Life’s a Beach

Hi everyone!  I’m back and I’m so sorry for dropping off for a while.  I was busy dealing with the move to the new apartment for two weeks, and then I went home to Atlanta to visit family and then on to Fripp Island, South Carolina where I closed on a house with my parents.  We are now the proud new owners of a beach house!  The house isn’t really on the beach, but it’s right on the golf course and just a half mile from the nearest beach access.  My family started going to Fripp Island when I was 2 years old, and we have visited almost every year since.  It’s a controlled access island where most people ride around on golf carts and bicycles.  It doesn’t have the putt-putt courses or tacky restaurants like many other vacation places, and our days there have always been filled with early morning coffee on the screened porch, hours spent on the beach, and then a delicious home cooked meal with the flavor of the low country.  While the sand and water aren’t sparkly white and crystal clear like they are in the Gulf of Mexico, they do offer a wonderful place to run, and the vast, expansive Atlantic Ocean has always had a special place in my heart.  We are excited that after 25 years of visiting we finally own a little piece of (our) paradise.  

The home was built in the late 1990’s…and definitely looks like it was.  It’s all structurally sound, and the exterior is nice and beachy, but the inside definitely needs a bit of a facelift.  I’m beyond excited to focus on this new project of mine, and I will definitely document the budget-friendly redecorating process here on Life with a Dash of Whimsy.  For now though, here is a tour of the new beach house. 

I simply have no words for this…

Pirates and fake trees…

The dining set is actually rather nice and I like the back of the chairs.  It just needs some paint.

More fake plants.

A plaid couch at the beach.  This definitely needs a slipcover.

We are planning on painting the entire living/dining area gray.  It’ll look SO much better.

There were figurines EVERYWHERE!

Beware of alligators!

With some turquoise paint and black and white striped fabric this chair will look great.

These formica countertops are green.  We are going to try to paint them because this green has got to go.  Cabinets will be painted white.  Walls will likely be some shade of turquoise.

Check out that bed skirt.

Green sink.  Not sure how to fix this cheaply…

Peachy overload in the master bedroom.

We are so very thankful that the furniture (and a golf cart!) was included in the contract, but it has a bit of a golfer’s retreat motif at the moment, which just isn’t our style.  Luckily a few layers of paint and a slip cover or two will easily transform the space.  We did have to get rid of lots of the knickknacks (and 10 dust-collecting fake plants and trees), but even those small changes made a huge difference.  I’ll be back down in a few weeks to tackle some of the bigger projects, and I simply can’t wait to put in some elbow grease and make this place our own.  I forgot to take pics of the front of the house and the large screened porch, so those will come later.  Oh and if you have any great ideas for cheap fixes please share!  

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. September 3, 2014 / 1:34 pm

    Congratulations Katie! How exciting for you and your family! I'm sure the house will be lovely when you're finished with it and I can't wait to see the transformation. As far as the green counter top goes, I've seen quite a few faux-marble/granite painting tutorials on Pinterest that look great. Although I wonder if it would be embrace-able if you painted the cabinets and changed out the faucet? You'll find a way!

  2. September 3, 2014 / 1:58 pm

    I agree with Natalie, I feel like if you change the counter tops and faucet and shower curtains, I think the light green sink could be really nice. A little bit of gold thrown in, and I think you could make a really nice looking bathroom. If not, I've also heard really nice things about marble contact paper, which would maybe work in this space? Either way, I'm excited to see what you come up with! ­čÖé

  3. September 3, 2014 / 2:47 pm

    Congrats on the beach house! Can't wait to see the transformation!

  4. Anonymous
    September 3, 2014 / 6:51 pm

    Was that a VCR in the master bedroom? I think you can take care of the green counter bathroom – look at vintage stores where you can incorporate sink into some type of table that will fit, I have seen it done and it looks amazing. I did like the pink wall lol and the pirate.

  5. Anonymous
    September 3, 2014 / 10:25 pm

    If painting the kitchen counter tops don't work try finding a place that does overlays. There are a lot of places that do granite or stone overlays in Australia so there has to be something near you.

  6. September 4, 2014 / 2:20 am

    Can't wait to watch the transformation!! Glad you got rid of all the fake plants ASAP!!!

  7. September 4, 2014 / 9:07 am

    Congratulations! That is a cute little house and I know it will be totally fabulous when you are done with it. I love the 20's era swimmer figurine on top of the clock!

    I think your beach house needs a name…. I drove through a neighborhood in the Florida panhandle once where all the houses had witty names. I can't really remember them, but some were a play on the owner's name or a nautical or beachy phrase. Like Frippin' Awesome ­čśë You are so clever and creative, I'm sure you could come up with a great one! I'm looking forward to whole transformation process!

  8. Anonymous
    September 4, 2014 / 1:00 pm

    Katie, don't they have a pirate festival at Fripp occasionally. You might want to store the pirate in the br
    oom closet in case you are there for the festival in the future. Just a thought!

  9. Anonymous
    September 4, 2014 / 2:18 pm

    I cannot begin to imagine living under this type of extreme wealth where you own extra houses. It seems beyond excessive and selfish. Please stop complaining and learn to be grateful for your wealth. I hope you are contributing to charity in the future with your excess money. Such excess spending has zero appeal to those of us that live in the real world.

  10. September 4, 2014 / 3:25 pm

    How exciting! We love hearing about your adventures, and I'm thrilled about this newest addition to your life! Can't wait to see what you all create with this space. Your mind is a colorfully creative wonder. Thank you a million times for sharing those talents, experiences, and your spirit with so many of us who find inspiration in all that you do! You rock.

  11. September 4, 2014 / 3:36 pm

    I think the beach house is great! I have you doubt you and your parents will do some incredible things with it. Can't wait to see the "after" pictures!

    And uh, Anonymous, I'm pretty sure Katie has contributed more than enough through her service to this country and countless personal sacrifices. I'm sorry that your "real world" is one in which you judge others without even knowing them. Have a great day and be blessed, okay!

  12. September 4, 2014 / 3:52 pm

    Amen…and much more tactful than the thoughts which were running through my mind.

  13. Jason Hearn
    September 4, 2014 / 6:34 pm

    That has got to be simply the most ill-informed, off base and completely incorrect assessment possible.

  14. Anonymous
    September 4, 2014 / 6:49 pm

    Given her story, I think Katie has given way more back to society than this commenter ever has. Keep it up, Katie. Your thoughts, words, and pictures bring a lot of creativity to life!

  15. September 4, 2014 / 8:47 pm

    This comment is absolutely ridiculous – Katie you are definitely deserving of this home and the sacrifices you have made in the army are so much more meaningful than "donating to charity".

    I am so happy for you and your family and can't wait to see the transformation!


  16. September 4, 2014 / 9:50 pm

    This comment makes me want to cry. You're so uninformed that it hurts. Do a little research on what Katie has sacrificed and been through (and maybe the salary of a CPT in the Army) and then reassess your statement.

  17. Anonymous
    September 5, 2014 / 12:16 am

    Way to judge someone you've obviously never met. Try getting the facts before leaving such comments. Katie & her parents are the nicest people you could ever know. As to living in the real world.. maybe you should try it!

  18. September 5, 2014 / 2:45 pm

    Perhaps, Anonymous (original poster), you should keep your comments to yourself. I am horrified that someone would troll this page, especially under the cloak of anonymity. Get a grip.

  19. DMZ
    September 5, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    Anonymous- Sending you prayers and hugs because you are a coward and an unkind person. You are in no position to judge a person and obviously have no creditability considering you hide behind a cloak. It is people like Katie who you should thank for your freedom of speech. Katie- from one military veteran to another keep up the great work and keep your head up. I am inspired by your story and spirit. God bless and best wishes on your future endeavors.

  20. September 5, 2014 / 4:53 pm

    How exciting for you and your family! I LOVE reading your blog and check in every few days. Congrats on all the recent changes – I know you'll handle them with grace. Love the dinning room/kitchen chairs and the wooden bed frames – looks like you've got great bones to work with!

  21. A fan in Brussels, Belgium
    September 6, 2014 / 11:04 am

    Dear Original Anon, I live in the real world, thousands of miles away from the world in which Katie lives. The paths Katie and I follow may never cross, and yet through her blog I recognise, and empathise with, her hope and ambition for a life well lived, well loved and played out with a certain joie de vivre.

    So it seems you are mistaken in thinking that a life, with a dash of whimsy, does not appeal to those of us that live in the real world.

  22. September 10, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words everyone. Y'all are the best!

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