You guys, the flip is finished. Wahoo!
Do you remember where we started last fall?
I remember when we first saw this house – my first thought was, “Oh good, there’s nothing super offensive about it. But dang, that brick is ugly and I wish we could change that bay window into something more modern.”
Bam. Wish granted.
Painting the brick a creamy white instantly freshened up the whole look. And I love the contrast of the dark window frames against the brick – to me, it looks modern without feeling cold.
Our original vision was to create a boxed bay window (with right angles instead of the more curved look), but that wasn’t possible because of the way the window was framed. However, with some serious finagling with the window opening our installer was able to switch out the six window panels that looked busy and dated with 3, larger window panels that look sleek and modern. I’m a happy girl.
You may have noticed that we also changed the operable windows from vertical sliders to horizontal sliders – I like that all of the windows across the front of the house have vertical lines now. Maybe that’s a weird thing to notice, but I dig it!
Another big change to the front of the house that really upped the curb appeal is the cedar slat screen on the front porch that replaced the dated ironwork. As soon as our carpenters started building it, I got really excited – it looked so good!!!!
We had the slats stained, and I’m still on the fence about how that looks. At first I was completely bummed and thought I had ruined the whole house (dramatic much?), but then the darker slats grew on me. I think it works, pulling together all of the dark details on the front of the house, like the windows and the front door, and maybe the lighter cedar slats would have looked out of place? The world will never know. :)
Ooh, and the house got a sprinkler system! This is the first time we’ve ever put one in, and I kinda wonder why we always shied away from it in the past. It wasn’t as expensive as I’d feared (for some reason I thought it would be $5,000+ and it wasn’t), the sprinkler guys were able to knock out the job in one day, it meant that we didn’t have to water the lawn all the time, and it’s definitely something that buyers want in Texas where summer = death to grass. Adding the sprinkler system did leave naked spots in the lawn where the irrigation pipes were buried, but those spots will grow in quickly once spring arrives. We’ll be doing this again.
In the backyard we added a horizontal cedar fence to replace the original chain link fence – it makes the backyard feel so private and cozy.
We were originally going to stain it darker to match the neighbor’s fence, but after the stain went on the slats on the front porch I got nervous (that’s code for terrified) and decided to just seal the fence instead. I think that was a good decision, and I love the way the fence looks!
We decided to leave the little shed in the backyard so that the new owners can store lawn equipment, etc. But that’s not the end of the storage in the backyard – the garage also has a huge two-room work area that runs the width of the garage and is about 8 feet wide – that’s almost 200 square feet of “freebie” space! It’s funny, I didn’t really realize what an added bonus the work room was until we started showing the house to potential buyers – every single person that walked through the space started chatting away about all the ways they could use the space – everything from a yoga studio to a kid’s play area to storage to an office. And now I want a work room added to my garage. :)
But I think my favorite part of the backyard is the patio / courtyard area that can be accessed from the game room (family room) and the laundry room right off the kitchen.
(Side note: I don’t have a picture of the brick wall “after” the changes, but those strange light fixtures on the pillars got the boot. We were going to replace them with something more modern, but everything even remotely attractive was insanely expensive, so we gave them the boot. Another factor that aided that decision? We never could find the switch that operated them. :))
I can just imagine the patio set up with a big dining table with an umbrella, and a grill off the kitchen area. I know my girls would love playing out there, and the older one could ride a tricycle and color with chalk to her heart’s content. And it would be so easy to keep an eye on them! (It’s weird the things that being a mom does to your brain.) The couple that is buying the house will be having twins soon, and I just know the family is going to enjoy this backyard to the fullest. That makes me happy!
What do you guys think of the changes to the exterior? Is painting brick a crime? Do horizontal fences make you scream with happiness?
Read more about the changes to the exterior here.