creating a calm, beach-inspired bedroom

When we bought our beach place, the primary bedroom was pretty yucky . . . like all the bedrooms!

The mattress was horrible, and the carpet was SO stinky. And check out the old-school wallpaper border above the bed!

Like the rest of the house, our first step was to get rid of almost all the furniture and paint the walls and ceilings Cloud White.

Boy, that was a tough week! Then we paid a local company to pull up the carpet and replace it with LVP, and we paid our local electrician to check all the outlets, add can lighting, and install a ceiling fan. I installed new woven blinds throughout the house for privacy, and then it was time to move on to the fun stuff!

We think most of our guests will be families with kids who rent our place for a week at a time over the summer, and we figured the parents who stay in this room might want a quiet retreat. We thought they might appreciate a place to chat or read a book and a place to work.

In terms of a theme, I wanted the space to feel beachy, but also modern-yet-vintage and slightly masculine. Hard to accomplish all of that, right? Here’s the plan we came up with.

I think we stuck pretty closely to the plan!

Between the two windows, we created a space for two people to sit and unwind. We were lucky to snag a pair of chairs from West Elm on deep discount, and we paired them with a neutral ottoman, a copper floor lamp, and a side table from Urban Outfitters that looks like bird legs. (I’ve always wanted that side table, and I was so happy to finally find a place where it would fit!)

I made a few mistakes when I first put this room together, and one of them was the curtains. Check out the first curtains I bought for the room (below left). They look so heavy and dark, and the color looks terrible against the wall paint. I ended up returning those to Amazon and buying these white, gauzy curtains from Target instead. I also moved the curtain rods down toward the windows. (Designers always recommend hanging the curtains high above the window to make the window feel bigger, but that just wasn’t working for me in this room.) I really like the final result! It feels beachy and light.

For the desk area, we bought a relatively inexpensive desk and rolling chair and outfitted it with a pink desk lamp from Ikea and a print from Nesting With Grace in a poster frame from Michaels. We finished it off with a bunch of yellow #2 pencils in a mug. Everything in this space was very inexpensive, yet to me it feels pulled together and calm.

Most of our energy and money went into the bed area. We started with our favorite LUCID mattress and Beckham Hotel pillows from Amazon. We used both of these brands in our previous Airbnb, and our guests loved them! Plus, they’re reasonably priced.

To incorporate the masculine feeling I wanted, I ordered a woven leather headboard from Etsy. It was shipped from Turkey, and there was no way to return it. This was a pretty wild move, to be honest . . . and I must admit that it took a long time for the new-leather smell to subside. Ick! I wasn’t expecting that!

Smell aside, the headboard looks fantastic with this blanket from LL Bean — I think these two elements balance each other out. We added inexpensive Target sheets (identical to the ones we used in our previous Airbnb, except this time we used the color Sour Cream). It took a few tries to find the right duvet color, but I finally settled on a khaki one from H&M Home.

I love the way these various elements balance each other!

We figured our guests could use a place to store their clothes, so we repainted the dresser that came with the house. It looked a lot better after a few coats of my favorite furniture paint (color Heirloom). I’m always amazed at the transformative power of paint!

While the room was coming together, I wanted to echo the masculine feel of the headboard by adding some modern, black elements to the space. We ended up buying black curtain rods from Amazon, black bedside lamps from Article, and a big, black-rimmed mirror that hangs over the dresser. I also added two very cool black-and-white vintage surf pictures above the bed.

We also wanted to stock the house with books and games for cold or rainy days, and we needed a place to store them. The budget was getting tight, so I bought a nondescript shelving unit online and painted it the same color as the walls (Cloud White). Does it look fancy or built-in? No, but it fades into the background, and instead of noticing the bookshelf you notice the books and games. I hope our guests will feel welcomed when they see these fun reads (some of my favorites) and these classic board games.

There you have it! Our primary bedroom at the beach condo. What do you think? What would you have done differently? Would you have leaned into the beach theme more than we did? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

If you’re interested in renting our place and experiencing it for yourself, please check us out on Airbnb.


  1. adult bedroom in the beach condo - Charming Cozy Home | 17th Aug 23

    […] do you think? Do you like this room or the downstairs bedroom better? We used similar colors in both, but they feel very different. I hope our guests are happy […]

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