There are certain aspects of original vintage home charm that I love, love, love…and other elements…um, not so much. Glass door knobs, YES! Original wavy glass windows, YES! Original creaky wood plank flooring, YES! 1960’s antebellum style turned wood porch columns….No no no! When we purchased our 1960’s brick colonial almost 7 years ago, the exterior need a major facelift. It had been painted pea soup green with dark green shutters and light green trim…including our lovely porch columns. The first year we were here, we had the exterior painted and decided to change the trim to classic bright white. That worked for a while, but still left me with a feeling that I needed to be sitting on the front porch in a giant laced hoop skirt, fanning myself, ready to serve our guests with a glass of cold sweet tea.
I’ve read a lot of articles online in the blog-world lately of folks adding faux wood beams to the inside of their homes. This got me thinking…what about adding that same rustic charm to the exterior of our home?
Enter the HGTV show Fixer Upper. If you aren’t already totally addicted to this show, like the Mr. and I are, then you will be as soon as you watch one episode. Not only are Joanna and Chip Gaines about the cutest, most lovable couple on the planet Earth…the budgets they work with to improve the homes they work on is realistic. The average American family does not have $1.5 million to spend on a vacation home in Bali, nor do they have $300,000 to renovate their modest suburban home. That’s why we enjoy Fixer Upper so much…their interior decor style is classic and comfortable, with a nod to vintage, and their renovation projects seem to be in the realm of achievable.
Here are a few snapshots we used for inspiration:
The Mr. and I kept noticing how the Gaines like to incorporate a rustic Texas style of stained wood exterior beams on their remodels. We wanted to use that as inspiration for our own porch columns, but without the heft price tag of completely ripping our current wood beams out and hiring an architectural team rebuild our porch structures. Luckily, we knew some local carpenters (Don’t Call It A Flip LLC). We showed them a few photos of what we were after, they were able to find a great price on some local cedar wood and knocked the job out in 1 day!! They simply built new porch columns AROUND our old ones, so we didn’t have to rebuild the structures from scratch.
Then the Mr. spent a 2nd day giving the new beams 2 coats of stain and sealer and VOILA…no more Gone With the Wind inspired porch columns. We used an exterior semi-transparent stain/sealer by Sikkens in Chesnut Brown. A gallon of this awesome stuff runs about $40-$45 at Home Depot.
Here’s the final product! Pretty awesome, huh?
Why did we wait 7 years to do this project? I have no idea. Sometimes you just need some inspiration to get the motivation you need to complete those DIY projects. Hopefully, this will show you that this type of project is affordable to easy to achieve…and if you are handy with woodworking, this project is totally doable in a few days. Now only if my garden would grow back so we have something to look at!