Beach cottage coastal summer house makeover

Wed 22nd, May, 2013

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Well good morning Beach Cottage Beautifuls, here we are in Sydney broadcasting loud and clear today with a shop-the-house, forty-is-the-new-thirty shed gone coastal Summer House makeover.


So, let us start with a before

Here’s what it looked like after we painted it white (it was electric blue)  and as the work was beginning (you can read the whole before and what it was like here)


and this was the outside when it was nearing to being finished


I really don’t know what the problem was with me getting going on this, well I do actually, it’s called not enough time in the day and the fact that undressed it was totally fine…but now it’s a room and feels part of our old cottage…

Another thing aiding the procrastinating was it’s a very awkward shape, like every other room in this cottage, and I wanted to get the ‘perfect’ pieces of furniture in here and makes sure everything fit nicely and worked well…


At the weekend I thought stuff that, I am going to work with what I have got, shop the house and get this done without spending any money.  There is a certain male in this household who is extremely happy with that decision.  Just call me a thrifty housewife.  20130522-06-abeachcottage-coastal-flower-decorating-abeachcottage.com_

I wanted vintage things in here and all my usual stuff, nautical stripes, coastal blues and lovely lovely whites…I did have a brief fling with yellow too but decided to keep that to flowers.

Here are some of the things I gathered….yep my little photobomber helper was with me….


He just can’t take the pace of DIY though….


Mr Beach Cottage was so very excited to part of this project and doing DIY on his Sunday afternoon.  He says hi.


I dressed up the rustic / beachy sofa with cushions (and will be adding more as I come across them, I am looking for some nice linen grey ones, I have seen some but they were $120 each), put the pot cupboard I recently painted white in the corner, added a lamp…

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…used double layer curtains that I have had for years on the window…on the other side used a blind and may be adding curtains there too, but for now didn’t want it too fussy…


Popped a few of my fave things on the desk to inspire me when I come out here…loving the desk lamp still…


Added these white shelves in the corner above the desk and layered a few vintage mirrors for some light bouncing and some depth…

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Popped up a row of hooks that we made from an old skirting board found on the side of the road – I love hooks to store things and add a bit of feature as I am not huge on art….so easy to change bits of bobs around on here too….


Used the old chair left in it’s natural state to balance the errrrm amount of white…


And a coir rug for some rustic on the floor….


Not bad for an afternoon’s work and the budget was a grand total of zero…

What do you think???


p.s. sorry there are problems with the comments again!  I have contacted my designer Courtney, hopefully they will be fixed soon – I can see you if you leave a comment just not sure that you can see them…in fact if you have a minute could you leave me a comment and see if you can leave me a comment if you see what I mean!  xxxxx


sofa : thrifted $150    white blinds :  IKEA

chair, pot cupboard & table  :  vintage thrifted & painted white with Beach Cottage White

 white lamp :  IKEA    hook rack : side of road skirting board

desk lamp :  Target   coastal bunting  :  made with fabric scraps

fishing float :  Freedom   rug  :  IKEA 



 p.p.s. no I am not sponsored by any of the above companies and none of these were gifted, I spent my own pennies  :-)


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81 Responses to “Beach cottage coastal summer house makeover”

  1. Oh, it looks divine! I’d kill for a little nook like that! Or indeed a garden ;) Can’t wait to feature your house on my blog soon. It’s gorgeous!

    • sarah says:

      I can’t wait either, I am doing some of the photos now…

      I love having a garden, I would miss not having one too xx

  2. Jo says:

    Love, Love Love it!….So wish I had a cozy little retreat like that….but then again I might just hide in there all day and never get anything done….sigh…housework is calling.

    • sarah says:

      errrm yep that’s exactly what I have been doing – very dangerous if you have an iPad too xo

  3. Deb says:

    Awesome! Looks like the perfect home office! x

    • sarah says:

      thanks Deb, yep it’s pretty nice to have it – though I must say it’s very easy to sit on the sofa and do nothing but look out the window ;-)

  4. bev says:

    I want to live there. Even if it doesn’t have a bathroom !!!

  5. IrishMum says:

    Looks divine, and you are seriously thrifty! I would have bought all new things, being the completely unimaginative person I am :(

    • sarah says:

      thanks so much, I waited way too long for everything to be ‘right’ when I had it all in the house anyway…that’s not to say that I haven’t got my eye on other things but this is such a great way to up-cycle and save the world from landfill xx

  6. Sam says:

    looks gorgeous…..love the way Barley is always around !

  7. Looks lovely and fresh. Adore that desk lamp!

  8. hi Sarah…it looks awesome!~ even Barls blends in with the colour scheme!!

    I have mentioned to you before I would love to do a makeover of our garden shed, but alas Mr 24 yo has his gym out there!!~~

    AND i think it gets too many huntsman spiders lurking….!!
    so shall stick to my other rooms full of my ebay goodies & stuff and MORE STUFF@!!~~

    x andrea

    • sarah says:

      well I love stuff! how are you lovely Andrea?? and how is the pooch :-) xx

      • sooty is good..I think his hearing is going now though cos he NEVER barks when the door bell rings like he used to…..
        but he can still smell like a puppy…and acts like one when he wants his food~~!!!
        he is just a delight at 14 yrs old…and his “old girlfriend??”…namesake “miss female sooty” had to be put down (I hate that expression)…at the wonderful age of 19 last week…she turned 19 on Anzac Day..
        what a wonderul innings from the old girl/namesake…
        heres hoping we get a lot more joy from Barls (well of course cos he is a JUNIOR)..but my MR SOOTY…
        x andrea

        • sarah says:

          I am glad to hear he is still doing well, I hate that word put down too.

          I am not looking forward to not having Barls in my life, it will be a very very sad day xxx

  9. Oh, this just looks heavenly. Don’t think you’d get me out of there once I’d moved in!

  10. Holy crap…you’re summer house puts my ‘proper’ house to shame!! It’s perfect. Don’t you love when the simplest easiest (and cheapest!!!) solutions work the best?! Nice job lovey!! x (oh and loving the tarjay lamp! Is that a recent purchase? I believe the farm needs one. Or three.) xx

    • sarah says:

      yes it is recent but I believe they are on sale, so obviously not been popular so I wouldn’t hang around to get one, I have more than one ahem

      thanks for the love :)

  11. kat says:

    I love it! Sarah you always style & decorate so beautifully!!

  12. L O V E it! Once again, you have almost inspired me to tidy up my house! xxxx

  13. Suzanne@myfabulousdesign says:

    What a lovely little summer house!! It will be the perfect little escape room!! And now with the cold weather, I am sure it will be lovely and warm with the sun streaming through, with a nice cup of tea and a magazine or indeed the ipad!! Love that you shhopped the house too!! Well done Sarah!! xx

    • Suzanne@myfabulousdesign says:


    • sarah says:

      thanks Suzanne, yep it’s a little room of toast – the sun comes in here in the Winter, I also have a small heater for the evenings and with that on as it is so small and compact it warms up in minutes – we also had it well insulated to keep in the heat (and out the heat in Summer)…

    • Suzanne says:

      Lovely Sarah my name did not appear!! Suzanne xx

      • sarah says:

        yes I can see that it didn’t, it seems not everyone’s is – it’s quite confusing on the blog post, but behind the scenes on the dashboard here I can see who everyone is – hopefully Courtney will be able to help soon :-)

  14. Suzanne says:


  15. Selby says:

    I see you& your pretty make over for the summerhouse:)

  16. It’s gorgeous! Grand and gorgeous!! Loved it!!!

  17. A-MAZ-ING!!!

    Can you transport it over to my back garden pretty-please?

    It is just perfect. We have an old playhouse in our garden, and I have dreams of having my own wee summer house instead!

    Congrats on a perfect job.

  18. Sue P says:

    Just perfect! Best wishes for many hours spent there.
    Sue P

  19. Annie M says:

    Lovel room to hang out in peace and solitude …..wondering where I can do the same at my place…thanks for the inspiration Sarah….Annie M

  20. Mary says:

    Oh my, summer houses! My darling lived in a house on a river back in England before we even met – and his neighbours had them, down by the riverside. I often ask him if he wants to move back to a river, but so far he’s happy where we are! Enjoy that beautiful room!

  21. samantha says:

    look sensational, if there was a shed make over competition I think you would win hands down!
    …and I’d like to stay for the weekend please. :-)

  22. Ohh I love your summer house. Just gorgeous! I’m really into white as well.

  23. Alice says:

    swoon! What a lovely, cozy, sunny, space. I am so in love I can’t come up with any worthy words to describe how delightful this little space is to my eyes!!

  24. merilyn says:

    love it sarah! what a lovely space to work in, be inspired or just chill out in solitude and sometimes lock the door hang a sign outside …do not disturb … or whatever!
    nothing like your very own space … barls looks quite ensconced too, enjoy! lol m:)

  25. Paddy says:

    One of your best, I think Sarah. I particularly love the lying down option for moments of severe inspiration.

  26. Surely Sarah says:

    Gobsmacked! Looks absolutely amazing, and I love love love the fact that you have effectively “repurposed” everything to do double-duty out in the summer house. I’m a huge fan of using what you have instead of buying new – not only is it thrifty, it’s environmentally friendly!
    Hmm, I really need more hooks in my house…

  27. Stacey Harrimar says:

    It looks fantastic Sarah, you’ve really turned a “sows ear into a silk purse”. x

  28. Julie Johnson says:

    Incredible as usual. You just have a gift for putting things together. It’ll be great to go out there to get away from the kiddies and such since the winters in Australia are very mild. Love all of it.

  29. Karen says:

    Love, love, love! It’s just the perfect big girl playhouse! If you could make it coastal, maybe a No Boys Allowed sign!

  30. Jodi R says:

    Just beautiful – I love how you just pull it all together and it has such an effortless style. It must be so nice to have such a confident sense of your own style … I am still wandering in the wilderness looking at all the pretties and thinking “Ooooo, I like that”. I just have to find a singular sense of style that sits comfortably together and feels me. I guess I will grow into it one day, I hope.

    • Jodi R says:

      I can see my comment fine by the way so hopefully your issues with the site are solved :)

  31. Such a sweet and tranquil little space.

  32. michelle says:

    Looks amazing! What a lovely place to escape to :-) x

  33. OH MY! I seriously love what you have done. I could plant my butt on that lounge in the sun and sip on a corona or a caprioska for hours. What a gorgeous spot to hang out. Well done hun xx

  34. I would spend my whole day in here!

  35. Tamara says:

    Beautiful Sarah! My sister did exactly the same with her inherited shed/summer house at the bottom of the garden and now it’s a stylish (white!!) artists studio!
    Love the bunting! X

    • sarah says:

      it’s so good to makeover an old shed Tamara! one of the best things we’ve done, not perfect but a lot better x

  36. Pam says:

    No work would be done by me. On the lounge with the dog, a coffee and a mag and a rug. I’d never come out. Looks so relaxing Sarah . X

  37. Emma says:

    Oh SIGH! I love everything about it. So very jealous of your beautiful light, it has turned grey and dreary here and making for not-so-attractive photography opportunities. I see Target have those lamps on sale with a combo-pack with a matching floor lamp, I think I’m going to order online and pick up at my local store. How on earth do you make even having a black cord so effortlessly cool?! I’m always trying to hide that stuff, but you make it look great. Well done x

    • sarah says:

      thanks Emma, the cord was really annoying me actually, I can’t understand why it’s in black? I mean doesn’t everyone paint their house white ;-) ;-)

      yes it is on offer as the combo but I think it is for the bright silvery colour not this brushed steel which I have got so you might want to check that out x

  38. I would kill for a retreat like this in my backyard. It’s gorgeous, Sarah – congratulations!

    • sarah says:

      thanks lovely Darcy, it’s nice to have and I think every woman should have one in her life – not bad from what we rescued it from which was a very horrible electric blue shed with mould and damp lol xxxx

  39. ElaineM says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Been following your blog for a while now. Love your work – light, bright and white works for me too. So jealous that you have such a lovely retreat.

  40. Elaine in Laguna says:

    Sarah, I love how this turned out! So lovely! It says summer which we’re heading into over here. Really impressed that you did it with what you already had, too. Well done!

    • sarah says:

      thanks Elaine, it’s amazing that you can shop the house and still decorate – well I guess I do have quite a few things to choose from lol!

  41. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    Sarah it is beautiful,i love what you have done with it, you you could even have guests to stay,it is a lovely light spot to sit on your computer or snuggle up with Barley on the sofa,you are very very clever!

  42. Ellen says:

    Such a sweet little room, Sarah! Our home is a tiny old garage we have beautifully done with simple vintage white furniture and finds. It is basically one room for the bedroom, living and kitchen areas. A bath with laundry and small storage room were added. We love our little home. I had my husband helping me move furniture around tonight and I always love that!

  43. alison says:

    I’ve had a crap week. Thanks for bringing joy to my heart.

    alison XO

  44. Petra says:

    Oh I love it! I am so glad people are finally doing summerhouses here in Australia like they do in the UK – it just makes sense to have a pretty little room in the garden – adds character and just a great place to hang! A cute place to have friends ’round for coffee!!! :-)

  45. Sarah
    It looks soooooo stunning now that it’s finished. I love what you’ve done with your summer house and keep trying to persuade my husband that we need one – alas, he hasn’t agreed……. yet. Love love love your Roberts radio – I have a green one and have just persuaded my Dad back home in Blighty to send me another one, which unfortunately isn’t a gorgeous colour like yours, but black. Anyway, as usual, I love your work.

  46. Wee Birdy says:

    What a heavenly makeover! It all looks fabulous, and I really love that rug!

  47. HRH Sarah says:

    What a gorgeous addition to your home! Looks like such a sweet place to daydream… :)

  48. Rochelle says:

    Wow, love this Sarah. Ah, when can I come visit? ;)

  49. chrissy jane says:

    Sooooo beautiful.. Would you be kind enough to share the company and name of the white wall
    colour throughout?