Laurel’s Blah Brown House Gets Curb Appeal

When Laurel told me about the house that she’s been renovating, she said, “My biggest worry was once it was finished and we put it on the market, no one would come look at it–it totally lacked curb appeal. After a year of sitting empty, this poor place hadn’t gotten any TLC in a long time. It’s taken 4 months, but we’ve finally completed the exterior of our Diamond in the Rough. And we don’t think it’s ‘rough’ any more!”

I don’t either. Take a look at it now:

It’s amazing how much better it looks with the new colors, entry, and landscaping. When they removed the vinyl siding, they were excited to find cedar shakes underneath. HGTV’s Refuge Blue paint from Sherwin Williams makes the door really stand out. And the new window breaks up that big wall above it.

Here’s a close-up of the front door before:

And now:

So much better! They also added a charming new stepping-stone path to the front door, a picket fence, and an arbor. Visit Laurel’s blog SoPo Cottage for more photos and details about her “Diamond in the Rough,” before and after.

Julia-simple teal signature

P.S. You can see Laurel’s former home here:

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  1. Christina from Dallas says

    Really a great makeover. The new window really stands out as well as the blue door. Hope it will sell quick.

  2. Amelia @ House Pretty says

    I had to do a triple-take! Amazing transformation!

  3. Michele says

    I love how they kept the old brick steps by just power washing them – really gives the reno character. Great job!

  4. Amy says

    It’s interesting how much different it looks with just a few changes. The new sidelights and change in window placements remove the whole “enclosed to keep out the weather feeling to the entrance to the house, making it feel much more organic. What a nice job-and I’m sure there was a lot of deliberation.

  5. says

    WOWZERS! Great choices on the siding & colors! The house really pops now! But it is still recognizable as the same house. Fantastic job Laurel!

  6. Deb J says

    What a difference. Very nice work. It appears that all the windows have been replaced, and the one above the front door was added. Definitely worth the work and expense. I love your blog and stories like this!

  7. says

    What a fabulous transformation. Love the shingles and the new pediment over the door. Would love to see more of this house. I’m sure it will sell quickly now!

  8. Melinda says

    I admit, I wouldn’t have ever even clicked on the original picture in a MLS listing. Wow, what a transformation!

    • says

      That’s the nicest thing you could have said Melinda – we were hoping it would look nice enough that folks would come see it now. I had a hard time persuading my husband to go see it in the first place!!!!

  9. says

    Thanks so much everyone!!! It’s been 4 months in the making, but it’s finally looking like we always thought it could! I hope to have more interior photos on our blog in the next few weeks as we wrap up the inside work.

    • cbean says

      Looking forward to it. If you could transform the outside to be this charming and welcoming, I would expect the interior to be equally warm and inviting. (:

  10. Kim says

    It’s interesting how the littlest changes can make a big difference. Great transformation!

  11. says

    Fabulous! I absolutely love the front door color, I thought red was my favorite but now I love that blue. Great job!

  12. says

    Wow, this is fantastic! I love seeing an ugly ducking transformed into a beautiful swan! I always wonder why anyone would cover gorgeous shingles w/ vinyl siding, but those shingles make all the difference. I admire people with this kind of vision. I would have taken a look at the original and thought it was a lost cause, but the new entry & the beautiful paint colors really make this a charming home! I’m dying to see what they’ve done w/ the interior. I’m going to pop over now and check it out!

  13. says

    It looks fantastic! There’s no better feeling (to me) than finding hidden treasures that have been covered over with dodgy renovation, like the shingles here.


  14. Sarah says

    So glad you listed the paint color, I’ve been trying to pick one for my front door and this one is amazing!

  15. says

    Took the words right out of my mouth. That blue front door looks great and provided me something to think about. I have been wanting to paint our door chartreuse… but maybe “Refuge” would be better.

  16. Bridgette says

    I was looking at the houses you help fix up. I just want to know how I can go about getting help with my home. I am a new homeowner and didnt know much about buying a house. My inspector didn’t give me a good deal, now I’m having to get a new roof, electrical work and other things done. I just wanted a place for me and my child to make great memories. That’s going to take time. So I’m hoping and praying I can get some help on fixing up my house into our dream home.

  17. Dina says

    Lovely new look, great job. However, as a professional garden designer I would pull the planting beds out by another couple of feet (or more) and edge with undulating lines to embrace the entrance path. The tight beds put the plants too close to the foundation and they will suffer in a few years from what we call “flat back”. Plus, a deeper bed would balance the height of the house and help nestle the structure into the landscape. Anyone in a similar situation might want to check out books like “Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass” by Liz Primeau or Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love by Julie Moir Messervy for some ideas.