In this series, we take you room-by-room through the transformation of a 1923 Craftsman home in North Carolina’s historic coastal town of Beaufort, recently labeled the South’s best small town in 2019 by Southern Living Magazine. The Beaufort Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places, and all of Beaufort is filled with beautiful historic homes. The home we transformed is Crew Cottage on Ann Street, one block from Beaufort’s waterfront, shops, and fine dining.
The first thing I noticed walking into Crew Cottage was the ceiling height. It’s rare to find 10-foot ceilings and both the plaster ceilings and walls were in pristine condition and made the home feel much larger than its 1,250 square feet. We knew right away that this home had incredible potential.
Zesty’s mission was to transform the home into an irresistible vacation rental with a modern, clean, coastal feeling. The family room is the first space that you enter, so it needed to be inviting, surprising, and enticing.
We had our work cut out for us. The family room felt small with the previous owner’s furnishings (see photos below). The flow was awkward, and the space felt dark. Two-inch vinyl plantation shutters hung on every window in the home and ecru paint covered the walls. The corner fireplace was red brick. The overhead chandelier was dated. The Zesty approach is to focus on staging strategies that will make a home appear bright, spacious, harmonious, and stylish. Read on to see how we did it.
We started with fresh paint on the walls and fireplace in SW Chantilly Lace. For the color palette, I drew inspiration from Beaufort’s coastal setting—using white, sand, brown, and shades of blue throughout the home. When we removed the shutters, light flooded into the room. For privacy, we hung Pottery Barn curtains hung close to the ceiling which highlighted the height of the room. A Serena & Lily light jute rug lightened up the dark floors. Pottery Barn lamps on each side table also add light to the room.
We changed the furniture arrangement to open the space and improve the flow. Our crew mounted the television to the wall above the fireplace and kept the seating simple, with a West Elm sleeper sofa, cream-colored chair, and two poufs. A round ottoman conveniently holds games and puzzles, and ties into the floor color.
A space that’s well-balanced and has natural elements feels harmonious. The home is close to the Rachel Carson Reserve, which is a collection of five islands and a sanctuary for local mammals, marine life, and over 200 species of birds. We chose Minted photographs and paintings of things you’d see on the Reserve including driftwood, pelicans, and ponies and positioned a large plant in the corner. The jute rug, linen curtains, wooden side tables, seagrass ottoman, faux leather pillow, and wicker mirror also bring natural elements to the space. Blankets are stored in baskets from Zara home. The driftwood anchor from McGee & Co provides another natural element that becomes a focal point, perched on the edge of the fireplace hearth.
Although we were aiming for a classic coastal feel, we wanted the space to have a hint of city style. Beaufort Linen helped us select the Morris pendant for the center of the room, which added a stunning, sophisticated element and complimented the modern dining room chandelier (more on that in our next post). Etsy provided the swanky custom pillow covers.
We love how the space turned out and so do renters! Over the course of its first three days on Vrbo, the home received eight new bookings. Stay tuned to see how we tackled the rest of the home!