beach house renovation for Airbnb

After we sold our rural cabin, we put the proceeds into a cute-but-tired beach house on the Delaware shore. We found an adorable house in a Key West style (elevated on pilings) and took the plunge!

But the house was in terrible shape. It smelled awful, the furniture was unpleasant, and the flowery couch was always mildewy and slightly damp. Yuck!!

Here are some of the photos we took on our walk-through.

Did you notice that the mirror in the living room is framed using the same material as the couches? Wow.

We took possession of the house in August and have been working ever since then to transform it into a fabulous vacation space. As we did before, we’re trying to do much of the work ourselves to save money, and we’re working with a pretty strict budget.

Our first order of business was to make a plan for each room. We took measurements, made mood boards, and then hit up the Labor Day sales.

Here’s a photo of the primary bedroom and our corresponding mood board:

And here’s a photo of the kitchen and our mood board:

Then we made a tentative plan.

  1. Pay a company to paint the exterior.
  2. Get rid of old furniture (garage sale?) and buy or thrift furniture.
  3. Use spray painter to paint walls, trim, and ceiling.
  4. Pay a company to remove carpet and linoleum and use LVP throughout the house.
  5. After contractor removes whirlpool tub and builds new shower pan, tile and grout new shower and bathroom walls.
  6. Cosmetic upgrades to upstairs bathroom.
  7. Remove upper kitchen cabinets and paint remaining cabinets.
  8. Replace fridge and dishwasher. Replace range?
  9. Tile and grout kitchen walls.
  10. Build open shelves in kitchen.
  11. Replace countertop.
  12. Paint or stain decks and outdoor stairs.

Of course, this plan has been revised dozens of times since then, but it gave us a good starting point. And I have so many projects to share with you!

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite projects, painting the exterior! The pink paint transformed the house and made it look FUN! Doesn’t it make you feel like you’re on vacation?

More to come soon!


  1. Maureen | 15th Jan 23

    You have a lot of work to do. I love your mood boards. I look forward to the finished product!

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