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My Exterior Vision for a Cottage Inspired Home

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Well, I really thought I posted this post. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll see all the home updates I’ve been sharing in my stories and I kept wanting to reference this post only to find out that it was stuck in my drafts the whole time! Wa Wa Waaaa.

Even though you’ve seen sneak peeks of the exterior in this post, better late than never to let you know the inspiration and full vision. I don’t know about you, but I always think it’s fun to see how projects turn out!

I’m posting this blog post as is, even though some things are already different than what I envisioned at the time of originally writing this post about 2 months ago. 😉

My Exterior Vision for a Cottage Inspired Home

I’m so happy that I have a brick home! There’s a lot of vinyl siding in my town. Nothing wrong with that, but brick and stone were my first choices because nothing says cute and cottagey like brick! I’ve been collecting outdoor ideas for years, so though we won’t start this project till next year (at least), I know {pretty much} exactly what I want to do!

Here’s what it looks like now:

house exterior before
taken during a viewing
ranch makeover before
after minimal changes such as removing bushes and taking down the previous owner’s wreath


Overall I think it looks pretty cute without doing anything to it. Which is a good sign! It’s a ranch, but there are peaks and angles so it’s not “boring”. The brick isn’t ugly, but it’s not exactly cute in my opinion. Up close, it’s orangey with black specks and that doesn’t exactly scream charming to me!

I’ve always thought a german smear would be cool, but that’s above my skills and hiring out would be very expensive! So pass on that for now.

I don’t really want a solid white brick exterior. It’s kinda everywhere and I love the charm and patina a whitewash/limewash has. Except orange and black peeking through is not that cute. Hmm. What to do what to do. Sounds like I’m going to have to go solid white or paint it red then limewash it lightly to have some red peek through. I love the idea of the latter, but that is obviously way more work so we’ll see what I actually feel up to when the time comes haha. I might just have to buck up and do it!

There are a lot of brick purists out there and don’t worry, this house isn’t old or historic and I’ve done my research on paints to know which ones are good, plus my realtor said it won’t hurt resale value in this area. Okay, just had to throw that out there.

For a garage door, I’m stuck between white carriage door, brown, or wood. The old, “real” cottages I’ve seen online don’t have garages…or at least they’re not shown. So I’m not sure where to gather inspiration from.

For a front door, I’m pretty set on wood/brown. Should they match? Any thoughts/opinions? I’ll probably just look around and see what’s available in my area. Or start with the paint and see what strikes my fancy.

Those are the big things and I’m excited to “accessorize”! Shutters are a must, as well as window boxes. I would also love to grow ivy over the brick and add a pergola over the garage!

I think it would be so cute to brick veneer the steps and sidewalk, as well as maybe add some brick stepping stones between the garage and front door. To be honest, I’m not great at landscaping. I’m going to call on my mom for help because she’s really good at it!

The ranch isn’t completely flat like other ranches, so I don’t think dormers or a portico is needed. I can save some money there! I would like to wrap the white column in wood and you know what, that might be it! Ha Ha Ha, famous last words…

Here’s a visual of inspiration!

cottage exterior inspiration

I want it to feel French country cottagey, cute, cozy, charming, and homey! Just guessing now, but I’m thinking the exterior will cost a pretty penny when you add in a garage door. If you’re not going basic they’re expensive! But it will all be worth it in the end because once you do the exterior you don’t have to come back to it. It will definitely be a labor (and shopping trip) of love.

Like reading inspiration/vision posts? Then check out the vision posts on the master bedroom, master bathroom, my office, and the kitchen!

*UPDATE- See the exterior reveal!*

Oh, and if you like this style then you’ll LOVE my cottage exteriors Pinterest board. Feel free to check it out if you want more inspiration!

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Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.