February 8, 2010


              I am excited to offer this gift........to one of you. An exterior makeover of your home!

Never would I have imagined that having a blog would become such an important facet of my life. The giving and sharing of readers and fellow bloggers, the connections and friendships made have truly been life changing. My hopes for this giveaway is to extend a thank you for joining me on this journey.

              Does your home reflect you?            

                          Are you excited when you pull into your drive? Does your heart skip a beat?

Or do you sigh, knowing that someday your home will become the home of your dreams, but where to start?

We can help. Don't you love before and afters? Let's walk through the steps and finish
with the contest guidelines. This home is a "before". little curb appeal......nothing to set it apart.

Instant drama! The addition of color, removing dull foundation plantings and expanding the garden, the style of garden and ornamentation is a perfect blend. Repeat house or trim colors into the garden.

Here is my shop prior to purchase. This building is on a busy thoroughfare that i travel on constantly. When the Realtor attempted to describe the building I was at a loss.......I never "saw" it. A drab dark brown with the ever present overgrown foundation plantings.
The dreams for this Queen Anne soared. We had the opportunity to showcase our life's work. The hand rendering above is our format for presenting a design, a three dimensional pen and ink.

The gardens are in as drawn and a fence was added. The color? Well....let me state that I would never paint a home in these colors but a shop? It pops!

Before of a New Orleans 'shot gun' home.

After.   I would refer to this as a restoration; the basics remain but are restored

Before, 1970's ranch

After! A renovation; second story added, front door moved, new windows, new siding, tin roof and observe the lighting fixtures; perfectly in proportion. Ever notice that lighting fixtures are usually too small in scale?

Step one:  Identify the existing architectural style. If lacking, case in point......decide what style is buried within or what style you wish to emulate. 

A mistake when building is the love of too many architectural styles.....you could end up like this.  ;-)

Victorian Italianate

Storybook Cottage.......drool!

Southern Federal Colonial

Traditional limestone. Notice how the landscape and ornamentation is one with the house.

Arts and Crafts Bungalow. Love how the fencing introduces what is to come.

Classic cape cod; symmetry, shutters, brick walk, hydrangeas................

Cotswold cottage

English Tudor with exquisite details

Greek Revival

Folk Victorian

Prairie style; Frank Lloyd Wright

Louisiana Tidewater

Country French

Mid-Century California.
Take notice of the "marriage" of home and landscape. When designing gardens we look up at the structure for inspiration. If you are designing at a desk looking down onto a blueprint, those details can be lost.

If uncertain, here is an excellent guide to hone in on your architectural style.

One of our clients before renovation. Far left, one dormer over the garage. Center, concrete walk to over grown yews shielding the front door. Far right. older picture window and more overgrown yews. Blue shingle siding, worn shake shingle roof. 

Like? I love this home! All yews......gone! Addition added on both sides, see the extra dormers? New siding, great color, new roof, windows ( the picture window is gone), fresh landscape, concrete walk was removed to make way for a vintage street brick walk

Excellent books for inspiration.

For this contest I asked three bloggers whom I admire to assist in the judging and help select a winner. I am certain you would agree with me; these women have exquisite taste

Michele of My Notting Hill.
The business owner of a Management consulting firm in Washington D.C. and self-described "interior design fanatic". Michele transports me to places undiscovered and delves into topics not previously considered. Classic and elegant.

Deborah of Boxwood Terrace.
Corporate by day, design enthusiast by evening. Her posts are sumptuous! Am particularly fond of her "virtual renovations",  her eye for detail and for the art posts. My new favorite artist is Sarah Lamb, introduced by Deborah.

Lauren of Pure Style Home...."pure style is simple, beautiful and fun". This young Mother has her own interior design firm. One of her philosphy's I adore is "our homes should embody us".  

Lauren and family's home as purchased

Restored after.
LOVE the grey paint.....it picks up a colorway in the stone, offset trim in bright white. The addition of the trellis ties in the white trim and creates a focal point.The landscaping is fresh and crisp.

Would you choose orange for the door? Notice how it too ties in with the stone and gives a hint to the designer within? Lauren is a rising star in the design world.

Our home when first purchased.
UGLY 1970's powder blue aluminum siding, white painted crumbling fireplace, overgrown yews, aged roof, moldy awning.......sigh.......... BUT, it was love at first sight!

Many years later; blue siding GONE! Wooden shingle siding, stained, new fireplace, yews....GONE, replaced picture window , built an overhang over the doors, added heavy white trim at all corners and of course landscaping!

The new overhangs have faux bird house entrances.
ps; the boxwoods were full and lush, Cooper the Corgi runs in and out.........perfectly defoliating the lower limbs

Color! Makes a huge difference, choose wisely. My favorite source for color inspiration is Maria at Colour me Happy blog.

Another great source

Ornamentation;   Shutters, furniture, lighting and containers are the frosting on the cake.
Keep your homes style and colors uppermost in mind when choosing.

So.........here is the Giveaway.................
  • email one photo only of the front of your home
  • include a short description of your hopes and dreams
  • You can live anywhere, worldwide
  • This has a value of $600.00
  • Michele, Deborah, Lauren and myself will choose one home to receive a makeover
  • Once picked I will send you a five page questionnaire. Included will be email interviews, I will have a load of questions!
  • Stephanie Fania, our in-house artist and I will begin the pen and ink rendering with the changes discussed. 
  • You will receive a completed drawing mailed to you with ornamentation and landscaping suggestions
  • Color recommendations
  • Included will be a list of sources
  • Send your photo, the giveaway ends February 24th!
A friends warehouse before

After; our rendering
Headed towards Charlotte? Visit Thomas Hoke!
125 Lane Parkway
Sailsbury, N.C.

                                             FIVE FAVORITE DETAILS

Carefully chosen paint colors

LOVE shutters! But the real thing...............sized to fit the window should they ever close (that may never happen), shutter dogs, authentic hardware, dimension (they are not flat against the wall)

Landscaping that is complimentary in style and colorways

Appropriately scaled lighting

Ornamentation that additionally compliments in style and color
My best!


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