Some people can go on vacation and stick their toes in the sand and watch the seagulls fly by with the ocean breezes in their hair and think of nothing but world peace and what they are wearing to dinner.

Just in case you were wondering?

I am not some people.

My brain is always project spinning.

Even on vacation.

So it was when I walked into this room at my mother’s house up on Cape Cod. This is the room I have stayed in my whole life. When I was little I used to sleep on bunk beds in here and read Nancy Drew books. When I was a new mom, my kids would stay in here in a pack-n-play. I’ve spent more vacations in this room than all the seasons of Downton Abbey combined.

And this year?

We transformed this space.

This is the before.

This is where we started.

And now?

I can’t WAIT for you to see it.

Let’s start with better before pictures.

I tried to take 360-degree photos of the room so you could get an idea of how small it is.

Here are a few pertinent facts about the space:

  1. It’s super tiny.
  2. You can basically fit a queen bed and a dresser in the alcove and some side tables and that’s it.
  3. There’s a closet on the one wall by the dresser alcove.
  4. There are painted plywood floors under the striped area rug.
  5. There’s not an overhead light, but there is a light over the dresser from 1960 that my grandmother added and I will love forever because of her.
  6. There are slate floors in the hallway, so the room needed to be a little more neutral to match.
  7. It faces the ocean and when you look out the window you can see the waves and hear them, too. So basically 1-6 are almost irrelevant. 🙂


That was a lot of information.

A lot of build up.

A lot of making you wait.




To see the space.

Here’s the before one more time.

And here (from the same angle) is the after.


I wish you were here with me right now so I could tell you with my voice how MUCH I LOVE IT.

But I only have these laptop keys and these words to try to explain.

Seriously Y’ALL.

It makes me so happy just to look at this picture and know this room will be waiting for me next year.

And here’s the before of the little alcove across from the bed.

And here’s the after.

I added this peel and stick wallpaper I showed on “What I Bought Wednesday.”

You can actually see the video of the wallpaper and what the pillows in the room look like here.

The entire roll was under $20 and it finished this wall and the closet.

Also–I bought everything for the room off of Amazon because I didn’t have a lot of time to source things. Everything for this room is linked on my Amazon shop here under the section “Beach House Decor.”

The most amazing thing about the space?

My husband built this wall and we painted it Naval SW 6244 from Sherwin-Williams.

To save space in the room, the headboard is built in now and bookcases are built on either side.

(Total aside: Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale is right there at the top.)

You can also see the striped beach towels (similar) and this pom pom cover-up that I love here.

We have an entire video on how we built the wall with the headboard and the bookcases coming this week.

It is SUCH a space saver.

If you look at the original before picture you can see we had a wall we built years ago, but it didn’t really have a purpose. Now? The wall is intentional and it adds so much to the space and helps a tiny room to live large.

Here are just a few more details about the room:

  1. We added the cleat hook rack on the side behind the door to hang towels and beach bags and beach essentials.
  2. The room is painted Naval SW 6244 from Sherwin-Williams.
  3. There are two bookcases on the sides of the bed (details in the video to come).
  4. You can find the starfish pillows here.
  5. We left the white curtains at the window (you can see similar curtains here) and took down the blue and white curtains.
  6. You can find the striped Euro shams here (the set of two was under $16) and the 24″ x 24″ inserts here.
  7. The navy and white hotel bedding is SO PRETTY  and SO AFFORDABLE (under $40 for the entire set). You can see it here.
  8. I bought this down alternative insert (because we are at the beach) for the duvet cover and these sheets are AMAZING (over 250,000 reviews).
  9. The bed skirt is so cute and it’s pleated and affordable.
  10. And last but definitely not least is this rug. You can see it here. It’s so pretty and so soft and so durable. Perfect for a beach house or high-traffic area. It’s an 8′ x 10′ and fits the space perfectly.
  11. Everything is linked in my Amazon shop. You can see it all here and you also follow me over there for tons more home ideas like these.

One more time just because it makes me so happy.

Here’s the before.


Little room I love you.


From the bottom of my heart.

I left a little piece of me there.

Just know I’ll be back to get it next year. 🙂

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

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    1. Image for Rose Rose

      I absolutely love the makeover! I am not a beach lover either. After surviving Stage 4 metastatic melanoma the beach is the last place I want to go. The navy makeover looks amazing!! This is my favorite blog by far!! Thank you for all your suggestions and fabulous finds!!

  1. Image for Yarlette Yarlette

    The room makeover looks amazing. I love everything about it. It gives the small room so much style. Great job . I am sure you will enjoy this room for years to come .

  2. Image for Lisa Bridgeman Lisa Bridgeman

    Hi! I am from Canada and have been following you for a long time now and absolutely love the way you write!!! I am wondering if you can advise me on where to buy 100% cotton bed sheet sets. I do not care for the microfiber sheets and I'm looking for the type of sheets that our grandmothers would have had. .. they would be 100% cotton be very crisp and sometimes fairly heavy. They would definitely wrinkle because they're 100% cotton but they would wash so well and feel so nice and crisp and cool. I have not been able to source out where I can find this type of bed sheets. Thank you so much in advance for any help you might be able to give me! Lisa

    1. Image for Debbie Debbie

      I found sheet sets that I love in the Magnolia line at Target. Very well priced. $49.99 (I believe) for Queen Size.

    2. Image for Debby Debby

      Land’s End oxford cloth sheets are wonderful! They are like slipping into an old clean well loved worshirt. Expensive but they have good sales.

  3. Image for JC JC

    Haaaahhaaaa, my design mind never stops either! I even remodel in my dreams!! You're a gitl after my own heart!! The before was cute, but the after, WOW, it is so classic, and beachy, and cozy, and clean all wrapped into one!!! I LOVE the purposeful bookshelves that work double duty in design and function. I'm so looking forward to the video on that as I would love to incorporate that idea in our cabin bunkroom.....if we every get to build it. A girl can dream, right? Thanks for all the inspiration! I can see why you left a piece of your heart in that room!

  4. Image for Renae Renae

    Wow, this is an incredible transformation! It sure makes me wish I had a beach house to decorate!! I was wondering if you have a link for the bedside lamp? It's

  5. Image for Debra Hoskins Debra Hoskins

    I wish I lived close to you...I would taken all the items you removed. Lol. I love both rooms, but really loved the original decor. You have such great ideas! Love getting your updates. Debbie

  6. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    So very cute! And wonderful ideas for an economical re-do. (And total aside...didn't you love the end of the book The Nightingale???? Sigh.) Have a great week!

  7. Image for Cheryl Corlazzoli Cheryl Corlazzoli

    I love your ingenuity -- and style. I would love to copy your "old" bedside table look with the numbers. Would you please share where you found those number pulls?

  8. Image for Cara Cara

    Wow, looks amazing and so much more spacious! I love it and wouldn’t mind spending some time lounging around with a good book… or perhaps a nice nap all tucked into that bed sounds good right about now too!

  9. Image for Tracey Tracey

    Both versions of the room are so pretty but I love the after. That wall is such a great use of space. I have some great memories of summers spent at my grandma’s beach house in NC. My children slept in the same room I had when I was growing up. Sadly we no longer have the house but we still look forward to going back to “our beach”.

  10. Image for Amy Amy

    Very nice makeover. The biggest concern I have is the microfiber bedding. Microfiber fabrics contribute to microplastic pollution. All microfiber products, including fabric, shed microscopic fibers and can make their way into the ocean and into the human body. Microplastics have been found in many bodies of water, the soil, and humans (including newborns). Natural fabrics are more Earth friendly and people friendly.

  11. Image for Marlene Marlene

    Even though I love your blog and read every posting and watch every video I have never commented before but today I have to say this room made me gasp, it stop me in my tracks and I could feel my blood pressure going down! I love this transformation!!! Congrats to you and your hubby in such an amazing job!

  12. Image for Jodena R Beale Jodena R Beale

    What an adorable room and such a touching story of memories of days gone by. I dont know how you get your husband to go along so much. Mine grumps and grumbles about rearranging furniture or digging up a bush. You are a lovely hearted talented person. And your hubby must be a saint. Lol

  13. Image for Ellen Harveaux Ellen Harveaux

    I love the blue color. Is there a link to the gorgeous lamp? The room was so cute before but the new design is fantastic. Thanks so much for the good ideas. Ellen

  14. Image for Sharon Sharon

    What an amazing transformation!! I just love that room. Thank you for sharing this!! Absolutely gorgeous, and so inviting!!! I read the Nancy Drew books too!!

  15. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Oh my word - you did a GREAT job! I just love this new space - really liked it before but now seems so much more mindful. Love love love it. Did you make that sailboat art? I didn't see a link for it and read fast as I have stuff on the stove so am "ninja" reading.

  16. Image for Shirley Shirley

    Have to admit when I saw the before photo I thought why would you want to change it it’s so darn cute? But the transformation is stunning. Love the shelves and the paint colour. It must’ve been fun buying the accessories. I particularly love the cushions and the sign brings it all together. Wow! 🐙🦀🐬❤️

  17. Image for Shawn Shawn

    So glad you left your grandmother's light! Love it! It's my favorite thing about the room - and that's saying A LOT!

  18. Image for Joyce DiRusso Joyce DiRusso

    Beautiful before and after. Love the wall and the color! I grew up in NH and our family had a beach house right on the ocean(sold now.) I loved waking up to the fog horn and also hearing the ocean waves hit the large rocks at night. Those were the days. You are a tremendous decorator and so full of inexpensive ideas! P.S. My friends and I used to go to Hyannis and Brewster a lot and of course Nantucket. Cant beat that.

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