Before and After: A Charcoal-Colored Cottage Gets an Adorable Pink and White Redo

published Sep 22, 2023
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Barbiecore, Dreamhouses, and Mojo Dojo Casa Houses are certainly in the zeitgeist right now, and we have an inkling this quaint cottage redo would be Barbie’s dream cottage tucked in a cute little neighborhood. The exterior paint color choices certainly suggest so, anyway, but the cottage wasn’t always bright and cheery. 

“The previous owner had it painted a dark charcoal gray,” current homeowner Kimberly Fearon (@kim.fearon) says. “The yard was completely overgrown, and the home had not been shown much love … the house hid behind the overgrown garden.” But Kimberly had a special feeling about the place — and a design vision. 

“I fell in love with how much charm and potential it had,” she says. “The energy was just magic … I wanted to make changes to the home that revealed just how charming and beautiful it was, removing it from its hiding place.”

Painting kicked off the project.

Kimberly started her whole-home redo by cleaning the cottage exterior, then painting. “There was a heavy level of dirt buildup,” she recalls. Then the house was primed and painted — white (Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White) for the main exterior and pink (Benjamin Moore’s Pink Innocence) for the front door.

The dragonfly door knocker is from Michael Healy Designs. “It was beautiful before, but now it has taken on a whole new persona,” Kimberly says of the exterior. “It is so bright and cheery. People constantly stop when they walk by to give a compliment or take a picture.” 

Kimberly loves the new paint — especially the pop of pink, which she says gives the home “a playful feel” — but her proudest accomplishment on the exterior is the landscaping and the hard work that went into it.

Flowers and landscaping brought the charm.

Much of the landscaping work involved clearing out the overgrown yard — in fact, Kimberly joked on Instagram that her new nemesis is leaves — and then creating a bona fide driveway for parking and a walkway leading up to the house, and Kimberly helped with tiling. 

“I chose the bricks for the staircase, and then the previous staircase was demolished, as they were not stable,” Kimberly says. “The bricks were laid in a herringbone pattern and grouted with white grout.” 

The walkway to the staircase is a gravel and paver combo, and one of Kimberly’s favorite touches is the diamond turf detail at the end of the walkway in front of the staircase. She’s also proud of arranging the florals in the new cedar flower box herself. 

And the best part about curb appeal projects is that they always bring more to look forward to as trees mature and plants bloom. “I cannot wait for the lavender plants to bloom along the walkway and to finish planting my large garden in the backyard,” Kimberly says. 

Kimberly says her favorite part of the process was seeing her vision come to life, and she can’t wait to tackle more projects. “Seeing it all come together was the most fun,” she says. “Designing the exterior look and the landscape design has been an absolute dream for me. I love it and cannot wait to do it again!”