Before and….Maybe Someday? Exterior

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Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a bit of a long one!  I won’t get into every detail all around the yard and the changes we have made but I am going to show you what we did to the exterior of the house itself, and the front yard so far.  This has been a huge project and so many more plans are waiting (impatiently) in my head! Are you ready?  Here we go!

Exterior before any work

Here she is, as she was when I first saw her!  Okay, almost.  In truth by this point I had already ripped out a couple dead or dying bushes in front of the house.  I had to.  I mean, there was literally even a dead tree, devoid of any limbs, just to the left of this photo in the front yard when I showed up!  It appeared to have been standing there dead for a while.  It didn’t stand a chance when I got there!

Flowerbeds phase 1

The first thing I did was to clean up the lines of the flowerbed, create a nice wandering shape, plant a few perennials and put some mulch over it all.  This made a huge difference with curb appeal already!

It took us months to prep the house for new paint and to decide on what color it was going to be.  I had the feeling of what I wanted in my head but no matter what brand I looked at, I could not find the color that I was envisioning.  It was either too yellow or too brown, to put it in basic terms.  I could find buildings here and there that had the feel I wanted but as they were usually always stucco or some such finish, it was nearly impossible to match.  You see, the inside and the outside of this house were never designed to belong together!  The outside is very traditional in appearance but as soon as you enter you are hit with arches everywhere – every doorway and pass thru.  This led me towards a Mediteranean or Tuscan feel in keeping with the structure of the interior and my style preferences but I didn’t want a disconnect between the exterior of the house and the interior.  I won’t bore you with all the details but suffice it to say I needed to somehow marry the two.  Put some subtle Mediteranean touches to the outside so it wasn’t a major surprise when you opened the front door and stepped inside.

We were able to find a wonderful man at one of our local paint stores who was very gifted with mixing paint.  It’s not nearly as easy as you would think to know what color to put in to result in your final desired color!  Anyways with countless trips back and forth tweaking colors and testing and changing it just a little and testing…..we finally arrived at our custom house color.  I also customized the trim color to blend with the house.  By the way the man in these photos is the painter who we hired to spray paint the house – it isn’t The MR.  We did all the prep work and simply hired out the actual painting since we didn’t have the equipment to handle the job.

House with painting completed

After what seemed like an eternity, she was finished!  Just in time too.  Maybe a week after the trim was finished we got this dusting of snow!  As you can see I changed the way the trim was painted to highlight different aspects than before.  I painted the pillars all trim color instead of multi-colored as they were before and I painted the gutters and downspouts to coordinate with whatever color they were against to basically disappear.  The front door was painted in Sherwin Williams “Rain”.  As you can see I originally painted the garage door the same color as the body of the house.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it at this point and didn’t want it to stand out quite as much in the meantime.

Stilettos and Shiplap3

Basically all I did for the next two summers was plant more perennials and try to bring the lawn back to life!

Stilettos and Shiplap2

I have a bit of a thing for plants and gardening.  I blame it all on my grandfather!  He passed on his love of growing things and every spring I can BARELY wait until the ground is warm enough to start digging in the dirt and planting things.

Stilettos and Shiplap

Each year as the perennials fill out more, I plant a couple new things where needed.

Front flowerbed and garden flag

This summer I got this adorable little garden flag from a dear friend!  Many of her products are designed from her original paintings!

Finished Exterior

Here is my home as it appears now….basically!  You can see I was a little busy this summer.  I finally decided what I wanted to do with the garage door and started putting in a split rail fence around the sides and some of the front of my yard.  This was partly to discourage neighborhood kids from biking through the front yard and snapping off my sprinkler heads, and party to form an esthetic backdrop for future plantings!  I have painted my front door since I took this photo.  It is now a dark brown to show off my fall and winter wreaths!  Yes, I change the color of my front door on a whim or based on the season….don’t judge 🙂

My future projects include:

  • Making shutters for the windows
  • Finishing the split rail fence
  • Creating a pathway from the sidewalk to the front door
  • Installing some sort of fountain or water feature
  • Putting in some wrought iron railings between the pillars
  • Painting or staining the concrete porch floor
  • Decor including string lights for the front porch
  • New light fixtures for the front door and garage

I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of my Before & After blog series.  Keep checking back for more!

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