before and after: topsail oceanfront

I am so excited to be sharing some of the before and after shots from the oceanfront home we just renovated and staged down at Topsail Island. The home had good bones but hadn’t been upgraded in any way since it was built in the 80’s. Time for a little cleaning up and updating.

As you can see from the before photos, the deck needed some cleaning up. There were decorative features on the railings that detracted from the view, and a lot of the deck boards were rotted and needed structural support beams added. We also removed all of the plastic chairs in favor of these extremely weather-resistant Adirondack loungers.

After confirming with the contractor the deck was still in good shape, all it needed was some TLC. With a good power washing and the removal of the built-in seat, you can now focus your eyes on the amazing view!

The main interior stairs lead from the bedrooms on the bottom level to a stunning upper level. One of the major problems here was that the entire upstairs was carpeted, meaning all the wet beach feet, sand, and any food that was dropped while lounging ended up on the not-so-stain-resistant carpet. To summarize…the carpet had to go! We selected this LVT flooring in a whitewashed finish to give it a beach cottage feel while keeping with the warm gray and tan palette. These floors are virtually indestructible! They are perfect for spills, high traffic areas and anyone worried about damaging the floors. An added bonus: if the subfloor is damaged for any reason, these LVT strips can be lifted and reused too! The stairs got a makeover with beadboard backing and fresh treads with a paint stain to match our new floors.  You may also recognize that pretty sea foam blue front door if you follow us on Instagram (there’s a better shot of it here).

Before, oversized furniture made it hard to move around the tight corner in the back of the room. We opened that up by placing the tv on this wall and adding smaller sofas with an accent chair and poufs (another pic here) for extra seating when needed. All furniture was scotch guarded for rental use. Larger pieces were selected for their high-quality and durability while smaller accent pieces were chosen to be inexpensive and replaceable should they be damaged by a renter.

Pops of cool blue match the water on sunny days and the tans and warm grays naturally play off the sand. Both colors work to create the feeling that you walked right into the water when you walk up the stairs. To further this seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, the direction and color of the LVT flooring mimics the effect of the worn wood decking. This has the effect of carrying you out to the deck visually as well as making the weathered wood on the deck less noticeable.

The dining room originally felt very dark and cramped with bulky dark wood furniture. We updated the lighting and added a large table with plenty of seating for the owner’s renters or guests. By opening the french doors to the deck and lighting the decorative candles, this easily becomes an entertainer’s dream indoor/outdoor dining area.

The kitchen had a great layout for storage, so we wanted to keep the general arrangement the same but update the entire look. The new white shaker cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and banana leaf bar stools really helped to make it feel much cleaner and more open. Granite countertops were selected for their potential resale value and to provide durability.

Carpet…in a bathroom…yuck! We continued the new flooring into this little powder bath upstairs and frosted the glass on the window for privacy.

Before, it was hard to move around in the powder bath due to the boxy cabinet. We replaced this with a pedestal sink to create floor space and added a nautical woven accent mirror.

One of the most important things you can do when designing a home is to think about how an area is best used. The original bookshelf in the hallway nook was full of knick knacks and leftover toys from renters. It essentially became a place for people to leave their junk. Knowing that this hallway would likely be used as a pit stop on the way back from the beach, we created an area for people to drop a bag or hang a towel without giving it a permanent home.

This tiny bedroom was in major need of some storage but didn’t have the room for it. The small side tables double as guest storage while the hanging rack allows you to keep your linen beach dress wrinkle-free. All of the downstairs popcorn ceilings were removed and replaced with smooth white ones…that alone was magic!

This small corner of the room was overwhelmed by this extra seating. We kept things simple with nice blinds and new carpet and paint. The carpet is a commercial-grade berber that has flecks of pale sea foam blue. Again, the idea here was to use durable materials where it mattered most.

New furniture made a world of difference here! By using a bed with a taller headboard and taller lamps, we tricked the eye and actually made the room look larger than it did before. Small side tables provide storage without taking up too much space. The old fan and closet doors were cheap and dated, so we upgraded these with new and fresh as well.

We went with the same white shaker cabinet and accented the room with new lighting and hardware. It really feels so much cleaner and bigger than before.

Before, the old bunk beds presented a safety hazard for renters and were too large for the room size. We opted for twin beds instead and chose a neutral (and very washable) bedding to keep things kid-friendly. DIY starfish art was a quick and inexpensive alternative to similar art selected for the space at a much higher price point.

The old clothes rack created an awkward layout before we removed it and centered the bed along the wall. We added the wall hooks for hanging items while providing ample storage in the nightstands with big drawers.

The second full bath received similar treatment to the first. New flooring and paint made a huge impact and decorative accessories helped to finish it off.


Nothing makes me happier than a happy client, and it was great to hear that our selections were holding up throughout the beach rental season. Not a scratch on those beautiful floors or a stain on that carpet! It made my day to see that one of the renters wrote…

It looks like we rented a home out of a magazine!