We’d been looking for a bigger house on Tybee Island. We love our first house, The Breeze Inn, but with two grandbabies added to the family since we restored it in 2009, it has gotten to be a tight squeeze. So we looked around. Made offers, were re-buffed. Then, in November, I got a call from our friend Diane at Mermaid Cottages. “Your forever dream house is on the market, and they’e just dropped the price,” she said. “Get here. Now!” I went. I saw. I fell in love. And although Mr. MKA was off in the wilds of the Dakotas, I made an offer. And on Dec. 19, we closed on our new old beach house. Meet Ebbtide, circa 1932. She’s an unassuming old girl from the street, but once you get inside, the magic starts to happen. She’s one house off the beach–with occasional ocean views if you know where to stand. She’s got room for the family to stretch out–six bedrooms! The entire main floor of the house is old heart pine board and batten walls and pine floors. There is a huge wrap-around porch for lounging, dining, daydreaming or catnapping.

Porch--before view of dining area
Porch–before view of dining area

(No worries–we are keeping the Breeze too–and you can still rent it through Mermaid Cottages) Our whole family trooped down to Tybee the day after Christmas and we began our makeover. Although the house came fully furnished, with perfectly nice things, if you know anything about me, you know I have hoarding issues. Out went most of the old furnishings–sold off through Craigslist, word-of-mouth and the Tybee Island-wide yard sale. But not the Sunbeam Bread sign in the dining room. To be honest, when I saw the house with our real estate agent, they had me at Sunbeam!ebbtidediningbefore

In came my stuff–a whole truckload of beat-up, threadbare rugs from our basement, a pair of Craigslist four-poster beds painted white, a set of rattan chairs from the Scott’s antique market, nightstands and a headboard from a hotel liquidation place, and more unused basement treasures. I did buy two brand-new armchairs for the living room, from T.J. Maxx. I found the first chair at TJs in Savannah, posted a look-out for its twin on Facebook, and an alert reader found me the mate at the TJ in Smyrna, Ga. Mr. MKA and his brother have been hammering and sawing and making some changes, and I have been painting and waxing and distressing. And shopping. The biggest change we are making in the house is putting in a whole new kitchen. Whee! Complete with my beloved porcelain over cast-iron vintage double sink, which I bought at a great architectural salvage place in Greensboro, GA. called Pinch of the Past. Those old pine walls are gloomy, so some of the rooms–especially the master bedroom, will be painted my favorite Ben Moore Moonlight White. We’ve got some great looking lighting coming in too, and lots more, but here are some before and in-process pics to enjoy. Watch this space for more pictures as we finish up our beautification process. Ebbtide will be making her debut as a Mermaid Cottage in late March!

Master bedroom--before
Master bedroom–before


Master bedroom--in process
Master bedroom–in process


Living room--in process
Living room–in process


Children's room, before
Children’s room, before
Main floor bedroom, in process
Main floor bedroom, in process

Children's room, in process
Children’s room, in process
Guest bedroom in process
Guest bedroom in process


Boomerang Boy's room, in process
Boomerang Boy’s room, in process
Kitchen, before
Kitchen, before