With overgrown landscaping and a disappear-into-the-background white paint color, this California bungalow was generally considered one of the least attractive homes on the block. Narrow, winding stairs and an overgrown trumpet vine and small tree that block the front door add to the home's uncared-for look.
After: Colorful Cottage
To make the home pop, designer John Gidding chooses sunny yellow for the siding and cheery turquoise for the front door. The winding stairs are straightened and widened to draw more attention to the front entry which is shaded by an arbor, planted with fragrant honeysuckle. The homeowners aren't big fans of mowing the grass so John eliminated the lawn in favor of a wide stone path flanked by low-maintenance plants.
Before: Faded Belle
The homeowners are two of the French Quarter's most colorful characters but their home's vanilla facade is definitely lacking. A tumble of weeds fill the beds that line the porch and the concrete set-back, or small area that separates the home from the sidewalk, is broken and unlevel.
After: Big Style in the Big Easy
Jason Cameron comes to this belle's rescue with kicky paint colors, a bluestone patio to replace the crumbling concrete and a cast-stone fountain. The weedy beds are given a tropical makeover with dwarf pygmy date palms and striped stromanthe that tie in with the home's new color palette.
Before: Hiding in Plain Sight
Evergreens are great for year-round color in your landscape but unless you plan to consistently keep them trimmed, they can grow too large to work as foundation plants.
After: Can't-Miss Yellow
Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri remove the overgrown evergreens, replacing them with oakleaf hydrangeas, hostas and bronze-leafed heuchera. Bright chartreuse false cypress really liven up the landscape and pair beautifully with the home's sunny yellow front door.
Before: Dark and Forboding
Recessed doorways are great because your entry is protected from the weather — but they tend to be dark. Painting the door black doesn't help to brighten things up.
After: Warm Welcome
A few coats of fuchsia paint take this formerly ho-hum front door from drab to fab. The cheery pink theme is carried to pots flanking the doorway filled with bouganinvillea and candytuft. The terracotta tile steps and board-and-batten siding also receive a makeover with fresh coats of warm, neutral paint.
Before: Haunted House?
The owners of this century-old San Francisco home are parents to five kids, including two sets of twins, so yardwork and home maintenance has taken a back seat to raising their family. This home is also, not surprisingly, a hub of activity each Halloween when the owners put the Victorian's forboding looks to good use as the neighborhood haunted house.