One of the greatest transformations on our 1940 colonial which we bought just under a year ago (and moved into one week before my second son was born, mind you) is the view from the street:
I believe that first impressions are important, don’t you? I want my home to be a place people want to enter. If you are a brick purist, you may hate it… but I love it. We could tell when we first saw the house that it had promise:
But I didn’t love the pink brick. I also didn’t love the poor paint job on the trim. Or the shutters. Or the fact that when we pulled the shutters off, there was evidence that someone had spray painted them in place… Good thing we weren’t planning to keep the natural brick! Also, the grout was just dirty and not in the best shape in places, a fact you can’t really see in the pictures. Plus, I feel I should add, our neighborhood is full of historic homes, many of which are painted brick… So we weren’t bucking the feel of the neighborhood at all by covering over our natural materials. The yard was hurting, too:
The bed around the tree (which contained three things: dirt, fire ants, and rocks) had to go. And the hedges, while alive at least, were a bit too traditional (and leggy in places) for us. We actually chose a fairly traditional approach ourselves, for two reasons: 1) we like to stay in character with the age and design of the home and 2) the circle drive takes up most of the front yard, limiting our options for bed shape. You can see our three tiers – with varying colors and textures – (plus our accent pieces near the steps) here:
And you can’t miss our lions who greet all who enter here – one of my favorite details. The hedges across the front certainly have some filling out to do before they make a major impact on the facade, but I still think the variety is beautiful. We also laid new grass around the tree (Mr. Pax had a grand ol’ time cleaning out the fire ant bed) and cut a new bed that swoops along the back edge of our center grass. The small dwarf yaupon holly follow an S curve behind the tree and hug a group of irises to balance it out. I love the simplicity and slightly asymmetrical feel.
Needless to say, none of these jobs were small… but all were well worth it. Here’s what we’ve checked off the list:
- add exterior sconces (which we did when rewiring the house… another story for another time)
- repaint outside (Ellie Gray by Sherwin Williams with Extra White and True Black details)
- new gutters (the old system was a mess)
- new front beds
- sprinkler system
- electric gate for driveway (merely added motor to existing manual gate to save $$)
Always looking ahead, here is what we’d like to do eventually:
- remove some or all of the circle drive to reclaim some yard space (it’s not in great shape anyway)
- replace the two tropical looking small trees flanking the house with something more traditional
- retile the front porch with something a little tougher (it’s chipping now)
- replace front door with something more appropriate to the character of the home
- Add cool molding and railings (maybe like Kelly’s front porch at Eclectically Vintage – isn’t it gorgeous?!):
|Front Porch at Eclectically Vintage|
Like all things at Maison de Pax, our curb appeal is still a work in progress… But I consider progress to be the key word here!
How about you? Are you taking one step at a time?