Makeover - Curb Appeal.

February 23, 2015

I realised that I haven't talked much about the transformations that we've outside the house yet in this Makeover series. I do like a house with curb appeal, a nice front door, windows, some pretty flowers and the like. So, here goes, the before, during and after stages to get it looking like this.

Before photos:

When we bought the house, it was the ugliest out of the three in the row of Victorian terraces. It didn't have it's original wooden, sash windows like the other two and I've got a real thing for windows. The whole frontage needed some love, a new front door, getting rid of the patch grass behind the hedge which would be a real pain to cut, we wanted to remove the hedge to create something prettier and more open and I was keen on some plantation shutters.

First up, we replaced the front door with a wooden one that Ben had got as part of a set on eBay to replace all of the doors in the house. It started off as a pine four panel door that Ben removed the top two panels from to be replaced with glass. We got opaque double glazing fitted from a local glass company for privacy whilst still letting some light through. We painted the door in Farrow and Ball's Green Smoke and added chrome door furniture, a knocker, door pull and letterbox.

We liked our neighbour's etched number Four in the glass above the front door so managed to find a font that was similar, to tie in, and got a transfer sticker made up on eBay for just £15. We measured up and designed it on a document before sending it to the company and then just stuck it on the inside of the glass. A fraction of the price that a glass company would have charged us and I love how it looks now.

I can't seem to find any progress photos of digging out the hedge and sorting out the front garden but in essence we spent a weekend digging out everything and filling our green bin up before levelling the soil. We decided on a tub in the middle with a magnolia tree and lavender in as a bit of a feature with gravel surrounded by concrete grey rope edging {from Homebase} and then planting lavenders around the outside.

The lavenders started off small but have completely filled the space two years on. We like them as they're low maintenance, grow fast, smell heavenly when you walk past and look pretty in the summer. They don't need much care or water and tend to last for about seven years, self seeding as they go. In the autumn you just cut back the woody flower spikes and then they'll shoot again in late Spring. The bee's and butterflies go mad for it too. We put a tub next to the front door for seasonal displays, daffodils in the spring, geraniums and trailing daisies in the summer and then autumn ornamental kale and pansies going over winter. 

We also added two old Victorian drain hoppers, that we got from a carboot sale but you can find them in most antique/junk shops, to the front of the house and painted them in the same colour as the door. They're filled with heathers in the autumn/winter and trailing pretty flowers in the spring/summer.

We waited to replace the windows until we had our kitchen extension and building work done. We had a custom made wooden sash bay made by a local joiner and I was so happy the day that the old plastic, lead window got taken out! We couldn't wait to restore the Victorian character and cottage charm.

I loved the new window as soon as I saw it! It made the lounge feel so much brighter and bigger suddenly too.

And it fitted in so much better with the other houses. We had a new windowsill made for the underneath the new window as the old one was rotten.

Next on our list was replacing our bedroom windows, again we wanted rid of the led and plastic and replaced them with a wooden sash style that Ben bought from eBay and adapted slightly to fit the windows. 

We also had plantation shutters fitted in our lounge that I was so excited for. They're great for privacy and light whilst looking pretty for both the inside and outside. We got them made from a company in St Albans called James Shutters who were really brilliant. If you're thinking of ordering shutters though they do take a long time, we waited for ours for a couple of months due to them all being made to fit your window etc. But so worth the wait.

And then it was all finished!

Winter - 
{Photo by Alison Hammond for Ideal Home}
Spring - I planted tulips in the Autumn to pretty up the front and love it when the magnolia blooms and the lavender's start greening up again.


What do you think?

R <3 xx

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  1. This turned out so well. I love the new bay window. So much more in keeping with the age of your home. We live in an end-of-terrace too. It's only 6 years old, but we are already unhappy with the front. Hubby and I are looking at adding some stone work to the steps and perhaps turning the front porch into a mud/boot room for the kids. We have to decide if we want to travel in 2016 or do the work on the house. Decisions, decisions!

    1. Ooh tough choice, travel v house improvements. Thanks for your lovely comments always xx

  2. This is fantastic! I love what you have created and think the magnolia tree in the tub is such a great idea. Can you let me know how you planted it up? Did you drill holes and fill the bottom with gravel? I have one of these tubs but haven't used it for anything yet. Thank you so much. Love laura x

    1. Ah thank you so much for reading, I love your blog and Instagram. I was planning to do a post about planting up tubs in the next few weeks anyway so good timing, yeah I drilled about five holes in the bottom and put some big crocks and stones for drainage. I also try and feed the magnolia twice a year as it probably gets hungry in a pot rather than the ground and water well in the summer xx

    2. Brilliant, I look forward to reading your post… I may have to copy you since I absolutely love the idea, it looks beautiful.


  3. Looks like the door replacement operation was a rather extensive and meticulous ordeal. But it seems that you guys did a great job on it. Hope the doors last for quite some time, especially in the face of rapidly shifting weather. Have a good day!

    Joyce Roberson @ LockedOut LockSmiths

  4. All I can say is that it’s gorgeous! Your new windows and door really gave a new and beautiful style to your Victorian house. Moreover, great job with the windows! The inside of your house looks more cozy now, because of those. I'll definitely be looking forward for more of your home improvement projects. Thanks for sharing that, Rebecca! Kudos and all the best to you!

    Darryl Smith @ Franklin Window & Door

  5. I love the bay window. There is just nothing quite like it. It always makes me feel that that house probably has a dog that is sitting by the window waiting for the mailman or someone to come home. It is also harder to find newer houses with that sort of style. I do love the new door, though. Vintage!

    Giovanni @ Coastal Contract Hardware


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