Next Up

From Gross to Great: An Island Home Makeover

By stripping away the dowdy and going all in with color, beach lovers showed HGTV Magazine how they turned a ramshackle coastal cottage into a summer destination.
1 / 12
Photo: Kim Cornelison. From: HGTV Magazine.

Seeing Potential

There wasn’t much to love about the run-down beach cottage Vicky Patton and her husband, Henry, spotted while house-hunting on Tybee Island, GA, in 2012. The past-its-prime ’50s bungalow had concrete block walls, cracked cement floors, and zero personality. But Vicky, a former home economics teacher, saw potential in the two-bedroom, one-bath eyesore. “The layout was great,” she says. “Despite the size, I knew it could live large.”

More photos after this Ad

2 / 12

Exterior Before

Before the redo, a scraggly lawn and faded yellow exterior hid the home’s charm. Tropical-blue turquoise paint and facade-improving tweaks, like chartreuse shutters and a coral-color screen door, instantly boosted the curb appeal. With lush plants, including a shady 20-foot-tall palmetto palm, the bungalow transformed from teardown candidate to midcentury gem.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 12
Photo: Kim Cornelison. From: HGTV Magazine.

Exterior After

Vicky hired Jane Coslick, a Savannah-based designer and local preservationist. Jane’s advice: Embrace the smallness, and do barefoot-casual on the cheap with laid-back furnishings and retro colors. Now the easygoing home—a popular getaway for Vicky and Henry’s four children and eight grandchildren—fits right in with Tybee’s no-hurries, no-worries vibe. “It’s humble, but it’s so much fun,” says Vicky.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 12

Sunroom Before

Flooded with light, the print-splashed sunroom runs almost the entire length of the house. Like the rest of the cottage, it was overhauled from top to bottom, with new wiring, drywall, vinyl “oak” flooring, and sea-glass-blue paint on the walls. “All the rooms have the same wall color, which helps the house seem bigger and less choppy,” Vicky says.

More photos after this Ad