Funky, Fresh Bedroom in North Carolina

This beach-house bedroom leaves behind nautical staples like rattan and seashells


North Carolina 1: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz


“After” photos by Millie Holloman


Bedroom at a Glance

Who uses it: A couple and their family and friends

Location: Figure Eight Island, North Carolina

Size: 180 square feet (16.7 square meters)

Designer: Lindsey Cheek, owner of Gathered


Before: When the homeowners purchased this vacation house on the beach, almost all of the rooms, including this guest bedroom, hadn’t been updated since the 1980s. The owners and designer wanted to transform this dark-walled space into a bright, airy beach escape that wasn’t overly nautical.


North Carolina 2: Millie Holloman, original photo on Houzz


After: The homeowners gave designer Lindsey Cheek free rein on the project. The one exception was the request to use red, one of the homeowners’ favorite colors, which isn’t typically used in beach homes, Cheek says.

Color choices: Pairing the unusual choice of red with turquoise, a beach house mainstay, was a fun challenge for Cheek. She credits the success of this guest room to the open mind and trust of the homeowner.

“I told her if she wanted to work with red and turquoise, we’re going to have to get funky,” Cheek says with a laugh.


North Carolina 3: Millie Holloman, original photo on Houzz


Cheek found this polypropylene rug, which helps incorporate red in the room while standing up to damp, sandy feet.

“She pushed my envelope with wanting to use red, but I got to push back with wanting to use funkier fabrics,” Cheek says.

Rug: Surya, Gathered; throw: Pine Cone Hill, Gathered; tray: Made Goods, Gathered

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North Carolina 4: Millie Holloman, original photo on Houzz


Paint problems: Cheek and her team ran into a challenge when the creamy white paint they chose for the walls ended up having a rosy glow. That was because the warm tones from the dark wood floors and the abundant natural light from the windows turned the walls pink.

“To combat that we ended up tinting the paint with a drop of green,” Cheek says. “It helped take the pink out.”

Window treatments: Cheek decided to use battery-powered louvered blinds on the room’s large windows. The designer was able to provide privacy without hindering the natural daylight that gives the room its bright, airy feel.

Headboard: Cheek and her team decided to give a subtle nod to the ocean by running the wavy-dot-patterned fabric horizontally.

Wall paint: Ocean Air, Benjamin Moore

Lighting: This aqua chandelier fit the “funky” bill that Cheek was after. It wasn’t the homeowner’s typical style, and Cheek appreciated her openness to some of these untraditional details.

Light fixture: Regina Andrew Design, Gathered


North Carolina 5: Millie Holloman, original photo on Houzz


Multipurpose chairs: The designer wanted to create a spot where guests could relax, read or enjoy their morning coffee.

“It’s a nice gesture to your guests to have a separate seating area in the room that’s not the bed,” Cheek says.

The two banana leaf chairs not only offer a welcoming vibe, but they also provide a great place to throw beach clothes to dry.

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Chairs: Phillips Scott


North Carolina 6: Millie Holloman, original photo on Houzz


Nightstand: While rustic materials like rattan and wood are often used in beach homes, Cheek selected this mirrored nightstand for a beautiful, unexpected detail.

Nightstand: Surya, Gathered; reading lamp: Lamps Plus, Gathered


North Carolina 7: Millie Holloman, original photo on Houzz


Wall art: The artwork is one of the only aspects of the guest room that specifically identifies it as part of a beach house. Cheek purchased these nautical pieces from a local artist.

Artwork: Brook Eagle

Accessories: The homeowners’ adult daughter uses the guest bedroom most often, so Cheek wanted to play down rustic elements and give the room a lighter feel that reflected her personality. These pretty, sherbet-colored throws did just the trick to soften the space.

By mixing a few traditional beach elements with organic and funky features, the designer created the perfect oasis for weekend guests.

Woven beach tote and throws: Made Goods, Gathered

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