This Adorable Charleston Guesthouse Was Once a Garage

This guesthouse is filled with one interior designer's beachy decorating tricks. Take a look inside this renovated space.

When her husband landed a four-year job developing a resort in the Caribbean, Allison Elebash signed on to tackle the property's interiors. After her stint in the tropical wonderland, she returned home to Charleston with a sunny outlook on decorating, which she brought to life in the design of her guesthouse, a former garage.

Inside the home, colors reference the many hallmark signs of summer: lemonade yellow, swimming pool aqua, and the warm ivory of homemade vanilla ice cream. The Caribbean color combination makes the home's garage-turned-guesthouse feel like a welcoming beach escape. Want the same for your home? Here are Elebash's best tips for creating a space that always feels like summer.

charleston beach home exterior of blue home with wood doors

The custom blue exterior paint color captures the sun-bleached sky, while the minimal window treatments let in maximum light and views. The large opening that formerly housed the garage door has now been reimagined as an open air guest space.

charleston beach home family room without couple wooden door open

Natural woven materials never fail to make a room feel summery. Swap heavy drapes for woven seagrass shades and choose rugs in durable sisal or jute for a light and airy feel. Vintage maple side tables match warm wood floors to ground the otherwise bright living room design.

The acrylic barstools, coffee table, and bar cart make the space feel fully furnished but avoid adding visual clutter in the small but mighty space. "This furniture is indestructible and easy to clean. Everything about it adds to that unfussy ease," Allison says. In the kitchen, a butcher-block countertop adds warm contrast to the light yellow walls and white cabinetry.

charleston beach home table with yellow table cloth palms and mirror

By using light colors—and a light hand—while decorating, the resulting space feels airy and sunny. This tablecloth gives that exact feel while functioning as a curtain to hide items until needed.

charleston beach home bedroom cream with blue accents
Annie Schlechter

Off-white walls and a simple white bedspread clear the way for repeating doses of lilac and gold pulled from the painting. Aqua lamps and a matching bench tie the upstairs bedroom's color scheme to the rest of the guesthouse and energize the soft palette.

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