Exterior Makeover: Adding French Flaire

When we purchased our home in 2008, the exterior was something I wanted to change right away.  Reality set in though, that we had lots of work to do on the inside.  Recently, we were finally able to make the changes that I had dreamed of but beforehand we made a few minor changes that pacified my desires.

This is how our home looked when we first purchased the home in 2008.  The bushes were overgrown and the house was in need of being repainted.  I did not like the red shutters and door at all.  They really clashed with the brick but I knew that new paint would be in the works eventually and I could give it a new look. 
There was lots to do to the interior of the house, not to mention it needed a new roof and windows.  We decided to go ahead and do a minor face lift by painting the shutters and trimming the shrubs.  The chocolate paint really warmed up the home.  It's amazing how a little TLC can go a long way!
 Last year, we were FINALLY ready to paint the exterior.  I chose a medium toned tan for all the trim work.  Then a very dark color for the shutters and doors.  Do you remember how it was when you got your first car and you had to keep going outside to look at it?  Well, we kept having to go outside to look at our house because we loved how it turned out and we had a hard time visualizing the transformation in our heads! 
We pulled out the overgrown bushes and replaced them with smaller bushes.  Landscaping is a great way to update a house!
Since I wanted to go with more of a European look, I decided to change out the light fixtures on the front of the house.  I liked the look of the old ones but they weren't to scale and because the placement of the sockets were high, I really needed some that dropped down, more like the carriage style.
The Man of My Dreams, my husband, Brett, built me some farm shutters which really transformed the look of the house!
The antiqued copper faux hinges really finished the shutters off and gave them a unique finish.   
In preparing for our exterior makeover, I got a number of quotes around town.  The best quote and the one I had most confidence in was The Painting Company so that is who we used. They really did a great job and were easy to work with.  We have recommended them a number of times since.  If you are interested, let them know that I recommended them! 

I was "pleased as peaches" with the exterior makeover we did.  It's amazing how paint, lighting, and landscaping can transform your home and bring it up to date.  Looking at this home now, would you believe it is 20 years old?  There is not a thing I would change about this project.
Spring is here and I can't wait to add more plants to my flowerbeds.  When I do, I will be sure to share with you!
Remember, Great Design Takes Time!

Also, a big thanks to Kim, with Savy Southern Style for hosting the linky party this week.  Check her out at:

Guest Bedroom Glimpse: Amy Howard at Home Furniture Makeover

One of my decorating goals for this year is to makeover my guest bedroom.  This is a room that often gets overlooked!  Doesn't it? 

When we moved into our home, we did not have any furniture for our guest bedroom.  Shortly afterwards, my husband's mother offered his grandmother's bedroom suite to us.  This was not a bedroom suite I especially liked but you know me, the wheels started turning and I knew that one day I'd give it a makeover!  I researched various paints to makeover my furniture and chose Amy Howard at Home Paint.  As you see, it was a fairly dated 70's bedroom suite.

Here is the mirror that was attached to the dresser.

The dresser and chest of drawers had a laminate top, which was a concern in choosing a paint with durable coverage.  I read about Amy Howard at Home paint and found that laminate was one of the materials it does well with covering!  :)

  Another perdicament I had was the headboard's lattice had been damaged. 


I began by painting the furniture lightly with 2 coats of Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint in Luxe Grey.  Then brushed on the light wax product, buffed and followed it with the Dust of Ages product by Amy Howard.  I finished it with Amy Howard's Dark Wax.  I loved how the makeover turned out!  

One of the reasons I went with Amy Howard at Home Paint was because I felt that I could capture more of a manufacturer paint finish in the end.  Whatever I chose, I wanted to be sure that it stayed in style for years to come.  The dresser had a mirror but for now I've decided not to use it. I'm hoping to find a more up to date mirror that is more transitional that will breath even more life into the suite. 

I was amazed how the headboard turned out after painting.  It really brought out the curved details and Barley Twist posts.  For the insert I had to get created.  That's my passion!  The lattice really dated the bedroom suite so it was no love lost that I couldn't find any to replace it.  I considered just inserting a solid board or a wood filigree cut out. 

In the end, I decided to go a different route by replacing the lattice with caning. I wet the caning and then stapled it to the back. Then I went over the caning with Amy Howard's Dark Wax to give it more of an antiqued finish.  It turned out looking fabulous!  Don't you think?

There's still lots to do in my guest room makeover.  My next step will be to find draperies and bedding.  Then I will choose a paint color.  I've been looking but nothing has called my name yet.  That's okay because as you know, Great Design Takes Time!