Our Front Of Home Makeover

A 1930s Home Makeover

It feels like such a long time since I last wrote properly about any of our home projects. It’s not because we haven’t been doing anything, more because I keep waiting for some kind of definitive finishing point before writing. One of the biggest projects we’ve undertaken this year is now finally done and I’m so excited to share it with you right here. First of all, here is a little reminder of what the house looked like when we bought it:

Our current windows

Some of you may know that back in the summer (which feels like such a long time ago), scaffolding went up around the front and side of our home. When we moved in in February 2014, it was at the end of an exceptionally wet winter. There were huge damp patches under the landing window on the first floor and also on the second floor, caused by structural cracks on the side of the house. There was no denying it was in pretty poor condition.

After spending our first winter here in the coldest conditions, we decided last year to focus on keeping heat in and improving the curb appeal became a by-product. We started with new windows across the front of the house and yes, they are PVC. But I was determined to keep them as sympathetic as I could to the style of the house and coupled with plantation shutters which followed later last year, it’s made all the difference.

Next on the agenda was our front door. Oh, the front door. We replaced the light and number very quickly on moving in because the old ones were hideous but the front door has been the most epic of sagas. To cut a long story short, right after we moved in we found the front door of our dreams but it also came a a price that was well beyond anything we could dream of. Fast forward two years and despite scouring the entire country (or at least, that’s what it felt like), we hadn’t seen a front door that even came close to the one we wanted and so managed to save up enough pennies to go ahead, only to find the company had gone bust.

A narrow escape but back to the drawing board and so we decided to use the money to get the house re-rendered, conscious that the cracks on the side would only hold for so long. A depressingly wet June saw the scaffolding go up, the rendering stripped back and then nothing, not a thing, for 4 long weeks. The rain lashed our unprotected home and the stress felt never-ending.

building

Eventually though, the sun came out and the rendering completed along with new downpipes and fascias, painted hanging tiles and a beautiful white coat. The hanging tiles didn’t go quite to plan as the grey we chose for them was far too light, so armed with a spare weekend and a B&Q at hand, Pete and I scaled the scaffolding and set about repainting the hanging tiles in dark grey and knew as soon as we saw it that it was the right decision.

Finally, all that was left was the front door conundrum. In the end, we decided to tackle a makeover. We replaced the glass in the panel at the side to rid ourselves of the horrible leaded leaf pattern and then began the painstaking process of stripping and sanding, stripping and sanding. This took months of weekends, as it would do when 80 years of paint upon paint upon paint need to be removed. It was a worthwhile project though as we began the painting process and watched our front door transform from one we couldn’t stand to one we now really love. Instead of spending £4,000 on our front door, we spent about £200 for the paint and replacing all the door furniture.

I still can’t quite believe that this is our home, one that looks so very different to the house we bought. There are still little bits and pieces I’d love to tinker with, it would be wonderful to train a plant of some sort up and around the door and eventually try to add a little bit of front garden (all that we have out of the picture is a double car driveway which of course is handy in London but not the most attractive).

For now though, I’m done with the front of our home and so very proud. It’s taken us a while and hasn’t been cheap but in my humble opinion we’ve taken an ugly duckling and turned it into a swan.

Home Etc

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27 Comments

  1. December 7, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    You really have made a good job of this Lins. It is gorgeous now. I wouldn’t worry about a front garden for now. With pots and plants, you can have a lovely display AND change the colour to suit what you like.
    #homeetc

    • Lins
      Author
      December 7, 2016 / 10:13 pm

      Thank you so much Fionnuala, we’re so delighted with how it’s all turned out. Yes you’re very right – pots and plants would be a good step I think to give it a bit of life but it does feel like such a smart house now for sure 🙂 X

  2. December 8, 2016 / 11:18 am

    This looks so amazing! What a great job x #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      Author
      January 1, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you Becky, we’re really over the moon with it. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year X

  3. December 8, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Lins it looks gorgeous I love the style and colour and the windows look great, they are exactly what I would choose, and whilst wooden is great we have had wood windows and they take a lot of looking after x

    • Lins
      Author
      January 1, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah, it was hard to see the bigger picture in the beginning but little by little it all started falling into place. Happy New Year! X

  4. December 13, 2016 / 8:21 am

    What a fantastic makeover, your home looks so smart and inviting!

    • Lins
      Author
      January 1, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy and lovely to hear from you, are you back now or just dipping your toe in and out? A Happy New Year Xx

      • January 16, 2017 / 12:22 pm

        I want to say I’m back properly but nervous of stating something and falling again, aaargh! Really enjoying following all your updates 🙂 xx

        • Lins
          Author
          January 19, 2017 / 10:49 pm

          Ahh thank you so much, well just take it easy and see how you feel 🙂 Xx

  5. December 13, 2016 / 11:49 am

    It looks a million dollars Lins (apt as you’re in Nova Yorkie at the mo!!!)! What a difference — painting the tiles grey has made the world of difference. You must be absolutely thrilled to bits! Wishing you a very merry Christmas — look forward to seeing you for more #HomeEtc next year!! xx

    • Lins
      Author
      January 1, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Gosh it’s a sign of the times when I’m finally catching up with last year’s comments on the first day of 2017! Thank you so much for all the love and support in 2016 and looking forward to being back with more home projects in 2017!! X

  6. diane jones
    February 4, 2017 / 9:21 am

    Your house looks fabulous. Just wondering did you use masonry paint on the bay tiles. I have red tiles at the mo but really want to paint them black

    • Lins
      Author
      February 5, 2017 / 2:14 pm

      Thanks so much Diane, yes we used a masonry paint from Valspar which is available at B&Q. They turned out really well! X

      • May 8, 2018 / 9:07 am

        hi the wall tiles look great im going to do mine, did you use a undercoat or just paint straight on them with the colour?

        • Lins
          Author
          May 8, 2018 / 8:48 pm

          Thanks so much! It’s probably worth doing an undercoat, we actually did the wrong grey originally (it was too light) so that kind of acted as an undercoat for the correct one. Good luck!

  7. March 31, 2017 / 10:09 am

    wow!!!! your home front end looking cool ha!!

  8. Joy Hickman
    June 20, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    Hi could you tell me what paint you have used for the hanging tile?

    • Lins
      Author
      June 20, 2017 / 6:35 pm

      Hi Joy, thanks so much for getting in touch. Absolutely it’s a Valspar masonry paint from B&Q in colour ‘carriage grey’. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions X

  9. Pam Farman
    October 16, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    Hi, love the colour of your front door, could you tell me the make & colour please?

    • Lins
      Author
      October 16, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks so much Pam, it’s Dulux exterior woodwork and the colour is Gallant Grey. Hope that helps! X

  10. Stephanie Larbey
    February 18, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Lovely transformation! Can I ask what paint you used for the front door and hanging tiles? X

    • Lins
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much Stephanie! The door paint is a Dulux exterior wood in Gallant Grey and the hanging tiles we painted in Valspar masonry paint, I think the colour was called Carriage Grey Xx

  11. Paul Harrison
    March 4, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    Wow! We bought a similar 1930’s semi detached last year and have been looking for ideas to make the front of our home better. I have to say yours is one of, if not the best we have come across! We’re most definitely gonna take inspiration from your lovely abode. We really like the casement windows u’ve installed. That’ll be one of our things to get done. Our house has the same late early 90s double glazing yours came with. How long did it take to install?

    Thanks!

    Paul

    • Lins
      Author
      March 6, 2018 / 10:54 am

      Hi Paul, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! It’s funny, we started with the windows since we endured one winter with the older style and it was SO COLD. But then once we did the windows it really showed up the rest of the house, so it made sense to keep going on that project.

      The windows were fine actually, I think it took about 10-12 week for them to be made once ordered (from memory) but the installation was done across two days. SO so pleased with them.

      Best,
      Lindsay

  12. Shannon
    June 9, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    Hi,

    Love the whole design! We are looking to get our windows done in a similar pattern to yours. If you don’t mind me asking who installed yours?

    Thanks,
    Shannon

    • Lins
      Author
      June 13, 2018 / 11:21 pm

      Hi Shannon thanks so much! We used a company local to SE London called The Window Clinic and cannot rate them highly enough.

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