Tag Archives: makeover

Plain Jane House Gets Its Makeover

We spent the weekend in my hometown in southern Illinois,

+ while there — as is my way — I perused the listings on realtor.com.

Do you do that, too?

Anyway, I was surprised that there were so many houses under $100 grand!

For example, this plain Jane (with lots of potential!) is only $49,900!

You can see more in the Realtor.com listing, here.

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Just yesterday on Facebook,

my cousin from my hometown posted the photo of a house

she was interested in buying, + guess which one it was!

Hard to believe, but yes — the plain Jane house!

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Say no more!

I was soon dashing over to Pinterest for some design inspiration to share,

+ here’s what I found, from the blog, Nesting With Grace.

It’s another plain Jane house, this one with a small porch.

(Some of my cousin’s Facebook friends suggested that ‘her house’ needed one!)

But something’s not quite right.

The wrought iron porch column + the stair railings

were all the rage, back in the 50’s + 60’s — but today, it looks dated + too thin.

It needs to be replaced with something more substantial,

  + on that note, here’s the stunning AFTER:

I know!  It’s like night + day, isn’t it?

It looks like they’ve replaced the wrought iron with white vinyl,

which is probably in stock at your local build-o-rama.

The light fixture’s been updated to something larger,

+ there’s a new mailbox + new house numbers.

Even though the porch is quite small,

there’s room for a sweet + welcoming French cafe chair.

The new front door has been painted a pretty shade of blue:

Now, pay close attention to this:

all the accessories — the chair + the flower pots —

echo the blue of the door + the white of the posts + railings.

For yet more color coordination, the shutters are painted the door blue,

+ the pair of white Adirondack chairs even have blue pillows.

There’s a lot going on,

but keeping everything in just one color family

makes the design cohesive + not too crazy or too busy.


The landscaping’s been updated with some classic boxwood shrubs

+ some pretty pink + red Knock-Out Roses, which bloom all season.

(Notice how the red is repeated in the red stripes of the U.S. flag.)

The new white window boxes add architectural detail,

+ their small evergreens (dwarf Alberta spruces?)

will provide winter interest when the roses go dormant.

Let’s have one more look at the $49 grand house in my home town:

cape cod of greenville front exterior

It’s easy to envision some of the blog house’s AFTER features here, isn’t it?

Remember — it, too, was once a plain Jane!

Now it’s time to share on Facebook!

Stay tuned for my cousin’s + friends’ reactions!




Ralph Lauren’s Gas Stations

Just a few days ago,

Chloe the Dachshund + I enjoyed a walk in our city’s charming downtown,

where I imagined having my own retail store/home above.


My last possible store candidate

was this former gas station-turned-repair-garage:


So.  I hear what you’re saying.

You’re crazy!  What a dump!

That would be the worst possible building to re-do into a retail shop!

Or is it?

Check out this awesome Exhibit A:

ralph lauren gas station


It’s my retail idol, Ralph Lauren,

+ this is his epic gas station makeover in sunny southern California.

My pal, James, shared this photo with me.

You must read his blog, + here’s just one reason why:

You’re welcome, by the way.

But back to  my gas station hopes + dreams.

There’s even more (from Ralph Lauren)!  Exhibit B:

Let’s have a closer look-see, shall we?

ralph gas station store doors up

Please notice that the garage doors were saved

+ that they are flung open during biz hours!

When our biz hours occur after dark,

as they would for Girls Night Out or Cruise Night, we have this:

ralph gas station store at night

Admit it.  You’re feeling it, too — am I right?

Funny how a bit of online sleuthing can be so inspirational!

Speaking of which, there’s more!

This garage makeover is in Nashville, TN:

imogene and willie neon sign and gable

I KNOW!!!  It looks like it’s awesome!

I’ll share more tomorrow.  Stay tuned!



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