From shabby to chic: an exterior Before and After!

This is a post about a house that had seen better days. A house that was very in need of some TLC. A house where the latex paint on the exterior walls was shedding like an Irish Setter in summer. One where the shutters were missing rails like jack o’ lanterns missing teeth. And the yard? It had more uncovered dirt than Us magazine.



But see for yourself.




Side of house before




Uh huh.





Exterior Before



Lucky for this house, my clients recognized under all that mess, there was a cute, sweet home. That just needed a chance. And an interior {and exterior} designer.




It’s hard to tell from this picture (see above) but that is a frosted jalousie window to the left of the teal-colored front door. One of the first design decisions was to replace it with a horizontal window. Not only would the shape solve a design dilemma–(there is a bathroom on the other side of that window that needed privacy; with a higher-hung, horizontal window, we could get away with clear glass and let more light in without the threat of someone seeing someone else tinkle)–but I was able to find a wood-clad window that would blend with the era of the home and the rest of its existing windows–for $50 from Habitat for Humanity. Sold!





The plan for the rest of the exterior went a little something like this…




Front of house before2




But let’s revisit that window for a moment.




Old window



See the uninstalled window lurking in the left hand corner looking all inconspicuous? It took the place of the installed (frosted jalousie, shuttered) window.




In other words, this…





Window standing













Window after






Ah, what a difference trim and fresh paint make.





The front turned out like this….





Front view




Here’s another view, if you happened to be gazing left….




Front side after




Ready for your closeup, front door?




Front Door after 2


The hanging exterior light was a $20 rummage sale find (courtesy of me, the junk sale junkie).




And that sad side area…





Side of house before





turned into this pretty side area!




Side of house after




The painter’s helper had a moment of genius when he suggested we move the existing fence forward. We all agreed it would make the side yard better tie into the backyard and add more privacy to the front. A salvaged gate was resurrected with a sand, stain and finish and now contrasts nicely against the fence (which is painted the same soft, creamy color as the house’s siding).




Side view after




The clients just happened to have this amazing doorknob lying around in their garage.





Door knob detail


Now when was the last time you saw back plates as cool as that, I ask?





The front yard got a quick clean-up.





Witness: the Before (gulp)….






Front yard before




And the After….




Front yard after



Note:  This mulch just happens to be on sale at Home Depot for $10 for 3 bags (each bag covers 2 cubic feet). Since the only changes from the Before to the After in the front yard were the stucco wall was power-washed and mulch was added, it just goes to show how transformative mulch can be–making that a temping sale indeed!


Paint details:

Door: Benjamin Moore, Black Beauty (satin)

Shutters: Same as door

Posts, beams, trim, door and window casing: Benjamin Moore, Simply White (satin)

Siding: Benjamin Moore, Muslin (eggshell)




What about you? Is your house thirsty for a paint job? Is your yard ready to gobble up some mulch? If you would like to see more Before and Afters, please visit my interior design website



Happy weekend!



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