Looking for before and after home exterior decorating ideas? Here’s what we did to transform our 100-year-old home with simple projects and updates.
When I was researching through all the posts to find back content for the house tour…
…I found one picture that stopped me in my tracks.
It popped onto the screen and I stood there frozen for a minute with my hand over my mouth.
(total aside: if you have been following me for more than a minute you know what a rarity this is.)
It was a picture I snapped with my cell phone the day we bought back the house.
A picture of the front of the house.
It looked SO DIFFERENT.
I think that’s the thing with projects. You work on them. You start one and finish another. You always have your eye on the next project and you think you are making small changes along the way. But sometimes? Those changes all add up to SUCH A DIFFERENCE.
So today, on this beautiful sunny Monday with a slight chill in the air and hostas and elephant ears poking their heads up out of the soil, I thought it might be fun to take a trip back to where it all started and show you the step by step projects along the way with before and after home exterior decorating ideas.
Here’s where it all began.
Here’s the picture I found.
Can you even remember this house?
This was what the house looked like the day we walked back through those doors six years after my mother sold it. I remember standing here and dancing and hugging my husband and trying to do handstands in the yard and telling random people that walked by that we just bought the house back.
The projects started.
Before and After Home Exterior Decorating Ideas
1. Paint the exterior
When looking for before and after home exterior decorating ideas, start with paint. The first thing that we did was paint the house.
Remember how you all helped me pick the color?
It was such a challenging decision.
We ended up choosing Rushing River SW 7746.
2. Paint the trim
We painted the trim Extra White SW 7006.
All the trim and gutters were painted the exact same color.
The Extra White popped out the Rushing River and brought out the gray undertones.
(total aside: I know you are thinking we need to paint that brick. More on that later.)
3. Paint the front door and fix the storm door
Next, we painted the front door Tricorn Black SW 6258.
The storm door was original to the house and we had it repaired and installed new hardware.
It needed to be completely reconstructed and rehinged.
4. Install door knocker
This was my grandfather’s door knocker.
I brought it home from Cape Cod and repaired it and hung it up on the front door.
You can see the before and after here.
5. Add landscaping
This was our first round of landscaping.
We kept the original hedges that my father put in, but we cleared everything else out and adding the metal green edging to define the matching beds on either side of the house.
On each corner of the house, we have a Crepe Myrtle.
One was there before and one we added.
We could just afford to add in shrubberies this year, so we added boxwoods and hollys and a couple of yew on the side.
6. We painted the brick
I should have added this in all capitals.
WE PAINTED THE BRICK.
It’s been one of my favorite before and after home exterior decorating ideas.
Just between us, I was so nervous to do it, but I am SO HAPPY with it every single day.
You can see how we painted the brick here.
Also, right about this time, we painted the back concrete porch, too. You can see that transformation here.
7. Looking for before and after home exterior decorating ideas? Add planters
I forgot to mention that we added lighting on each side of the door (you can see in the very first picture that there was only a light on the right side). When we removed the plaque on the left side, we found an old junction box that we had rewired to have symmetrical lights on either side of the door.
I moved the location of the mailbox right next to the front door (it was originally on one of the columns) and then we added these planters.
Looking for before and after home exterior decorating ideas? Add planters.
My husband built them and then we added these monograms.
You can see how we made them here.
8. Add exterior lighting
Last fall we added exterior lighting to the front and sides of the house.
It’s a combination of spotlights and smaller lights that helps define the exterior of the house.
They are all set on timers and turn themselves off and on.
We are going to add landscape lighting to the back of the house this year.
9. added house number letters
We just finished this project recently where we spelled out the address on the front of the house.
It was one of the simplest before and after exterior decorating ideas that had the biggest impact.
You can see how we changed it up here.
Looking for more before and after home exterior decorating ideas?
We also brought this birdhouse home and added a fence.
And painted a plastic garden shed to match the house.
And added a fountain to the back yard.
And our son laid a brick path to connect the front to the back.
This glorious, wonderful, amazing 110-year-old home looks like the beauty she was meant to be.
And just between us?
It has been an honor and a privilege and a joy beyond measure to get to be able to do this—to add all these before and after home exterior decorating ideas.
And I count my blessings.
Every. Single. Day.
No matter how far you travel? No matter how far you go. No matter where life takes you.
There’s nothing like getting to finally…
PS Just in case you were worried that we were done with the projects?
Here’s the current state of the back porch. 🙂