• Jessica Lyn Smith

And now...a re-hash of our Historic Home Exterior makeover!

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Something I should have shared months ago...but here we are.


Matthew and I moved in our home in Historic 5 Points of Riverside about six months ago. The house came completely renovated (once we handled an electrical re-wire), so we've been pushing through adding personal touches, and fixing the one thing the property did need badly - exterior landscaping and serious backyard fixing.


We're still working on the backyard piece, but the curb appeal has ARRIVED! To start, let's reminisce on the day Matthew and I first saw the house, amidst being flipped and not even being listed yet (the heart wants what it wants).

Yeah...not pretty. And the flipper had no intention of making the outside of this home pretty (at least, that's what he told us once he saw he had excited potential buyers before evening finishing his project).


Once the house was cleaned up and ready for closing, we knew the front exterior of the house would be first on our list.

All we needed to do was get the grass to grow, add furniture, hang some plants, install a light fixture, build a floating number sign, sand and paint the door, update the hardware, plant succulent garden beds, paint the porch and fix the stone walkway.


Not hard at all and not a six month project either, right?! (Ok, the walkway is the only piece we still haven't completed yet).


After drumming up a digital plan, things were in motion, and after the easy additions of furniture and hanging plants, we installed a cute light fixture (super vintage, Pottery Barn ~2001~)

Next up: The garden beds! I wanted something that would be modern with easy upkeep, and initially thought investing in planters would be the way to go. We decided to use a weed barrier for the gravel, and plant succulents directly into the ground.


Is it less upkeep? No. Would planters have been less upkeep in hindsight? Also no, because the weed barrier we bought has unfortunately failed us. So, we pull weeds out of the gravel beds every other weekend (maybe another layer of barrier would have helped this? But we particularly purchased a strong barrier meant for rocks. So, it's fairly lost on me. I chalk it up to the fact that we have a very fertile yard).


Is it still beautiful? Oh, yes.


And now, for what I feel was my greatest feat...sanding and painting our front door! This was a big one. We are pretty sure the door is original (94 years old), and had also likely never been sanded before any of its paint jobs.


So, I took an amateur whack at it, made sure to focus on the center of the door as it is the focal point, and sanded the other areas but not to the grain.

Once I was ready to paint, I sampled a few yellows. Because I love a brick house with a yellow door.


But, not before I took to instagram first (@jessicalyngemma)! A quick vote told me that I have a lot of friends who favor neutrals (or, brown in this case), and a lot of people just didn't want me to pick yellow.

I love my friends and followers but...I don't know why I did a poll! I knew our front door would be yellow from the moment we signed the deed.

But, then things got weird...I would walk up to my house, and first notice the yellow door, then the red brick...and then the blue porch.


And, I felt like I was walking into a kindergarten class. It was August! Pumpkin season was coming! What would my pumpkins do on a blue porch?! It was a primary colored nightmare.


Yeah, I'm crazy. But, porch paint is super strong with great adhesion, so it gave us a better paint job than what was there. And it makes my neutral-loving heart sing.


My eyes could breathe, my pumpkins were beautiful, and the black hardware we added to the door is sleek.

So, there you have it. The makings of a fully-thought-out curb appeal project. The walkway still needs to be re-done. But, I think we've accomplished a lot in our house in six months. I'll leave you with a very haunted, yellow-doored bungalow on Halloween.

Oh, and look at that - the grass grew.

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