Spring Curb Appeal Enthusiasm

Warm weather and longer days put us one stepping stone closer to spring curb appeal enthusiasm.


HGTV Magazine – Photography by Ball & Albanese

Exterior charm rates key in the overall design flow to create curb appeal.


Updates, changes, additions, and refreshes to the exterior of your home don’t have to break the bank.


Better Homes & Gardens – Photography by Bob Stefko

Spring into summer color combinations such as bright and bold or classic château chic neutrals put an emphasis on welcome.

Spring Flowers on Brown Coir Door Mat 1

Spring Flowers on Brown Coir Door Mat

'Come In' Coir Doormat Natural - Threshold™

‘Come In’ Coir Doormat Natural – Threshold™

Seasonal colors make a most effective statement.


Southern Living Magazine – Photography by Alison Miksch

Front yard flower beds and planters are ripe for the planting in an elevating  by cultivating way.

Better Homes and Gardens offers their readers an informative how to mulch guide here.




Spacious Brown Copper Metal Wall Mounted Mailbox

Natural Elements Lawn Plaque with Stakes

Natural Elements Lawn Plaque with Stakes

Round Cement Floral Stepping Stone

Round Cement Floral Stepping Stone


Outdoor Faucet Bird Shaped Spigot Solid Brass Antique Finish


From the curb to the front door, color on parade is both a preached and practiced way to instantly pump up the spring curb appeal enthusiasm.

Alyssum Seeds

Alyssum Seeds

Ember Gray Resin Planter

Ember Gray Resin Planter

Better Homes & Gardens 8in Plant Bracket

Better Homes & Gardens 8in Plant Bracket


Design Toscano Japanese Koi Piped Spitter Statue


 Alyssa Rosenheck

Creative Co-Op Gold Cast Metal Butterfly Door Knocker, Antique

Creative Co-Op Gold Cast Metal Butterfly Door Knocker, Antique

Knock, Knock!

Who’s there?


Theodore who?

Theodore knocker is beautiful!

Bronze door handle fist & ball door knocker

Bronze Door Handle Fist & Ball Door Knocker

Ressi Victorian Scroll Iron Outdoor Rocking Bench

Ressi Victorian Scroll Iron Outdoor Rocking Bench

Portside Dark Roast Outdoor Rocking Chair with Cushion

Portside Dark Roast Outdoor Rocking Chair with Cushion


Burchett Acacia Wood and Wicker Outdoor Club Chair

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, in what direction will your garden hedge design grow?


Better Homes & Gardens – Photography by Gabriela Herman

Train up a vine in the way you want it grow, and when it thrives it will beautifully create curb appeal.


Espalier is the art of growing a plant along a flat surface.

1 : a plant (such as a fruit tree) trained to grow flat against a support (such as a wall)

2 : a railing or trellis on which fruit trees or shrubs are trained to grow flat.

white-shake-siding-garage-with-black-doors (1)

Collins Interiors

Click here for a great diamond patterned trellis vine wall tutorial.

copper-lanterns Better Homes & Gardens

Simple changes such as the addition of new house numbers, exterior lighting, and decorative fencing can produce big results.


Casa Marseille Textured Black Outdoor Wall Light

Warwick 28 in. Aged Copper Finish Hardwired Outdoor Wall Lantern Seeded Glass

Warwick  Aged Copper Outdoor Wall Lantern Seeded Glass


Butter Wakefield – House & Garden Magazine

Santa Barbara Dark Sky 1-LT Outdoor Wall Lantern

Santa Barbara Dark Sky 1-LT Outdoor Wall Lantern

Luxury Industrial Chic Outdoor Wall Light

Luxury Industrial Chic Outdoor Wall Light

Here’s to  decorative and affordable curb appeal ideas that create spring curb appeal enthusiasm.


At Home Lawn and Garden Curb Appeal

At home lawn and garden curb appeal projects lead the way to impressive results with big returns that welcome style home.

cottage-journal-Photography by Marcy Black Simpson curb appeal (1)

The Cottage Journal

Springtime weather along with in season sources lights, designs and perfects the walkway/pathway to maximum curb appeal satisfaction.

More than a tomayto, tomahto difference, walkway and pathway will b0th get you to where you’re going but here’s the difference according to The Spruce and Merriam-Webster.

Walkways serve a more utilitarian purpose as a passage or path for walking and/or connecting different areas of a building, garden path or park sections.

Pathway is defined as a meandering avenue of sorts, usually made from casual, vintage and/or rustic materials.

Bronze Path Light

Achieving visually appealing curb appeal instantly and affordably is not a home maintenance myth.

Paint renews the old, spring sales give good return on your investment, a stone walkway leads to wow factor, and new exterior lighting fixture(s) deliver function and style.

mint-green-dutch-door (1)

Cameron Design 

Rustic Canyon Sandstone Step Stone

Rustic Canyon 12 in. x 18 in. Natural Sandstone Step Stone

Landscape rocks dress up beds and edges. Mix and mingle larger faux rocks in with less expensive landscape rocks for depth and contrast.

Decorative Landscape Rock

Decorative Landscape Rock


Bagged Wood Mulch

Home Depot is currently having a spring Black Friday sale, and the 5 bags for $10 deal on bagged wood mulch in color choice of red, black or brown affordably times sprucing up beds and killing dreaded weeds with at home lawn and garden curb appeal detail.

Honeycomb Half Circle Rug


Honeycomb Half Circle Rug, Natural Coir Bee Welcome Mat


Victorian Plate Backset Lifetime Brass F Grip Entry Set Victorian Knob

Standout pieces announce style lives here.

Heritage-Finish-house-numbers Address Numerals in Heritage Finish



Frankel Design Build

Traditional, new trad, modern, contemporary and on-trend tastes are easily addressed through style and finish options.


5 in. Black Floating or Flush House Number

4 in. Satin Nickel Flush Mount Metal House Number

6 in. Antique Copper Aluminum Floating or Flat Modern House Number

5-1/2 in. Black Plastic House Number

The Leighton Address Plaque Personalized Etched Wall Slate Sign

Atlas Homewares Alhambra Address Number

Nora House Numbers

4 in. Satin Nickel Flush Mount Self-Adhesive House Number

4 in. Aged Bronze Flush Mount House Number


John Kraemer & Sons

Regional designs and decor accessories reflecting regional attributes impress a touch of home sweet home.


 At Home in Arkansas

Architectural accents and accessories with an instantly recognizable southern influence naturally come into play when selecting exterior lighting.


Wakeford Collection Antique Copper Outdoor Small Wall Lantern Light

Pink New Orleans Cottage

The Cottage Journal – Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele


John Kraemer & Sons


 Brandon Architects


Bevolo Six-Sided French Quarter® Canal Street Light

exterior-lanterns-curb-appeal-barn-door-garage (2)

John Kraemer & Sons


 Mindy Gayer



Copper darkens and gives way to the verdigris process over time, and my mailbox is a process in progress.



a bright bluish-green encrustation or patina formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, consisting of basic copper carbonate.


Where some see it as unsightly others see it as patina perfection.


Brown Copper Metal Wall Mounted Mailbox

Marina Red Small Steel Wall Mount Mailbox

Hummingbird Cast Aluminum Mailbox, Antique Copper

Black Embossed Tin “Post” Letter Box

Stainless Steel Contemporary Mailbox

Annapolis Mailbox Post


Retro Cast Aluminum Mailbox Lockable Security Postal Letter

Edwards Black, Large, Steel, Post Mount Mailbox

Roxbury Rubbed Bronze Post Mailbox with Cast Knob and Champagne Flag

Balmoral White Mailbox

Hillsborough Copper, Large, Steel, Post Mount Mailbox with Silver Flag

Classic Bronze Post Mount Mailbox

Postal Pro Post-Mount Hampton Mailbox in Bronze with Gold Lettering

Retro Cast Aluminum Mailbox Lockable Security Postal Letter 


Sourcing gift ideas to show and tell in an upcoming Mother’s Day post brings me to include this lovely portrait and garden arbor.

Cozy dresses this focal point combination of curb appeal, spring, and Mother’s Day gift idea.

Green Metal Traditional Garden Arbor

Green Metal Traditional Garden Arbor

Color comes alive not only in the exterior paint choices applied to trim, shutters, doors, and columns, but in the landscaping details and accents selected to showcase entry, porch, lawn and garden.


Annuals color up planters, baskets, and beds for sure, but may not match with your curb appeal master plan.

Floral Doormat by Ashland®

Floral Doormat by Ashland®


Enter door wreaths, outdoor pillows, garden stools perched and porched, and doormats.



Outdoor wall decorations create a vignette designed to draw the eye (and in some cases cover or camouflage areas otherwise deemed an eyesore).


Additions and subtractions to my curb appeal equation continue- hence the ladder ready to go at a painter’s notice.


Aged to weathered perfection, I’m still happy with the copper wall fountain installed thirteen years ago although…

Sunnydaze Seaside Hanging Outdoor Wall Water Fountain with Lead Finish - 27-Inch

Sunnydaze Seaside Hanging Outdoor Wall Water Fountain with Lead Finish

Garden statues placed atop fence columns complete curb appeal finishing details.

Weathered Brown Artichoke Finial Statue

Weathered Brown Artichoke Finial Statue

Last fall before all hell broke loose with Dave’s health I walked the driveway and front sidewalks taking inventory of exterior projects to be addressed sooner than later.


Taking note of chippy shutters and gables along with faded columns and trim it suddenly became“paintfully” obvious curb appeal was lacking.

Painting the exterior gives new life and new look to existing features.


On the topic of creating curated details let me share with you a favorite faux feature we ran with when we remodeled.


Behind the shutters in the image above is a window from the original dining room design.

Dave boarded up existing windows fastening shutters to newly constructed frames. Dummy scroll shutter dogs serving strictly a cosmetic purpose were added to achieve the look  known around these parts.

Galvanized Iron Dummy Scroll Shutter Dogs With Beveled Edge

Springtime is the right time for enhancing curb appeal with first impressions make lasting impressions themed projects.





Budget Friendly Renovation Ideas

Budget friendly renovation ideas serve a work with what you have purpose in the home improving the outdated with the updated game.

Today’s 6-10 blog post bookends the Home Improvement Ideas on a Budget companion post.

Here we go.

Budget Friendly Renovation Ideas

6.  Make the Decorative Call to Replace Outdated Window Treatments

(or elect not to use window treatments at all)

Period Architecture

Period Architecture

There’s no substitute for the beauty of natural light, but privacy concerns may trump this option.

If going with window treatments consider blinds, shutters, shades and even architectural salvage pieces.

Heidi Caillier

House Beautiful – Heidi Caillier Design


farmhouse shutters Leanne Ford interiors

House BeautifulLeanne Ford

Working or stationary, a pair of vintage shutters used as a complementing accent in your window treatment application take the finished look to new heights.


The house we owned before the one we presently live in was a garden district charmer complete with interior French doors, original cast iron farmhouse kitchen sink with drain board, and casement windows.

The previous homeowners bleached the screened interior window frames that surrounded the casement windows above the kitchen sink.

We removed the screen and left them in place as the sole window treatment, hitting a work with what you have budget friendly renovation ideas home run.

Mahogany wood windows in the home of Michael and Ally Banks were bleached in keeping with a Belgian influenced result.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BarnesVanze Architects (@barnesvanze) on

I found this piece at Hobby Lobby, and the price is budget friendly renovation ideas right.

Embossed Medallion Metal Wall Decor

Stand out and be noticed unique is what we’re going for here, so the idea is to use the embossed medallion (36 ½” wide) as an inside mount valance.

flip house kitchen remodel update remove

Dressing up a window frame with pediments, decorative corbels or architectural pieces is another decorative option that will help to achieve a custom look.

distressed corbel

7.  Shed New Light On The Situation

New lighting fixtures instantly update and turn on the visual wow factor.

white-tongue-and-groove-trim-on-island Heidi Caillier Design 

Pendant lights will be hanging around and on-trend for awhile.


Alyssa Colagiacomo Interiors

I’m a huge fan of a lamp(s) on kitchen countertops.

LKM Design Bedford, NH Farmhouse Kitchen

LKM Design

A well placed lamp easily becomes a focal point of both function and fashion.


Wireless LED puck lights mounted under cabinets are my first choice of affordable accent lighting.

Puck lights cast a lovely light at night- an all grown up night light.

outdated kitchen

This is the original image I worked off of for this post, so Number 8 refers to furr-down.

8A. Places In The Home #1 Rule of Kitchen Remodels: Furr Down Be Gone!

Furr Down

A box-out at the ceiling typically 12″ high and 14″ deep.  Often used for AC duct work.  Kitchen cabinets are installed up to it creating a step effect.  Also called a soffit or bulkhead.

I am no fan of the furr down.

Removing an ornamental furr down takes years off the life of an outdated kitchen.

crown molding cabinet topsBetter Homes & Gardens

Crown molding added to the tops of upper cabinets gives a finished top edge and ups the decorative ante.

crown-molding (1)

8B. New Sink + New Faucet = Hello, Current and Fresh Update

flip house kitchen remodel update

Number 8 in this photo reflects the kitchen sink and faucet dilemma.


Love, love, love the details and accents of this spectacular service kitchen by Jill Frey Kitchen Design.

Perfectly positioned accent lighting, statement flooring, gorgeous choice of countertop materials, excellent choice of window treatment, and a focal point sink prove the contrast engages the eye point.

Kraus KHU103-32 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Swiss Madison Ceramic Farmhouse Kitchen Sink with Apron

Swiss Madison Delice 30″ x 18″ Ceramic Farmhouse Kitchen Sink w/Apron


Lyndhurst 2-Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Side Sprayer in Matte Gold

Kraus KBU24 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen SinkKraus KBU24 Undermount 32 inch 2-Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

9.  Update Switches, Plugs and Plates


Small changes make safe and stylish improvements and brings things into the 21st century.

10.  Countertop Solutions

mint green kitchen

Studio MRS

In real estate it’s all about location, location, location.

In renovating it’s all about enhance, enhance, enhance.

Manufacturers pay very close attention to the design and decor needs and wants of the buying and renovating public, and the kitchen design industry has made huge strides in bringing to the retail marketplace affordable alternatives to expensive kitchen countertop materials.


Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations

If the existing countertops are free of stains, marks, scratches and the like,  workable with your color palette, and not overly antiquated, you may be in business.

How to paint laminate countertops instructions from DIY Network HERE


DAICH SpreadStone Mineral Select Countertop Refinishing Kit

Countertops are the utilitarian workhorse of kitchen, and as such should be crafted from quality materials coupled with a quality look.

If a quality, style and affordability tops the list, consider replacing existing outdated and worn laminate with new laminate in new and improved pattern selections.

Formica light countertopsFormica

Laminate is back on the radar as an affordable and visually pleasing countertop and backsplash option.


Bonus Suggestions

contemporary-bathroom Jill Sorensen Inc Design Firm

Wall sconce lighting is a versatile choice for ambient lighting in foyers, kitchens and bathrooms.

Changing vanity cabinet hardware takes years off a tired look.


One Kings Lane – Photo by Tiffany Haynes

Color makes a big splash in small spaces.

bold-wallpaper-white-tile-bathroomRue Magazine

Make a big and bold statement by painting trim or wainscotting in a fabulous color and wallpapering the walls and/or ceiling.


Domino – Photo by Ungano+Agriodimasy

Replace existing vent covers with decorative resin wall or ceiling vent covers.

Decorative Resin Wall or Ceiling Vent CoversVent Covers Unlimited

Fireplace built-ins come in as one of the top remodeling projects I love to tackle.

 stephanie kraus design Stephanie Kraus Design

Again color, texture, and pattern come into play.


It’s amazing what you can do with a gallon of paint, new cabinet hardware and a roll(s) of gorgeous wallpaper.


Works in the kitchen, too!

Liz Caan & Co. wallpaper cabinetsLiz Caan & Co.

Painting the built-ins and the bricks is a budget friendly step in the right direction.

For the DIY decorista project pros, covering over the bricks with tile or texture project may fit the bill.

Budget friendly?

Perhaps not, but in terms of resale and style at home value it can be a justified expense.

dalliance designDalliance Design

Picture lights mounted at the center point at the top of each unit creates a stunning library effect, and wallpapering the back wall of the unit or painting in a fabulous designer color brings forth the decorative oomph in updated fashion.

Plenty of wall space to fill?

I love this DIY library wall project from Kristin Cadwallader of Bliss at Home as featured by Better Homes & Gardens with all the how to instructions.

Click on the above link to check it out.


“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy’s words hammer and nail the sentiment of this budget friendly renovation ideas post.

Home improve what you can, with what you have, when you can.


For Rent: Rental Refresh Upgrades

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter R for rental refresh upgrades.

The conversation of late between mama and papa Places In The Home and our son heading up to the Great White North to begin his career has revolved around rental property viewings, interiors, exteriors, accents (eh?) and scads of all things house that make a home (rented or owned) furnishings.

This is the time of year when thoughts of apartments, condos, townhomes and single-family houses for rent and rental refresh upgrades begin to take center stage in the minds of college bound students, career starting college grads and newlywed couples.

According to recent real estate and business reports, millennials trend more toward renting than buying.


The genius of internet listings, video viewings, real estate apps and Skype proves an essential tool in locating a property.

With a few clicks, well placed phone calls and virtual tours, our son has successfully rented a two story Victorian-era style home.

Now comes the fun part- the rental refresh upgrades.

He and his fiancee are currently in putting a stylish spin on his new abode mode.  This is not our son’s first time at the rental rodeo.

He knows all too well renting comes with caveats, and property management firms have rules and code restrictions that must be adhered to.

Addressing the aforementioned right off the bat clearly defines the can and cannots.

Fortunately, the home owner is on board with the updates and rental refresh upgrades our son wants to do to the property.

BM-revere-pewter-framedBenjamin Moore

Fresh paint  rules the rental refresh upgrade playbook.

I ran across this quote yesterday and it really hit home.

“Color is the least expensive thing to put in a house.”

—Ruthie Sommers

Color often gives the biggest return on your interior decorating investment.

Paint is an instant update and covers a multitude of previous tenant color choice sins and the scuffs, streaks and uh-ohs made when moving out.

As a housewarming gift, his fiancee’s father is painting the entire interior and key exterior areas of the house.

Going with a neutral color palette allows more breathing room in regards to accents and furnishings.

Landlords and property managers love neutral palettes, and come closer to approving the request for painting with this color choice.


My inbox is experiencing a high volume of before, during and after pictures.

It’s exciting to be in the loop, share in the progress and to be asked to be a part of the process .


Does it makes sense and cent$ to make updates and improvements to a rental property?


Focus less on the fact your new residence is a rental and more on the fact that your new residence is where you call home.

All things house that make a home come together to make the out of your own pocket rental refresh upgrades worth it for the sake of your comfort, convenience and personal style touch.

Rental Refresh Upgrades

So worth it rental refresh upgrades good to go as in take it with you when you go ideas range from a programmable thermostat, stylish mirrors in bathrooms, accent rugs, light switch and wall plates, cabinet knobs and pulls, new shower head(s) and focal point light fixtures to exterior walkway lighting, planter boxes and a decorative mailbox.

Renting or buying, it really is amazing how a sense of personal style, displaying objects of individual interest and decorating with accents that capture and convey your personality makes a house a home.

studded-rug-FlooringHall’s Flooring

I’ll leave it there for today’s post and pick it back up with more pictures and suggestions for rental refresh upgrades.

Love your style!

The Master Bathroom Remodel Project Is Officially Completed


Change is good, but it also has the ability to drive me bonkers.

Paint color that is one shade in the can and a totally different shade on the wall also has the ability to drive me completely bats%*! crazy.

It is this kind of particular color bump in the road that brings about the decision to change a paint color.

If it doesn’t look right you do it over.

It makes the client is happy and that’s what matters.

albert moodboard

The master bathroom remodel project is officially completed

Before images and info post is here.

What Dave the Builder lacks in the professional photographer department he more than makes up for in the professional builder/remodeling department.

master bathroom remodel project

The new color on the freshly repainted and completed walls is not translating well in the photos.

See what appears to be three completely different paint colors in the image below?

SW renwick beigeSherwin-Williams Renwick Beige SW 2805

The wall between the tub and shower is the closest to the true color, Sherwin-Williams Renwick Beige.

master bathroom tub

From demo to prep

shower remodel

to master bathroom remodel project completed success.

tile shower floor

Making things pretty and new creates a mess, but it is so worth it!

This was about the time in the master bathroom remodel project where a bit of design and decorating persuasion came into play.

remodel before pictures

Two vanities, two sinks, two faucets, two lights- you’ve got to go with two mirrors.

And two mirrors it is!

I purposely removed the color field out of the image below to emphasize a point to the client.

We both loved the result and selected it to print and frame.

albert remodel1

Great space for a master bathroom walk in closet and extra linens storage.

tile-floor-install (1)

The client requested the stained louvered doors leading into the master bedroom remain.

louvered doors

I requested the louvered doors leading into the walk in closet be painted to match the trim.

A win-win situation.

walk in closet

The inspiration and the idea for the design direction we will be going in for the master closet.



Another project completed.

Attention To Detail: Bathroom Window Treatment Ideas

Finishing touches are the best friend of a big reveal.  Fashion, interiors, meals- it’s all about the presentation and the attention to detail.  The master bathroom remodel project is now in the detail phase, namely, bathroom window treatment ideas.  My better half is not happy with the results of the final paint application, the hardware install is not quite there, and my fixation with the cloudy mirrors who could benefit greatly from a meeting with vinegar and newspaper is driving me nuts.  The “it’s perfect!” point is coming into view and that’s what matters.

master bathroom remodel

This master bathroom remodel project for hire is more construction remodel than interior design and decorating based.  We went with 60% of the client’s choices and the client went with 40% of ours.  That is 100, isn’t it?  Cost and in-stock availability remain the biggest considerations behind construction and design.  Some projects present the need for custom fixtures and special materials orders, and then there are the projects where the materials are just a convenient trip to the local lumber yard, building supply, paint and home improvement store away.  This one falls into the latter.

window treatment ideas

While I’m waiting for paint to dry and fixtures to fix, I’m working on the  finishing details.  I’ve been consulted to design the window treatment for the single window in the master bathroom.  The window itself is fixed and the glass is textured for privacy.  The client wants a working treatment, and what the client wants…

roman shades

I want to stay as true to the aesthetic and period of the house as possible, but I also want the ease of operation and look a modern treatment offers.  We both agreed and narrowed it down to a roman in either jute or textured fabric.  A custom tier curtain is also in the running.



I fell in love with this new but made to look old distressed piece and immediately had it or something very similar to it in mind to use as a cornice treatment.

window cornice ideas


Do you prefer curtains, blinds, shades, shutters or no window treatment at all for a bathroom window?

love your style


Project Master Bathroom Remodel

When our team completes a project success is measured by the satisfaction seal of approval from the client.   If the client immediately hires you for another project it’s a pretty good indicator of job well done.

We celebrated this master bathroom remodel and the upcoming project hire with a Places In The Home remodel dance. Part safety dance, part remodel celebration boogie.

albert moodboard


The presentation board for the master bathroom remodel captures the design and decor element the client requested.


Good bones and an even better layout, structurally speaking, removed the need to move walls and reroute plumbing. The focus was all about aesthetic updates complete with new fixtures and materials.  We can certainly do that!


The first to go was the fiberglass shower and bath inserts.  Mosaic tiles were used for the shower floor.

Stonefire Noce Porcelain MosaicStonefire Noce Porcelain Mosaic

The intent here is twofold- texture and palette variation of blended neutrals.

bathroom vanity area

We constructed the layers of the shower pan using a vinyl membrane and concrete (technical jargon for we built a custom shower pan).

Here’s a preview of the shower progress.

master bathroom remodel

We selected 12″ x 12″  ceramic tile for the flooring, bath and shower walls and shower floor.

Stonefire Beige Porcelain TileStonefire Beige Porcelain Tile

Moving onward and upward!

love your style