Beach Cottage Remodel {Beadboard Ceiling and a Built-in Bookcase}

Two of the big projects in our beach cottage living room have been (1) replacing the drop ceiling and (2) redoing the dated built-in book case.

You may remember from this post last October, I made the rash decision one morning while Mr. Marvelous was on a business call to tear out the drop ceiling in our living room.  I was sure that whatever was underneath the drop ceiling would be better than the drop ceiling itself.

You can be the judge, but this is what I found under the drop ceiling 😉  Mr. Marvelous was not amused.

Let’s fast forward several months and try to shake off the horror of the image above 🙂  Here is the new ceiling.  Like a breath of fresh summer air.


In addition to the ceiling, these pictures show the remodel of our built-in.  Here is what that bookcase looked like when we moved into the cottage last summer alongside the after photo.

The inside of the bookcase is painted “Sea Salt” by Benjamin Moore.  The walls and bookcase itself are a pure, true white.


My special collection of sea glass (called “beach glass” here in Michigan).  Click here to read a post I wrote some time ago about the importance of sea glass and God’s refinement.

Still loving our old wide-plank pine floors!

I am working on a “before and after post” for the whole living room, can’t wait to share it with you.  If you are in the middle of your own remodel, don’t be discouraged, you will get to your own (happily ever) “after.”   It really does take a lot of time, patience, collaboration and hard work!

Click here to read my thoughts on the difficulties of remodeling an old cottage. 🙂


  1. I love the ceiling and bookshelf. I know what you mean about remodeling! We are deep in the remodel of our tiny kitchen on a tiny budget. As we began to peel back layers, everything took twice as long as we anticipated. I look forward to seeing your finished living space.

    • It’s a special club we are in . . . I love a tiny budget, requires SO much more creativity!

  2. Love, love, LOVE! We have nasty, scary, possible abestos-containing “tile” stuff on our ceilings, and I cannot wait to cover it with beaded board! You’re such an inspiration. And I just want to stare at that peaceful bookcase all the live-long day!

  3. your ceiling looks beautiful! we remodeled a farm house with the same horrible square tile ceilings. On the second floor we did find the original plank ceilings beneath the firing strips and plaster. there was a minimum of two ceilings we had to remove in each room of our house. just thought it may give you a little hope for your second floor.

  4. Your blog is so much fun to follow. Beautiful and inspiring! Are the shelves adjustable? Move the second shelf down a bit, pop that beautiful portrait in a big chunky weathered wood frame. It deserves more attention!! Love it and can’t wait to see more.

    • Thanks, Jeanne, I love that idea!! The second shelf is actually the only one that IS adjustable so I’m “on it.” 😉

  5. I’ve just stumbled across your blog and love it for many reasons- the reno journal, the photography and your love of the Lord. I am an east coaster wannabe who finally found her dreamwork in an outer banks beach cottage. It has been an amazing journey. I sent the below message out to our adult children when we sealed the deal. Tongue in cheek-blog style.:)
    Jan.15-2010- “she’s got good bones”

    We closed on the property on a seasonable winter day for the coast. We’ve already named her- “b.b. on bay” which can stand for beach bungalow on Bay (Drive) or BonBini on Bay which means “welcome” in a Caribbean Creole dialect.. She is fifty+ years old just like me [distressed property]- we are kindred spirits. We’ll embark [work like dogs] on this new journey that takes us on the other side of the half century marker. She’s got good bones [concrete slab, block walls and a pitch roof] and the character markings [peeling paint, a 1960s panel box and wiring to match] of surviving seasons on a barrier island. We will build upon that character. She throws open her arms to welcome us to the sound and sea! [that is true right down to the storm door hanging on by one hinge flapping in the wind!]

    FAST FWD: March 2010-July 2011..blood, sweat and tears of reno- done by ourselves except big electrical jobs and the septic tank redo. Finally seeing it all come together.White washed everything…chalkboard wall…seagrass rugs, painter’s canvas rollup curtains…obeying the 3 Rs-recycle, repurpose, reclaim.

    AUG 27, 2011- Hurricane Irene hits and we take on 20 inches of water. We clean up, gut out and start over.

    I like your sign- “THE BEST IS YET TO COME.” Indeed it is!

  6. I am so excited! We did the exact same thing to our ceiling. We just finished a complete remodel that took well over a year. We took out a load bearing wall, put up a support beam, removed all the plaster walls and hung drywall, put up crown molding, installed hardwood floors and much much more ALL on our own. Before we started working on the house i was barely able to change a light bulb. Now I feel like I might be able to give Bob Villa a serious run for his money:) You would be so proud of me. I want to send you pics. Will you give me your email address? Your blog posts about your remodel were a huge inspiration for me. You made me feel like it was possible to have the house of my dreams without breaking the bank:)

  7. Ok, I just saw ur floors. I think that’s what we had in almost all of our house. I looked on line and thought they weren’t hardwood floors but “soft pine” (I think,lol) We couldn’t use them because they weren’t in every room on the main floor and they were in extremely rough shape. After seeing what they could have looked like I’m sad we couldn’t do it. Again I can’t tell you how much I love what you have done in every place you have lived. You are talented!! 😉 what kind of breadboard did you use on your ceiling? I had to use breadboard wallpaper for a number of reasons. Looking at it you would never know (shhhh….don’t tell anyone) 😉 sadly I figured out that I had to use the wallpaper AFTER I bought the real stuff for 600 sq ft. So needless to say I have bead board on the walls in many rooms of the house now.

  8. This is gorgeous! Y’all did a wonderful job. The ceiling is lovely and all the extra touches. I bet that is a wonderful serene place!
    Thanks for sharing.


  9. disse typer fødevarer fortsat være især anses for høj fedt lastet kalorier men også har du opdaget at maden ovennævnte også sker for at være faktisk i komprimeret som et eksempel? gøre en sammenligning af et salat med den kartoffel , salat måske tynd men grundigt rene .

  10. På grund av kravet att vara löjligt har Använd en hårt grind i våra liv , säker nog . canada goose jacka en helt gratis kallar det ett handikapp, som kommer federala lagen förblir i läge i förhållande till plats

  11. Can you tell me the paint color you used on your bead board ceiling? I just love it. I would like to replace my popcorn ceiling in my beach condo with beadboard.

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