Friday, November 6, 2015

Gettin' Fit and Trim

The first thing I noticed when I came to look at this house those years ago was its lack of curb appeal. It did not immediately grab me as an overly attractive or unattractive house from the exterior. Thankfully, the inside had amazing bones and I fell in love with making the inside feel like a home. Unfortunately, the outside was kind of forgotten this year between our high amounts of rain and incredibly hot days.

When we first moved in, I painted the front door to try to give the house a little character. It started out looking like this.

We added a little color with the new red/orange entrance.

Around the same time, we got rid of our old numbers and replaced them with more modern ones that I love.

This was followed by Mom and I attempting to fix some of the landscaping. Unfortunately, it's going to take much more work to get the greenery under control, but at least it became more tame.

It was about a year ago that I was at a friend's house in northern Kentucky who had just worked on the front of their house. Their trim color was a great brownish charcoal gray and I loved it. I asked them for the color name and ended up bringing home the bottom of their last gallon, which was just enough to paint the garage door, large window trim, and around the front door.

This is a color that I had seen on many homes online that had the same colors as our house. The Bedford stone made it a little difficult to color match things, so I had to go by lots of not-quite-the-same reference shots to see how it would look. Overall, they really shared the feel that I wanted to go for. A very modern, cozy vibe that was clean, but welcoming.

I hadn't touched the trim since that day. I put it off because I was afraid that exterior paint would be really expensive and that the color matching would be a pain.

Thankfully, I got a wild hair the other day, when the outside temperatures were very mild and the rain was supposed to hold off for a few days, to continue my exterior trim painting journey. I grabbed the old gallon that was empty and headed to Home Depot. I walked up to the color swatches and within three attempted samples, I had one that fit perfectly. $30 later, I had a paint & primer in one.

It's called Behr Intellectual and it's really dreamy.

 I started with areas that were nearest to that which I'd already painted. For example, the garage door had been painted, but not the surround for it, so I began by giving it some color.

I used a paintbrush for the cracks, crevasses, and gutter and a large roller for the soffit. The painting actually went pretty quickly for me working by myself, and a couple of hours later, I had a first coat on the front. I know that I need to go back and do a second coat to get a richer color and better coverage in some areas, but until it stops raining again, this first coat is going to have to do.

So here is the before.

And the after.

I love it! I think it gives a nice contrast against the stone and really gives the whole house some much needed character.

The darker color also helps our little windows stand out on the ever-forgotten right side of our house. They butt up against the roof and have almost no frame, so the previously tan trim just made them disappear.

Now it feels like we put eyeliner on and really made them stand out as features.

I really love how the yellows and oranges of Fall help bring out the dark, grounded trim color, too. Right now, with our tree bright yellow and leaves all around, the front yard is finally showing the curb appeal it's always needed.

Is it done? No, but this is a really dramatic step in the right direction. I would also love to fix some of our outdoor lighting so it's not so dark. Right now, our front door and garage only have a light that is built into the soffit for illumination.

Yes, I know that the bright yellow bush is dead.
I think that if we flanked them with some modern lanterns, it would really add some nice details to the front. It would also bring more light to our entry area.

Photoshop representation of what it might look like.
But for right now, I'm just happy every time I pull into the driveway and get to see (what feels like) a brand new house.

What do you think? Are you a fan of a bold, contrasty trim? Are you more comfortable with something that blends in or is traditional? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Love the color. Painting around the garage door makes it stand out .

  2. Your fall yard looks so pretty!

  3. Wow! That makes a huge difference! It looks great.