Category Archives: Exteriors

Finally! Landscaping!

Somehow, during this spring’s canned ham makeover,

we’ve managed to do some landscaping for the Dutch colonial.

FINALLY!

Here’s what’s happening out front:

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Needle scratch.

Wait.  Where are the plants?

How disappointed was I that the mulch + plants blend too much!?

surprised baby

Buzz kill!

We’ll just have to fix it!

I’m mulling over some possible remedies, so stay tuned.

For now, let’s get back to the landscaping happiness!

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We planted 7 barberry shrubs to accentuate our front bay

+ to complement the brick red in our beautiful stone foundation.

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Of course, these will make more of a statement

when they mature at around 3′ tall.

In the meantime, for height, we added my beloved pedestal + urn combo.

Doesn’t the lavender look great against our white siding?

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In front, we planted a row of pretty coral bells.

Their green + brick red color coordinates nicely with the barberries,

while their larger leaves add contrast, which is visually more interesting.

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Now it’s time for some flowers!

Something spiky at either end could provide fun exclamation points,

so we chose red-blooming astilbes.

Ours are a tad lackluster right now,

but fingers crossed — here’s what we’ll have:

astilberedsentinel

Aren’t those pretty?

Speaking of pretty, we planted one accent Knock Out rose at the far left side.

It will grow to about 4′ tall.

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Our plans are to add at least one more of this same rose

on the opposite side of the front of our house.

We are going to repeat the coral bells over there, too,

which should add some much-needed balance

to our asymmetrical house.

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Sooner than later — I hope — we’ll finally tackle + finish that porch of ours.

Notice how we painted the blocks black to add depth

+ make the lattice pop:

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Our front yard looks like there’s been an explosion, but no worries!

Our nice neighbor recently helped us remove the original sidewalks.

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We’ve already been shopping for bricks,

because my sidewalk hopes + dreams look a little something like these:

STAY TUNED!


PORCH POSTS!

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Yesterday our front porch posts were installed.

I’m pretty excited about this wee bit o’ progress.

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While these look like wood, they’re actually fiberglass.

Soon they will be painted white to match the house.

* * *

SO.  This means one thing.

It’s time for me to finalize my railing choice.

First up, there’s your X motif — I’m a fan.

Let’s have a look-see,

starting with this charming cottage here in town.

I’ve always loved it!

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Man, do I love that screen porch, or what.

They replaced the original X rail on the front porch + stairs.

Kudos to the homeowner who cared enough to continue the X motif.

Looks good! — except they’re kind of too stretched out, in my opinion.

I prefer it when the X is more square, like this:

porch railing -- X motif -- hookedonhouses.net

hookedonhouses.net

X porch rails in the tropics scentsational girl

Centsationalgirl

My favorite of all the X railings would be when it’s “smooshed”, like this:

porch with X

Source unknown

So, the X it is!

* * *

Or IS it?

I just don’t think X railings are right for a Dutch colonial porch.

In all my surfing, I’ve not seen photos** of said-same,

 so I’m pretty sure I would have remorse.

G.O. hates it, so there’s that, too.

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**Happily, I have seen at least one photo of what I really like.

Stay tuned for that!


CHANGE O’ PLANS — AGAIN

Oh, dear.  I’ve changed my mind, yet again.

This is the very thing that upsets poor G.O.

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I’ve decided against my original color choice for our front doors.

My starter plan was to use this pretty pale blue:

blue brittany

Brittany blue by Benjamin Moore

I wanted to complement the darker blue of our garden shed,

which, as you can see, is quite visible from the front of the house.

Oh, + there are our front doors, too.

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(Insert snarky comment about the blue trash can

color-coordinating with our house.)

* * *

Back to our shed + front door colors.

Here they are, side by side:

blue spruce

SHED

DOORS

DOORS

 

Beautiful, no?

Yesh, BUT WAIT.

When viewing the house as a whole, there is a lot of paleness going on,

but there are also 2 very prominent, very dark features!

DARK FEATURE #1

The charcoal gray metal roof  out front:

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Here it is while the siding goes up, protected with cardboard:

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DARK FEATURE #2

Our black roof.

I mean, HELL-O!  There’s a lot of roof on our house!

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Here’s what I think:

Black doors.

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Here’s why:

REASON #1

 Our house looks a tad top-heavy,

because all the black is way up high.

That black roof, especially, kind of looks like it doesn’t belong on this house.

We need something black on the lower level.

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REASON #2

 The rule of ‘three’.

You know that rule, don’t you?

When one chooses an accent color,

one should repeat that accent color  THREE TIMES.

Something about one’s eye being able to travel uninterrupted

throughout the space.

I shall be doing the same thing inside our house, with the color red.

STAY TUNED!


Front Door Color!

Our siding is going up, + the good news is that I love it!

Here’s the finished 2nd story, out back:

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SO.  The bad news?

Well, it’s not that bad — but now, in comparison,

the rest of our project looks even worse.

The humanity!

Take the original wooden storm doors.

Please.

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I’ve decided to paint them a pale blue,

which will look great with all the white + pale gray.

I also want them to ‘play nicely’ with the blue of our garden shed,

as it’s visible from the front of the house.

Here ’tis, as of yesterday,

after we did a little landscaping to boost my morale:

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My old trellis section, pedestal + urn, with some new lavender + mulch

We painted the shed last summer, using Benjamin Moore’s Blue Spruce.

blue spruce

To choose a complementary pale blue on our front doors,

I opted to consult the same color chart that the Blue Spruce was on:

2nd from top on the left

Blue Spruce is 2nd from top, on the left

I liked Santorini Blue (3 shades down from Blue Spruce):

 blue -- santorini

Done!

Front doors color, handled!

Now let’s have a look-see at some blue doors I spied on Pinterest.

These beauties reaffirmed my choice of a pale blue door!

Melissa Reading on Pinterest

Melissa Reading on Pinterest

 

blue door pinned by alison johnston

Alison Johnston on Pinterest

Time to head to the Ben Moore paint store in town

Stay tuned!

 


1st Story Siding Is Up + Running!

Progress at the Dutch colonial!

Its first story is now sporting white clapboard siding!

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We chose 3″ white clapboards, as that was original to the house.

Disclaimer: I say “we” chose white, but it was my idea.

G.O. was not on board at first,

nor has he completely been won over — YET.

cat fight

I’m sorry, but this makes me smirk!

In fact, on more than one occasion,

when chit chatting with passersby,

G.O. has remarked, “That’s a LOT of white, isn’t it?”

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HA!

Thankfully, everybody’s been pretty gung-ho about “all that white”, so far.

On Saturday afternoon, I over heard a guy-neighbor saying to G.O.,

It looks like an old farmhouse!”

Um.  YAY.

That’s what I had in mind!

* * *

Anyway, speaking of “old farmhouse”, I chose to further evoke that look

with a siding change for our house’s back entry.

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I’m guessing this structure is not original to the house,

which prompted the switch out.

I want our house to look as if it evolved over time.

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* * *

I can’t WAIT to get a light fixture hung over the door.

This morning, I’ll grab my credit card + order this  from Home Depot:

lighting -- kitchen over sink gilded iron

I think it goes with my “old farmhouse” vibe,

+ that black is really going to pop against “all the white”!

We/meaning I chose black for the garage doors . . .

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cat fight

Couldn’t resist. 🙂

. . . so our back entry door

will soon be sporting some black paint of its own:

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Stay tuned!


Wrapping The House

After waiting months upon months

+ living with our poor Dutch colonial

 in its so-sad Haunted House mode . . .

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. . . there’s finally progress being made to its exterior!

See for yourself:

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It’s being wrapped before it gets sided.

First up, the pink layer.

According to G.O., the pink stuff is

1/4″ fan fold insulation.

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In addition to its insulating properties,

the pink stuff also provides

a nice, flat surface for the installation of the siding.

Next up, house wrap:

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It serves as a vapor barrier,

+ also gives one the idea of how awesome our house will look!

Remember, here’s my inspiration:

dutch colonial exterior gray + whitedutch colonial darker upper story

White siding downstairs + pale gray upstairs.

G.O. is very happy about this, as am I.

The siding’s been ordered, so it won’t be long now!

Stay tuned!


ALMOST SIDING COLOR TIME!

For those keeping score at home,

we are now in Year 2 of our Dutch colonial project.

There has been a flurry of activity inside, involving a lot of drywall.

While that’s a lot of hard work + great progress,

sadly, it’s just not that photogenic.

* * *
Recently, our attention has turned to our exterior, at long last.

Here’s what she looks like now:

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We just got a bid on wrapping + siding the house,

+ I couldn’t be more pleased.

* * *

This means that I’ve been pondering exterior colors,

which is pretty much fun on a stick!

I love Dutch colonials with light first stories + dark uppers, like here:

dutch colonial darker upper story

Houzz

and here:

dutch colonial with gray shingle 2nd story

 

I am really drawn to white with gray.

This isn’t a Dutch colonial, but it’s the same idea, + I love it.

white + gray hacienda

* * *

Meanwhile, even though I’m 95% sure I want white with gray,

once in a while I entertain the idea of something else, like this:

Country Living magazine

Country Living magazine

I love red houses!

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But I dunno . . . red’s a major commitment I don’t think I can make.

I fear that our Dutch colonial’s barn-like shape with RED would be a cliché.

* * *

Maybe it’s because it’s finally spring here,

+ this year, I’m seeing pastel colors just about everywhere . . .

. . . + I’ve always loved pale yellow houses, like here:

Country Living magazine

Country Living magazine

How could you not be in a good mood, as cheerful as this is?

Same here:

Houzz

Houzz

It certainly looks great paired with white!

I love the white vertical siding + dovecote (faux birdhouse in the gable)!

Oh, well, I don’t have to decide TO-day, but soon.

Stay tuned!

 

 


Windows, Siding + Foundation Musings

After we waited for weeks-on-end,

our replacement windows finally arrived at Home Depot last week!

We chose American Craftsman windows from Andersen.

We considered this grill configuration:

window grill -- farmhouse with 2 stripes

But we decided upon this simpler ‘Farmhouse’ grill, instead:

window grill -- farmhouse

We sprung for grills which rest outside the glass,

hoping it would make the windows look more original.

Grille-Types-sdl-small

Here’s our kitchen window,

which was switched from its original single self

to a pair, side-by-side:

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That item on the roof is a solar tube

for adding light to the kitchen below.

Next up, one of 2 large bays in our house.

This one is in the dining room,

which is next to the kitchen.

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The front bay which is in our living room:

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I know this is premature,

but for both bays, I would love to have old-school shutters

on the lower sashes, like here:

kitchen window #4

You don’t see these all that much, but I still love them!

I think they look good from both inside + out.

$ $ $ $  Stay tuned, though.  $ $ $ $

* * * *

Meanwhile, while the windows are fab,

the rest of the house is still looking pretty hiddy.

After foam, bats + blown-in insulation,

they’ll wrap the house before winter.

I can’t wait until spring, so we can add siding!

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I’m still undecided on what color, although gray is my fave.

And seriously, wouldn’t gray siding complement

the colors of that groovy stone foundation of ours?

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What's prettier than a Dutch colonial done right?

I’m a fan of shingle siding on a Dutch colonial:

certainteed -- granite gray shakes

Certainteed

It’s more spendy than clapboard,

but  maybe we could do just the second story gables, like here:

Houzz.com

Houzz.com

dutch colonial darker upper story

Hurry, spring — am I right?


Charming Up A Garage With Ivy

We planted ivy to grow up + around the brick walls of our detached garage.

Some of its corner bricks were lose + a few were missing,

+ I wanted to disguise that.

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Look closely at the roof peak.
There’s my roof spire.

I’m sorry, but neither G.O. nor I can recall the name of our ivy.

I searched for the box in which I keep all my plant tags,

(where IS that thing?) but naturally, I couldn’t find it!

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Our garage’s east side —
just beginning to get its ivy on.

In honor of the World Series, let’s just say it’s Boston ivy.

That works for me!

Anyway, in just 2 or 3 short years,

the west + south sides of the garage are covered.

I do like the way it looks — very much.

Ivy-covered buildings are charming,

+ trust me, our sad, little garage was in need of charm!

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I painted the window sashes tan
to match those on our house.

In the fall, the ivy turns a beautiful scarlet!

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Here’s a photo of the ivy starting to climb across the arbor

that, against his wishes, G.O. built above our garage door.

(I’m pretty sure he likes it now!)

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He was not amused
when I wanted to paint our garage door tan.
He said it would ‘never last’, but thankfully, it has.

Now look at a couple photos where I’ve tried to be ‘Artsy’

featuring G.O.’s beloved 70’s-era Ford Ranchero.

I thought the white of the car would contrast nicely with the darker brick + ivy.

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Oops.  Ansel Adams, I’m NOT.

I’ll try again later.  Stay tuned!


Green v.s. Gray + Some Dachshunds

Yesterdee’s (St. Louisspeak for “yesterday”) weather was beyond glorious . . .

. . . so Chloe the Dachshund + I seized the opportunity

for a bike ride around town!

chloe in bike basket

Chloe is a large-ish, standard-size Dachshund,

while her predecessor, Susie, was a smaller mini.

When Chloe wouldn’t fit inside the late, great Susie’s handlebar basket . . .

. . . I searched + searched + found her this vintage awesomeness

at the antiques mall!

* * * *

Shall we take a moment to view a few photos of Susie?

A very youthful Susie + her friend, Max, in my old apartment above my old retail store!  C. early 90's.

A very young Susie with her friend, Max,
in the apartment I built above my old store!
Loving the pine floors!
Circa early 90’s.

Susie being Susie,  digging for moles. Look!  It's my old "ride" --  a dorky Dodge minivan!

Susie being Susie, digging for moles.
Look! It’s my old “ride” — a Dodge minivan!

Susie with her beloved brothers,  Ben (L) + Jon (R), at Christmastime in our old apartment.

Susie with her beloved brothers, Ben + Jon,
posing for yet another Christmas card,
back in our old apartment above the store!

Okay, so now I’m feeling a little ver klempt.

Thanks for going down Dachshund memory lane with me!

* * * *

But back to yesterdee’s ride.

Our first pit stop was at our Dutch colonial,

where I pondered over some siding color choices.

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You can’t really see them that well in this photo,

but there are 2 grays just to the left of the window trim,

+ I green to the right.

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There, that’s better.

I was all set to choose the lighter of the grays,

with lots of white trim + black doors . . .

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. . . just like we used for our garage’s re-do!

Gray is so ME!

Here’s the thing:

At age 19 (in 1971), I painted my very first house gray with white trim.

Wish I could share a photo of it with me in cut-offs + a halter top

+ my Linda McCartney-esque shag haircut.  Darn.

* * * * *

Fast forward, + my second (1975) + 3rd (1985) houses were gray, too.

Look at my 80’s hair + how ahead of my time I was,

with my Benjamin Moore gray kitchen cabinets!

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What I’m saying is: I LOVE GRAY!

* * *

But  I think I love being DIFFERENT, more!

You see, there are already 3 gray houses on our new block,

including right next door + just across the street!

* * *

Cue: Timbercrest green.

Maybe?

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Yikes!  That green would definitely be out-of-the-box for me,

but if we were to start siding today,

I think I’d go for it!

green house #1

green house #2

Stay tuned!


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