Vacation rentals are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to standing out from the rest of the crowd. Interior design, comfort, and functionality are key factors in a perfect vacation rental property. In this project , the client and I took an old and dated penthouse unit overlooking the beautiful South Carolina coast, and transformed the interior spaces into a modern, colorful, and relaxing oasis. In this blog I will walk you through each space explaining how we transformed this diamond in the rough into a modern open concept ocean front dream.


When you first walked into the apartment, you were greeted by a dark green carpet that ran throughout the entire unit. The heavy drapes distracted you from the spectacular view of the city and ocean. Although very well kept and in great condition, this beachfront condo was in desperate need of a complete overhaul.


The client wanted to create a space that was modern and full of color. We removed the carpeting and added a neutral porcelain tile in a diamond pattern to create an illusion of a larger space. We removed the popcorn ceiling and added crown moulding with LED lighting creating a soft ambient illumination on the ceiling, a fun little detail for guests to enjoy as the lighting can change to any color by remote control. Designed by


The wall behind this sofa divides the kitchen from the living room. The design concept for this main living area was to open up the spaces and allow for complete communication between the kitchen, living room, and dining room. The client and I did not want walls dividing any spaces in this area of the penthouse. Open concept design was the main goal.

Here is the view from the new kitchen looking into the living room. We removed the wall between the two areas allowing for total open concept living. In this photo we had just unpacked the furniture and were placing accessories and throw pillows. Furniture by


The kitchen was very small and not very impressive. It was also very closed off from the living room and dining room which did not allow for good flow while entertaining. The kitchen is the heart of any home. We wanted to create a wow factor in this space. Something that would impress any guest staying in this penthouse.


We removed the wall between the living room and kitchen. We also removed the curved countertop on the back wall and straightened all the lines. The open concept kitchen design is the center of the entire condo, so I added a floor to ceiling mirrored wall behind the floating shelves. I wanted to make sure you were able to see the ocean reflected in these mirrors from any part of the kitchen. It was truly spectacular once completed.

Here is a picture of the installation process of the floating shelving . The marble shelves were reinforced from the back bedroom wall due to their weight. During the demolition process we realized we had a lot more space than we thought. Since the client decided that a formal dining room was not necessary in this unit (everyone ends up eating in the kitchen anyway) we decided to create a huge island in the center of the kitchen. But not just any island, this island had to be different, show stopping. So I got to work on designing something really special.


I created a double width kitchen island allowing for storage on the front and back since I removed the upper cabinets on the back wall. Made the island longer than the kitchen footprint by 2 feet. I did this to be able to add seating to the right end of the island, allowing for a total of 6 counter stools. The left end of the island had a waterfall edge design. Since we do not have a formal dining room in the unit, seating up to 6 people was very important for functionality purposes. But my creativity didn’t stop there….

I wanted to find a countertop that resembled the ocean water. We searched for months for a blue stone that wasn’t going to blow our budget, but would give us that WOW we were looking for. We finally found a very unique stone that was a mix of granite and marble. It was a natural creation that was very rare. It was perfect. But I wanted even more WOW. I wanted to highlight the beautiful variations, the different colors of blue and sparkle in the stone. So I added lighting underneath the counter to illuminate it entirely. This was no easy task. The contractors needed to find the perfect balance of illumination that would not heat up the stone from the inside and protect the stone from damaging since marble is very sensitive.

The end result was well worth the wait! The countertop turned out beautiful. A soft under light accents the stone in a random natural pattern. The seating wrapped around one end allowing for comfortable conversation while entertaining.

During the day, with the countertop lights turned off, the stone reflects its natural beauty. A perfect blend of blues, whites, grays in a wave like pattern.


The client found this fun colorful chandelier during his travels and thought it would add the perfect pop of color to the breakfast nook. It took 2 men and about 2 hours to put it together very carefully.

And he was right! it was the perfect pop of color needed in the breakfast nook.


My client didn’t find the need for a formal dining room for this vacation rental. It was more important to have a place to sit and watch tv, than to have so many places to sit and eat. The kitchen had a huge island, it also had a breakfast nook , and the balcony had a small dining table. So we decided to replace the dining room with a sitting area for tv watching.


We removed the wall dividing the foyer from the dining room and added a small wine bar to compliment the tv area. Adding mirrors to the back wall allowed for natural light to reflect into this space as well as enjoying the beautiful ocean view. The tv wall was accented with a gray wood look tile.

In keeping with the open concept interior design theme, adding the bar was just enough of a partition between the foyer and the tv area. We repurposed the kitchen cabinets we removed during demolition , and painted them a deep royal blue to use in this bar.

Here is another view of the old dining room converted into a new sitting area. From this angle you can really enjoy the entire main living space.


The master bathroom was still in its original state from when the building was constructed. To save on cost, we decided to keep the vanity since it was in such good condition, and give it new life by changing the countertop, painting the fronts, and replacing the hardware.


I wanted the bathroom to reflect the fun modern style of the rest of the penthouse so I added a contemporary geometric wallpaper to the walls. I also added a gold subway tile backdrop to the vanity wall for a touch of glam. The original vanity cabinet was repainted. The geometric shaped sink was also and added fun detail. We removed the shower wall and replaced it with glass panels to create a more open feeling. Wallpaper by


The guest bathroom vanity was also in good condition so we decided to keep it and give it new life.

I went with a bright fun yellow for the bathroom vanity and paired it with a soft gray large scale patterned wallpaper. We painted the ceiling black for some extra drama.

The above mount sink added an artistic touch to the bathroom and coordinated nicely with the sparkly mother of pearl mosaic tile on the back wall.


The master bedroom was designed with the same overall scheme as the rest of the penthouse. Using shades of blue, white, gray, and touches of gold, the master suite coordinated perfectly with the master bathroom.


The guest bedroom mirrored the design of the guest bathroom using grays and yellows as our color palette. The client wanted the guest bedroom to be fun since this was most likely the room where kids would sleep. The LED lighting carried throughout the entire ceiling of the condo including the bedrooms. Designed by

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