Curb Appeal The Plot

When we bought our 3-acre plot, and the funky little fixer that sat on it, there wasn’t a whole lot of landscaping goin’ on…

We’ve spent the past few years mainly working on the inside of the house, but my master gardener Mom has helped us add a few touches of color here and there…

I took advantage of the nice weather this past weekend and got some much-needed weeding and exterior-related cleaning done. The chairs on the porch had definitely started looking more shabby than chic…

I hosed them off and sprayed them with some leftover oil rubbed bronze spray paint I had from our Eagan mirror project

I washed the inexpensive Ikea cushions we have on them too…

Amazing what a quick coat of paint and a spin in the ol’ washing machine can do!

And I finally got my beloved begonias. I planted two light pink ones in the big pot between the chairs, and this ravishing red one in a smaller pot by the front door…

And speaking of fun flowers- I got couple of them in the mail this week too…

They came from Santa Rosa Gardens in Florida. (My Mom just got a job there, so I just had to place an order!)
I don’t think I’ve ever received a live plant in the mail before now, but I gotta say, it was pretty neat. (And their customer service lady is SO friendly!)

They were buried in puffy layers of brown paper, and wrapped up snug in little netted ‘socks’…

I got the baby daylily to go next to the big one you can see back there in the distance…

I think I’ll get one more to completely soften the edge of that curve at some point.

I also received this fuzzy little fella…

I planted it in front of the hanging plants we got last week…which, by the way, are so pretty when the sun comes out…

Their little flower heads stay closed if it’s cloudy out. (Kinda like mine- LOL!)

So, the house doesn’t look quite as drab today…

…but there’s still lots of work to do out there. Kev’s chompin’ at the bit to paint the place, and he’s determined to do it him$elf, ifyaknowwhatI’m$ayin.

Here’s (sort of) what we’re thinking…

(Come on over Google reader! We’ve got some presto change-o’s to show ya!)

(Move your cursor on and off of the photo below)

A warmer paint color on the house, new DIY wood shutters, and crisp, white-painted window trim.

And maybe we’ll go wild and wrap our round columns with wood, to make them square, kinda like these…

Move your cursor on and off of the photo below to see what that would (sort of) look like…

I’m not sure it’s totally necessary, but we’reĀ clearly obsessed with making changes always up for tryin’ something new!

This next presto change-o shows what we’re thinking about doing to our currently unfinished front door…

Don’t you think a little warm walnut-colored stain would look loverly on it?

There are so many different things we could do to the exterior, but we’re trying to keep costs down as low as possible, so maybe we’ll just tackle a few of these types of (semi) cost effective changes a little at a time

(Move your cursor on and off of the photo below)

(FYI- none of these colors or ideas are set in stone)

We’d also kinda like to investigate the option of replacing the vinyl siding in the eaves with some kind of cedar shake material…

(Move your cursor on and off of the photo below)

(Maybe the front door and/or shutters would be a different color then? Kinda diggin’ the green!)

Who knows!

Kev and I always say that creating our own place together feels kinda like living in the ‘big kid’ version of a couch cushion fort.

There are so many opportunities for DIY adventure within those wacky walls!

PS- Here are the still photos in case you can’t view the presto change-o’s above…

Inspiration A:

Inspiration B:

And for more couch cushion inspiration…I give you: Lily…


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  1. says

    Layla, you do such a great job with the Presto Chang-o’s. I roll over the pic, then off the pic, then over, then off, then over… you get the idea. (So easily amused I guess, haha!) But really it’s because they’re so well done! Al$o love that Kevin is thinking of a doin’ the paint him$self. :)

    Really can’t wait until we have a front porch to decorate. But until then our 1920’s condo is keeping us busy. :)

    hugs, erin

  2. says

    Right before the part about adding the cedar shingles, I was looking at that siding and thinking, “That white siding stands out and doesn’t fit. Wood would be awesome!” And then you went and did it. :) I love your ideas for your “fort”!

  3. Debra says

    What software did you use to change the colors on your house? Was it photoshop and if so, which one (Photo Editor, or ?) I’m new to Photoshop and not sure yet on how it all works. :/ I actually have a pink house (yes pink, vinyl siding) with door and shutters painted a mauvy color. Would like to change the door and shutter colors and this would be a great way for me to see colors before hand and to help me choose something more appealing to my house. Thanks!
    By the way, I Love the colors of the browns on your house with the beige! :)

    • Layla says

      Hi Debra!
      I use Photoshop CS3 to create my drawings. I love playing around with it!

      • Debra says

        Is there a website to download it for free (basics), if so which site is it or do you know? I see there’s a CS5 version out now. I just would like the basics to be able to change the colors on my house.
        Thanks for the info and any others you have. :)

        • Layla says

          I think there’s something called Photoshop Elements that might be free…but don’t quote me on that! :-)

  4. suzib says

    I absolutely love the wrapped column idea! something I want to do with the round faux finished columns (previous owner done) inside our home. By wrapping do you mean from scratch, with you purchasing the wood/lumber or by chance is there a ready made trick or awesome tutorial that you know of! love love following your ideas!

  5. says

    I loved that you document the changes with the “presto chango” series! What a great was to envision what you’re trying to do! I really enjoyed seeing the photos and think that the color combo that you’ve picked is really nice. I have a neighbor that has similar shutters and I adore them in the darker walnut color. Thank you! You have a wonderful blog and I look forward to reading it each week.

  6. Katie says

    Love your curb appeal ideas! You all should also think about staining your driveway. From what I hear, it’s an easy DIY job.

    Love your blog!

  7. Cindy says

    Hi Layla and Kevin: I really like the idea of cedar shakes! We have them on our weekend home; they are a medium grey tone and I have to say that the paint/stain has held up nicely. The trim is a green/grey and the door is a cranberry tone. It really is a nice palette. As a previous poster noted, the colors from the inside of your home would carry nicely to the outside. I know that whatever you choose, your home will be beautiful! Best, Cindy

  8. Natalie says

    hi Layla. I love your style. Curious…what color are you looking to paint on your house? do you know of a tan type color that you would use?
    we’re painting our exterior and my husband and I are a ways apart on what we like…so trying to get ideas…