Adding Curb Appeal on a Dime

Such an important facet yet in my case it was left to (almost) the last area on my list for improvements... my front facade. It had some limitations for sure. An addition the size of the original 1930s cottage was built over the driveway, blocking off any access to my garage (now my workshop/studio). 

In addition, the off-road parking goes right up to the house.  Adding some plant life to soften the facade is part of my 2014 to-do list.

This is what the house looked like the day I took possession:

Cute but needs work.


At first I thought it would be a good idea to add dark brown accents to bring in the colour of the roofing. I painted the door and railing brown.  This made the other accents look shabby, so I spray painted the house numbers, the mailbox, the door knocker and the screen door handle in a satin black.


I lived with it for a year and then swapped out the lights on either side of the door for black metal ones to match the house numbers.

I had let the little gardens at either side of the front porch go.  There were so many weeds I just didn't have enough time to keep up.  Plus I planned to tear off the front landing and steps and rebuild something much larger and nicer.  Then the bathroom reno from hell hit and all the money went toward it instead.  Another year went by and I HAD to do something.  

I started by strategically planting a tree that would grow tall enough to shade my porch and dining room window but not grow taller than the house itself.  It's an Amur Maple, green leaves with a reddish tinge in the summer and scarlet fall colour (if the deer leave it alone that is).  It's a really pretty tree and very hardy - it's a tree that grows in Russia.   Then I weeded all the chickweed out of the bed nearest the tree because I plan to keep it and expand it after the landing is done.




The other side of the porch has been neglected again.  I don't plan to keep that garden, it will be torn out either this fall or early next spring.

Next up was building and installing shutters for the windows.  Just 1x4 boards that I glued and screwed together using two 1x4 braces across the back of the boards.  There are a hundred and one tutorials on these board & batten shutters, so I won't bore you with those details.

I had a heck of a time deciding what colour to paint the shutters but settled on white for the moment.  Then I remembered I still had some carriage door hardware that never got installed on my last home's garage doors! so I slapped those on as well.   Total cost for the 6 shutters - wood + paint + hardware $50

Hammered Wrought Iron Hardware

Painted Aluminum Hardware

I had two sets of carriage door hardware that didn't match. I used one type on the new addition windows and another, older looking type on the old house windows.  I think it looks kind of eclectic and cool.


I purposely attached the shutters to the house with the crosspieces at the back of the shutters so that if/when I want to paint them, I don't have to take them off the house or worry about getting paint on the siding cause I have a gap between the shutters and the siding.  Brilliant, huh?  

Hmmm something still isn't working with this colour scheme.

I got out the white paint and painted the vinyl siding end caps and the trim around the windows.   Oh - MUCH better already!  


So much brighter and I eliminated that odd choice of accent colour (that I can only describe as "flesh" coloured...) that did absolutely nothing for the house.  I also decided to paint my front door, but what colour?!

I feng shui'd my house and discovered that while brown was a good option for my East facing front door, I could also use blue, green or turquoise.  TURQUOISE!!  Okey dokey then!  Out came my fave aqua paint.  Even then it took me two weeks to get used to the new colour of the door.  Something was still really off.

If I get rid of my screen door, I'm going to have
to paint that doorknob...

I tackled the rest of the brown accents that were now #1 on my most-hated-thing-about-my-facade list.  I painted out the brown with either white or aqua.  Here's the new front facade:


I think this colour scheme makes it look much more cottage'y'.  It certainly makes me happier!

Best of all this was done for under $100!  Shutters (incl paint) $50, same paint was used to paint out the brown $0, the aqua paint (my go-to colour, so I already had it on hand) $0, lights 2 for $12, tree $30, weeding & edging $0.  Total cost $92!

Before:

AFTER


UPDATE:  I had a new front landing built and it has made such a huge difference!  Click on the photo for details:



Next up will be painting the skirting boards but I'm back to my what-colour-to-pick dilemma.  Since those boards are stained I'll have to prime first.  Maybe the white primer will help me decide whether to go white or match the siding...  

Have you used Feng Shui principles on your home?  Share your stories if you have!

For more ideas on adding curb appeal, click on the photo below:



oh, and if you're looking for a great tute on how to build b&b shutters, click HERE :)


53 comments:

  1. I love the turquoise with the white! I plan on painting our front door purple but am waiting for it to cool off a little. I'd never thought about the feng shui of the colour, and it turns out purple is second on the list for my south facing door. I also learned that my side door should stay white which means less work for me.

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  2. I LOVE the shutters you added! It looks so charming.

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  3. Your shutters are gorgeous Anne - what a huge impact!!!
    Love your trees and painting the trim white was perfect
    Just love your cottage!
    XOXO

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  4. I love those shutters Anne. Wish I could help you pick a skirting color, but if I did you would be guaranteed to hate it - I can't pick paint.

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  5. The shutter and their hardware look great. Such a charming house!

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  6. I really like the shutters and the carriage door hardware pops. Great minds must think alike because I'm getting ready to paint my front door aqua. I've thought about it for a week and I've decided that it would be fabulous. Do you have a closer picture of your door?

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    1. Thanks Di! I just took one last night. I'll add it to the post over the weekend, so be sure to pop back again!

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    2. Oh course, just let me know....I'm excited!

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  7. Beautiful Anne... I tweeted this. Hope you don't mind.

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  8. Lovely! You have done great things with your space, I popped into your laundry/mudroom and front entrance and love the improvements you have made! Are you going to blog your studio? I am a little jealous that you have one! Have a great weekend! Karen@NourishwithKaren

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    1. Thank you Karen! My poor shop/shed/garage/studio! I always have great plans to clean it out and fix it up every Spring. Then I cram tons of woodworking materials, dimensional lumber and garage sale finds in there so I have no room to do anything. Sigh. Maybe next year!

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  9. I am liking the changes and the shutters are just perfect!

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  10. Love the shutters.....your house looks so cozy

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  11. Much better .... The white looks good.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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  12. Anne,

    Everything you have done looks so fabulous!! Love the tree and the plantings. The shutters really add some charm.

    Cynthia

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  13. Love your changes Anne!Your home looks so pretty and quaint <3...LOVE those shutters !
    xx
    Anne

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  14. Hi Anne, Your house is sweet and I love that you used the hardware on the shutters. Fabulous!

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  15. Anne...I love what you did with the front of your house!!...I especially love the carriage door hardware on the shutters...such a great idea!....you did a beautiful job as usual...When do you find time to do it all!!!...you are amazing!...have a great weekend!

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  16. Now that is curb appeal! The shutters add so much too Anne...just beautiful!

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  17. You did a LOVELY job... I agree, the darker accents kinda made it look drab, but the white and aqua look crisp and pretty! The shutters, made an amazing update, for sure!! creative DIY!!! So, I am really curious: when you say you "feng-shui'd" your house, how does one do that? I would love to know? I also have an east facing door, and have been dying to paint it a dark turquoise, so I think I was meant to read your post...and now I have feng shui permission to go ahead and just do it!!! LOL! so, thanks! If you wanted to give me a pointer on a place to start to feng shui my own house - I would really love that! we have been having some bad karma around here lately, and maybe that would help turn it around? I am DEFINITELY going to start the process with the turquoise door, it can't hurt, right? thanks for sharing, your doing an awesome job on your home!
    julieaspear AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Hi Julie! Thank you so much!! and I have been a fan of feng shui for a while but haven't paid much attention to it lately. Here's a link for you, this lady writes a ton of stuff on feng shui http://fengshui.about.com/od/thebasics/qt/fengshuibasics.htm

      Funny thing is, my first instinct was to paint the door turquoise and then I thought better of it (wouldn't match the colours, wouldn't look nice, etc). Wonder if we just shouldn't give in to what we "feel" is right instead of what we "think" is right more often!

      Have a great day!! and go paint your door turquoise!!!!!

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  18. It's amazing how much brighter and welcoming it looks now! The aqua door is lovely.

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  19. Wow, Anne, I love how you took your time and analyzed each choice before going helter skelter into a big change all at once and then not liking it. I think it's beautiful!! Sounds like you have plans for more to come. I'll stay tuned :)

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  20. Looks wonderful! I'm always amazed at all your projects! You do such a good job.

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  21. Awww...it looks beautiful! So cute! I think you should go white with the skirt. I just had to decide what to paint the "belly band" of my 1904 house. It was either stick with the siding color, or go white like the trim....I decided on white. Who doesn't love even more white trim....right? :)

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  22. Amazing what you did with $100. The turquoise door is a great idea and a much lighter and happier colour. I think the shutters and the trim paint make the windows appear larger and more intentional. A pretty cottage look. The most impactful change was probably using the lighter colour on the handrail. We are working on some exterior projects now that we put in the new garage door.

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  23. Your shutters look fantastic!! You gave your home a pretty cottage look using the carriage door hardware.

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  24. It looks great! I love that you went with the white handrails. Such a big difference with little money :)

    XO,
    CorinnaAshley.com

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  25. Wow - I LOVE your shutters Anne and they sure make an amazing difference to the curb appeal! Awesome!

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  26. I love those shutters, Anne! I really need to work on our curb appeal. Our trouble is something having to do with a funny-shaped house, and distracting from that! :)

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  27. Such an improvement. The lightness and brightness of the white paint combined with the punctuation of the black is striking!

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  28. Great job! My home needs sooo much work on the curb appeal. I'd love if you'd link up to The DIY'ers: http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-diyers-and-our-country-weekend.html

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    1. Thanks Kayla! and thanks for the invite, too!

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  29. Wow you've done so much to the front of your house, what a great job you've done!

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  30. I really love the shutters! So pretty!

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  31. I love how you kept it simple with your choices! We just moved in to a tiny house (not sure what to call it...) and it has a fabulous porch. Sadly it sat empty for years so the bushes have taken over the porch to the point that you can't see off the porch!! I'm looking to trim them back, add paint, and shutters and hope that it makes the entrance to our new home much more approachable! And if you want my opinion on the skirting I would paint it to match your door!! I think it would bring such a fun and sweet element to your already precious home :)

    I would love it if you would come share this simple makeover at my link party!
    http://gracelangdon.blogspot.com/2013/08/making-monday-link-party.html

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    1. Thanks Gracie! I'll have to check out your blog!

      So glad you visited :)

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  32. It is amazing what the shutters and the plants can do for curb appeal.

    I love your cottage.

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  33. Wow Anne, this is really lovely! I agree, it has a friendly, cottagey feeling now, and is so cute! And for $100? What's not to love about that?!!!

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  34. Oh, the instant charm of the shutters is genius! And need I say how much I love the painted door? Adorable <3

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  35. A huge improvement for sure. You certainly have curb appeal now!

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  36. The front door looks fabulous!

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  37. Anne, you have done a sweet job with your home! Love it.

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    1. Thanks Jeanette! I love it too... :)

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  38. Hi Anne, just stopping by from Traci's @ BMH. You've done a lovely job with your house. The shutters alone with all the other touches has made it so pretty.

    I'm looking forward to watching your progress...Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute

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    1. Thank you Tracy! So happy to have you follow too :)

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  39. Congrats! You have been featured at Give Me The Goods! Love your little house revamp! Just Darling! Please feel free to come by and grab a feature button to add to your blog!
    Amber @
    Dimples & Pig Tales

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  40. Congrats! You have been featured at Give Me The Goods! Love your little house revamp! Just Darling! Please feel free to come by and grab a feature button to add to your blog!
    Amber @
    Dimples & Pig Tales

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  41. Really lovely colours! Inspires us to get up and do something! This is my blog - http://www.origamigirl.co.uk/#/blog/4579209219

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