Adding Cottage Character to Your Home's Exterior

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I have a thing for noticing and analyzing houses as I drive through neighborhoods. I'm constantly craning my head and thinking "Oooh, that's a cute one." or "Hmm, that house would look great with some shutters and some 'lipstick' on the front door." It's a wonder I'm not constantly crashing into garbage cans by the side of the road.

So imagine my glee when I watched a house in my neighborhood be transformed from a typical suburban tract home that was fine and nice but lacking personality, kind of like this (I don't have an actual before photo - and PLEASE don't be offended if your home looks like this...most of ours do.):

"Quasi Before"

To this charming cottage:



Isn't it cute?! The owners replaced the garage door (Love it! Major style bang for their buck!), added new outdoor light fixtures (I want the same ones for my house - see close up photo below), added a low wrought iron fence, and a lush garden in the front yard.


I like to think of this as proof that any home can bloom where it's planted and become the best version of itself with a little TLC and creativity....well, and money :).

28 Suburbanites Said:

Justine Frood said...

Just a warning.... I have those light fixures, I purchased them from Lowes and within 6 months they were destroyed. Like chipping paint and rust running down the front of my house. I do live in FL but they should still last longer than that.

KellyH said...

That garage door makes a huge difference!! They did a great job!

maitlandmommy AKA Sheri said...

i have to tell you - i do the SAME thing. I look around at the same houses on my way from dropping off the kids at school, and i wish i had some kind of award in my car to leave on the front door and say "WOW - great job - you have definitely improved the neighborhood!"

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

The garden sure does add a nice softening to the home, but I agree that the awesome garage doors make the biggest impact. I think they are gorgeous and such a change from the builder basic white garage door. When ours needs replaced I really hope to find a door like that in my price range. Thanks for showing what a few changes can do.

Aura said...

WOW. My house is the first one, but worse. It was built in 2003 so it's the typical cookie cutter house that looks like every other one around it. That transformation is amazing!

Frugal Jen said...

I do the same thing driving!

We put up those same light fixtures at our house. Our neighbors have them too theirs are faded and peeling and ours are just fine. I think it depends on the way the sun hits your house. Love them!

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I TOTALLY agree. What a great transformation!

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

What an amazing transformation! The gate makes a big difference and they spruced up the landscraping too. Love it! -Jackie

Anonymous said...

You are making a common mistake that I see on lots of blogs. The process for the iron the fence is made of is called wrought iron. Ask any blacksmith.

Bellamere Cottage said...

Whew....that little makeover was grand! I love it...it's one of those houses I long to peek inside of...

Blessings,
Spencer

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Oooooh, nice makeover! :) Love the new garage doors. :)

{ L } said...

This was a fun post to read. Now I'm going to be looking for tract home makeovers all over neighborhoods! LOL Thanks for getting my mind going...love that!

CRICKET said...

Thats an incredible transformation. I do the same.

Room to Inspire said...

Great transformation, I love garage doors - I know weird - but I think they can really change the entire feel of a house.

Chelsea

Aja said...

Holy crap! We DO live in the same neighborhood!! :) I had a sneaky feeling we might and this pic is the clincher- it's a few streets down from us!!

Aja

Cynthia @An Accomplished Woman said...

What a huge difference the garage door made. Good job for spotting a beauty. I am in the process of adding gardens to our front yard.

Cass @ That Old House said...

What a pretty makeover! It looks like a charming cottage in a child's story, now.
Cass

Kimm at Reinvented said...

What a transformation! I love the garden in the front.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Wow! I love that. They did a great job. I think the garage door alone makes a big difference. Wish I could afford one of those carriage-style doors for my house!

Karla said...

I love the last sentence of your post! SO true and SO well said!

I just got your comment on my post about the contest...thanks so much for your support! It means the world to me, really!! And I won't mind a bit if you decide to do a post on it. I would be honored, in fact. You Rock, AnNicole! XO

~Karla @ It's The Little Things...

Noodle said...

I love this kind of post - thank you!
When they changed the garage door, they also changed the two gables on the home, apparently, which made a big difference, too. It's remarkable what the front fence and garden do for the total picture. Great job!

Dianna said...

It's amazing what a few decorative changes make. No need for major construction.

Manda said...

That is a great change in curb appeal for this home. I love seeing a transformation like this take place.

We also have those light fixtures and, unlike the the first comment, ours have held up great. We have had them at least three years and they look a nice as when first put them up.

Thanks for the fun post!

Allen and Becky said...

That is such an amazing change! That's definitely going in my "decorating file"!

Anonymous said...

I love the after house....but it is way more than just new garage doors that make the house so beautiful...if you look, the roof line is completely different, the front window is so much more than the before, and the landscaping and front door of the second house are so much more inviting....so, it does take some money to get the "look"...

Starfish and Coral said...

Wow, I love it!! The Garage door makes the entire home look custom built.

melanie said...

This is not even the same house! Look at the roof, the "before" has no points and a gable above the garage whereas the "after" has points and no gable. Also check out the mature trees and telephone/light pole behind one house and not the other. WTF???

TARA said...

Melanie is right. Those are two totally different houses. Nice try...