A Vacation Cottage Becomes Home
Cottages and Bungalows|February-March 2021
A coastal retreat is reimagined, renovated and redesigned after a devastating hurricane.
By Meryl Schoenbaum

Have you ever vacationed somewhere and wished you could live there permanently? This beach house became the primary residence for its owners, but it was not intended to be that way. Instead, a massive hurricane changed their plans—as well as their address. In September 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall on the North Carolina coast and destroyed many of the homes there, including this one in Beaufort, North Carolina. One month before the hurricane hit, the owners hired Liz Goldberg, founder and principal designer of the interior design firm CAROLYNLEONA, to simply update some rooms. However, Mother Nature had other ideas.

“The clients hired us in August 2018 to remodel the bathrooms and kitchen in their Beaufort, North Carolina, beach house. The house was built in the 1980s and our clients were ready to update it,” Liz says. “Then in September 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall and badly damaged their vacation home and the scope of work changed to rebuilding the house, taking it down to the studs in every room.”

The house suffered severe water damage from the hurricane. All the walls, ceiling, flooring, and furniture were ruined. “We brought the home down to the studs, removing walls and reworking the floor plan to make the overall flow and function more cohesive to our clients’ lifestyle,” Liz says. “Being empty nesters, our clients realized this would be an ideal time to make their dream of living full-time at the beach a reality and decided to make their vacation home their full-time residence.”

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

When Liz was brought in to remodel the bathrooms and kitchen, she had a clear vision of what needed to be done. “The house was extremely dated— the way in which the spaces were built blocked the view of the sound side of the ocean, making the small rooms feel small, dark and lifeless,” she says. “The kitchen floor plan and layout needed a major facelift, as our clients love to cook and entertain. We added new appliances, raised countertops, updated plumbing, tile, flooring and lighting—the whole shebang to infuse new life into this space and make the house a home.”

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