Before & After: The family home, reborn
Changes both subtle and drastic bring a generational Sea Pines home into the 21st century.
Story by Barry Kaufman + After Photos by Ashley Evans
Bringing a home onto the rental market is generally little more than a financial consideration. The formula is simple: you put X amount into renovations, and you get Y as a return on investment. But when that rental holds a lifetime of treasured family memories and will someday serve as your forever home and an heirloom to pass down to future generations, it becomes a matter of far greater importance than just dollars and cents.
“My parents bought that house when I was just a year old,” said Meghan Hasson, the owner of the beautiful home you see here. “That was the house I always wanted to return to.”
When her father died, Hasson made the decision to fix the home up and put it on the rental market so it could generate revenue until she was ready to move in. “My attorney recommended Beverly Serral of Beverly Serral Properties and BESTNEST Vacation Rentals. The stars aligned, and she was available,” said Hasson.
“We work with our BESTNEST owners as we shape the home design thematics; that’s always part of the equation,” said Serral. “Our goal is to achieve design that represents our brand but also reflects some personality of the owner. Here it was doubly important because she had grown up there.”
It was a balancing act between preservation and transformation, and Serral pulled it off perfectly. “It’s still my home, but it looks so different on the inside,” said Hasson. “Everything is so fresh and pretty, but it still holds so many memories.”
From top to bottom, the first of two owner’s suites was crafted to exude stylish comfort. The glossy finished hardwood floors were sanded down and refinished, bulky built-ins and accordion shutters were scrapped in favor of a cleaner, more modern look, and a fresh coat of paint served as the finishing touch.
But not all was changed. A peek in the en suite bath reveals the gorgeous stained glass window created by Hasson’s mom, a former art teacher at Hilton Head Island High School. “It was important to keep those,” said Serral. “The stained glass gave me license to choose tiles and accent colors we wouldn’t normally have chosen, but that worked together with the window to create this element people see and remember.”
Second owner’s suite
One of the most dramatic transformations comes in the second owner’s suite, which had previously been a casual den. The tile flooring was saved, but literally everything else, from the millwork to the ceilings, was reimagined to create a gorgeous second suite.
“Dave Roberts at Sand Dollar Construction did an excellent job of reconfiguring bathrooms and closet spaces and really working with us to make the whole home function as a vacation rental and primary residence. He is talented as a designer as well as a builder,” said Serral.
As with so many elements of this home’s transformation, the overriding philosophy in the living room was to preserve those elements that worked – the inviting brick hearth, the built-in shelving – and add new elements to create an updated dynamic. A whitewashing of the brick, new finishes and hardware on the cabinets, fresh paint and a refinishing on the floor created a space that feels infinitely more welcoming.
“In general, when we’re looking at transforming a space for vacation rental purposes, we have multiple goals. First is to grab travelers’ attention online. We have very little time to do that as they scroll,” said Serral. “The other thing that’s vitally important is comfort. The space needs to make logical sense and be comfortable once a guest is in the property.”
While the home’s outdoor spaces previously enjoyed ample shade from a large covered section, Serral ingeniously chose to remove the canopy in favor of a far more personalized outdoor experience. “We added umbrellas so people could take the shade where they wanted and then added some comfortable seating for different vignettes,” she said. As a result, vacationers can find comfort wherever they want – by the grill, lounging by the pool or dining on the top deck.
“We really try to make outdoor spaces as important is indoor spaces,” she said. “If you’re going to come to Hilton Head for a week, you’re not going to the beach every day. Staying home should be just as much fun!”