Our Cottage Exterior – Before & After

Our cottage exterior has been in need of love for so long!  I shared the befores, our plans, and some progress a few months ago and am so excited to share the official AFTER with you today!

Without further ado, here’s the Before and After of our sweet little downtown cottage.

Cottage Before & After

As a reminder, here was what we planned to change.


And here was our inspiration.

Cottage Exterior Mood Board

If you missed our progress posts where you can see how we put some of this together, click here.

We got rid of the big strange window by the entrance that didn’t have room for shutters and was really odd.  It did leave a bit of a gap, but we filled that in with a fuller tree and the overall picture is way more balanced.  Plus, it allows much better flow inside.

White Cottage Makeover

We balanced the big tree on the right with a smaller, thinner tree on the left.  I love the board and batten triangle above the portico now.  Before, it was a weird white stucco.  We faced it in plywood and then added wood vertical strips to create the board and batten look.

As a reminder, here was our entrance before.

entrance before

We beefed up the columns with some wood instead of the wrought iron and removed the gutters.  I chose to paint the beams around the entrance white.  I know that was a risky choice with the entirely white house, but I LOVE our wooden door so much and thought it would pop more off of the white.  With everything else we added, I love the choice to go white.

Cottage Redo

You can see the before & after of that copper lantern here.  And I still love that blue ceiling.  It’s painted the perfect shade, in my book: Valspar La Fonda Mirage.

And those pots are one of my very favorite things.  I love how just an accessory can add so much personality!  They’re found at The Home Depot.

We got rid of the chimney stack and painted all of the brick (and foundation) a lovely dark gray: Valspar Blindfold.  I really wanted it to contrast with the white siding.

White Cottage Before & After

We made some barn-style shutters that were so simple!  Three boards across with the top and bottom board pieces that hold it together.  I love the color of them.  We actually spray-painted them!  They’re Rustoleum Seaside.

Cottage Renovation Before & After

I love that you can see Miss Gracie watching me through this window.  That’s her stoop where she sits up on the mudroom bench and watches people going by.

I want to fill in with some more plants, but our little budget only went so far.  I did get some of my hydrangeas in, though!

I absolutely love having a place to pull up to that is so pretty and a lovely little entrance to decorate for the seasons.

Cottage Exterior Redo

In case you missed it, make sure you check out our fall exterior post.


And you can read about how to make that DIY Dreamcatcher Wreath here.  I love the pop of fall it adds without being the obvious fall decor.

DIY Dream Catcher Inspired Wreath


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Ahh, Jesse, you made my day! My number one goal was to add personality because this little house just had none when we bought her. Thank you so much!

Thanks so much Rainey! It’s crazy to me to go back and compare the before & after. And the best part is, these were mainly simple and very budget-friendly updates. What a different some paint and a little trim can make!

Lindsay, I absolutely love this! So awesome what you did to the place. I feel like we seriously need to sit down and swap tales. We transformed the outside of our fixer upper with new columns and a fresh coat of trim paint. We are on the hunt for a new door and we desperately need to do some landscaping. I’m dying to fix up our front porch to welcome fall. Where did you get those super cute pots??? πŸ™‚

Thanks so much, Elizabeth! I really love how it turned out πŸ™‚ I was initially skeptical because my big plans for this place also came with a big budget, but having it finished, it was just the facelift she needed!

Hi Lindsay , your cottage looks amazing! It’s my kind of home, my kind if budget, my style-so I love it. Thank you for sharing, it definitely inspires me to be creative with my home. God bless you guys πŸ™‚

I love it, Lindsay! If I remember correctly, the stoop was blue when I visited in June (or was that May?)–changing it to grey was a good choice. And those shutters are so adorable! I think I’m going to add some to my house.
Such a huge, wonderful change. You have the Midas touch!

Love this!!! P.S. I’m dying for a nursery update. My first little girl is due in Dec and I’m excited for some inspiration. Will you do any updates or just an end reveal?

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
sho up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

I love it. Small and elegant. Great reminder that we don’t have to spend a fortune to make dramatic changes.

Lindsay this transformation is amazing! I love the colors you chose and every detail is perfect! Amazing just and that front porch just makes me happy! I’m dying to see it in person πŸ™‚ Mal and I will drive down just say the word!

Gosh Lindsay- it looks amazing. I mean, I don’t think you could make it more charming. There are so many things to admire- the door, the lantern, the dark gray chimney brick, the perfect shade of blue ceiling and shutters, the landscaping, and the fall dΓ©cor on the porch. Yes, I can see why you smile when you drive up to your home. It just looks like a happy place and it invites one to want to come inside and hang out! Keep us posted on the hydrangeas. I am a Florida girl, but I manage to grow a few. Nothing like you see in cooler climates, but I actually was able to dry some out( purple variety now with some green), and put them in an vintage footed silverplate basket that has lots of patina and design and am enjoying them even now. Look online when to cut them back, etc. Mine have done a lot better since I have follow the “rules.”

WOW! You’ve done such a good job! Our exterior needs so much love, I was really relieved to see your ‘before’ when you posted it a while back, I knew you’d have some great ideas for me.

Yea for you!!! Your neighbors must be very happy to look at such a pretty little house! If the outside looks this good, they must be planning to drop by to borrow a cup of sugar just to get a chance to see the inside. Great job.
A ton of curb appeal.

Wondering if you could give more detail on the door- Says Home Depot- Was it a slab door? What brand etc

Hi Nancy! I’m sorry, I don’t remember the brand. But we went into the store and ordered it at the desk in that department. We just asked for a 12-light wooden door and this was the only option they had for that! Hope that helps…

Hi Erin, good question. It’s just the standard Behr white paint that Home Depot has pre-mixed. We needed super white to match the siding πŸ™‚

Sorry this maybe a duplicate comment from me. Where did the door come from. It would be perfect for our front door. Our entryway is tiny and cave like with our current door.

Love your make over, especially the porch.

I am concerned about your removal of the chimney pipe. It looks as though the roof had been redone and the bricks removed to below the eave and the metal pipe used to attain the height needed to get above the roof level. Your removal of the metal piping may make your home have a building code violation and invalidate your home owner’s insurance if the chimney is attached to any exausting equipment (water heater, furnace, stove or fire place).

Will be looking at your other endevors with admiration of your style.

Hi Cheryl! Thanks for your concern πŸ™‚ You’re so sweet! We looked into all that and the pipe wasn’t attached to anything functioning, so we were good to remove πŸ™‚

Glad you had no issues to deal with concerning the chimney. I and my husband rehab’d a 1860’s colonial in New York. Our community had a lot of rehabbing going on and there were horror stories where work had to be removed and done again because of codes and inspections.

Will be doing more perusing of your blog.

Much success!

OMG You have an amazing eye for Balance, Symetry, Texture and Color! I absolutely adore what you’ve done here and the blue Bead board ceiling is adorable. Great job! and your doggie in the window is the Cherry on Top. Congratulations! Youre amazing.

Just found your cottage update on pinterest. What a transformation. I, too, have small cottage that I am currently re-landscaping. What kind of tree is that planted to the right of your front porch?