A long, long time ago, I can still remember how the music used to make me smile. Just kidding. A long, long time ago, my cousin asked me to send her a picture of the outside of our house. And I didn’t (sorry, Liz :/), because, truth be told, I don’t love the outside of our house as it stands now so I don’t think to photograph it much. I’m fine with it, I’m not embarrassed of it, but it doesn’t have the charm that our first home did – yet. It was hard to give up that perfect craftsman exterior. And as much as I miss the look of not having a garage at the front of our house, we love the big backyard we gain as a result of having a front garage. Compromises, I guess. Our new house has great craftsman potential – small square windows and craftsman-esque trim, but it’s not there yet. And curb appeal’s a little bit daunting because it’s such a big – and expensive – task.
When we drove up on a snowy Tuesday morning in April to see the house, I knew the curb appeal had potential, but it wasn’t what it could be. I loved that while it did have a front garage, it was at least a side garage so that the majority of the exterior isn’t covered by garage. I also loved the craftsman windows on the second floor. It was also obvious the house hadn’t been painted since it was built 13 years ago, so we knew we’d need to budget for that in the first year of living here. As part of our due dilligence, we had to approve the HOA documents, and I was totally bummed to see that there are approximately 7 shades of brown or beige that our house is approved to be painted – our brown being the best option (when it’s not faded by 13 years of sunlight. So, I have a goal for the next year: Get on the HOA or at least attend a few meetings and ask them so nicely if they’d be willing to consider a slightly updated, neutral color palate for our neighborhood. I’d love our house to be the same gray as our last one, but, since I’m assuming they’ll say no, I’m making my plans assuming our house will be the same color it is now, just not faded.
So, here’s my plan. Repaint – if we can go with a darker brown or a gray, great, if not just refreshing the existing color will do wonders. We’ll repaint all the trim – which currently blends in with the brown – a crisp white. I want to remove the curvy trim above the porch and install straight trim,and add a railing to our porch. Add craftsman shutters to our windows – the window on the garage, not pictured, has traditional shutters, but the rest of the house is lacking. I’d love to add board and batten shutters to the main window on the main floor and the main window upstairs, as well as replace the traditional shutters on the garage window with the same. New exterior lights and house numbers will also be fun ways to add craftsman touches to the house. We’ll paint the current bland front door (or maybe replace it with a cool craftsman one) – either black or a fun green (our HOA does allow colorful doors, but so far everyone has painted theirs red, so I’m sure my apple green will raise some eyebrows). Oh, and I’ll be hanging a black porch swing on that porch next summer, too. And painting the rocking chair black, too.
Just for fun, here’s a mock-up of our house painted gray. You know, just in case I get my way. But I’ve never been very persuasive, so I might need Mr. B – the charming half of our duo – to attend the HOA meetings for me if I really want gray paint:
Eventually, we’d love to remove a low-lying evergreen shrub that doesn’t do much for the house (on the right in the pictures above) and replace it with a flower garden. The original homeowner’s invested a lot into landscaping the backyard and some of the front, and I love that it’s low maintenance, but I’d love for a small flower garden and I think that evergreen is the perfect location. The tree and shrubs in front of the garage need some attention and curb appeal, too, but that’s probably phase 2.
Our plan is to save our pennies for these projects and get the house painted next spring or early summer. Hopefully we can do the trim work ourselves before the painting. You can check out my pinterest board to see everything I’m loving for curb appeal these days. Lots of this hinges on HOA approval, but I couldn’t share our current exterior pic without showing you how we hope it will look in less than a year. What do you think?