Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Fresh Exterior

Ever since we initally laid eyes on our first home, we knew it would need some exterior work to modernize it. I had big ideas of repainting it a brighter white, changing the trim from brown to black, and perhaps replacing the roof with a black or grey one. But, alas $$$$$. Then I went onto a Houzz forum asking for recommendations and surprisingly people had so many great ideas that weren't as expensive or drastic as I had initially envisioned.


From the Houzz forum, people suggested the following:

  • We could update the door and paint it a fun color.
  • We could pull out the bushes (that were probably 40 years old) and replace them with something more modern like a century plant and succulents which are pretty popular here in Southern California. 
  • We could change or remove the "fence" on the front porch. 
  • We could update the hardscaping - to my surprise this was a little pricey so we held off on doing this for now.

So in honor of our one year anniversary, I wanted to share some progress updates on the exterior that we did. 

First, we got a new mid-century inspired door installed. That was a HUGE update! Then we painted said door Benjamin Moore Naples blue. I think this was the update that had the biggest impact. We also got a RING doorbell and a new more sleek, modern mailbox.


Then we (read: Jake) tore out the old bushes and took our time deciding what to do next. We thought about snake plants, succulents, river rock, etc. We thought about removing (or redoing) the small hardscape wall in front of the house but decided against it for now since it looks OK. Eventually we might remove and/or redo it. We will have to wait and see.

This spring, we started researching landscaping. After looking online, we quickly realized that there were typically two options:

Consult with a landscape designer to design a custom front and backyard, which typically comes at a higher cost than we were looking to spend.

-OR-

Visit a nursery, pick out plants, and plant them (more of a DIY route). 

Then we found Moon Valley Nurseries in Huntington Beach via a Google search. The first thing we liked about the website was you can upload a picture of your yard and add plants from the website to the picture...we had a little too much fun with this tool, as you can imagine. We went to the nursery on a Saturday to start planning our project. We then spent the first part of the design meeting talking about our style, plant and color ideas, and what areas of the yard we wanted to landscape (front, side and backyard).  Next, we went out to the actual nursery and looked at a variety of plants. Jake and I both had so much fun picking out the different plants and determining where they would be planted.

We had a good idea about what we wanted from the beginning, but our designer recommended some plants that we had never heard of which ultimately ended up being our very favorite plants of the whole project! As we selected our plants, they were tagged with our name so we knew exactly which plants were ours. I'm pretty sure this was the best day of Jake's life (so far).  We also got four bougainvillea for the back white stucco wall and decided to go for an Italian villa vibe. We still need to get uplighting for those, but I will share some backyard updates once we decide on our long term outdoor furniture and layout. I never knew how fun (!!), but also a bit stressful and draining owning our house would be. I wouldn't trade it for anything though!

BEFORE:


AFTER (1 year progress):



How long we plan to live in this house is another big consideration that we are mulling over before we start spending all of our money customizing the house even further. I had a dream last night that we were putting in a pool! That is something I am considering very strongly but we are not going to move forward with that until we know we want to stay here for awhile.

I've learned that the house to do list is endless and realistically, will probably always be a mile long. So part of the process is just embracing and realizing that the house will never be perfect. But, to be cliche, it's about the journey, not the destination, right? At least that's what I keep telling myself.

xoxo,

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