Analysis Paralysis - Our Exterior Plans


I've been eagerly anticipating renovating the exterior of our house since before we actually owned it,  so i was particularly surprised by my own feelings of crippling insecurity as final decision time approached.

The exterior is a big deal - we are redoing most of it, and the choices we make can't easily be changed if we aren't happy with them. 


Above is the current exterior view. 


  • new siding (all horizontal)
  • new framing around windows
  • new front door
  • new porch posts
  • move electrical boxes
  • paint
  • possible removal of perplexing partial concrete wall


  • new roof
  • new soffit
  • new fascia
  • new windows
  • new fence


Front Door

I looked around quite a bit at front doors. Home Depot has a somewhat affordable ($800+) line of midcentury modern doors, but they aren't carried in store, so we would have to blindly order and hope for the best. Also, they only come in SUPER bright colors that we would need to paint over. Luckily, I came across the post on retro renovation that compares a whole bunch of midcentury modern door companies, and wouldn't you know it, one of the suggested places was right here in Austin. 

Tri-Supply has a series of fiberglass doors called Spotlights. They are a few hundred less than the home depot series and are completely customizable as far as woodgrain/smooth fiberglass and various glass options. AND they all have non-curvy trim!! These are some of the choices pictured below. 



I made some mockups of the vision I had for the house and calmed a bit. I left a note in the mailbox of a white house in our neighborhood that we love, inquiring about the paint used. They responded and were so kind and helpful.

Despite these steps, the nerves persisted. Em V deemed this our "analysis paralysis". 

We decided it would be a good idea to talk to our friend Lauren (an interior designer) before moving forward on anything. I sent her my mock ups along with a lengthy description of my hopes and fears. This consisted mostly of the fact that our home is a straight up cottage, but we want to give it a midcentury modern vibe. Our neighborhood is full of redos that fit into this category, and some are much more successful than others. Essentially, we don't want our house to look like a cottage that we slapped a midcentury modern front door on and hoped for the best. My mockups are below-- I left the stove on the porch for good measure ;). 

All White + Various Door Options

excuse the horrible photoshop of this door. it would have trim around it! 

excuse the horrible photoshop of this door. it would have trim around it! 

Grey Trim + Various Door Options

I added in some grey trim on the roof line, and this seemed to pull things together. 

Grey Trim - Rectangle Door.png

Lauren served as the voice of reason that we desperately needed. She felt that we were definitely on the right track-- she preferred the grey trim and rectangle door. She also pointed out some details we missed (evenly sized trim for the door and windows, painting the porch ceiling) and even sent over a mockup that included cement blocks! She is officially added to the list of people who have been SO generous of their time and skills and we are tremendously grateful. Check out her mockup below.

We are probably holding off on landscaping for now, but how great do those agaves look?

We are probably holding off on landscaping for now, but how great do those agaves look?

So...what did we decided? It's less fun if we tell you right now.  Em and I also love to keep our decisions shrouded in ambiguity in case something goes awry so we can trick ourselves into believing that's what we intended all along. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts. Which door option do you prefer?


Em O