Sunday, April 27, 2008

Curb Appeal: Before and After

Someday my dream house will be Craftsman style with shutters, a big wrap around porch and wood siding. Because this is so much of my preference, I had a hard time initially wanting to buy this house. First, I'm not a fan of stucco. I'm even less a fan of Spanish architecture and lots of arches. Secondly, I'm even less of a fan of cookie cutter houses...neighborhoods of houses that look exactly the same, or what they call 'Soldier Row'. (Ironic since my job is getting these types of neighborhoods approved!) So, this house is pretty much the antithesis of my preferences. But, it was big, newer, on a cul de sac, and the price was right.

But, I just couldn't get over the blah factor. So, while most people would probably just have left well enough alone (or at least leave it to be the last project on their to do list...after all the inside and backyard was done), it ranked REALLY high on my list. Anyway, without further ado:

BEFORE:
The house looked really washed out before. Partly because the colors the developer chose were way too close on the color palette, but also because our house gets direct sunlight every morning. Great for having a bright and airy living room, bad for the front door.

AFTER:
Ahhh...COLOR! We (yes, Andy and I) painted the accents on the house to give it a little more "pop". A cafe mocha sorta color on the wainscotting and the hood & sill on the front window. I chose a darker brown for a few select areas for contrast. We also watered & fertilized the lawn, dug out all the weeds, killed a pesky gopher, and planted some Iceberg and Carpet Roses. I can't wait until they start to really grow and bloom!

***
So, what'd we do?

Grass was half dead from not having water for 5 months, the planters look kinda green in this picture, but it was all weeds. Take note of the trees along the side of the driveway in this picture and the next...amazing what three weeks of watering will do!

Some rocks outlining the planter area, and a big terra cota pot with flowers in the window sill.
My poor flowers aren't doing too well. Plus, we overwatered, so it stained the stucco...gotta touch that up!

Another view.

This is my favorite. We painted the fake korbels to make it look like they are actually wood, bought some planters and bright pink geraniums. It's just so cheery, I love it! (However, I do want to change out the garage windows...the half sunburst is NOT very Spanish...and I'm considering painting the garage door.)

Another pet peeve of mine is when a house is sorta/kinda an architectural style...but not really. In this case, my house is obviously an attempt at Spanish...but then there were these little dainty lighting fixtures that belonged on a French Country style house. They drove me crazy...no one else probably noticed them, but it was all I could see when we drove up to the house everyday. I'm weird, stuff like that bugs me. (This is actually my neighbor's fixture, I didn't take a picture before we switched them out...in case you noticed.)
The new lighting fixtures. Much better! The house is big and bulky, so the fixtures should also have more heft to them...and they should attempt to fit into the Spanish theme.
This used to be this weird strip of grass that you couldn't even mow along the side of the house. Pulled all that up and replaced with some dwarf Kangaroo Paw. Grow little paws, GROW!
These little plants were scattered around the yard, half dead and in random spots. So, we dug them up and transplanted. Hopefully they "take" and it'll save us some money in landscaping!

***

And then there was the debacle of the front door...all of the houses in the neighborhood have these unfinished "rustic" looking front doors, that look stupid, out of place, and well...unfinished. I think they were trying to make it look authentic, but like a lot things, if you don't get it *just right*, it ends up looking awful.

Ideally, I wanted to stain the door a dark brown so that I could keep the natural wood grain. But, the stain I got, while it SAID it was a dark brown, came out with lots of black in it.Which resulted in the door looking very dungeon-y and scary. And the wood didn't soak up the stain very uniformly, so it looked terrible.
So, I spent ALL DAY yesterday priming and painting the door the same darker color on the house and going back and spray painting the metal accent pieces. I didn't even attempt to paint the little nailheads. I'm very pleased with the way it finally turned out though.

What's left? Maybe painting the garage door this same dark color, adding some more flowers, and making our first mortgage payment! HA!

9 comments:

pennymalley said...

You need a show on HGTV. Seriously. Now I know the reason why you're not the nursery director anymore. :)
I recently saw a couple of garages that were painted to look like wood (sounds strange, but they were really nice!) in Paula P's neighborhood, Spanish Oaks. You guys should drive by and check them out for ideas.

*aron* said...

omgosh i cannot believe how much you guys have done BEFORE your first mortgage payment!!! everything looks so great and its amazing what a little change and color will do to a house... glad you guys are having so much fun making it your own :) the kitchen looks amazing too!! i need you to teach me how to make curtains :)

Jeannett Gibson said...

Penny-I'll have to check that out the next time we're in SLO for church...if ever I make it there again...Hen-Ben was pukey this morning, so Andy had to go solo...again. Which by the way, is the real reason I resigned...it's hard to commit to being there every week when Henry seems to always conflict with that darned well baby policy! :)

Aron-You do NOT want me to teach you anything about sewing! I can only go in straight lines...and really, those aren't even that straight! You'll have to chat with your mom for sewing tips!

Mike and Rachel said...

What a go getter you are. It looks great. But I have to say, the type of home you want is in Colorado, all over the place!

lindsey cheney said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!! wow, jeannett - that is absolutely amazing! you have done such a great job, and i can't believe you did it all yourself. where was henry?

Jeannett Gibson said...

Henry was a trooper. He would hang out in the playpen in the driveway enjoying the fresh air, or we'd let him crawl around the front yard, sometimes scooping big chunks of dirt out of his mouth...and we tried to do as much as we could during naps. But really, Henry was AWESOME and just kinda hung out with us while we worked. Ryley helped babysit too! :)

Amber said...

Hey Jeannett! I've been a blog stalker of yours for quite some time and I figured now was the time to comment! First let me say that I'm totally impressed with all the work you have already done on your house. You guys are really on the ball! Second…when the time comes for you to go kitchen counter shipping, I have to suggest a store in Guadalupe. It's a tile store that also sells counter tops out of left over stone. My husband and I just purchased a new counter for our bathroom at a pretty decent price. I highly suggest checking them out!

Jeannett Gibson said...

Hi Amber! What's the name of the shop in Guadalupe? Glad you commented! It's funny to see how many people actually read my silly little blog!

Brianna Heldt said...

your house rocks! wow, you guys are so great at that! AND you made your own curtains, wow, emily's words have definitely taken root in your heart. :)

(haha about the stucco and arches, i'm with ya.)