Monday, June 10, 2013

REMODELING: Exteriors Part 1

I have to start by saying that I was in love with the exterior of my house from the first time I saw it. At 100+ years old and set in one of the city's most historic neighborhoods, I couldn't have wanted it more. That was a little over a year ago. Once we moved in, I immediately got to work on ways to make it ours. That primarily included interior spaces. I adored the way it was set up initially, but wanted to make it my own (that's been a true process as you'll see in future posts). But, the outside was a different animal. There were windows and doors that my husband insisted needed to be replaced. Gas lanterns to upgrade/upsize and of course, painting that had to be done. That's just part of owning an old house. After moving from a (too-big) spawling new construction type house in Brentwood, I welcomed the challenge.

The front exterior one month after move in. It was love at first sight for me.

So, we tackled it. Month by month, little things have happened. I decided to change our (newly purchased/energy saving) door from a dark green to a chocolate brown; the hardware from shiny brass to a brushed dark bronze. That resulted in planters requiring the same treatment. My fab interior designer friend, Brad Ramsey, suggested I add brown exterior wrapping on all of the windows to make them 'pop' a bit more. Since we were replacing them anyway... why not? Then storms came, and insurance rewarded us with a new roof, so I got to take the brown tones all the way to the top.

Taken about a month before all of the landscaping was finished. Irrigation system in!
The biggest changes for me were those dealing with landscaping. I loved all existing plants and shrubs and saved as many as I possibly could. But, there were some areas that needed serious help/revamp. That included the left hand side of the entry, which is now planted with ground-cover varieties that should really come into their own by fall. The yard was lovely before, but I think with this extra TLC it really will flourish. 

New plantings including my favorite ferns and climbing ivy were added to bare spots in the front.

Look for my post on the most important exterior overhaul, which is the complete transformation that's been done in the back yard. I'll have it up later this week, and cannot wait to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to make it even better. Keep following... as inside room posts are just ahead.