Updated: Jul 19, 2021
My husband and I purchased our home in June 2020, right in the midst of the pandemic. Our initial plans to rent in downtown Dallas were thrown off as we accepted the fact that we both would be working from home more long-term and knew some extra space would be ideal. This house checked the boxes when it came to square footage and price but little did I know that renovating this home would bring so much joy.
Below was our starting point. The exterior was a little over grown and understated but the potential was there. After our inspection, we were relieved that the home had good bones and mostly needed cosmetic updates.
The first thing to go was the holly bushes along the house. They were pokey and impeded on the sidewalk leading up to the house. Not exactly how you want to welcome your guests. Once we pulled them out, we found that the holly had been there long enough that it left some staining along the concrete and brick. We also started the long process of pulling up the monkey grass around the trees. This is a tedious process just because the sheer number of plants. We were able to keep some of the monkey grass but I used it much more purposefully in the back.
The next exterior project was the railing/columns. There really wasn't any need for railing since the porch isn't that high off the ground. We also wanted to add wood columns around the metal ones to give the front a more balanced look. I personally like a lighter wood stain so I used the semi-transparent color, Acorn. Building the columns was a project that my husband and father-in-law took on themselves. Lucky for us, my father-in-law works in construction and is highly skilled in carpentry. I had them to wrap the top and bottom of the columns with some decorative trim to create a look that is slightly more traditional rather than farmhouse. The last touch for the porch update was switching the numbers from the old brown sign between the two windows to slim, metal numbers to the most interior column.
At this point, we had poured so much sweat equity into our new front porch but the view was blocked by the smaller crape myrtle on the left. This tree was also growing sideways due to the large oak in our neighbor's yard. So we decided to take a chainsaw to the tree and then ground the stump to prevent the tree from sprouting again. After about 4 months we were able to lay sod to help fill in the gaps in the grass.
The next part of our exterior house renovation design process was the largest and the most exciting -- having the brick painted white. We were torn between two white colors, Alabaster and Snowbound, and two grays for the shutter accents, Cape May Cobblestone and Dorian Gray. We landed on Alabaster and Dorian Gray due to the warmth of our brown roof. We wanted the colors to feel inviting yet fresh! We hired painters for this project and it only took them two days. Let me just say, we were happy that we didn't spend a week of our own time for a subpar paint job...
Right after we had the brick painted, we added some patio furniture and basic landscaping. We left our house as is for about 4 months and we were so happy with the updates. The only other change we wanted to eventually add was a new front door. The gray painted door worked temporarily but the door and handle were cheap, not to mention the interior entryway had no natural light. So when the time came to replace the door, we landed on a mahogany door with flemish windows to distort the view from the street. The door was also stained the same Acorn color as the columns.
At the end of it all, we are so in love with our new exterior! We were really hoping to create more curb appeal and to turn our porch into a space where it's easy to meet neighbors.
Can you believe this is the same home?
We are still waiting for the landscaping to mature but the plants are much happier with all the sunlight coming through!
What part of this exterior house renovation design made the largest change in your mind?