Step Inside Jenna Bush Hager’s Stunning Beach House Makeover

One Kings Lane takes us inside the former first daughter's stunning home.

On the north shore of Long Island, Jenna Bush Hager found the perfect summer getaway spot for her family: an airy, light-splashed house steps from the beach with gorgeous harbor views and plenty of room for herself, husband Henry, 2-year-old daughter Mila, and in a few months, baby daughter number two. The house provides a much-needed dose of serenity for the grown-ups and lessons for Mila on what constitutes nature. "Growing up in the city, Mila thinks of the outdoors as cement and parks," says Jenna, who works as a correspondent for the Today show and editor at large for Southern Living magazine.

The only problem: This busy mom now had an entire house to decorate before the Summer season started. Enter One Kings Lane stylist Alex Reid, who gave the main living space the full makeover treatment, creating a cheery, welcoming home that's cozy enough for quiet family time yet gracious enough to entertain a sizable group of adults in beachy, sophisticated style.

Before
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Before

Jenna’s marble-top Saarinen tulip table and Knoll chairs were the only occupants of the space when we arrived.

After
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After

To keep the beach house feeling beachy casual, Alex used outdoorsy blues and greens plus touches of organic materials including sisal and raw wood.

To create a space that would be fun and functional for a young family, Alex assembled a mix of old and new — a look Jenna felt perfectly at home with. “I have a pretty eclectic style. I’ve been influenced by my mom a lot — she has great taste.” In the mashup: an antique-y couch covered in one of Sister Parish’s signature Palm Beach-preppy patterns, midcentury-style side tables and slipper chairs (the latter scored by Jenna at a vintage store), and a bright blue-and-white striped dhurrie rug. The palette, a mix of blue, white, tan, and gray, has a decidedly maritime feel. “It’s important to me that a house reflects the landscape it’s in,” says Jenna. “And here there’s sort of a whimsical kind of nautical beach vibe.”

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The blue-and-white palette makes pattern mixing easy.

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A clear console adds function to a tight corner but keeps the feeling open and airy.

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Traditional foo dog lamps, updated in superbright lemon yellow, add Pop-y color to the space.

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A candy-color lampshade and live greenery bring modern, youthful energy.

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Well-placed side tables ensure that a spot to set down a glass is within arm’s reach.

To make the wide-open but modestly sized space as entertaining-friendly as possible, Alex employed a simple trick: he omitted the coffee table. In lieu of the typical symmetrical floor plan (chairs ringing a central coffee table), he created an asymmetrical one using two ottomans (one sisal, one upholstered) and a modern side table to create two distinct conversation areas. “I think that the most important thing about entertaining is that people feel comfortable, that they have a good place to sit and have a great conversation,” says Jenna. “I think Alex has done that for sure.”

Opposite the Sister Parish couch, Alex installed a low daybed that doesn’t block the fantastically long line of windows. “The daybed is one of our favorite places,” says Jenna. “Mila likes to read there or just look out at the view, and for me it’s a great place to take a nap.”

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“Henry loves to grill, and we both love to throw dinner parties, especially in the Summer,” says Jenna. To make the space party-ready, Alex brought in a bar cart, which allows guests to help themselves to drinks (and echoes the mirror-and-console vignette across the room). And to the existing dining setup — a marble-top Saarinen Tulip table and Knoll chairs, both midcentury classics — he made an unexpectedly old-fashioned addition in the form of a linen-covered settee. Smaller occasional chairs afford even more seating at the table when necessary, but when it’s just the two of them, Jenna and Henry like to share the settee, which is perfectly positioned to catch the serene harbor view.

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A bar cart isn’t just convenient; when used as a showcase for pretty objects and barware, it’s also a great way to add eye-catching shine to a room.

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Prepping her new dining room for entertaining. Jenna’s main goal as a hostess? “Making sure that everyone feels comfortable.”

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A mix of new blue-and-white basics and vintage finds makes for an inviting table setting.

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(Get Jenna's famous guacamole recipe in the full One Kings Lane article!)

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Jenna and Alex enjoying a hot cup of tea on the cozy daybed, complete with ocean view.