When interior designer Ashley Gilbreath discovered a rare home in foreclosure on the east side of Rosemary Beach, she snapped it up, converting it from a choppy, dated space into a light, open retreat for her family of five as well as a rental property when not in use by her brood. Inspired by its good bones and room for potential, she transformed the six-bedroom house (which includes a detached carriage house) into a property with clean and contemporary interiors, open rooms and enough space for family and guests.
The kitchen, living room and dining room required the most work; not only did the designer knock down walls that divided the space, but she reconfigured the layout and implemented a new design to make it airy, open and fitting of a contemporary beach home. “The goal was to create an easy flow and make sure we have room for everyone,” Ashley explains. “The big challenge came with tag-teaming the home into a rental program, as well.” Because of her goals to use the home as a rental property in her family’s absence, she was wise to play it safe with the interior design. “It is important to create a space that is very curated while meeting the wants and needs of guests and also stays current and timeless for the long haul.”
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In the kitchen, clé tile with a glossy finish was installed behind the cooktop. A minty off-white island with marble countertop sits underneath two eye-catching pendants chosen to create contrast in the space. Appliances are hidden behind custom cabinetry with brass pulls.
The left side of the kitchen, which was previously a powder room under the stairs, was transformed, now offering overflow storage and room for a bar.
Ashley chose an oversized chandelier and a glass-top table to help the small space feel bigger, and she sourced a custom table base to fit the aesthetic. Concrete pavers from Concrete by Design run across the main floor offering a smart choice in terms of durability.
The artwork that hangs in the dining area is a painting of Ashley’s kids by Sarah Soule Webb. To the left, a large piece of wood acts as art, and doors to the back bedroom are hidden behind cabinet fronts that match those used in the kitchen and dining area for a discrete look.
The living space received a redesign to create open sightlines to the kitchen and dining room. The stairway was enclosed, and the television hangs on the new stairway to maximize the space. Hats add texture and offer a playful, beachy design element we love.
The coffee table has become the topic of many late-night conversations. Does it resemble a cow or an elephant — or something entirely different? The slipcover sofa fits in the corner of the room, and a textured rug and sheer drapery contribute texture and visual interest.
Tucked behind the dining room and kitchen, this small-but-sweet bedroom features a full bed below a large light fixture that balances the asymmetrical layout.
Upstairs, the master bedroom opens to a balcony that lets in natural light during the day. A favorite design feature is the use of old containers that now function as nightstands.
The master bathroom is also awash in natural light that streams through a window in the shower and reflects off the large mirror that stretches over the vanity.
Durability plays a key role in the home’s overall design. Easy-to-clean fabrics were chosen to withstand the wear and tear of kids and guests, outdoor rugs cover the indoor flooring as extra protection in high-traffic areas, and Ashley chose lasting materials for the flooring and countertops. “If you are going to enjoy the home and rent it, you want to tailor the design to the rental market while incorporating smaller details for personality,” Ashley explains. The durable materials are paired with art and accent pieces that help the home feel lived-in and the design feel intentional. The neutral furnishings and decor complete a soothing palette that feels right at home in a beach house and reflect the designer’s style and the home’s surroundings. “It was fun to do a beach house with natural textures and tones that don’t scream ‘beach house.'”
Two separate bunk rooms and two bonus spaces occupy the third floor. Ashley designed these rooms for kids with stand-alone bunk beds and whimsical design elements, including the painted window trim and baseboards, the curtains that can be pulled for privacy and the matching lanterns on the outside wall.
The third-floor bathroom is small, but Ashley smartly incorporated design details that wow. The striped tile flooring and the barn door are striking but straightforward elements.
The upstairs bedroom’s headboard is a tie-on cover that can easily be removed and cleaned; this is yet another durability design detail in the house. Ashley didn’t sacrifice functionality and durability for style — instead, the two came together.
Almost an exact replication of a bedroom Ashley designed for a showroom in Nashville, this bedroom is painted in the same hue as the kitchen island (Benjamin Moore’s Icicle). The room quickly became the most popular choice for guests who appreciated the drama of the bed.
Unrecognizable to those who saw the house before the renovation, the outdoor area now features a small pool, cabanas, an outdoor shower and access to the garage, main house and carriage house.
The fireplace was existing when Ashley purchased the home, but the surrounding area was elevated and transformed into a stylish sitting area.
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Because of the pool’s small size, there is enough space for those who aren’t swimming, too. This small dining area is regularly used for al fresco dining.
You might recognize the cabana fabric as it is the same fabric found in the upstairs bunk rooms.
The carriage house above the garage is ideal for guests who enjoy privacy. It is a big, open space that includes a kitchen, bedroom and living area.
The design details found inside the main house extend into this space, which has a simple palette of whites, wood tones and blues. Wood beams and oak flooring were refinished to complete the design.
Once this Rosemary Beach renovation was complete, Ashley and her family enjoyed living there full-time for five months before selling it and beginning renovations on yet another area home. Exploring this beautiful beach house only piques our interest for what Ashley will do next!
See more projects from Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design HERE, and shop elements of the design HERE.
Photography by Laurey Glenn Photography.
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