Shirley Coastal

Friday, July 21, 2017

You might remember my post from 2012 discussing a picking trip my mother and I took to the Savannah area. Marie, one of my BFF's from Sweet Briar, graciously offered us her Tybee Island beach house as our base. The locale allowed for easy accessibility to Savannah, Hilton Head and Beaufort, plus being beachside was an added bonus!

Marie grew up spending her summers on the island and values the importance of passing down the tradition to her family and friends. Her vintage charmer sits on a private dead end road to the ocean, considered the first “neighborhood” on Tybee, with the landscape remaining quite untouched and the homes retaining their original designs. When we stayed 5 years ago, a smaller island home, positioned adjacent to Marie's house, came up for sale but eventually languished on the market due to the lack of buyer interest. In 2016, knowing that the house had good bones, just in need of a TLC infusion, Marie and her husband purchased the bungalow, along with Marie's cousin and his wife Natalie. The home doubles as a family retreat and a vacation rental investment.

I reached out to Marie for a little more insight into what they fittingly named once the renovation was complete, Shirley Coastal.....  Design choices, her personal Tybee Island recommendations and rental info for this low country cottage and images included, plus, just giving a glimpse of the previous interior before Marie and Natalie got their hands on the project.

"Natalie and I wanted to bring the cottage back to life and clean her up. So many places here are kitschy and beachy, with pink pelicans and lots of sea shells. We wanted the home to feel like old Tybee -- white, clean, and a place that gets sandy but no problem because its nothing fancy anyone can ruin. The color palette outside is white with a very simple greenish-blue shutter. White, bright, clean and fresh was the goal. We then wanted to add some pops of color and some texture and some vintage pieces to mix with new finds."

"The large palm painting is by one of my besties in Statesboro. She is a super talented music teacher and artist. Check out her Facebook page The Painted Wren. We sent her some photos of things we liked and this was her interpretation!"

*BEFORE // Shirley Coastal Seating Area

*AFTER // Shirley Coastal Seating Area

*BEFORE // Shirley Coastal Kitchen

*AFTER // Shirley Coastal Kitchen.....  The original beadboard was left intact, just refinished with a bright shade of white paint.

Marie notes that her favorite piece of furniture is the rattan headboard for the king bedroom, providing texture and color to the room without being fussy or fancy. Whitney Walsh, a designer and one of Marie's best friends from high school who now resides in Charleston, found the headboards and helped execute the design scheme. Whitney expands on the interior's decor.....

"I happened upon the rattan headboard while looking for some other stuff in a consignment store I frequent in Mt Pleasant. It was not on my shopping "list" for the cottage but I couldn't pass it up because it was exactly the "look and feel" I wanted for the cottage. Once I found that, other pieces fell into place and I started to really get a feel for the space I wanted to create! The dresser was a total score from a friend of mine who "paints up" good vintage pieces. The rattan basket lights and mirror are favorite go-to's of mine. We wanted the bunk room to be simple and easy for kids. Clean white beds, fun bedding, vintage rattan dresser from another favorite spot in Charleston (Indigo Market) and a navy textured lamp I scored at Target. The living space and kitchen we wanted to to feel cozy but open and fresh. We did the sectional sofa in a light but durable fabric and added fun pillows. The rug, coffee table, baskets and lanterns add the texture to the space. The blue metal stools are easy to clean and add a pop of color. We wanted a large piece of art to complement and bring our blues together. We talked to an artist friend (Ashley Wren of The Painted Wren) who was able to bring our vision of palms in blues to life! Lastly, the front porch wicker is the other favorite that I found for the cottage and I think it creates the perfect welcome!”

The lure of Tybee for Marie is.....

*I grew up coming here and see tons of folks I grew up with on the beach and at Mass throughout the summer.

*It is still super quirky (some may say un-refined). There are no big chains, everything is mom and pop owned.

*I can bike everywhere and give my girls a summer retreat they will never forget. Watching sea turtles hatch at sunset, teaching the girls to body surf and become strong swimmers, eating boiled peanuts at the beach, kayaking early in the morning when the blue herons are feeding and the world is still quiet, playing bingo at the American legion with $1 Pabst Blue Ribbons sitting between a neurosurgeon on vacay at his Tybee home and a local who works at the IGA grocery, eating local tomatoes on white bread with mayo and season salt, puzzles on the porches during rain storms and card games such as Spite and Malice, biking to get snow cones and ice cream. I only have these babies for a bit and these are the things I hope they recall from their childhoods.

Marie's Tybee Island Recommendations.....

-Sundae Cafe >> Seriously best seafood on island, located in a gas station parking lot. You would never know it was there, but can’t get in without reservations.

-80 East (sister to Sundae Cafe) >> Also in gas station parking lot, burgers and beer done well.

-The Breakfast Club >> Best breakfast hands down. The owner was the chef at JFK Jr's wedding on Cumberland Island. There is a line always out the door from 7am when it opens to 1pm when it closes.

-Seaweeds >> Best snow cone and ice cream on the island. My dad likes the Sugar Shack too.

-A-J's >> On the back river which has the best view hands down. I’d eat anything fried there if that was what I was in the mood for.

-The Crab Shack >> Quintessential island vibe, complete with alligators and a cool marsh view setting.

*Shirley Coastal Rental Info HERE

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