More Than Just Lipstick

You might remember, back in November 2010, we renovated the our front entrance stairs and porch. It went from this:

to this: 
Last summer, Jeff put in a brick landing and hung shutters. This summer, we’ve concentrated on landscaping.  The week of my graduation (mid June), it looked like this: 
And now, after a date with a can of high gloss black paint, here’s a peak of what the final reveal will FINALLY look like (we’re just waiting for a new mailbox and house numbers): 
Our original goal was to create some curb appeal…. and I think we’ve been successful. HOORAY!

On the right track

Sunshine and a late fall this year helps the makeover look a little more dramatic… but we’re still happy about the progress we’ve made toward bringing some much needed curb appeal to the main entrance of our house.

Stay tuned next spring for some more landscaping, a painted front door, a new mailbox and house numbers…and a few surprises.

Bit of Lipstick

A year ago, Jeff and I set out to add some much needed curb appeal to our house. The main part of this project involved tearing out the old entrance steps last fall and building a replacement that was both functional and attractive (see a quick slideshow here). This summer, Jeff has done a great job installing brick terraces at the front gate and the foot of the new stairs (photos to come soon) and with these construction phases complete, we’re moving ahead to the last phase of straight beautification.

Jeff and I debated back and forth on the pros and cons of shutters, finally deciding that our house could do with a few shots of pure cosmetic help. The change isn’t that dramatic… but I think this little bit of lipstick does make a positive difference.

one window with shutters… and one without 

Except for when this photo was taken, I really WAS holding the ladder!

To compare- the BEFORE

and AFTER (including trim to the unruly cedar tower)


A very busy and wet spring/summer delayed our plans to finish the renovation Jeff and I started last fall on our front steps. Phase two of the renovation began with laying a brick terrace at the bottom of the steps and August finally brought dry enough weather to tackle the task. After looking at the multitude of brick choices available, we went with a boring (therefore, affordable) traditional rectangle. Thankfully, it is such an improvement on the piece of plywood that was a temporary fix for the past six months that we’ve completely forgotten about the fancier (and much more expensive) alternatives. I think Jeff is doing a bang-up job so far…. and hopefully, it will all be done in time for some much anticipated guests who are arriving in a few weeks.

front terrace…. courtesy of some strong black tea in Jeff’s preferred “teacup”
the master mason in action

Steps Reveal

Voila!! After much work (and some moments of frustration), we have a new front steps.


There is still more work to do (adding the final two stair banisters, putting in paving stones at the bottom of the stairs, painting the stair risers, facia boards and front door, replanting the flower bed etc.) but for now, we have a very functional front entrance that (*gasp*) actually looks like a front entrance! And… it reached completion in the nick of time.