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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

I’ve already confessed to you that yard work is not really my thing. I pay way more attention to the inside of my house, and tend to neglect the outside. Unfortunately, my hubs isn’t really into working outside either. But, I started to feel really bad for our neighbors because the front of our house was sooooo not welcoming. A few years ago, right before my daughter was born, I had Kevin paint the shutters and front door of our home a nice neutral brown. It was a major improvement over the faded blue that was there when we bought it, and for awhile, I liked the look. But not anymore. Now that I know what style I’m going for in my house, it wasn’t fitting the bill. Not unique enough, not coastal/cottagey enough and not “me” anymore.

Oh did I forget to mention that we also have a jungle of a flower bed right outside our front door? Ugh. This flower bed is the bane of my existance. It’s very large and overgrown with weeds. I figured that if we were going to add some curb appeal, the weeds had to go. We’d really like to put some low ground cover (suggestions, anyone?) in the entire bed so that we don’t have to worry about it too much, but for now, we did some much needed cleaning out.
Our house is only about 15 years old, but the paint was peeling badly on the columns, so we added that to the facelift list.
It really just didn’t scream, “Hi! Come on in!”, did it?
I had slowly been accumulating paint chips to find the best front door color, and finally narrowed it down to Deepest Aqua by Glidden. Since I got my paint at Home Depot, I had them color match it for me in Behr Ultra Exterior Paint + Primer (you can see the code below, if you’re interested!). I chose Behr Ultra Exterior Paint +Primer in Dark Granite for the shutters. No joke, this paint was amazing! It went on soooo smooth and covered really well on the first coat. I highly recommend it!  We ended up only doing two coats, and they look perfect.
All of the trim on the porch and both columns got a fresh coat of white paint, as well.
I’m so impatient that I had to snap a picture of the house after the door was painted but before the shutters were painted. Loved it immediately. That blue is spot on and the perfect color for my front door.
I had Kevin take the door knob off because it had seen better days, and sprayed it with a dark bronze hammered metal spray paint. What? You don’t spray paint on an old tree stump? Why ever not?! 🙂
That simple step made a world of a difference, and was free, since I had the spray paint already. Score!
After weeding, painting, spray painting and a lot of sweating, here’s how the house looks now:
The house feels more calm to me, if that makes any sense at all. And the colors make our house look more white, when actually it’s an off-white, pale yellow. I’m a big fan of that, as it was completely unplanned!
We didn’t take down our shutters, because they’re a bear to do so. My hubs just used a step ladder and his mad painting skills to get them done.
To dress up the porch a bit, I brought my DIY floor mat from the kitchen out. I was never really a huge fan of it in the kitchen, and with the addition of my new rug, I liked it even less. It matches perfectly out front, so there it sits! Much better.
This chair was one of my grandma’s (I have two of them) and a while ago I spraypainted them in  Krylon Pimento Red. I thought it would be fun to paint our house number on the back of the chair, but before I commited I wrote it on with chalk. One of these days I’ll get around to painting it for real…..or maybe not.
I’m really digging the non-traditional mix of these colors.
I’m planning a few more little touches to the front door and then I can’t wait to get my Fall on in the next few weeks!
And just for posterity’s sake, let’s take one last look at the before and after:
Can I get woot-woot?! 🙂
Are you guys into working outside? What can you recommend for the giant weed-fest going on in my front bed?



P.S. Do you follow us on Facebook? If not, you totally should because we’re always posting in-process pics and teasers about the projects we have going on. Plus, you’ll get an inside look at our craziness! 🙂


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The comments +

  1. Just love your pop of blue on your door. Makes coming to the door fun!! 🙂

  2. Looking good!!! 🙂 great pop of color 🙂

  3. Ally says:

    Really nice. My front door looks like a sasquatch tried to kick it in. Time for a painting…

  4. Jess, I really like it. It’s a small change but it makes all the difference in the world. Now, you can actually find the front door. Still hoping that at some point I can help with the landscape design but you let me know…

  5. Laura says:

    The paint is peeling from our porch railing too. So repainting is on my never-ending list of to-do’s, but I was wondering, did you peel the paint off first? Was there any other prep you had to do like sanding or did you dive in straight-away?

  6. Christina says:

    that blue IS perfect!! I love the whole look now – so sweet!

  7. Jessica says:

    I LOVE it all Jess. One idea for the beds though might be hostas. We have them surrounding our house. Different styles and ages creates dimension in sizes and colors and the best thing is, they are really easy to take care of.

  8. Oh you get a Whoot Whoot What What from me! Dang! Loving the DOOR! You go girl…not afraid of color- I like that! Looks amazingly awesome!
    P.S. Loving your spoilers and can’t wait to see more!!

  9. Cocalores says:

    Wow, that looks awesome! I really, really love the color, and it totally matches the little outdoor / ex-kitchen rug there! I saw a cute painted runner (yes, painted!) on Kammyskorner – she painted it on her concrete porch, I think. This might be something for you, too, if you still aren’t happy with that beautiful outdoor look! xo Anja

  10. Amanda says:

    That looks fantastic! Amazing what a little bit of paint can do. Also, I love the new curtains you hung in your windows!

  11. […] 7.  Paint them your desired color. We painted the shutters the same color that we used on the shutters on the front of the house. (Sorry no picture of this! It was getting dark and we were being dive bombed by beetles. Gross.) […]

  12. Laura says:

    Well this is very late, don’t know if you’ll see it, and you’re busy with a new baby. Plus, it’s winter now.

    But I also am overwhelmed by my mess of a yard. Before I had baby #5, I was so into the gardening. Now I don’t have time. I still have ideas and advice, though!

    If I were you, I’d plant that bed full of creeping thyme. You wouldn’t have to buy too many plants, it spreads well, it’s not fussy, it smells wonderful when stepped on, and the kids can run right over it without killing it.

    I love your house! And congrats on the baby!

    • Monica says:

      Thanks so much Laura- and it’s never too late to comment! 🙂
      I’ll definitely look into Creeping thyme- sound like my kind of plant!!

      Thanks for the congrats and have a great Thanksgiving!!

  13. […] Monica 16 Comments June 19, 2013 You guys, it was time. Remember that I added some much needed curb appeal to the front of my house by painting the front door and shutters a gorgeous blue and gray last […]

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