During all of our home improvement projects, the number one thing (besides the kitchen) I wanted to do was fix up the outside of the house… But, like with every other project I’ve started, I had no idea where to start. So we put it off, and put it off some more. Before I knew it I had lived here for 4 years and even though we have done a LOT of work in the inside, we hadn’t done anything to the outside!
The outside wasn’t anything fancy when I moved in, and four more years of neglect hadn’t helped any… Overgrown shrubs, dirty looking beige trim, a useless and falling apart screen door. The whole porch was dark and it felt like a cave from the tall shrubs, it was my least favorite place to be and it made for a really bad impression from the street.
After looking around my neighborhood and making note of the houses that were my favorite and looking online for ideas on how to jazz up a brick house, I finally had an idea of what I wanted. The first thing I wanted was to take out all the shrubs. It took a while to convince Jason it was the best decision, but he eventually got on board. After that hurdle I had to figure out what would make a brick ranch stand out on a street full of brick ranches.
After searching pinterest for days and with a little help from Photoshop I had an idea of what I wanted:
I really like the classic look of a brick house with black shutters. But with our dark porch I needed to create a focal point, the best way to do that was to paint the door a bright color. Then add in some drought resistant plants add some color to brighten the whole thing up and I was set!
After a lot of hmm-ing and haw-ing I finally had the motivation to get started on Project Curb Appeal. But I was about to go on a trip to visit my family in CT, so I needed to buckle down if I wanted to get a good start while I was still really motivated. I decided to start where it would make the biggest impact: the shrubs. So I started chopping them down, but quickly realized it was a MUCH bigger task than I anticipated, I needed some help, and I didn’t have it at that point. I decided to tackle a smaller task first: painting. That I knew I could do! I got every red paint chip in a 30 mile radius and picked the “perfect” shade of red. Then got to painting! It took too many coats to count, but just that little bit made a huge difference! The next day I set out to paint the shutters. A few cans of black spray paint later things were shaping up!
Next it was the porch’s turn. I painted the pillars and the trim around the door. Right after I finished the second coat on the porch it started POURING rain. So I called it a day, even though the trim around the rest of the house needed to be done, it would have to wait for another day… Never mind the fact that it would require a ladder, and I’m afraid of heights (that will have to be Jason’s job). After that I ran out of time and motivation. I went to visit my family in CT. But while I was there I got a glorious text message from Jason… He and a friend were taking out the bushes for me! That easily got him the husband of the year award. It was the best “gift” he could have given me.
After I came back from CT, we got swept up in a whirlwind of visitors and travelling basically non-stop for a few months and the house got pushed to the wayside… Until this week!
Maybe it’s all the pumpkin spice coffee I’ve been drinking or the cool mornings we’ve had, but I had a really strong urge to decorate the house inside and out for fall. Since spring and summer planting times have come and gone, getting anything in the ground now isn’t the best idea… So it was the perfect time to go all out for fall. But since I am notorious for killing plants, I didn’t want to go crazy with too many plants, fall mums seemed like the perfect “practice”.
Without further adieu, here is our “after” with all of our fall decorations:
I’m pretty proud of the wreath I made.
Blue is pretty happy with the end results too…
And for comparison…
“After”: (we still need to paint the rest of the trim)
I can’t wait to get some plants in the ground this spring, but I’m excited to decorate the next few seasons without having to work around existing plants!
Now, as for the inside… I’m SO happy with how it turned out! One of my favorite things growing up was how my mom used to decorate for the holidays, it was so much fun to pull out my favorite decorations that have been put away for a year. It was so nice to have a change every few months. And for some reason the only holiday I’ve decorated for since moving has been for Christmas… Well, fall is probably my favorite season, and Halloween is Jason’s favorite holiday. So I figured, why not decorate for fall?
(This built in bookcase is our next project once the outside is done!)
The living room:
I apparently have a thing for owls now (the owl pillows on the porch and two owl candle holders on the mantle), I actually had a cart full of Owl things and had to restrain myself and put some back, but I saw these cute guys and couldn’t resist:
Well, that’s it for now…
Until next time!