A small 1940s beach cottage gets a charming makeover in Laguna Beach


Collins Design & Development has completely transformed this charming beach cottage built in 1946 that is located in Laguna Beach, California. The personal home of the designer, this humble abode encompasses just 950 square feet of living space with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Despite its adorable character, this humble abode had fallen into complete disrepair.

Tasked with the remodeling of this home, the architects took it down to the studs. The interior pine paneling throughout the interiors was replaced, while the kitchen and two bathrooms were completely updated. The flooring, lighting, doors, and windows are all original to the home, while everything else is brand new. The goal of this project was to restore this abode to its former glory, yet with a few modern conveniences.


Above: The picture above the fireplace is by artist Dedrick Brandes Stuber (1878-1954). The coffee table was found at a local consignment shop. It’s an old wooden chest on an iron stand. The paneling is called “Laguna paneling” and is sold through a local lumber yard. The window treatments were sourced from Blinds.com — Malay Oak 87 in the Budget Woven Wood Shades section.


Above: The sofa came from Juxtaposition Home in Newport Coast, CA. The entire house is painted in Dunn-Edwards Cottage White.


What We Love: This charming beach cottage has so many great small-space decorating ideas. What makes this space wonderful is the attention to detail and the use of recycled/upcycled materials. The designer didn’t go overboard and used original pieces, not reproductions — and each piece is unique. Too often, “beach cottage” equates to chipped white paint, and lots of shells and ropes. Inside and out, this adorable house is perfection.

Tell Us: What details in this home renovation project do you find most inspiring? Let us know in the Comments, we love reading your feedback!

Note: Check out a couple of other amazing home tours that we have showcased here on One Kindesign in the state of California: Inside the stunning renovation of a farmhouse in Sonoma Wine Country and Beach-chic home showcases inspiring living spaces in Corona Del Mar.


Above: Vintage bathing suits from the 1920s were repurposed by framing them on linen backgrounds for a beach-chic aesthetic.


Above: The countertops are soapstone. Soapstone was often used in kitchens in the early 1900s. It’s not as hard as granite, but it is incredibly dense so it won’t stain and is heat resistant. It comes in a variety of colors and can be treated with mineral oil or wax to maintain its dark finish (prior to oiling/waxing it is a dull gray). All cabinets and walls were painted Dunn Edwards Cottage White. The range is by Wolf. The prints on the wall are vintage seaweed prints: Winter Works on Paper. The kitchen is about 8′ wide and approximately 13-14′ long.


Above: The breakfast nook table is an antique table from Lee Stanton Antiques in Los Angeles. The flooring is oak wood. The runner is 2.5′ x 7′ and is printed on a heavy-weight sisal. The ceiling light is an antique fixture that the designer had rewired.


Above: The painting on the wall of this breakfast nook is by local artist Robin Hall.


Above: The door hardware is old (circa 1920s-1940s). It’s brass that has aged naturally. 


Above: The bedding and table lamps are from Hollywood At Home in Los Angeles, while the bed was sourced from Tuvalu Home in Laguna Beach. The bedside tables are from the Jasper Furniture collection from Michael Smith. The windows were original to the home.


Above: The seascape painting over the bed is by artist William S. Darling (1882-1963). Grounding this space is a dhurrie rug from Rug Resources. The bedroom size is roughly 12′ x 15′.


Above: The chest is an old campaign chest that the designer has had for years. It was purchased from a dealer in Connecticut. All of the lighting is antique.



Above: This bathroom features the original tub from when the home was built. The sink is a Kohler Bancroft, which comes in two widths 24 and 36″.


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Jill T
10 months ago

Nice to see a Laguna place restore new with original!