In Pursuit of Curb Appeal

If there is one lesson I learned during my renovation efforts so far, it’s that a little paint can figuratively go a long way. My front yard, while responsibly drought-resistant, is boring and just not nice to look at. At all. Curb appeal? Forget it.

I decided the easiest way to get a quick win on that front (get it? 😉) was to freshen up the front door and garage door, sporting a faded light brown or tan until that point. The rusty security door didn’t really do anything to improve the picture either, so that turned out to be the first change I made. I ended up putting it on Facebook Marketplace actually and making a few bucks off of it.

With the security door gone I could focus on the front door itself. After filling the holes the bolts left behind and a thorough wash of door and frame, I started with a coat of primer. The washing part took considerably longer for the garage door, I had to do three rounds to finally get rid of all the dust and pollen. There too, I started out with priming it first. Both doors didn’t really have stains or were considerably darker than the new color, but I wanted a high-quality paint job and was hoping that it would let the paint adhere better to the fiberglass and aluminum.

For the actual paint job, I went with two coats of Dunn & Edwards’ Novelty Navy. Using a foam roller and a high quality angle brush have me pretty good results. So good actually that I even deferred on a third coat of paint. There are plenty of tutorials available on how to properly paint a garage or front door, so I don’t think I need to go into details here. One thing I do want to pass along though is: Don’t be stingy on masking tape for your stucco! While I managed to keep the front door surround free of paint, I ended up with quite a few spill-overs around the garage door.

In terms of bang for your buck, I doubt there are many more projects around your house that let you exceed this one’s. All in all I spent less than $100 on it, between primer, paint, and supplies. And while I’d stop short of calling it a transformation, it is a vast improvement over what it looked like before. Coming home and rolling up that garage door has definitely been a lot more satisfying recently.


Dining Room Pendants

One of the things that are high on my priority list of home improvements is to replace the ceiling lights that the previous owners left behind. Both the living room and dining room chandeliers are not at all to my taste, and with the added let down of daylight fluorescent bulbs they really don’t add to a homey feeling at all.


The existing chandelier

The existing chandelier was not only a sore sight in the center of the open layout living space, it was also hung off center to both the patio door and the kitchen island.

I had a West Elm gift certificate and while I tried to figure out what to spend it on, one of their pendant lights, plainly called Globe Pendants, caught my attention. They were on special, so I decided to go with them and take a first step towards a more hospitable living space! Continue reading


Home Sweet Home

In a twinge of serious adulting, I decided to take a leap of faith and do my part for an improved millennial homeownership rate in the United States. It took me the better part of 2016 to find a place that I liked, I could afford, and that no one else outbid me on. No small feat in California’s very tight real estate market it turns out. The home I ended up going with will definitely need some “Tender Loving Care”, but it has great bones and a convenient location.

I hope I’ll get to write a few follow-up posts with more details on the journey that brought me to this point, taking a look at the process, and depict some of the events in the final weeks before closing. In the meantime I’ll try to cope with the anxiety of having mortgaged my finances for the foreseeable future.