Keys to the exterior make-over of our 1922 bungalow? Natural wood architectural elements, paint and classic details.
I’ll be honest. I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into with this house. I knew I loved the screened front porch, the interesting roof line and the original windows. But I didn’t know exactly how to bring her beauty back.
Wood Architectural Elements
My first instinct was to highlight that amazing and unique roofline. So many houses in my neighborhood have corbels, and I wanted them too! (My husband didn’t even know what a corbel was…did you?). I am blessed with a father who is a woodworker, and he was eager to contribute to my new project. He built us four beautiful corbels that I stained with Olympic Maximum Stain and Sealant.
To tie in the wood corbels I also added a wood base for house numbers (I used a piece of cedar and floating black numbers from Lowe’s), a vintage style porch screen door from Menard’s, and had window boxes made for under the porch windows. Didn’t those windows just scream for window boxes? Credit goes to my neighborhood pal Jon for building them for me! I stained all of these items with the same Olympic Stain I used on the corbels to tie all the wood elements together.
Now, to make all of these wood elements really pop. We did debate over paint colors. Dark blue siding with crisp white trim, anyone? But decided to go with a classic — and likely what she was originally — white. I’ve never painted a house before, and because of the age of the house we were concerned about lead paint so we decided to hire an expert. HA! They came and power washed the house and allowed all the lead paint chips to simply fall to the ground. (FYI…that’s NOT how it’s supposed to be done.) They agreed to come back with a shop vac and clean everything up, but then proceeded to start the first painting day by not taping off the windows or corbels and we had to fire them. (In hindsight I definitely shouldn’t have hung the corbels until AFTER we painted. Live and learn!). So guess who got to try a big paint sprayer for the first time? Me! We rented a sprayer from Home Depot and just made it work.
Peep those sad (essentially 2 x 4) supports for the side porch roof. We knew this would end up being the main entrance to our home, and it needed a definite upgrade. I’m a creeper who studies homes in my neighborhood, and saw a home with porch supports (aka corbels) that I thought were stunning! Enter my woodworker dad once again (you’ll see him pop up several times over the course of our reno, and I couldn’t be more grateful). I gave him the design and he made it happen. I waffled over staining them or painting them, but decided to go with white paint to match the rest of the house. The door is natural wood and I didn’t want them to compete with that. (And yes, I know the door currently looks like trash. It’s on the LOOOOONG to-do list).
Adding them meant we had to move the light that was at the side of the door. I preferred to have a light in the ceiling anyway, so that was an easy choice. Not so easy to accomplish though, and we hired an electrician to handle it. The house has knob and tube wiring, so he had to replace everything related to this light. (More on how I handled that inside with the switch in another post!).
So what do you think? Would love to hear your comments or questions below! My goal was to honor the original house while adding period-appropriate details to really make her feel special. And this is just the tip of the iceberg….