Before and After: A 1936 Fixer-Upper Ramps up the Curb Appeal with a Classic Color Scheme

published Feb 11, 2023
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About this before & after
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Exterior of a brown/tan house, before renovation and repainting
Credit: Meghan Tallarita

Paint can work wonders for a space — whether it’s on the inside or outside of a house. A coat of color can make an interior wall an accent, make a front door pop, or make an entire house the crown jewel of the cul-de-sac.

Recently, homeowner Meghan Tallarita and her husband, Will, gave their 1936 New England home a beautiful new color that helped it make a complete 180 from its beige, somewhat-worn-down beginnings.

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

That they even scored the home to begin with was a bit of luck. Will is an electrician who visited the house to do an electrical inspection, and it “immediately appealed to him,” Meghan explains. At the time, it was owned by a combination realtor-house-flipper who bought it to sell. “Will told him to stop everything he was doing and that we wanted to purchase the house, without having it ever go onto the market,” Meghan says. The house hadn’t been lived in for several years and was midway through a flip, so “it needed some work to get to where we wanted it to be,” she says. Their goal? Update the exterior and give themselves a place to spend time with family and friends.

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

To get all that they wanted, the beige color had to go. Instead, Meghan and Will painted the siding a blue-gray color (Sherwin-Williams’s Stormcloud), which was a two-day process. “We decided on blue as it’s Will’s favorite color —mine is green — and to promote cohesiveness from exterior to interior. Inside, we have a lot of blues, reds, greens, and yellows on the first floor,” Meghan says.

The couple also brought their love of antiques from the inside of their home to the outside with an antique star on the chimney that has familial ties — it was on Will’s parents’ house when he was growing up.

For the door and the lamp post in the front yard, Meghan and Will selected yellow (Behr’s Midsummer Gold) for a pop of color that complements the rest of the palette.

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

Out back, the couple decided on a patio instead of the old wooden deck. Reinforcements were crucial for getting that job done. “I’m so grateful to our family and friends for helping with everything — from demolishing the saggy old deck to moving a gazebo and setting down stones,” Meghan says.

The patio’s long-haul efforts were worth it — Meghan and Will got just the gathering space they were looking for. “My favorite part of the redo is the patio,” Will says. “We put the grill near the kitchen window, so when I’m grilling out there, we can pass dishes through the window.”

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

One of Meghan’s favorite exterior additions is a Little Free Library that Will built in about a week. “It has been a great way to meet our neighbors,” Meghan says. “And though I thought it would help me get rid of some books, I’ve actually acquired a lot more books in the process!”

Meghan and Will still have plans to make the outside of their yard even more homey. “We don’t feel like we’re done yet!” Meghan says. “We still have plans to build a fire pit and do some more landscaping.” Sounds like a perfect project for 2023!