How Easy Design Swaps Gave This Beach House Living Room Much-Needed Coastal Vibes

Libby Langdon living room makeover of the week - beach house

Design: Libby Langdon, Photo: Arric Attas

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time. 

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“This young family wanted their waterfront home to embody the Florida lifestyle, but they still wanted it to feel like their year-round residence and not too beachy,” interior designer Libby Langdon says. They didn’t make a lot of structural changes in the living room, leaving things like the original paneling and the limestone fireplace stone intact, but we moved quickly to update the décor, including the seafoam green wall paint!”  

Meet the Expert

Libby Langdon is a New York City-based interior designer known for her easy, elegant, and everyday style. She’s the author of the book, Libby Langdon’s Small Space Solutions and is launching a home furnishings collection with A&B Home this fall. 

Before:

Makeover of the Week - beachy living room before

Photo couresty of Libby Langdon

There was a cluttered feel to the room and the space had no open flow,” Langdon says. “We started by replacing the existing oak floors, which were heavy and dark and not in good shape, and then made changes to the wall paint and furnishings to lighten and brighten everything up.”  

After:

makeover of the week - libby langdon after

Design: Libby Langdon, Photo: Arric Attas

Our goal was to blur the lines and create a seamless color and design flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces,” Langdon notes. “It helped that my clients shared design inspiration they discovered while traveling—from nautical lamps to coastal rugs—which became my springboard as I formulated a design that was uniquely their own.” 


What Changed:

  • Color theme: Blue and white, mixed with natural textures and weaves, give off a calm and happy vibe. 
  • Walls: Existing paneling was given a fresh coat of white paint, while the walls were washed in pale blue to elevate the blue tones in the accessories, fabrics, rug and artwork. 
  • Floors: Soft gray washed flooring is made of a durable engineered vinyl plank that can withstand wet feet and wears well in a hot, humid climate. 
  • Rug: An alternating striped 100% wool rug, in a mix of neutrals and blue tones, grounds the room and adds to the coastal feel. 
  • Side table: A white oak quatrefoil-shaped console looks like a piece of art and holds lamps and books; the client’s existing coffee table provides a spot for vases and hurricane lamps. 
  • Lights: Barrel base lamps are made of jute rope and are fitted with custom shades in a botanical print fabric to match the throw pillows on the side chairs; a ceramic matte lamp in a rich blue color pulls in the room’s darker blue hues. 
  • Mirror: A large round mirror framed in mother of pearl taps into the nautical style.
  • Fireplace: The wall space over the mantle is filled with art including an abstract coastal landscape along with vintage maps of Key West and New Zealand.
  • Window treatments: Ripple fold drapery in a linen blend fabric is lined in an interlocking geometric print trim tape. 
  • Sofa: A transitional style sofa with modern scroll arms is upholstered in a durable Crypton performance fabric and covered with pillows in the same fabric as the ottoman. 
  • Chairs: Wood frame side chairs with a classic engraved scroll detail on the arms are upholstered in a light blue performance fabric and accessorized with a botanical print throw pillow; a small profile lounge chair with a curved silhouette is covered in a blue and off-white striped performance fabric. 
  • Ottoman: A fresh take on a classic x-base bench, the ottoman is upholstered in a graphic geometric blue and white fabric and features stainless steel nail heads. 
  • Accessories: Blue spined books were chosen to play off the coastal colors in the room.


Shop the Look:

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Braxton Culler Haynes Chair
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