen. It reminds me of citrus-oranges being peeled, fresh, like lemon bars baking, and flowers blooming! I feel like I could lay down on that couch and take a satisfying nap! Very comfortable.:) Good work.
    I live in Idaho, which is also very beautiful but it is my dream to have another home on the coast. Thank you for sharing your lovely home. I am inspired and lifted up when I read your blog. Thanks Erin!

    • Thank you so much, Joan!

      If you click on my “Beach Cottage” icon on the sidebar you will see a post called “Confessions of an Amateur Renovator” where I talked about the mess I made of painting our floors in my first attempt. I painted them before we closed the cottage for the winter and the weather was so cool that the paint did not dry properly, it was sticky. My mom, who is a saint, helped me out by applying TSP (a cleaner available at your local hardware store) to the floors and then repainting for us. The paint adhered well the second time (no stickiness). We try to be somewhat careful when we move chairs, etc. around the floor but we also have a very busy 2 year old who plays with toys and pushes his highchair around and rides ride-on toy lawnmowers over the floor all day long. We have had several places show some minor wear and we touched those up with some left over paint. I guess I would say that they are definitely not the most durable floors but they were cheap, easy and are very pretty. They are durable enough to live with for us, given the benefits. I think that if it were just me and my husband we wouldn’t have a problem with them at all. 😉 Let me know if I can help further. You can google about painting linoleum and there are some helpful articles out there by DIY’ers who know a good deal more than me, but I’m more than happy to help further if I can!

  8. Your home is so pretty and welcoming! I love the curtains on the interior doors. And the kitchen looks so charming and cozy to dine in.

    Ooooh, the pine floors … do they just have a clear coat on top?

    May I ask how big is the house?

    • Hi Christie, the house is about 1200 square feet. Yes, we just put a clear poly on top of the wood, it was so pretty once it was sanded down I hated to put anything on it at all! 🙂

  9. Love that giant photo! Where did you print on unstretched canvas? I have been wanting a large photo but trying to decide the best way to go about doing it

  10. What a beautiful transformation! I LOVE how you have brought in such light. We live where it rains and is dark a lot and choosing to go with white and light has made such a difference. Your ideas are such inspiration and the photograph is amazing.

    • Thanks so much, Mindy. It was almost therapeutic seeing so many gallons of white paint go up in here, I can’t say enough good things about the power of bright, clean, white paint!

  11. Gorgeous! And your stairs! Oh I love them!
    I’m curious, did you have to replace them or once you ripped the carpet off is that what stood underneath?
    We have awful awful carpet on our stairs right now and I’m desperately wanting to rip it off, but I’m worried it will be cheap and not look good if I paint and add a runner. How did you know, or did you just take a leap of faith and hope for the best?

    • Hi Melissa! We had hardwood under the carpet, I checked for it before we bought the house. Other than knowing it was wood and not plywood I was getting into, I just took the leap of faith and went for it. I have (lol) done a lot of that around here and the stairs were one of the things that turned out for the best 😉

  12. Erin…I am in love with your beach cottage…all the details are coming together beautifully…it’s evolving and becoming more and more like you guys!

  13. Thanks for the information Erin! I will look at all of those leads and let you know how it went(convincing my husband and finishing the floor!) Joan

  14. Hmmmm…..were you HINTING about the “how to” in how to turn a photo into something so AMAZING. If so I say “please, pretty please, can you do a tutorial for those of us NOT in the know”!!!!

  15. The refinished pine floor look nice. Curious though, you mention sanding and lead paint. My understanding is that is extremely hazardous, especially for young children. Was anything special done in consideration of that? I have 100yr old painted pine floors and would love to get them restored. But the lead paint has most flooring guys saying no thanks.

    • Hey Luke,

      Yes, we had the floors tested for lead paint and when they tested positive, we had professionals who used a special type of sanding vacuum to contain any trace of lead paint dust and they also sealed off the rooms while working and we were out of the house. Lead paint scares me to death with my little ones! Be careful and hire a professional who is trained in lead paint removal.

  16. Holy crap you guys did SUCH a good job! It’s so simple and sweet – what a lovely house to raise a child in! I would rather live in a house like that than a tacky mansion anyday!!!

  17. I like this house more than your other one. that one was lovely too, but there is something special about this house

  18. I love your transformation. I have a question about the star fish fabric on your floor going up your stairway – it is so pretty and refreshing. Is it fabric or light carpeting? Would you mind letting me know where you got it and what it’s “called.” We want to do a beach theme in our bathroom and I would LOVE this same pattern in there. Thank you for your inspiration!

  19. I love your style! I was trying to figure out the layout of your kitchen, but the “after” photo seems to be missing from this post. Any chance you could restore it? Or better yet, give a quick tour of the entire kitchen? I loved the recent photo of your boys eating in there. It really gives a sense for how the space functions and how much joy it brings too.

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