We’ve moved and it feels so good! I am finally getting a chance to sit down and start writing again. I’ve missed you all so much. What better way to get back into the swing of things than to begin sharing our new home exterior details. There’s still so much to do but it’s coming along. I can’t wait to keep you all updated as things progress.
Home exterior paint colors
We went around and around when it came to finding the perfect white color for our exterior. If we were choosing all siding (also known as cedar shake) than we absolutely were going with a grey paint. That color was a no brainer, Universal Grey by PPG! It’s beautiful. However, HOA (Aaron) only allows 10% siding. So, that is mostly why we chose brick for the house. We felt brick was more on par with our Southern Hamptons style vs all stucco. Now seeing it done, that was the right choice.
TIP: When it came to choosing which main brick to use around the house, we went with the cheapest, best brick Partners in Building offers. Knowing we were painting it, that only made sense. Why buy expensive brick that you’ll never see? Where we didn’t go cheap is with the sidewalk and front porch brick.
Picking out an exterior white is very tricky. It will depend on your surroundings. What color makes you feel good? Do you lean towards more warm or cool colors? Are you going more modern or traditional? The question list goes on and on. Don’t leave out any details here. It’s a big decision.
For Aaron and I, we wanted something with no yellow and no blue. Anything with an undertone of yellow in our section of the neighborhood looked way too creamy and that isn’t the route we were going for. At one point we picked a paint color and we were completely sold on it. That was until the builder painted our little mini house (the one you all saw they build to help you see the roof, trim color and main colors) and all I could see was blue. That’s when I finally realized the problem. We needed one with no yellow and no blue.
With Snowbound you have the perfect shade. The cream color you are picking up on is actually brown. LOVE! Snowbound has a more grey undertone than a cream undertone. This color would also be stunning inside…especially if your house gets a lot of south or west sun shining in.
Sidewalk and porch brick
The brick we chose for the sidewalk and porch was an interesting thing. Aaron, who is always my budget eyes and ears, is the one that chose Old Bayou, Old Texas brick. It was not in budget. In fact, way out of budget. In the end, it was one of the few things he wanted and I wasn’t going to say no to it. It’s stunning and by far the best brick we could have chosen. It definitely makes a statement and I’m so happy Aaron found it in the “do not pick” pile.
We also added this brick to the driveway headwalls. If it wouldn’t cost and arm and a leg we would have don’t the entire driveway. Maybe the company will want to collab one day! *Hint *Hint
Shutters and front door
I couldn’t be more thrilled about the paint color of our front door and shutters. Again, picking out a color that will stand apart in our neighborhood of 21 homes, that all happen to be a shade of white/tan was a big deal. It also took quite a bit of convincing Aaron we should paint the front door. It’s easy for me to see what something could look like. Aaron is very visual. I begged him to trust me on this one (like I did with the windows) and as it turns out, he loves it! I felt like the house needed more of a pop and being the center focus point it felt like the right thing to do. Also, can’t get enough of the color Normandy. Looking into getting some chairs for the front and painting them Normandy too.
Lights are the perfect touch on our home exterior and I can’t stop staring at them. These lights are probably my favorite part. They bring me so much joy! It was a no brainer when I first started researching lights. Hudson Valley Lighting was it. They not only have the best variety to chose from but you can’t beat the quality. I couldn’t go with just anyone on this! I needed a company trustworthy to provide the best quality. These lights need to last the entire life of the house. Plus, Aaron was relying on me with this decision. It was important to not let him down. They make the house exterior sparkle and look so elegant.
When the Townsend lights went up in the front, I may or may not have choked up a little. They are that stunning and even more so in person!
For the back we chose a different set of lights. This felt a little risky but the right choice. Something a little more casual for those entertaining evenings made more sense for the space. Wow, I couldn’t have chosen better! They go along with our vision perfectly. Lights are the eyes of the house. You want them to shine and be the perfect accessory. These Park Slope by Hudson Valley Lighting DO NOT disappoint. In fact, it’s nice to just simply walk out to the back part of the yard and look at them, as the sun sets!
If you are in need of a small exterior makeover think about changing out lights. They can really make a statement. Lean on HVL for your next build or makeover! Indoor and outdoor, they have it all! Wait until I show you what we chose inside!
Landscaping was a whole other project I took upon myself. Aaron didn’t have many suggestions or ideas. I think he felt like I got this! Basically, all he cares about is following HOA rules. He feels as part of HOA he sets the example and that’s where his input lies.
Landscaping is a long investment so this section of the post won’t be too long. It’s all going to be a work in progress.
First, it is extremely hard to find a reliable landscaper. I was stood up and bailed on countless of times. Make sure whoever you hire has a reputation that aligns with what you want.
As far as what specific ideas I have? It was important to have lush, green grass all year long. I found Zoysia was a great grass for the south. It stays green all year, grows slow (so less mowing) and doesn’t catch diseases. It’s pet friendly and feels like a carpet under your feet. What more could one want? It’s not cheap but I thought over time I’d make up for it with less maintenance.
Having a border around our yard like they do in the Hamptons was top of the list. First off, privacy is important since we are just starting our family. Not that our neighborhood isn’t private…you can just never have too much. I don’t want people peeping in on my naked babies.
Hedges are in! Well, at least half of them are. We are still deciding what to do on the second half of the yard and once we confirm our ideas, we will add the rest of the hedges. We wanted to wait and do irrigation along with the grass…time and money!
The hedges we ultimately decided to go with are called Wax Leaf Privet. We went around and around about which ones to get. I came down to us visiting Moon Valley (in Spring off 45) and they lead us to exactly what we had been wanting. Privets have a darker leaf which Aaron and I feel like will contrast nicely with the grass.
Wax Leaf Privets also grow to a great height and get super full! Great for privacy! This is the goal.
Plants and Trees
As for the front of our home exterior, I wanted round hedges lining the entire front…somewhere along the way I was talked into squaring them off. It can always be changed but I do think it would be nice to have one long, squared off boxwood lining the front porch after all. We ended up adding two round boxwoods at the beginning of the sidewalk and on each end of the house. It’ll be a nice contrast.
On either side of the driveway we went with Japanese Blueberries. These run in all different sizes. We chose shorter and fuller vs taller and thinner.
On the opposite side of our front yard we chose a Weeping Willow. There are several reasons we went with this tree. One the area is a bit lower and because of that the ground is saturated with water, almost all the time. Willows love water and will help soak up in that area. Also, Aaron and I felt the tree matched our home. It’s simple, romantic and will grow with us.
There’s a lot of concern about Weeping Willows getting into pipes and wrecking havoc. Truth is, that’s known for when you have older pipes and when the tree is hunting for water. Luckily we planted this far enough away so even in 30 years our pipes will be okay. Plus they are metal pipes that will crack. If you have questions about this, feel free to call Moon Valley and they’ll explain it all to you.
My beloved Hydrangeas.
If you follow my IG then you know how badly I want these babies to grow and be a part of the front home exterior. My southern heart won’t rest until they are big and luxurious! We chose Big Daddy hydrangeas because those seen to be the best as far as looks go ( I love the big leaves!) and ones that can take the heat. Our house faces the north and this is key for growing them. However, the summer solstice is not working in my favor at the moment but I have faith. There’s still a great chance they will make it. Hydrangeas need a little love and time to get established.
As far as trees go. We are still working on that. This was one of those things I felt I needed to be in the house and get landscaping going. Then I could decide what should go where. Now that we are here and looking out, a willow tree in the left center of the yard would be stunning. Also, thinking two magnolias on either side of the driveway would be extremely inviting.
Getting all EXCITED over here!
Future plans for the backyard
As simple and clean as my ideas for the backyard home exterior are they don’t come cheap. Feels as if we will be forever be working on this project.
As I said earlier, I want to hedge the entire yard for privacy. We chose Yews. You should see those going in here in the next couple of weeks.
I also want to have three large trees evenly planted in the middle to back half of the yard. Around each tree will be a garden. Then around that garden will be boxwood hedges. This will keep everything uniformed…just like I like it. Something similar to this pic below. Each tree would be spread out farther. These small ideas for landscaping will make the back home exterior stand out.
Eventually we will start a food garden as well. All organic of course! Let’s pray God gifted me with a green thumb!
Also, in the plans are to have a sitting area with umbrellas and possibly a small fireplace.
Out in the center of the yard, it would be cool to have a dining table and a terrace with vines….oh the ideas are endless but all a work in progress.
Answering your questions:
Most of your questions were answered amongst this blog post! Here are a few that weren’t.
Will you be getting a pool?
No! I am not comfortable enough to have one with little ones around. I’d love to when they are both a little older.
How did we decide on the orientation of our house.
This is a loaded question. We originally wanted a modern farmhouse style. As we got deeper into the design we realized that everyone is doing that style. We wanted it to be different, TIMELESS. That’s when we started talking about more of a Southern Hamptons style. Now we couldn’t be happier about that choice.
Did we consider black framed windows?
Yes. When we were going with the original Modern Farmhouse style, we wanted black framed windows. The white matched our Southern Hamptons style much more. We feel like it’s more classic and won’t ever be out of style.
Will we fence the backyard?
Aaron says, “yes.” However, it’s not my thing. I feel like it will take away from the Hamptons look. Lucky for me, it’s an expensive idea. So, I’m winning that disagreement at the moment.
That’s it. I hope I answered all your questions and let you in a little on where our thoughts and plans were/are for our home exterior. Next I’ll start going through the house and sharing with you as it becomes more and more complete.
Here’s a post about the beginning process of us building! Crazy how this seems like yesterday.56