Sunday, August 10, 2014

Before-and-After -- Exterior

Ok, so it's finally time for a few before-and-after shots!  You've all waited so patiently.  And here's the first one: the exterior.

So this was our house when we bought it:

Hard to even see the house, huh?  It's nearly covered by the big plum trees, and bushes, and Chinese elms.  I can't remember just what exactly made me decide I wanted to see the inside! But for some reason, we called the realtor.  And the rest is history!

Overgrown is a good way to describe it.   Weeds, weeds everywhere!  Those dang Chinese elms start up and grow to 10 ft tall in a few weeks, so imagine 7 years of being left to grow.  But the lawn, of course, did not flourish.  Big Daddy does not look happy about the amount of yard work he is in for.


And the backyard looked like this...

 More overgrown shrubs and bushes...

More weathered paint and weedy cracks in the cement.

And, of course, The Bog.  What was probably once a lovely water feature had grown so thick with algae that Daphne actually thought it was grass and tried to walk across it! And...fell in. Up to her thighs in nasty, brackish water.  

And off the master bedroom, the one-time....?  Patio?  Who knows.  Now just a pile of rubble and a crooked, rotted column.

So that's what we fell in love with.  Somehow we looked at that house and thought, "Yep, that's the house for us!"  But we were both somehow overcome by the same vision while looking at this house, the same dream of what could be.  So we took the plunge.

Not long after having our offer accepted, you may remember that we had our architect friend Aaron Inowye of Inowye Design draw up a plan for us to turn our 90's monstrosity into a pseudo-craftsman-Cape Cod-ish thing.  The design looked like this:
It included covering all the stucco with hardie-plank, adding wood shakes to a few sections, lowering the peak on the turret, expanding the porch, adding a few decorative gables, and putting on thick white trim wherever possible.   So the house would go from this:

 to this.

Unfortunately, none of this exterior stuff happened.  We spent so much money and time on the inside that the exterior had to get put on the back burner.  Someday we'll have money again, like maybe just before our children graduate high school, and we can use their college funds to fix up the outside.  But for now the exterior looks about the same.

We did manage to cut down the huge plumb tree blocking the front, killed off some of the weeds, and we added in sod (hooray!).  But the rest of that will have to wait too.  Anyway, here's what we're living in today...


The front porch doesn't have the nice pillars and such from the drawing yet, but there's a new door, new porch lights, some batten board to cover up where the old window used to be, and a fresh coat of paint.


We built on a covered porch on the back, so there's a nice shady spot to sit in the afternoon and evening.  And the 1 ratty old door + 2 windows to the back yard became 2 new French doors and 1 window. Here's the new patio space:

The backyard and The Bog have been slightly thinned out.  You can see some of the water now if you look really closely. Well, not the water water, but the algae on top of the water.


I don't know...that probably doesn't look any different to you!  I swear, it's way more dramatic in real life.

The exterior in the back looks the most different.  There is an addition sticking out where it used to be flat.  The second 3-panel window/door/window combo is gone in place of just a large picture window (the one from the front of the house as a matter of fact).  And you can see where we brought the roof line across to create the covered patio here.   (Well, you can kind of see it behind all those Chinese elms shoots!)


So that's the exterior.  Right now it looks a lot like the house did in the beginning.  (Original pic from late 90's below.  Minus the peach stucco, Thank Goodness.)



Someday we'll do the whole Cape Cod/craftsman thing.  Probably right about the time that stucco becomes super popular again with our luck.  But for now the house is going to stay pretty much like this.  


Hildie said...

It looks so much cleaner now! I can hardly wait to see it real life!

Lisa Miller said...

Looks great. I can't wait to see the inside!

Megan B ♥ said...

It looks really wonderful, Arianne! What a lot of work, love, and thought has gone into it! Can't wait to see more!

FairyGrandmother said...

Oh, it looks so gorgeous in real life! I'm sorry all your friends can't visit. I'm hoping you will do before and after shots of the interior soon, especially the kitchen, which is RAPTUROUSLY BEAUTIFUL!