Wind in the Sails


        "North star, star of the sea, I wish for a ship named after me

 to sail for a day alone and free,

  with someone nice for company."

...The Maggie B, by Irene Haas

218 Cabana Suites is a rental condo that had not been updated in 8 years. It needed some serious love and I was about to give it all the TLC I had. The owner was pretty skeptical about my ideas initially- she wanted a shabby chic beach condo... I said, in my most confident Southern draw, "It's all shabby chic dear... chic is shabbied out." This sinking ship needed a theme and it wasn't dinghy. Right away I saw clean, light and bold. Modern sophistication with a masculine air.

The space was small and needed some wind in it's sails. I chose to go high gloss bright white walls in hallway and bedroom. The walls have texture and the light danced off the high gloss shine. Most folks don't consider high gloss for interior walls but for a modern feel it brings a little bling and sophistication to the table. I defined the kitchen and dining space by going bold with navy blue. The contrast created complimenting visual interest while introducing a back drop of drama. The rooms transition between bright and bold colors staying mostly in the primary palate. Hints of natural and metallic elements break up the primary and give a hint of masculine. A friend who had been at the condo before the update offered that men tend to lean towards function while women lean towards aesthetics. The concept seemed very obvious but I must admit I had never really considered that before. During the renovation I made considerations around function such as curved shower rod to create the illusion of more space, lots of hooks, shelves and places to store items. I felt confident that I was able to accomplish this without cluttering the space. I made the bedroom a focus where I added softer touches of sandy tans, golds, blues and yellows. Vacation rentals need to be remembered and returned to year after year. A fantasy... forget about home... I'm on a boat!

... but the best part about bringing the love to this boat was the price tag. We found the ivory leather sleeper sofa on Craigs List, brand new $475 bucks! We reused and refurbished a lot of the existing furniture and did the painting ourselves. Best find was the bar table in perfect condition set out on the curb. We snatched it up, painted it and it was good as new. Perfect for the balcony. We scouted deals on the internet and found a lot of items at mark down stores. The complete update took about three months and just under $4,000. My favorite part of designing is scouting deals. I'm a practical girl with a vision in my scope. I found my treasure on this map... next stop on the horizon?... Dark & Stormy with a view right off the balcony.

Dark & Stormy


2 ounces Gosling’s Black Seal rum

6 ounces ginger beer

1 lime wedge