A little more than a year ago, we purchased this cute little house in the historic district of a city in the Midwest.
This was the facade of the house when we bought it. I loved the arbor and the ivy and the smaller yard.
But, we also wanted to make this house our home and add our own touches to it. We thought the brass fixtures and hunter green paint made the house look dated. And we felt that the front of the house looked somewhat naked.
So last fall, we started making changes to the exterior of our quirky old home. We updated the landscaping and removed the wisteria from the arbor. We changed the fixtures, and we painted the porch and lattice-work going from green to a charcoal gray on the porch and white on the lattice. And we added shutters, painted in the same charcoal gray, to the front of the house.
I, personally, painted each and every shutter on this house with two coats of paint. Painting all of those louvers is tedious and time-consuming.
It was time well spent because we feel that these changes make quite a difference!
But when we looked at the house from front to all the way to the back, we felt something was missing. We decided that we could add continuity by putting shutters on the side of the house along the walkway as well as on the wall of the detached garage that faces to the front.
So, this spring we made those changes and here is how our house looks today. I also primed and painted the arbor in the same aged bronze as the fixtures and added some solar lights to it that look really cute at night.
There are many other, more subtle changes, too. We changed from the red mulch to black mulch. We have moved many plants that were misplaced or overgrown. My daughter and I planted over 100 bulbs that were moved and removed from other areas.
This is what the wall of the garage looked like when we bought the house.
Here is the wall of the house after removing the overgrown vines and cleaning up the landscape a little. I loved the window boxes, and wanted to keep them. Unfortunately, they were ready to fall apart, and we removed them so that DSH could repair them. We were only able to salvage two of the three since one was too badly rotted to salvage so the one on the side of the garage that no one really sees anyway was tossed.
The window boxes were being held together by finishing nails so DSH added screws to hold the sides together as well as brackets on the inside. I sprayed the interiors with rubber paint so the wood would be protected from the soil, plants, and water. They already had drain holes, but the previous homeowner used plastic trash can liners which defeated the purpose of drain holes. I painted the exterior to match the shutters.
Here is what the garage wall looks like today. The medallion was on the wall under the overgrown vines so I spray painted it aged bronze to match the other fixtures. I added rock and top soil and plants to the new and improved window boxes. I moved another hanging basket to the garden bed to add some visual interest. We raked up the red mulch and added black mulch. We still have to remove and move around the plantings in this bed since it is such a hodge podge of different things that are overgrown and misplaced, but that is a project for this fall.
The day we were putting the final touches on these changes a car stopped in front of our house. When we looked over they told us that they loved all the changes and thought our house was adorable. The man that came to service our air conditioners told me that our house was “cute.” Kind of a funny word coming from an older guy.
Living in an older neighborhood is much different than living in a subdivision. Each home is very different from the next one. We have residents that range from college student rentals to single people to young couples with and without children to empty nesters and older retirees.
We have sidewalks and lots of people out walking all throughout the day and evening. Most everyone is friendly and talkative.
We are having a great time getting to know our neighbors and neighborhood and making the outside of our quirky old home a reflection of our personalities!