Sunday, April 12, 2015

Our Beach Villa: Part One

I love the ocean. The sand between my toes, the saltwater, the sound of crashing waves and the sea air. It is definitely my happy place. Unfortunately, my home is in land-locked Indiana with no ocean in sight. 

During our brutal winter months, I have dreamt about having a place near the beach to escape the cold. And, this winter, the dream became a reality. We purchased a villa on Hilton Head Island, SC that we will, hopefully, escape to a few times a year. When we are not there, the villa will be rented. So, if you need some time at the beach, email me for more information. (Yes, that was a shameless plug.)

After vacationing in various beach communities, we chose to buy in Hilton Head for a few reasons. It's within a reasonable driving distance from us; it has nice year-round temperatures; it has beautiful tree-lined plantations with buildings that blend-in with nature (no high-rises); and it's family-friendly with loads of activities (golf, tennis, fishing, kayaking, watersports, and miles of bike paths). I also like that it's laid-back… no pressure to dress my kids in Vineyard Vines just to go grab an ice cream cone ;) 

The island boasts the country's largest Kroger, which happens to sell the best pimiento cheese I've ever had. That wasn't really a deciding factor. Just a bit of trivia for y'all. Now that I'll be a part-time Southerner, I can toss out a "y'all" and be totally legit, right?

My husband and I went down to Hilton Head in December to take a look at some properties. Our main goal was to be as close to the beach as possible. We looked at lots of places, but when we walked into this place, we knew this was it. It came furnished, and although I didn't love the decor, I knew I could make some changes to give it a more "beachy" look.

Here is how the place looked when we toured it…

This is the walkway leading up to the villa. I love the Spanish moss.

Our door is the one on the right. When you enter the front door, you immediately go up a flight of stairs to the living areas.

Almost there...

Made it!


Let's start with the living room ...

What I liked about the space: the vaulted ceiling, the wall of windows, and the built-ins. 

What I didn't like: everything else. Ha! Well, I could work with the sectional because it was in good shape and a new one wasn't in the budget. But, the dark pillows and art and the formal lamps had to go! I don't want earth tones and pictures of autumn leaves in a beach house. I want light, bright, airy and coastal! 

That chair and ottoman were pretty hideous, and the bistro set?

"Please sit up here at the bistro table and spill your red wine on my light carpet." Ummm… no thank you. That was the first thing heading for the consignment shop!

Let's take a look at the dining area, shall we? 

Again, lots of dark going on. I would have loved a whitewashed table here, but I can work with this.

The kitchen was in good shape. Well-equipped, good appliances.

It opens up into the dining room with a bar area.

Just outside is one of my favorite spots.

The screened porch with table and chairs and a swing.

We can serve food right through the kitchen window.

When I'm not on the beach, this is where I will spend most of my time.

Just off the living room is a sun deck.

Not exactly inviting at the moment, but I will fix that ;)

The villa has two bedrooms. Each has its own separate hallway and bathroom. This hall leads to the master bedroom.

The master has a large walk-in closet, or for renters with small children, a nursery. Surely I'm not the only one who used to set up a pack-n-play in a closet? 

The master bathroom…

Must I even mention that the red wallpaper will be down faster than you can say "Wow. That's ugly wallpaper."?

There is a nice big shower and garden tub that you will notice once the wallpaper is no longer distracting you.

Speaking of distracting walls...

This is the second bedroom, the kids' bunk room. Once my eyes recovered from temporary blindness, I could see that this room had potential. It sleeps six with the trundle bed. 

There is a pocket door that leads to the kids bedroom and bathroom area. So, I can just close the kids in there and have myself a little peace and quiet. 

We closed on the villa in February, but had renters in there until a couple of weeks ago. When they left, my mom and I headed on down to conduct a design intervention. I just got home yesterday, and I can't wait to show you the changes we made! 

I am so grateful to have a place by the ocean. We looked at a lot of villas, but what sold us on this one was the close proximity to the beach. It is across the street from the beach walk, which makes it less than a 4-minute walk from our front door to the water. We also loved how home-y this villa felt. Many of the places we looked at seemed too much like hotel rooms with tiny living rooms and bedrooms right next to each other. This villa was just the perfect fit for our family. We are so excited to make memories with our kids there. And, I hope that lots of other families will stay there and enjoy it, too!

Check back tomorrow to see the "after" pics. I think you'll agree that the place is so much lighter, brighter and "beach-ier" now.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Spring!!! Finally!


  1. Congrats on your new beach home. We lived in Hilton Head for five years and now visit as often as possible.

    1. Sherry… how fun! I would love to live there year-round. Maybe someday… sigh :)