With the arrival of Spring, we’ve taken a little bit of time to update the exterior of our house with just a few easy and inexpensive fixes. PS…those are my favorite kind of fixes. That’s the beauty of so many DIY projects – leftover materials!
When we bought our house almost a year ago (boy, that went fast!) it looked like this…
She’ always been a cutie, and I knew there was even more potential there, but there was a bit left to be desired, to say the least. Things felt a little dark and dingy and we finally got around to paying attention to the outside with some much needed exterior updates. The planning of the Birthday Carnival, and knowing we’d have a yard full of party goers, was just motivation we needed to get to work.
Here’s how she’s looking right now…
So, here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve done so far…
Quickly after we moved in, we removed the storm door on the front of the house. It was old and it bad shape and I knew it wouldn’t be put to use so off it came in order to expose the existing door. Looking through my photo archives, I don’t even have a close up shot of the screen door, an indication of just how quickly it came down.
We replaced the old light with a spare we had from our old house (although that one will be swapped out eventually too), hit everything with the power washer, and gave the door and surround a much needed coat of paint. Those little changes had everything looking immediately better and the contrast with the black door gives the front of the house a little extra oomph that I think makes a huge difference.
The stone door surround, something I originally hated, is now one of my favorite parts of the entry. Go figure.
The front step is abnormally high (I’m always reminding guests to watch their step in fear of a broken ankle…) so we have plans to add a front stoop eventually, but for now, it’s a huge improvement.
We also started tackling the side porch. Here’s what it looked like before we moved in…
And here’s how it’s looking right now…
Better, right? So far we have trimmed back the Roses of Sharon along the side of the house, painted the formerly red railings white, added a couple of hanging ferns and a few strands of lights along the ceiling and now things are feeling much more fresh and clean.
I’d love to DIY a long, skinny picnic table and a pair of benches for some outdoor dining at some point and also give the concrete slab a new finish once this humidity dies down. So there’s still a bit more to be done over there.
Another little change that made a HUGE difference was ripping out the old and broken walkway and replacing it with stepping stones that matched the original pathway leading to the front door.
In this before shot from when we replaced the old, wonky mailbox, you can see the sad shape of the front pathway leading to the side porch. We always loved the little stones leading to the front door, and when I found stones that matched almost perfectly, we knew what we had to do.
Now, the front of the house has double the charm and looks much more neat and tidy overall and, let me tell you, I’m diggin’ it.
The final and possibly biggest change we’ve made to the exterior so far would be giving all of the outdoor plants and trees a big ol’ haircut.
We pruned all the dead branches off of the massive pine trees, ripped out all of the old, dead bushes along the front elevation (which had clearly never been maintained), and edged a crisp line along the house to freshen things up. I’m not sure that we’ll tackle any major planting this year but hopefully by this time next year, we’ll have some updated landscaping to come home to.
It has been so rewarding to spruce up the exterior so far and with just a little elbow grease, things are looking a whole lot better around here.
Has the warm weather had you making any exterior updates around your house lately?