Historic Home Refreshed for Selling



Where to Start?

Uncovering the Potential

and Imagining the”After” 

I’m sure this historic home would have many stories to tell us from its rich 100+ year history. What came with that history at the time I meet “her” were the expected grand elements like gorgeous interior wood details, curved corner bathroom sink, clawfoot tub and even a “widows walk”. 

And along with those were the unexpected findings added by generations of families. Each with their own needs and ideas of what she should be. And probably how she acquired seven, yes, s-e-v-e-n doorways into the kitchen! (From the living room, dining room, a bedroom, and bathroom, the pantry, a closet, and just for good measure, the back door.)  

But before we could reconfigure the kitchen we needed to do the first step in bringing back a historic home:
Assess what could and should be saved

And though much of this grand old house was left intact there were many changes added over the years that needed to make sense in the house as a whole.

Overall the house needed to be brought back to life in the best way possible to fit both the budget and today’s lifestyles.

First Off: Facade Facelift

Transformation with Color

Changing colors without changing anything architecturally can totally transform a home

In restoring this home we were also styling it to appeal to the widest market segment of homebuyers. While being judicious in what we opted to do because the list of possibilities was too long to seriously consider. 

Here were the challenges I saw on the front of the house:

  • Too many colors and too dated 
  • Unfinished wood porch steps
  • Yard was open to commercial buildings on each side & the sidewalk.
  • Landscaping accents were needed for curb appeal 
  • Unbalanced architecture

The architectural issue was the one element I studied the most.

The original front entrance was on the right side of the house, and now it was residing on the left side. (Would have loved to know the story behind that move!) BUT the original porch peak was still left on the facade. So it was part of the uniqueness that time had created and we needed to work with it because I knew it was too big a project to invest in changing.  

Updating the color without doing anything architecturally was going to have to do the heavy lifting   

But was it going to be enough to overcome such an obvious oddity right in front?

"Backyard" Issues

And Where to Start Back Here? 

Everything was staying and we needed to bring this space to life too

If the project were being done for an owner vs. a seller it would have been redone from the ground up, literally.

But we needed to find an affordable, cosmetic solution that didn’t take a lot of time or materials that would sell this space to the next happy homeowner. 

Again, the list was endless of what all could be done. But what would we be able to actually tackle? Wait ’til you see what happened!  

The Big Front Exterior Reveal!

Remember where we started?

  • Dated, earthy colors that blended in with the close-by business and neighborhood in general
  • Offset architecture with the original entrances porch roof still remaining
  • Unfinished looking bare wood steps 
  • Bare front yard, and house feeling exposed to the street

And here is the house today in all her glory…

Looking Like the Grand Old Lady She was Meant to Be

Dressed in classic white and black
set apart by from street & neighbors with a white picket fence
& sitting in a sea of lush green landscape 

You can never go wrong with classic white with black trim on a home with classic architecture. It will always look timeless. 

Plus that color palette just worked all the way around for this property

  • It calmed down all the busyness of too many colors so the architectural details of a bygone era beautifully stand out.
  • It was the perfect look with the black roof 
  • Lent itself to adding a classic white picket fence 
  • The close-by commercial buildings on either side were earthy colors, and next to this fresh white they fade into the background now letting the house take center stage. 
  • Likewise, there were earthy-colored homes across the street. So now the house has become the jewel of the neighborhood.
    Plus these classic colors are not only timeless but trending, giving this home an added dose of attention!

The Big Backyard Exterior Reveal!

One last look and what seemed almost unredeemable… 

Simple solutions carried the day

Paint, Minor Landscaping & Fencing to the Rescue Again

This time black takes center stage in the transformation
  • Painting the cinder block wall a bold black was the perfect backdrop for the bright green potted lemon cypress plants. The bright green is always gorgeous against black.
  • And it covered up stains and turned a utilitarian bulkhead wall into a design element.
  • We had the existing beige planter pots painted white.
  • Dark charcoal-colored mulch was added to the beds after the plants were trimmed to further pull together the look.
  • And topped off everything with the fresh white picket fence to match the front fence, giving the exterior outdoor areas a cohesive updated look.
Overall it was a simple way to give the backyard a bold refresh to catch a new buyer’s eye

(Stay tuned… next time we will take a look at the transformation on the inside!)

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