Before & After: Exterior Reveal

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I know that another Before & After post is long overdue.  I have been wanting to show you what the exterior of the house looks like, but was holding off until our magnolia was in full bloom.  The tree started to bloom a few weeks ago, but then we had rains.  Today was the perfect day to capture the dramatic before and after of our house remodel.

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The first thing you will probably notice is the fence.  This was an important feature for us, as we wanted to contain our little ones, but also wanted to add some privacy so we can hang out up front. The front yard gets the morning sun, while the backyard gets the afternoon sun. I didn’t think a white picket fence would fit into the design of the house, so came up with this clean rectilinear design. At the foot of the fence I have a narrow planter box built in which we filled with pebbles and some tufts of grass. I remember seeing a show with John Gidding and he mentioned that it was nice to think of the community when building a fence. So the grasses are my attempt to soften the fence in order to be friendlier to the community. I’ve actually received a number of compliments on the fence from people walking by with their strollers, or walking their dogs so I think it the grasses worked.

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I am not a big fan of brick.  If I had it my way, all the brick around the house would be gone.  But budget wise, that wasn’t feasible. instead we removed the concrete front yard and removed the brick path to the house.  We poured custom large format concrete pavers to lead to the front door and filled in with small pebbles, the latter was very much inspired by the other mid-century homes. Next to the path we put in grass, but as you can see from the picture the grass isn’t doing too well.  We are trying to figure out what to plant instead of grass, or get rid of grass entirely.  We need to further explore our option… to be continued.

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The big thing of course was painting the whole exterior, this immediately gave the house a whole new vibe.  To see our paint selection go here. The front porch greatly benefits from being cleaned up and getting new windows.  I tried to maintain the look of the original windows, but then beefed them up a little with some molding.  Speaking of windows, on some before pictures you can see that there were two small windows on the upper level and that we got rid of in favor of one larger window.

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The big wow moment comes from our yellow front door.  In fact, we’ve become known as the house with the yellow door. I love how cheery and welcoming the door feels.

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I also want to highlight the paint colors.  As I mentioned previously, the stucco  color would have been hard to match to the siding color, so instead of painting them the same color, I went for two different colors which you can see in this last picture.  I really like how this worked out and think it adds greater depth to the volumes of the house.  What do you think?

Here are some details you may be interested in:

Exterior Patio chairs from Ikea (from 10 years ago)

Outdoor cushions from Crate and Barrel

Exterior Lights from Build here and here

Front Door from Crestview door

Front door hardware from Build

Welcome mat from Target ( no longer available)

All paint from Benjamin Moore

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Gus A - Hi, I found your blog while trying to look for mid-century exterior paint colors. I recently purchased a mid-century home (my first home) and wanting to update the faded house paint along with establishing a landscape. Since you’ve been through the process and had great results, I was hoping I could get some questions answered…

Did you hire someone to paint your house or landscape? How long did the process take? What order did you do the curb appeal work (i.e. did you remove old landscape, paint, then re-landscape)?

isadorag - Hi Gus,
Thanks for stopping by. Congrats on the recent purchase of your house. You are so lucky that your first home is a mid-century home. To answer your questions, we did hire someone to paint the house, but that’s also because is three stories high and on a hill and given my fear of heights, painting it myself would not have ended well. I know when to quit. That said if your house is on one level I think painting the exterior of your house yourself is totally doable. Our painters rolled the paint, they didn’t spray. You get richer/better paint coverage by rolling, but it does take more time. The key to any good paint job is prep, so if you have peeling paint, etc you need to scrape and sand to create a smooth surface. It’s more work, but worth it in the long run. We did the paint fairly early in the game while the whole house was being renovated, but held off on landscaping until we moved in. But yes, we did demo that old landscaping when we demoed everything else, that way all the trash could get hauled at the same time.
The landscaping is something we are handling ourselves. I don’t have a green thumb, so for me it’s a trail an error thing. I maintain a board on Pinterest called “Exterior”, where I pin many photos of exteriors that would work well with a mid-century. Have a look For me, refining a vision is an important first step before starting any project. It guides you, but also helps you make decisions. Good luck!
Love for you to post some pics on my facebook page ( of your before and then later of your after.
Keep me posted on how it is going.

Claire - I love the colors you chose for the exterior of your house! We are in the process of picking new exterior colors for our home as well as for the doors. Curious what you thought on having black shutters in the color combo? Too stark against w/the yellow door? Thanks!!

radmin - Hi Claire,
Personally I think dark grey with the black can get a little somber, however, with a fun front door color you can make it happy again. That said, I don’t love yellow and black… I can’t help myself, but it makes me think of bees. If you do use black, I would go for a color that doesn’t create that association. Good luck.

Jean - Love the colors! I’m currently looking for a yellow paint for my front door as well. Do you know Benjamin Moore’s equivalent color of Sherwin William’s Nugget?

isadorag - Hi Jean,
You could ask BM to color match SW’s Nugget. I think many paint shops keep a reference guide for other paint manufacturers.

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