Cherie Barber gives a dated suburban house fabulous new street appeal.
Cherie Barber gives a tired suburban facade a makeover that puts its best face forward.
THIS HOUSE COULD BE in any suburban street in Australia. It’s neat and tidy, looks in solid condition and it’s probably almost identical to dozens of others in its south-western Sydney location. However, in this original state it sure wasn’t going to turn heads or win any design awards. On a $6000 budget, my mission was to turn it into the smartest house in the street.
NO PERIOD CHARMER
There were several dated elements, probably a mishmash of features added over the years, that let the facade down. These included the mission-brown window frames, the faux Corinthian porch columns, the rusty wrought-iron railing, the ugly security door and the bare concrete pavers that ran straight up the middle of the front lawn.
An integral part of the facelift would be restoring a degree of uniformity, so the first step was to strip away these offending elements. Out went the porch columns, the railings, the screen door and the concrete pavers. And to make way for our new entry we demolished the narrow steps.
SHADES OF GREY
The rescue remedy for the previously drab colour was a modern two-tone grey colour scheme for the roof,
“Every front facade needs a clear point of entry.”
guttering, downpipes, weatherboards, brick base and side fences. This was punctuated by white trims for the aluminium windows and front door. This new scheme also pulled together the various finishes that were making the facade look scruffy and ad hoc.
ALL THE TRIMMINGS
Even painted, those aluminium window frames looked flimsy and cheap, as they lacked the bulk and scale of more traditional timber frames. The solution was to add just that: a new border of merbau timber, which transformed the windows. And the owners’ decision to replace the scruffy lounge-room curtain with plantation shutters was a bonus that lifted the home’s appearance.
Every front facade needs a clear sense of entry. Continuing the warm timber theme, I used merbau decking to create centred timber steps which now line up with the front door, providing symmetry and balance. Matching timber posts on either side of the steps replaced the old white columns.
New garden beds constructed from pine sleepers and planted with a mix of hardy native grasses, topped with woodchips, soften the home’s exterior. They also cleverly conceal the lower bricks of the house. A dose of lawn fertiliser is all that’s needed to complete this budget transformation.
Look at me now A fresh colour scheme and a few little extras have transformed this home. after flash new letterbox
new garden beds
before Drab, not fab This exterior was more than ready for a little TLC!
Neat and tidy The living room has a lovely new outlook of garden. after
Do come in after The home now has an attractive and streamlined entrance. smart timber steps