COASTAL LIVING 2015 SHOWHOUSE: Den & Powder Rooms Before & After

Now that we find ourselves half way through the Coastal Living 2015 Showhouse “Before & After” posts, it has occurred to me that this being a brand new house, there aren’t actually “befores” to warrant calling these “afters”.

Designing from scratch vs. renovating an existing space is a very different process with its own set of perks and challenges. I find that house-lovers tend to fall into two camps: those who imagine one day building a dream home from the ground up, and those who fantasize about renovating and restoring a home with history.

That’s an oversimplification and there are obviously people who enjoy the idea of both. But, if the reality is more of a spectrum, I would still be at the extreme end of wanting to get my hands on Gray Gardens rather than a shiny new plot of land with a view. That is in part because I love old things with history, but also because I find myself inspired by the constraints that come by working within an existing space. Given total free-reign, I’m not sure I would know what to do with myself. I guess I’m more of a problem solver than inventor.

On this project, having an extremely abbreviated timeline helped impose some such boundaries for this house, as did guidelines laid out by the various national sponsors whose product we would be working with. For example, we were fortunate to partner with Sunbrella who asked that we design one interior room exclusively using their indoor/outdoor textiles.

I love Sunbrella’s line. Without turning into infomercial mode, it really is incredible how far outdoor fabrics have come in the past few years, I often can’t tell the difference in the hand of outdoor and indoor fabrics anymore. Of course, the added bonus is that fabrics made to withstand the elements are great for the messes that comes with children- who, as parents know, seem to be equal parts adorable and filthy at all times.


We chose the downstairs family room/den which was a particularly fitting choice since this room is also the entry to the home- and even though there is a mud-room on the other side of the house for the real heavy traffic- the den would have a fair amount of wear and tear with guests returning from the beach.


Considering the den would be the first room people saw when entering the house, I wanted it to be bright and colorful and set the tone for the fun times to be had inside. I wanted to use wallpaper in here since it isn’t used in many other homes in the community, and while I used it elsewhere in this house, this would be the room that most people saw. The house has wrap around porches on both floors, which are wonderful, but do make the rooms on the first floor a little dark. This Cole & Son paper had just the right amount of color, and is just so darn cheerful


Knowing I would be working exclusively with Sunbrella, I wanted people to be really surprised when they found out all of the fabrics were, in fact, outdoor grade. That meant highlighting the textiles & making them the main source of interest in the room, drawing attention to their various usages, all without making it look too contrived . Think {summoning my best Don Draper pitch} ‘We could have used anything in the world, but Sunbrella is all we ever need!’


With the wallpaper in mind, we chose to upholster two big comfortable daybeds from Lee Industries- perfect for sleeping overflow houseguests and cozy movie watching on a rainy day- in a cheerful turquoise cabana stripe. The classic stripe is strong and graphic enough to steal some attention away from the wallpaper, without becoming chaotic. For the accent chair I chose a coordinating solid turquoise fabric with a slight texture and pattern with a great hand, which really shows off how soft outdoor fabrics can be.


Walking the line between showing off the fabrics, and making their application in the space feel natural, I selected a neutral gray solid on the windows, adding a scallop detail on the shade to make sure they would blend without being overlooked.


We brought in this modern coffee table, a great surface for rainy day board games, a fun pouf, and an indoor/outdoor rug from Sunbrella. Not pictured in the room are a wet bar at one corner, and a large entertainment center with plenty of storage for towels, and family photos/beach treasures.


Down the hall from the den is a tiny little powder room that could have been overlooked…


But we decided to have some fun with it and paint up some flaming red stripes and accessorize with some all-out nautical flare.


It’s such a delightful surprise to find behind an unassuming hallway door.5N2A7647

The other powder room is on the second floor, and is the final room we wallpapered, also in a Cole & Son paper with these gorgeous feeeesh.


The orange lacquered mirror was such good luck, it perfectly matches that unusual marigold tone in the paper, and makes this tiny powder room a little jewel box.

Aren’t Molly’s pictures gorgeous? I love revisiting these rooms and the process behind them. We only have one more left, the two bunk rooms that I will post later this week, and I hope they have been useful!

[All photos by Molly Miller]

[Just an FYI, I was not paid by any of the sponsors in any way for these posts. Sunbrella, and other companies cited, are national sponsors for Coastal Living, and all arrangements for product and compensation were handled by their team. These posts are meant to recap my experience designing the house, and were also not a service I was paid to do. I hope you enjoy the recap!]

4 thoughts on “COASTAL LIVING 2015 SHOWHOUSE: Den & Powder Rooms Before & After

  1. My God Bailey you are so very talented. Are you saving posting pictures of your new home to be published in a magazine? If so, I cannot wait to go out and buy the magazine. Every room you show is so bright, cheerful and inspirational and with each picture it just gets better. Your family is adorable.

  2. You are incredibly talented. Your houses are like a piece of art. I so wish you could take the house my husband and I just bought and make it magical like you always do! Thank you for sharing the pictures.

  3. Just love these rooms Bailey – you are such a talent! I will also say that when I opened your post and saw the tag line ‘have your bed and make it, too’, I initially read it as ‘have you made your bed yet?’ and thought, ‘dammit, no, I haven’t made my bed yet. What a helpful tag line’.

  4. These are STUNNING, bravo!! Also- how do I recreate scalloped shades for my living room? Did you have a tailor create the scalloped finish? Dying for them! xo

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