This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
Paint. It’s magical, isn’t it? As a quick refresher, this is the summer that we’re focusing on our Tree House exterior, and we’re doing our best to keep it budget friendly. Although we know that there is likely some original clapboard under the vinyl siding, we don’t know if it’s in good shape or where it may be lacking. The only way to assess any damage would be to remove the vinyl completely, and that’s an entire can of worms that we’re not ready to take on. Someday? Absolutely. Today? We’re not (financially) ready.
Although it’s not our first choice (in both material and color), the vinyl siding is in overall decent shape, so we’re leaving well enough alone and turning our attention towards the small(ish) changes that will, hopefully, have us seeing our home in a new light. Like painting the trim!* We’ll also be wrapping the deck around to the front of the house and adding landscaping to soften everything up. We partnered with our friends at Lowe’s to bring our ideas to life, our one-stop shop to find everything we need from exterior paint to greenery, decking materials to lighting upgrades – and on a budget!
*Several of you have asked us along the way why we don’t paint the vinyl siding. It’s an option, however, we decided to invest our time and money into a larger deck. See this post for what we have in mind!
View from Street | Before
View from Street | Progress
Alright, there are a few things happening here. The big patch of weeds in the front of our home is gone. Hooray! All of the formerly brown gutters were replaced with white, and we even sprang for gutter guards (best decision). Our contractors also removed the wall that separates the side deck from the front yard, and already we can envision how the wrap-around porch is going to look. Can you see it? (Squint!)
Most importantly, all the brown paint is now bright white! We held our collective breath, crossed our fingers and hoped that a few gallons of fresh white paint would make us feel differently about the tan vinyl, and you know what? It did. It did! The old chocolate-colored trim felt heavy and dated. The bright white trim feels fresh, shiny and new! Our contractors used Sherwin Williams Pure White in exterior grade HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Everlast with a satin finish. It’s the perfect exterior white that has the slightest hint of warmth, preventing it from feeling too stark.
The rarely seen view above (it’s around the left corner from the street view) shows how sweet the original casement windows look when dressed in white. We’ll also be adding landscaping around the tree, starting in this back corner and working towards the front deck / porch.
Side of House | Before
Side of House | Progress
And Who Remembers This View?
Here’s the Progress!
I’ve never been a huge fan of the way storm doors look, and after removing the rusty white storm door we inherited, I actually pushed back on Scott when he wanted to replace it. Let’s not have a storm door!, I begged. It will look much cleaner! But he wouldn’t budge; storm doors are a near necessity Michigan, both for keeping out the cold in the winters and allowing the fresh air in on a warm day.
I changed my tune when I saw the options available from Larson. We chose the full view Larson Tradewinds door in black, and as soon as we opened the box, I got it. Storm doors can look good! (In fact, we love it so much that we’ll be ordering another for our home in Chicago!) It converts easily to a screen door and can be held open by a small button that you push with your foot – no more fussing with a small metal slider! We even upgraded the handle to this matte black handleset, and it’s all just so handsome. I’m a convert.
A Small Lighting Upgrade = Big Impact
We swapped out the old exterior lights (most of which were broken) to these allen + roth Birchwood Dark Sky LEDs, which was by far the easiest – $65! – decision we’ve made on the project so far:
The door above is off of our master bedroom, and we’re looking forward to the day that we can swing it open wide and step onto our front porch with a hot mug of coffee.
Our main door is actually a side door, and you can see that below on the right (the bedroom door is on the left):
Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Eaves
Oh, hey, eaves! Did you notice how much brighter things look now that the eaves are no longer cracked, peeling and yellowed? The combination of matte black exterior lighting and white trim has our whole hearts.
Back of House | Before
Back of House | Progress
What a difference paint makes! We say it every time, but it couldn’t be more true.
Right now, our contractors are working on building out the new deck, and we’re setting our sights on landscaping! Scott’s mom and dad are meeting us at Tree House to lend a hand with all the greenery, and we couldn’t be more excited to dig around in the dirt. Stay tuned!