Most days I love our home. Other days I want to pack up and move back to the city where a condo association takes care of most housing woes. The other day was one of those times. What began with about one hundred phone calls to Nest complaining about a faulty thermostat ended with a defeated version of ourselves agreeing to the install of a new AC unit. And although an AC unit is necessary and nice to have, you can't really brag about it or show cool before/after photos (although if you ask, I will gladly snap a photo of that bad boy). So, while that purchase has me wanting to start packing, I need to focus on the stuff I'm beginning to love about our home. Here's an update on the exterior changes we've made so far.
This is where we began almost exactly one year ago. Many shades and finishes of white on the wood siding, shutters, fake grilles on the windows. I should have taken more close up before photos had I known I'd be blogging about it a year later. It wasn't a bad exterior but the home was never meant to look this way. Some owner along the way wanted to wipe the mid-century look – our goal was to honor it's roots and help to restore it.
For the design, I put together a mood board that I shared in an earlier post.
To start, we badly need new windows and we are finally moving forward with that (hooray!). In the meantime, when we moved in, I knocked out all of the little pieces of wood trim meant to look like grilles or separate panes. I am positive this was someone's labor of love. It was a total DIY that I managed to destroy in a matter of an hour but it had to be done for the sake of period appropriateness.
Next, we moved on to paint the exterior. I had been eyeing a home not far from ours (but far enough to not look like we were copying them) that had a shade of dark gray that I was going for. Selecting paint for the exterior of your home can be challenging. You might like how a sample of it looks on your home but how will it translate on the entire house? This felt safe to me because it looked so pretty on theirs. For color matching, I used this really high tech app on my phone and voila. Or, I knocked on their door and they were so lovely to invite me in and meet their kids and interrupt their dinner while they went to find a leftover paint can. People are crazy nice sometimes. The color is Grizzle Gray by Sherwin Williams and it's a warmer dark gray - so pretty.
Once the house was painted I moved on to the front door. I'm sure this was a real gem at one point in time. In fact, a neighbor stood by patiently while it was being removed to haul it home - storm door and all. People are also really funny sometimes. I've mentioned this door in the past – it's a 90's relic. To replace it, we chose something with a mid-century feel that didn't cost a fortune (that is surprisingly very hard to come by!). Mike will say it did cost a fortune but it can be his thing to make up a number in his head of what something should cost without any frame of reference. I'm trying to be real in these posts so I will say it was not a pretty few weeks of "discussion" but ultimately I got my way and he loves it. Phew.
As for the storm door, I had that removed for good. They are so nice to have and let in tons of light but I didn't want to take away from the beauty of the new door. I miss it but ultimately, I love the way the door looks without it. And looks really are everything, right? ;) I've finally pulled the trigger on a new door handle but I haven't been able to bring myself to install it (DIY fear). The same day our AC broke down, in a sick twist of fate, our door handle busted. I can't say I was sad. I went with the pretty brass one from the mood board. It's not really mid-century but has classic lines that I think pair nicely with everything else. If you haven't checked out Rejuvenation for fixtures yet - go. They good.
I found that bench at an antique store years ago. I'm so glad I held onto it. I stained it black and stole our pillows from the back deck for a little added interest and height. That plant/flower/birch arrangement was an experiment. Mike says birch branches are for winter...I say it's pretty year round. In my previous life I pretend I was a florist.
We updated the rusted out mailbox and front door light for something cleaner and black to match the door and bench. It turns out spiders love our mailbox new or old. Eh, nature. Lastly, we added these brass house numbers. I bought them as a little house- closing gift to ourselves last year. Literally ANY excuse to buy home goods.
Here's where we're at now. I think it's much cleaner and truer to our style and the original style of the home. So, while we miss the ease of condo living, it feels good to breathe new life into this house even if it is one room, facade or AC unit at a time.