Three Neighbors' Curb Appeal Makeovers

When one homeowner gave her house a facelift, the rest of the street was inspired to get in on the action. HGTV Magazine found out how these neighbors worked together.

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Jean Allsopp

The Neighbor Who Started It All

Elizabeth Beeler never expected to set off a chain reaction of home improvement projects along her Birmingham, AL, block. But as the magazine stylist beautified her 1931 Spanish-style bungalow, gradually transforming it from depressing to charming with a blush-pink paint job and new perennials, neighbors reacted with enthusiasm—especially Gail Harper Yeilding, a schoolteacher and pal living two houses down, and Mimi Chambers, a paralegal next door to Gail Harper.

The Friendly Neighbors

Both asked Elizabeth to help them boost their curb appeal. “We’re all friendly on this street, so of course I said yes,” Elizabeth says. With paint, plants, and some budget-stretching tricks, she pulled off exterior revamps so that their long-time postal carrier didn’t even recognize Mimi’s house. “It’s amazing how different it looks,” says Mimi (left). “I can’t believe I actually live here. Elizabeth helped turned my house into a welcoming home I love.”

Elizabeth's House Before

Faded stucco, scraggly shrubs, and a past-its-prime door weren’t doing the home any favors. Elizabeth painted the facade the color of pink champagne (Touch of Pink by Benjamin Moore) to emphasize the roofline, then hung an ebony-stained multi-pane door.

Elizabeth's House After

She also painted a trellis pattern on the floor using outdoor porch and floor enamel. Vintage rattan chairs—free curbside castoffs—have cushions made with black-and-white cabana stripe outdoor fabric that keeps the hues from looking too sweet. Undemanding plants, including hardy boxwood and aromatic lavender and rosemary, don’t require deadheading or regular pruning.

Cool Curb Appeal Idea

Elizabeth painted a trellis pattern on the floor to look like a patterned rug using outdoor porch and floor enamel.

Mimi's House Before

An entry-shrouding awning that left the porch in a perpetual shadow gave Mimi’s 1940s cottage a foreboding feel.

Mimi's House After

Removing the awning, along with the too-small shutters, instantly made it more approachable. Also upping the friendly factor: a lighter, brighter palette of kiwi green and cloud white (Grecian Green and Brilliant White, both by Benjamin Moore), and billowy outdoor curtains.

Upcycling

Shelves right below the windows—made by repurposing Mimi’s shutters—are a fun alternative to flower boxes. They display potted annuals that change with the seasons.

Gail's House Before

With its boring color scheme and nothing-special landscaping, Gail Harper’s 1951 cottage was immediately forgettable.

Gail's House After

Elizabeth’s plan for maximizing its potential: Create a beachy vibe with gallons of bright white paint and a sky-hued door (Brilliant White and Barely Teal, both by Benjamin Moore). Five-inch-tall galvanized steel house numbers are easy to spot from afar. The finishing touches: an Adirondack chair and footstool for relaxing, and summer-blooming hydrangea shrubs.