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Run-Down UK Rail Car Gets Breezy Beach House Upgrade

Photos via Design Sponge

Upon touring this run-down Victorian railway car, one of many real estate parcels dumped in the English seaside town of Dungeness in the '20s, designer couple Mark and Keith were a touch apprehensive about making a home from its dilapidated frame. Then they saw the English channel views and, well, it had to be salvaged. Indeed, instead of simply knocking down the railway car to start fresh, the couple instead opted for a major renovation, turning the little space into a very stylish vacation home.

On their to-do list: repair a leaky roof, obtain heat, figure out the weirdly opaque windows, and reassess the odd division of the space, which created "small, unusable spaces" in the desirable, sea-facing part of the house. Still, the couple found no dearth of hidden charms they wanted to bring to life. The original "patchwork of wooden planks spanning several decades" became a main focus of the home, dictating the choice to outfit the kitchen in utility stainless steel—"reminiscent of a fishmonger's preparation area"—so as not to over do it on the wood, and to paint the walls a neutral white, which also worked to make the place appear larger.

Furnished mainly in British mid-century teak pieces—save for the custom-fitted Ikea kitchen—the home also plays with cheeky prints and slightly nautical patterns, all of the couple's own design. "The idea of the beach house is that as well as being a retreat from London life," the duo explains, "the house will also serve as a showcase for new collections." Design Sponge has a few more before-and-after shots, so do take a look.

· Before & After: a Converted Victorian Railway Car In Dungeness Kent [Design Sponge]