E-decor Project on a Budget: Urban condo into a beach dwelling [Mini Makeover]

This e-decor design project offers some good interior design tips for those on a budget and needing a quick makeover. 

Here’s how it began: A couple from Long Beach, NJ, contacted me to help them transform their previous condo home into a beach dwelling available for summer vacation rental. Basically, they needed a mini makeover for their space. Since they had to redesign the place in less than a week before the renters moved in, they couldn’t re-paint. Also, I had to include their existing furniture in my interior design plan.  The couple needed advice on how to pull the whole space together with what they already had. After they answered my design questionnaire and sent me pictures of their space, I gave them six design ideas on how to transform their metropolitan urban abode into a beach dwelling. 

6 Home Interior Design Tips 

1. Brightening A Room

With the big, dark wood TV unit, the deep red accent wall and the dark grey walls, the living room looked heavy. To lighten it and make it feel more welcoming, I suggested adding a floor mirror surrounded by a light wood finish to contrast with the darker wood. 

2. Adding A Punch of Color

The space looked like a contemporary and understated urban abode, but for a beach dwelling, it was missing a punch of color to liven up the space and give it a beach feel. To complement the deep red wall, I suggested lime green as the perfect color choice to brighten the room. 

3. Adding Texture for Visual Interest

All the furnishings have a smooth finish, including the sofa, coffee table and TV, so the space didn’t offer enough visual contrast. I suggested they add some texture as a quick solution. Raffia is a good fabric choice because it feels like the beach and is a contrast to the other smooth finishes.

 4. Proper Seating is Important

Seating is important in any space, and this living room originally lacked seating. I suggested they add two chairs made with Raffia, which is a good choice because it doesn’t require much maintenance and is foolproof against dirt, stains and water—perfect for a beach rental. Plus, the chairs are light enough to move around with ease. 

5. Giving A Sofa A Fresh Look

Adding throw pillows to the sofa is an easy way to change up a room. In a rental, you want fabrics that are easy to take care of, so I suggested an indoor/outdoor pillow fabric that doesn’t stain easily. 

6. A Shell Motif is Perfect for the Beach

I suggested adding artwork with a seashell motif to bring the outdoors inside and also to lighten the space even more.

After the owner received my plan and executed my interior design tips, she had this to say: 

“Christine helped me decorate the main living area for a furnished summer rental.  We had just moved into a new home, and found renters for our old place much sooner than we had anticipated.  Summer had already begun, and they wanted to get in there as soon as possible. I was short on time and budget, and really needed help taking the apartment from its original metropolitan feel, to something more beach inspired. We needed to be able to coordinate new items with existing furniture, and didn’t have the luxury of repainting.

In spite of all these conditions, Christine was able to successfully meet our needs with several simple, well thought out suggestions and resources. She did a great job explaining her rationale and goals for each element, and how each step would contribute to the feel and functionality of the space. We were sad to leave the old apartment, after seeing it looking so fabulous! Our renters and realtor continue to comment on how fantastic the apartment looks...”
--LG, Long Branch, NJ

Do you have a room in your home that needs to be made over asap? Or maybe you want to throw a party or host guests in the near future and need a room in your house ready for the occasion? Email me at Tse.Christine@hotmail.com with a description of your current decor and why you need to change it. I’d love to offer my expert tips for your space.


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Thank you for reading Happy Lady Decorates. I would love to hear from you about your design dilemma's or any other design problems you might have, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment and I will be very Happy to help you out with it.
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