I always loved the front of the house. Clearly, it needed some love, but those corbels! That wraparound porch! Swoon. I definitely had on the rose-colored glasses because the exterior needed/needs a ton of work. I created a little inspiration board a year and a half ago which is kind of fun to look back on.
For those of you who know me, you know that really the only colors I use for decorating in my own house are blues and grays, with the occasional bold black. Sure I can range from a green-blue to a beige-gray, but that is about as crazy as I get. Brian almost always lets me make all of the design choices. I did major in interior design, so it makes sense. Usually he goes along with whatever I select, unless I suggest something crazy like "let's add black trim to the cabinets" (true story). He is good about reigning me in when I venture into that crazy design land we all ultimately visit after too many late nights working combined with breathing in paint fumes. ;)
Throughout this extensive and long Myrtle House renovation, the only suggestion (and hinting request) has been for a red door. Hm. Red. That and orange are probably my least favorite colors in the world. However, this poor man has been in this mess of a house, carrying out flooring covered in mouse droppings. The least I could do is agree to his choice of door color. Here is the house in it's current condition, as well as the best photo I have of the original door. Do you think our little Myrtle House can pull off the red?
I am not going to lie, red is tricky. It can't be too orange, or too purple. I want what I am calling "an aged cherry" color. I foresee many red color samples in our future... Until then, here are the inspiration photos I am drawn to.
My current favorite color is Cardinal by Sherwin Williams (possibly discontinued?) - not too burgundy, not too orange, and not too dark. Vibrant, without hurting your eyes. Plus, since the Cardinal is the official bird for North Carolina, I feel like it is meant to be. Any red suggestions? Do any of you pick out paint colors based on their name like I do? I get that from my mom. :)
I love designing the outside of a house almost as much as the inside. You can really pack a punch by freshening up the exterior and turn a scary, old house into a welcoming cottage. This is my hope for the Myrtle House. Right now in it's current state, it looks a little sad.
I could never really figure out what style of house this little guy was modeled after. It was built in 1901, but that is all I know. It would be so neat to find out who built it and who lived there. Eventually, I would love to create a cottage farmhouse look. I have always been partial to white and black combinations, and since the siding is already white, we will stick with it. Here are a few houses I have bookmarked to refer back to when we tackle the exterior.
I desperately want to add some black shutters and paint the windows white. What do you think? Could the Myrtle House pass for this style?
If you are in the Raleigh area and haven't checked out Fred Fletcher Park yet, please pack up your kids and/or dog and head over there the next nice weekend. In my opinion, it is one of the prettiest landscaped public parks in the city and has lots of fun, family-friendly activities. Since Fletcher Park used to basically be my and Brian's backyard, we took a leisurely walk with Lola through the paths pretty much daily. Tucked away in this pretty little park is the Borden Building. This stately house was built in 1900 and was home to the superintendent of the Methodist Orphanage. Later on, this house was a home for dozens of children over the years. In 1992, the house was renovated by the city and is now available as a rental for weddings and events. The handsome brick exterior paired with crisp white columns and trim make this house so lovely. I can only image the view the homeowners used to have back in the day looking over the undeveloped area of what is now downtown Raleigh!
So we made a quick trip to the Myrtle House this weekend as one of Brian's childhood friends is expecting a baby and we were invited to the baby shower. Since NC has received a lot of snow this past month, we wanted to stop by the house and make sure it hadn't fallen in (sounds dramatic, but a validated concern). We were pleased to see the house is in fact still standing, but we did stumble upon another issue. A neighbor recently clear cut her backyard. There were giant old trees that she just demolished. I would have kept them, as they were lovely old trees, but to each their own. See the problem is, she cleared her yard and then dumped a big 'ol pile of trees into OUR yard!
As you can see, this is not your average pile of brush and will be very expensive to move. So, we have the happy task of dealing with this not-so-nice neighbor in civil court potentially. :/
On the flip side, we were able to meet the other neighbor next door who could not be nicer! He was good friends with Brian's Grandmother and had continued to mow her lawn even after she had passed. We noticed he was building raised garden beds and even offered us his produce!
Ugh, have you ever had to deal with nasty neighbors? How did you approach the situation?
It is no secret that I love a classic black and white color scheme on a house, especially on an old one. There is something so clean and timeless about this look. For the Myrtle House, the house already has white aluminum siding and black accents on the windows, so to me it is a no-brainer to leave it the way it is. I will also throw in some touches of light blue (of course) on the porch ceilings. The foundation and chimney also feature this gorgeous, rich, brick that is over 100 years old. You can't make brick like this anymore! We made the mistake of using brick pavers from Lowes for a path on the Brooklyn House and it looked terrible. If you ever have to replace brick on an old home, please source out old brick (check Craigslist) - it will be well worth the extra effort and look much more cohesive!
The Myrtle House actually has the potential for lots of outdoor living space, including a wrap-around porch and a side porch we plan on enclosing to make into a screened-in porch. In the South, I think a screened-in porch is a must for the summer! We will also add a little picket fence to keep any doggies safe as well as add a bit more definition to the rather large front yard.
For landscaping, I plan on adding my favorites - a climbing rose bush over the front steps, garden roses lining the front porch, camellias along the side screened-in porch for privacy (and gorgeous flowers!), and hydrangeas on the opposite side next to the fireplace. In the back, I would love to create a small fire pit under the oak tree that is surrounded in a peony garden.
One of the things I regret from the last renovation is waiting so long to do the landscaping! We put this last on our priority list and never got to enjoy our hard work in the garden. I would love to prioritize this on the Myrtle House so that things actually start to grow and fill in before the house is move-in ready. We shall see - things like fixing the structure and broken windows seem a bit more important than my peony garden. ;)