Today we are happy to introduce the first installment in our new series called Time to Refresh.
Each post will highlight a property that our brokerage has refreshed, and will give you achievable, actionable, and affordable tips that you can use on your own property, whether it is for sale or not!
Our first refresh is this lovely beach cottage:
This beach cottage isn’t looking too shabby, right? Wait until you see what it looks like with a little elbow grease, some bucks, and some vision!
Let’s get to work!
To start, the last time the exterior paint had been done people were still worried about Y2K. Though many of our fixes are budget-friendly, exterior paint was clearly needed in this case. In choosing the new color, we used one of the tips from a previous blog (Finding Color Inspiration). This beach cottage was built in the 1930’s. To choose a paint color, we looked at the colors that were popular in that decade, and committed to one. Pale blue reminds us of the glazed bowls and appliances of Grandma’s kitchen – check out the freshly painted home:
The eagle-eyed viewer may also notice another change – a new door. This is an easy way to change the presentation of a home. The old door was drab, and featured an oval window, which doesn’t match any of the lines and shapes of the home’s silhouette. We replaced it with a simpler door that matches the lines created by the windows on either side. This creates a more cohesive impression. We do love the trend of a contrasting door color, and considered painting the door a pale pink, but ultimately decided that the massive roses and bougainvillea provide just the right amount of natural pink accent. (Though discussing it again makes us reconsider whether that pink door should happen…) The bougainvillea trellis has the typical oval shape, and in the future, we would love to add a triangular shape to the top, again to help complement the lines of the home – always work with your angles!
It still needs a little something…
Next, we wanted to pay some attention to the exterior picket fence. A professional bid the fence revamp at $5300, which we decided was much too steep for a decorative fence. Time to get creative! We spent about $50 in extra pickets at the hardware store, and added them to the back side to give the fence more dimension and structure. After a fresh coat of paint, this is the final product – a budget-friendly way to extend the life of the fence:
When doing any exterior refresh, it’s a good idea to power wash anything you aren’t putting fresh paint on. This can include the exterior of the house, the sidewalks, driveway, and garage floor. After washing, we decided the large concrete space needed some visual interest, and painted very wide nautical stripes on the concrete. If you decide to do something like this, make sure the stripes are wide enough, or it can make the viewer dizzy. Check out the interest this adds to the space:
And now, the finishing touches:
Lastly, add those little details that make the home look happy and welcoming. For this home, we added a small seating area with fresh flowers, a new welcome mat, and cheery door sign. We also added a rain chain to replace the large downspout for some rainy day ambiance. Other quick and cheap projects include adding a triangle shade and some artificial turf as an outdoor rug to make the backyard eating space complete. Painting the garage and fence to match the house was our final step to tie the entire property together.
How do you know you have a successful refresh? When having morning coffee or evening wine on the porch of the beach cottage, we always got positive comments from passersby (“It looks like you live in a Tiffany box!”). Does your home need a bit of a refresh? We would be happy to help you find your budget-friendly inspiration – give us a call!