Working on the exterior felt somewhat like doing renovation on a giant stage. Not only would all of the neighbors be able to watch each choice we made, but our house is at the intersection of two streets in which every passing car must stop at a stop sign and stare directly at our tiny rehab. One mistake and we would be outed as the fools that painted their house that terrible color— at least thats how it felt.
There is a house in the neighborhood that I absolutely love. I drove by it multiple times and even slipped the owners a note in their mailbox to ask for the shade of paint they used. What really intrigued me was that the house looked absolutely fantastic, yet I couldn’t quite tell what of the exterior they had renovated. ‘Boy were they lucky to find a home in this neighborhood that had such good bones’, I thought. It wasn’t until I looked up the google street view and saw what the place looked like before that I realized what a giant transformation had occurred. I was stunned! How had they changed so much, yet made it look so organic?
We had to change a ton of the exterior out of necessity: entirely new foundation, new windows, siding, millwork, roof, porch beams, all doors, fencing, and most importantly moving the electrical boxes from the front to the side of the house. Who knew that moving electrical boxes a few feet would be so expensive. And again, all of these decisions were wrapped up in the immense complication that comes from dealing with the city of Austin residential permitting. But alas we persevered.
So the goal became clear: make all of the necessary exterior changes while ensuring that each new element worked organically with the original character of the home, instead of against it. No pressure, right?
I got on photoshop and took a shot at mocking up the exterior. Lauren Louise Design was kind enough to look at our plan and give us the confidence we needed to proceed. Then, we brought in a Sherwin William’s color expert to validate our paint shade choices. She affirmed we were on the right track and suggested some alternate tones in the same family to accomplish the look and feel we were going for.
If you check out our previous exterior post, you will see we looked at some quirkier front doors, such as the super retro 3 diamond design. Ultimately, we went with the single rectangular window — the style felt true to the structure of the home, and we thought it would appeal to a wider audience.
Major landscaping was not within our budget so we decided to focus on the front bed. I visited Tillery street plants to explore options that would work for the intense Texas sun, but could also handle the freezing temps in the winter. We settled on the wavy leaf prickly pear which they advised us would not retain too much water and therefore turn into an ice cube in the winter. We also planted some yellow bells and red bird of paradise to give that area a pop of color once filled in. And with that, on to the after photos.
Overall we really are so pleased with the outcome. The house feels modern yet organic, updated but not too trendy. It fits in with ‘quirky’ East Austin, but would not be out of place elsewhere. We changed so much but the bungalow charm is still there. We hope you all agree.