Thursday, July 08, 2010


we bought our little 1950's ranch about two years ago. when we were looking for our first house, we knew we wanted a fixer-upper. coincidentally-- that's all we could afford anyway! we have spent a lot of time working on the inside of the house (since that's where we spend most of our time...obviously) and a while ago we replaced the front door and exterior lights. but other than that, the outside has always been really plain. eventually we'd love to have a big craftsman-style covered porch like this:
but for now, a new roof and a fresh coat of paint have
gone a long way in sprucing up our little home.

plain white paint, black trim.
old, hail-damaged, stained roof, wonky red sunglasses...

isn't it so much better?!

i have to admit: these weren't actually my first choice for colors.
i like color! but sometimes color! isn't the best thing for exteriors.
so concerned friends & family stepped in and guided me down the path of neutrals.
one friend actually said the first color i picked for the siding looked like "goat poo."
(direct quote. no, it didn't hurt my feelings. and yes, i still love the color of goat poo!)
the actual color is darker than it appears in these photos. more like the color of that cute craftsman i posted above. it's a nice, dark tan-ish with some grey tones. it's sherwin williams "downing earth." i like the sound of that. earrrrth.
anyway, i'm still not sold on the door color, but mr.a always told me he loves a red door. so i did it especially for him. isn't that romantic?
luckily, it's a quick-fix so i'll just re-paint it as soon as he heads off to afghanland. heehee.
i liked the old color (the blue in the top-most picture) but i'm thinking an orange like this would be cool, too. what do you guys think?
it's not completely finished yet. the trim needs a second coat and i'd like to paint the peaks above the front door and above the garage a lighter accent color to add a little faux-architectural detail. (that was my MIL's idea. can't take cred.)
 oh, and the random white rectangle next to the door is where our house numbers go. i just haven't replaced them yet. we desperately need to re-landscape, too. hopefully this summer. but, we'll see...

i planned all this while mr.a was in minnesota for three weeks of training. i was so nervous when he pulled into the driveway! i watched him from the window as he sloooowly took off his sunglasses and just stared for a minute before getting out of the car. he was really surprised and excited. my father-in-law helped me get everything lined up for the new roof (thanks, greg!) and my brother-in-law did ALL the painting. (thank-you sooooo much, jon!)

i couldn't have pulled this off without them.


  1. I can't wait to be a stalker and drive by!!!

  2. Love the new color! I'm not sure from the photos, but if the house color has gray undertones, I bet a yellow door would look fabulous! And I like the orange too... Really, though, you've picked such a good color that almost anything would go!

  3. oooooh, annie! i LOVE the yellow idea! maybe i'll just repaint it with each season... blue for summer, orange for fall, red for winter, yellow for spring!

  4. It looks SO great! A yellow door WOULD be fun, I like that idea! I need to paint our front door too... maybe I'll post it and have a brilliant reader let me know what would work best. I was thinking red too... seems "safe" enough.

  5. and your door would get thicker and thicker! I vote for orange but the yellow idea sounds fun.

  6. house looks wonderful...girls perfect and all is well. I happen to think your MIL and FIL are wonderful people!!

  7. You have to keep the red door! It looks amazing!!!!!

  8. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!! love it!

  9. Bethany,

    I am very impressed. The house is a total reflection of you guys, it's gorgeous. I personally LOVE the red door, it reminds me of Europe...! Love, love, love everything. :)


  10. Soooo I just realized I drive by your house everyday on my way to drop off my kiddos. I LOVE your red front door! Way to change it up when almost EVERY house on that street is WHITE.

  11. ack! now you're a REAL stalker kel! haha, just kidding.

  12. Love the make-over....our house is the same color...our front door is the same color....we even the same light fixtures!!!! Are you sure you haven't done a stalker drive-by in Winterset?!?!? :)

  13. Would love to see a photo of the after from a distance like the before photo. Really hard to tell what the house looks like in the after photos! From what I can tell, it looks like an amazing transformation. I love that you planned and pulled it all off while the hubby was away. What a great surprise!

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