Thursday, November 12, 2015

One Room Challenge // Exterior Reveal!

Oh you guys. The last week has been the biggest roller coaster in the life of this blog, and probably in my years as a home-owner. I am chuckling to think that we decided to tackle the exterior because it was the "easiest" of the projects on our to-do list. Ahhhhh, how hindsight mocks us.

Welcome to the 6th and final week of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling It Home! In case you need to binge-read to catch up because you have no idea why you're here or what's going on:

Week 1 |  Week 2  |  Week 3  |  Week 4  |  Week 5

I feel like I need to start off with an Academy Awards style thank-you speech, because there are so many key players leading up to this sentence:




Insert ALL the emoji! Seven days ago that dream was dead in the water. I mean, no way, no how. I pouted about it for an entire two days. (I also texted my friend Grace that I needed to watch the news and slap myself for said pouting, ASAP).

Then this happened. My awesome girl Emily from Table and Hearth left one little unassuming blog comment on last week's post: "Can you put a space heater in the garage for a few days and paint the new door in there (if it comes in time)?" DUH!!! All this time I had been proceeding according to the install-it-then-paint-it typical front door protocol, but she was SO right! I should just do that!

One problem left. (OK, well, a lot of problems left, but one step at a time). I am not allowed to paint doors. My husband, rightly so, has banned us both from putting brush to door ever again in this house or any other we should ever own. And at this late hour, how was I going to book someone? I had no painter. I returned to lamenting about this to my friend Holly, the poor soul who happened to be at my house last Friday dealing with the mental break down of mid-ORC Laura. She immediately said, "Too bad you can't call Jeremy." Oh, you mean your cousin who has a painting business? Wait, why can't I call Jeremy? Oh, I am going. to. call. Jeremy.

Fast forward 6 hours and Jeremy, his wife Danielle, and I are KIDNAPPING MY DOOR from Home Depot. (Well, I prefer to think of it as a hostage rescue operation, but whatever). Jeremy and Danielle brought their truck and it took 8 guys and a FORKLIFT to load it in. Unfortunately, where we were taking it, a.k.a. my garage, there were only 4 people who- no offense- were a tad less beefy than the Home Depot guys, and there was certainly no forklift. We definitely almost killed Danielle with a door that night.

Ryan, Jeremy, Danielle, and I somehow wrestled a crated 250 pound door out of a truck without breaking the glass or damaging a human, then took the doors out of the frame, loaded them back into his truck with every couch cushion I own, and sent them back to his heated garage to be painted.

MAN ALIVE. More problems ensued the next morning as all the paints I had picked out were "special order" (darn it Ben Moore, do you not understand this is a CRISIS!) and I ended up saying "just get whatever high gloss they recommend!" which was possibly not the smartest move, or was maybe the best move ever. Check back next Spring for a verdict on that.

In any case, Jeremy sprayed the heck out of these bad boys, and they are GORGEOUS. I mean, glossy and lovely and gorgeous. Be still my heart! His text updates were sending me over the moon.

In the meantime, Home Depot still hadn't arranged to actually install it. It was Saturday. And between the cure time needed of 4-5 days, and the blog deadline of Thursday, the ONLY possible day I could have them do it was Wednesday morning. Finally, after tireless work by my Millwork dept. BFF Archie (Archie! We did it! You are my favorite!!) to get this thing coordinated, I got a call from the installer Kevin, who said there was no possible way he could do it Wednesday. I proceeded to give him my entire sob story, and the rising tide of girl emotions (I was nice, I swear!) moved him to say YES and he rearranged his schedule to be here Wednesday morning. Was this really happening?!

Well, it did. It really happened. As I write this, Kevin (Kevin! I could hug you!) showed up exactly 13 hours ago, and installed a beautiful, glossy, black, and still intact after one kidnapping, one near-death experience, two truck rides, one van ride, and one couch-desecration, FRONT DOOR!

And with all that, I am thrilled to present to you the reveal of our One Room Challenge Exterior Makeover!

Should we start with the doors? Remember what used to greet our guests?!

And now, as of today, our doors look like this!


And after!

Obviously, I am super excited about the doors. But the whole house got a facelift. The goals of this project were:

Front Door
Garage Door

I am pleased to report we checked them ALL off! And as an added bonus, we also crossed off a couple things on our secondary wish list:

Planter Boxes
Mailbox Makeover

Here is a look back at the house 6 weeks ago:

And here it is now...

Can we just take a moment to say RIP all the pretty plants and trees that were once so alive in this yard? Last week I got a few pictures of the garage side of the house before the last of the lovely yellow leaves fell off our magnolia tree...

Those are the planter boxes that Ryan built. I love how they are an architectural feature next to the new garage!

New lights...

Here's the mailbox's pitiful previous life...

Here's what $50, a sander and a can of paint can do for your curb appeal!

I love the new shutters and how the black pops against the house...

We did matching planter boxes for the porch in a smaller size, and I couldn't help but buy a few lanterns to cozy up the porch...

Speaking of "couldn't help but buy"...I happened upon a rug at Home Goods for the front entry and thought it was just so appropriate to have a new rug with our new doors! 

I wish I could have gotten a good picture of the door interior, but I'm terrible at shooting dark paint in bright light (probably because I still only use an iPhone for all my photos!) - Suffice it to say, they are DREAMY in our entry. The color is Mysterious by Benjamin Moore, and the crystal of the Rejuvenation knobs sparkles like crazy against the dark finish! I could not in good conscience keep our old brown rug in this entry. You understand.

The LED edison bulbs we found for our barn lights cast a lovely glow, and the new windows in the doors make the porch welcoming as night falls...

And that's the tour! Our exterior makeover is (for now) complete. In the Spring we'll do a few things that the weather prevented this time around, like plant shrubs and seal the driveway. But I'm so pleased! I can't wait to figure out how to get some red wreaths on the doors for Christmas...

Here is the list of shout outs and sources:

Front Doors- Home Depot (Thank you Archie!)
Front Door Paint- Benjamin Moore Advance High Gloss, Black INT/EXT RM*
Front Door Hardware- Rejuvenation
Doorbell- Rejuvenation (wish I had a good picture- it's so cute!)
Planter Boxes- DIY Tutorial, with Behr Weatherproofing Stain color matched to Ralph Lauren Black Basalt
Garage Door- Mark Litavsky/ CHI (See this post for info)
Mailboxes- Post cap, Mailboxes, Numbers

*Note on the paint: I noticed well after it was on the doors that this stuff has a 60-day cure time and is actually an interior paint. Why the paint store recommended it for a front door, I'll never know. I'm willing to risk it because it's bananas gorgeous (and because, let's face it, I have no choice), but wait until next Spring before you run to the store so I can tell you how it really holds up! 

As for the budget, we came in at $5,100! I am so grateful to my wonderful in-laws for the gift that allowed this project to happen. Thank you thank you thank you! 

And YOU. If you're reading this, you deserve a huge hug load of thanks for putting up with me, cheering me on, and sticking with me until the end. I sooo appreciate you. Can we stay friends now that its over? Talk to me on Instagram, ok? I love that.

Update: It just snowed! Can I show you a few pics of how pretty the house looks covered in snow??

OK, thanks for indulging that. The first snow is always so magical! Back to our regularly scheduled post...

I absolutely have to thank Linda for creating this challenge and so generously opening her blog to the scores of us who were crazy enough to take her up on it. That's definitely two rooms down in my house that wouldn't have been done without you Linda. (Go see what people have been up to- they're all amazing!)

And finally, in the long list of shout-outs, the loudest has to be for my husband, Ryan, the brains and muscle behind this project, the best man I know, and the greatest mortal joy of my heart.


  1. It looks so good! Love the new doors and shutters. Can you believe you accomplished all that in just six weeks? Great job!

  2. Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyy! I am so happy for you that this came together. It was touch and go there for a while. Thanks for dragging me into this challenge (and being there for all my desperate texts!) This was so much fun. (Clearly I need to redefine fun:))

  3. WOW! What an incredible transformation! I'm SO happy that you found a way to get those beautiful doors on in time!

  4. What a transformation! I've been looking forward to seeing the before and afters and I wasn't disappointed. I'm SO glad the doors arrived and got painted. This process is mentally EXHAUSTING isn't it? But so worth it in the end.

  5. Wow! Girl this is beautiful! AND YOU HAVE A DOOR! And it's a beautiful door to boot...but I never doubted that for a second! Gorgeous!

  6. Those doors are perfection! Well worth kidnapping and whatever else you needed to do to get them in your house. The whole exterior looks so great. And now I'm convinced I need new lights. Congrats, girl!

  7. Gorgeous! what a huge udpate it makes to your curb appeal. so much more updated! it feels even better when you are down to the wire and it all comes together! Congrats!

  8. Haha...I loved reading your door story and I can so relate to the drama and pleading and praying to the gods lol. You've done a briliant job- I adore the garage doors and the vintage lights...oh and your pots/flowers and the glossy black goodness on your doors!

  9. Just a spectacular post. Yeah Laura and Ryan! Yeah mankind who comes to our cries for help.

  10. So happy you were able to get your doors painted, they look fabulous! Great work all around, the house looks so happy from the street!

  11. Oh it's beautiful! The shutters, doors, lights, garage doors...I love it all! You did such an amazing job. I'm so glad it worked out for you. I would have given up - - when the sun sets, so do I! You have very lucky neighbors because they get to look at a very beautiful house!

  12. Stunning! A job well done.

  13. It's like a whole new home! Amazing what a few changes in details can make. Congratulations, and enjoy!

  14. Wow! It looks amazing girl! Great job!

  15. Gorgeous!!! I don't know what's more amazing...the transformation or the gift from your in-laws! :)

  16. Totally.New.House!!! Those doors are everything and I'm happy my little comment kicked it into gear. I spend alot of "quality" time painting in my garage this ORC, although I needed an AC more than a heater, so it was just on my mind. I probably made that comment sitting in there waiting on sh!t to dry. I'm so happy it all came together for you and doing the exterior is such a badass move for the worth of y'all's house. Congrats girl!!! :x

  17. YAHOO! So happy that you got your front doors! It's amazing the transformation and so worth it! BRAVO on a job well done my friend! XOXO, Sarah

  18. It's sooooo pretty! What a huge difference--I'm so glad that the doors ending up working out in time! Great job, girl!

    Visiting from LorimerLiving.Com
    XO, Jaclyn

  19. What a difference a door makes, huh? Wow! So glad it was done in time for the reveal. The exterior of your home looks great. Love the knobs and rug on the inside too. Great job!

  20. The shutters and the door make the house come ALIVE! Black is back, baby! Love it!

  21. Whoa, you seriously upped your curb appeal! It looks so welcoming! Great job & congrats on making it to the finish! :)

  22. So Gorgeous! Love how stately the curb appeal is, nicely done.

  23. Your house looks totally different! The shutters were a great addition, the lighting, front door are my favourite elements. Congratulations. Hollie

  24. Curb appeal to the next level!!! Love those lights!!

  25. WOW Laura! What a huge difference those pops of black make! Your home looks so classy. I LOVE the garage door especially, and all your minimal planters. Well done. Hope you have some recovery time ;)! Great job!

  26. It looks so great! I can't believe what a difference each update made on the exterior as a whole. Also you are too funny! Loved hearing about the last-minute rush of Week Six. I always get caught with a long last-minute to do list during the last week!

  27. Congratulations! Such a great story. Beautiful transformation. It hardly looks like the same house!

  28. What a difference, your house looks stunning now!

  29. Wow! Your home is so beautiful (and #goals)! The changes have totally elevated the curb appeal more than 5 grand.

  30. Laura, your curb appeal just went up like 9000%! I am so serious! Those doors, those doors. A story for the ages, and they are amazing. I love the barn lights and your planters. I just can't get over how great the black looks. Congratulations!

  31. Laura....THOSE DOORS!!! The finish is fabulous! And what a transformation I might add. Everything looks so custom. You did a wonderful job upping the "curb appeal" with your home. Great job!

  32. You know, it's just not fair that you get to cry/beg/cajole/threaten/beg your way to something this a matter of a week! Who needs six weeks when you got it done in one--after five weeks of stalling and building up the suspense :-). I think this was just a plot to keep us on our toes and lower our expectations. Brilliant move! And brilliant end result! So happy for you, for all the help you got, for the stars aligning in your favor--or, should I say, you aligning them. Good for you for managing to get it all organized--no easy feat under the circumstances. The planters look spectacular but that door.... ridiculous! Such a difference; nicely done.

    1. This made me laugh out loud...yep, you caught me...I was just waiting on the door for dramatic effect. HA! How I wish this project had been that under control! LOL!

  33. Geez you guys I can't thank you ALL enough for these wonderful comments!! You guys are wonderful!!!!!

  34. Your exterior makeover is beautiful! So much inspiration here as we are planning to do ours in the new year...including a new black door! :) Congratulations. Well done!

  35. Laura, you are so sweet. Thank you. I am dying over the curb appeal you added to your home. I know 5K is a nice chunk of change, but you added so much value in that price. Your home looks amazing and I am smiling ear to ear. Great job.You are ready for the holidays.

    1. Thank you Linda! I do hope it was money well invested, but even if not I'm SO happy every time I pull into the driveway. You lit the fire that made this happen, and I'm so thankful!! Have a great holiday season!

  36. I can't believe I'm just reading this now. What a bad blogger I am! It's amazing how everything just came together at the end and you managed to get everything done. My husband would've killed me if I told him that we and 2 other people would have to lift that door out of a truck. LOL. But he would've done it anyway and that's why we love them! The black looks incredible and totally elevated the curb appeal. Love the planters and the mailboxes too. Congrats! It's looks amazing!


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