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Tiny House Ideas for Beach Cottage Remodel – Before and After

We have been remodeling our tiny 460 sq. ft., 1940’s beach cottage since last fall. Today I’m revealing the entire DIY renovation process.

Here are the Budget Friendly Tiny House Ideas we used to remodel our beach cottage to create storage and make the one bedroom cottage feel large.

Although Brad and I had never attempted to tackle anything like this remodel we jumped right in. After building our DIY Greenhouse without any help, we felt cautiously optimistic that we could figure it out as we went. It is our hope that you will be inspired to tackle projects yourself regardless of your confidence in the outcome.

Why Did You Remodel the Beach Cottage?

First, the cottage was built in the 1940’s and very few renovations have been made over the years. Some electrical work was done when central air was installed and the bathroom and small laundry were updated in 2005. It’s time for another update and we will be tackling those areas at a later date.

Some exterior work has been done out of necessity.

However, the remainder of the house needed an update badly. Therefore our tiny house has new windows, floors, and paint. In the kitchen the cabinets and walls were also replaced.

In addition, we added a closet, an accent wall, opened a wall and added a bar for dining. A new kitchen sink and faucet and several decor updates was part of the remodel.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Beach Cottage porch

Hurricane Florence in 2018 prompted the need for a new roof and the porch railings were removed to make way for larger porch posts in 2019.

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Best Ideas For A Tiny House

As the inside renovations began, these are a few of the ideas we incorporated to make the tiny spaces live large.

  1. Keep paint colors light and neutral from room to room.
  2. Utilize wall space with shelving & tall cabinets.
  3. Use creative storage solutions with chests, crates and baskets.
  4. Keep window treatments simple. Switching to 2 Inch blinds versus mini blinds helped to open the view to the outdoor.
  5. Install an open cabinet in kitchen.
  6. Keep kitchen utensils, dishes, etc. in plain view and handy.
  7. Keep spaces clutter free with wall lighting instead of lamps.
  8. Attach headboard to wall for added bedroom space.
  9. Use barn doors or pocket doors for added space.
  10. Add mirrors to reflect light and give the illusion of larger spaces.

Tiny House Ideas for Bedroom

First, we tackled adding a closet to the one and only bedroom. There were previously zero closets in the cottage.

Tiny house ideas - add a closet

The windows needed to be replaced in this room so instead of replacing both windows, we bumped the wall out to create a closet and replaced the one window with a smaller version.

The old antique door was repurposed as a sliding door with Barn Door Hardware from Delaney Hardware.

Barn door idea for tiny house

In addition, we replaced the flooring and painted the walls with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. This is a slightly darker shade than the living room paint but still in the same color family.

You can see more about how we added storage to the cottage bedroom here.

Barn door added to closets in tiny bedroom

New Bedding & Sweet Night Mattress

When the entire room is new, you want to continue to update the decor. Not only did we add new bedding from Belk, but a new mattress was a priority.

We love the Sweet Night Global mattress we have at the farmhouse and decided to add their new S1 Mattress to the beach cottage. It was a perfect choice and even Rudy loves sleeping on it.

A cooler nights sleep

Their latest mattress includes curved memory foam for targeted spinal support as well as temperature adaptive feature for a cooler nights sleep. This is probably my favorite feature. LOL

In addition, the superior motion isolation allows Rudy to jump onto the bed at night without disturbing our sleep.

Sweet Night Mattress for beach cottage

Tiny House Kitchen Remodel

Next, we began renovations to the tiny kitchen which is the same size as the bedroom. Everything needed to be replaced here.

First, the old cabinets were removed and a new beaded board walls were installed.

Before Photo of beach cottage kitchen

The new open cabinet was a DIY project and I shared all the details on How to Build an Open Kitchen Cabinet.

The new apron front stainless kitchen sink and Pfister faucet really update the kitchen.

Open cabinet in tiny kitchen

On the opposite wall, the bar was removed and the upper cabinet taken down.

Before Photo of Kitchen

The hutch, which was previously in the living room, received a fresh coat of paint and some new dishes.

An upcycled thrift store shelf adds storage and the peg board holds supplies that can be quickly grabbed. See the Thrift Store Shelf Flip here.

After the kitchen remodel for tiny house ideas

Reinvented Cabinet Coffee Bar

In addition, two upper cabinets were reinvented as a coffee bar. Due to the narrow space, a full size lower cabinet was out of the question.

Before Photo of Beach cottage kitchen

Therefore, the two upper cabinets were flipped upside down and a wooden top, matching the open cabinet, was added.

Hutch added to kitchen during remodel

There is room on the coffee bar for the microwave as well.

Hutch in tiny house

Tiny House Ideas – Open the Space

In order to create even more space and a new eating area, the wall between the living room and kitchen was cut out using only a cordless jigsaw from Ryobi Tools.

Remove a partial wall in tiny house

The door jam was left intact and formed a column effect for the opening.

Opening the wall in beach cottage

Here is the view before the opening was created. The range hood and upper cabinet will be removed.

Before photo of kitchen in tiny house

Tiny House Idea To Make Kitchen Feel Larger

One of our tiny house ideas was to remove half of this wall which makes the kitchen feel so much larger as well as allowing the light to flow in.

The opening was framed out to match the adjacent door jam.

Half wall opened during beach cottage remodel

Neutral Colors for a Tiny House

When creating more space within a tiny house, using neutral colors are a key factor. All the rooms are painted in shades of white by Benjamin Moore.

While replacing the windows, the window treatments were removed and two inch wooden blinds were installed.

In addition, to allow each room to flow into the next, the new flooring is consistent through out.

Living Room

Finally, the living room is ready for an update.

After opening the space between the living room and kitchen, it was time to add the bar.

Before photo of bar area

Brad built the bar top using the same materials as the open cabinet in the kitchen. We used vintage inspired corbels to support the top.

In addition, the low profile bar stools from Vasagle Furniture were a perfect fit for the tiny bar.

New Bar in Tiny House

The new bar, flooring, windows and blinds look perfect with the new Balboa Mist paint color!

In order to take advantage of the new eating area in the living room, the furniture needed to be flipped.

Before Photo of beach cottage renovations

The IKEA club chairs and thrifted console table create a cozy TV viewing area next to the open bar.

After Photo of Tiny House Remodel

The opposite corner of the living room also looks completely different with the addition of the accent wall. This is one tiny house idea that I wasn’t sure about. I was concerned the dark wall would make the room feel smaller.

Before Photo of beach cottage remodel

Instead of making the space feel smaller, the darker accent wall adds dimension to the tiny room. Therefore, it’s a perfect solution for a tiny house idea.

In addition, the shaker peg rail and the storage bench add much needed storage and display area. You can see how we built the DIY Accent Wall using a thrift store peg rail shelf here.

Tiny House Ideas for remodeling

Update with Paint

To give your existing furniture a new feel, add a fresh coat of paint and move them to a new area of the home.

Before photo of beach cottage remodel

The previously red chest looks brand new with a chalk paint black finish.

One of our favorite finds for the remodeled beach cottage was the vintage champagne crate/coffee table. You can see more details about the thrifted finds we used to decorate the renovated tiny house here.

Accent wall in beach cottage remodel

Rug is from Home Depot

Renovations Complete

Brad and I couldn’t be any happier with the results of our renovation. This was such a learning experience for both of us.

Kitchen Remodel in tiny house

The rug is by Boutique Rugs

We had never replaced windows before and when working with a 1940’s structure, nothing is level or the same size. We quickly found that chalk is an amateur remodelers best friend. LOL

In addition, this whole process was made easier with the help of Delaney Hardware, Ryobi Tools, Pfister Faucets, Sweet Nights Global, Vasagle Furniture, Belk, and all the vintage thrift stores where we picked up so many great deals.

Tiny House Ideas to make a small space feel large.

The process of doing all these renovations ourselves saved us hundreds of dollars and really stretched our DIY skills. I hope this encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and attempt new challenges. You may just surprise yourself.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed these tiny house ideas and I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

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Wednesday 17th of August 2022

hi Rachel Could you please tell me about the floors? Lou


Friday 19th of August 2022

Lou, The floor are laminate the we purchased from Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

From the Front Porch –

Friday 8th of April 2022

[…] friend Rachel from The Ponds Farmhouse finally finished her 1940s 460 sq ft beach cottage and it’s so cute! Have you seen it […]


Friday 8th of April 2022

I appreciate this so much.


Friday 8th of April 2022

Oh I'm so thrilled you shared this today CoCo.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

You did such an amazing job with your beach cottage Rachel. It looks amazing!


Wednesday 6th of April 2022

We are thrilled with the results Kim.


Monday 4th of April 2022

GAH - Totally worth the wait, lady! You guys did an amazing job. I'm so proud of you and proud for you too. This beach cottage definitely needed your special touch. I love everything you've done to transform this gem. It's totally fabulous! Big hugs, CoCo


Monday 4th of April 2022

CoCo, I really appreciate your encouragement.

Bricks 'n Blooms Weekly 74 - Stacy Ling

Sunday 3rd of April 2022

[…] THIS before and after beach cottage. […]


Monday 4th of April 2022

Thanks so much for sharing.