Turning a “Shabby Shack” Into a Family Beach House

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine BEFORE

If you saw this “shabby shack” on the market, would you have the vision to turn it into a bright and happy beach house for your family? I’m not sure I would, but real estate agent Lisa Marie Brooks did: “This house actually had a lot of pros–a pitched roof and a sunroom with lots of windows, plus great big oak trees all around.” She and her husband Scott put a lot of work into fixing it up, and here’s how it looks now…

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (2)

They bought the house in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, in a short sale for $270,000—a steal considering the original asking price was close to a million. They spent a year and $120,000 on its remodel.

Here’s an interior photo they took of the main living area when they bought it:

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (3)

It only had plywood on the floors then. And here it is now, after adding hardwoods and replacing the wood-burning stove with a fireplace, among other things:

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (4)

The doors in the dining area lead to the wraparound deck where the family likes to eat breakfast most mornings:

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (5)

The kitchen was kind of a wreck before:

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (8)

They reworked and reconfigured it, adding maple cabinets and marble countertops:

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (7)

Together the Brookses have built or renovated 25 houses, mostly for resale. They love this one, though, and plan to stay put: “No chance we’re selling this one anytime soon.”

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (6)

The house was featured in HGTV Magazine, so check it out for more photos and information (article by Laura Fenton; photos by Alexandra Rowley). Then come back tomorrow for Day 4 of “Before & After Week!”

beach house makeover in HGTV magazine (9)

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  1. says

    O M G
    You’ve just posted our future!
    In my mind, anyway!
    My plans are that our next re-do will take place somewhere near a beach + will involve something shack-esque, just like this!
    This post is going to be a “must-share” with you-know-who, later today!
    KAY @ redbirdv.wordpress.com

  2. says

    Omigosh – my perfect house and at the beach too. Where do I sign up?!

    My fave of everything you’ve ever shared. There isn’t a thing I would change…

  3. Beth C. says

    Wow! Now that’s an after! How ya gonna top that? Can’t wait to see. Best, Beth C.

  4. Sarah In Illinois says

    With that view, I could have lived in the shack! 😉

    Absolutely gorgeous reno!

  5. says

    I saw this in the magazine and drooled over it there too. Just not a thing I would change – it is absolutely perfect! Sigh.

  6. Karen Larson says

    If I could move to Florida I would live in that home in a heartbeat. Love everything about it.

  7. says

    Wow what an amazing reno! I’m sure it was tons of work but this is such inspiration for seeing the diamond in the rough. I love everything about it.

  8. Lindsey says

    Wow. Loved seeing the before and afters on this! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Maddie May says

    Delightful in every way……. Love it. The beach is icing on the cake. Congrats to the Brookses on a wonderful reno.

  10. Margie Ford says

    I have loved mid century modern houses for as long as I can remember. The Brooks did an amazing job on the renovations. This has to be one of my very favorite homes I have ever seen on your blog. The fact that is beach front at Santa Rosa Beach is incredible. Surely the house is worth 1.5 million now.

  11. Maria says


    I’ve only been trolling beach RE for years looking for something like this and who would pass up that location, location, location! A friend has something like it near the beach, but not on the water. I told her if I ever win lotto I’m paying off that house because it’s a must keep. This is my dream house, thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Jane Susan says

    Wow, beautiful job (although a little too modern for me). I have sat in the type of chairs they have at the outside table – very uncomfortable (especially in summer). But lots of nice touches!

  13. stef says

    Absolutely delightful, with just the right balance of white and colors.

  14. says

    Holy cow! This is such a great example of location, location, location. You can’t build a view like that!

    The house is amazing. I don’t blame them for wanting to keep it.

  15. Tracie says

    That went from icky-ew to delicious-wow! Wouldn’t it be fun to just move around and do this and then keep a little treasure by the beach once in a while? Sounds delightful!

  16. Jonia says

    Actually, I really don’t know what to say haha. It’s sooo beautiful!!

  17. Carolyn says

    Wow! Great transformation – I particularly love the planked wood ceilings and floors – and that is definitely a million dollar view. Wonderful that it has trees, too.

  18. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says

    I saw this in the HGTV mag and fell in love with it too! Thanks for sharing it again.

  19. Elvira says

    What a beauty! Everything is just right, the place exudes peace and relaxation. Love the colours and the large porches, decks, verandahs and the views. I’m getting a real hankering for glazed-in wraparound porches and sunrooms. Sigh.
    Great series of before & afters, Julia!

  20. says

    Beautiful! Obviously, this house is in a prime location, but I still had some palpitations over the idea that that shack was originally priced at nearly $1 million.

  21. Tracy says

    Now that is one stunning home! I could never tire of that view for sure! What impresses me the most as that they didn’t knock down the existing shack and build a McMansion as I’m sure a lot of people would of done.

  22. says

    How did I miss this one? That is incredible. The other dream I have. Beach shack. .

  23. says

    That was so cool! Most people can’t see past their own eyesight. You saw a diamond in the rough. Excellent

  24. Alie B says

    Wow! What an incredible makeover. I love that they put so much natural wood into the interior, as opposed to the usual white woodwork normally seen in a beach house.

  25. Nancy Austin says

    I just returned from a week in Santa Rosa Beach. I used to have a condo there and it is beautiful. The beaches can’t be beat. They bought their “shack” at quite a bargain, as most everything on the beach is now well over a million. They made an extremely smart investment.