When Wendy and I take walks around Old Town, we typically don't take a specific route, and we often don't know exactly where we plan on walking when we leave the house. There are so many lovely streets, so many beautiful homes, so many things to see. We're 13 years into living in Alexandria, more than 10 living in Old Town, and we still love finding new things as we walks the streets of our town.

There are few things I enjoy more on a walk than discovering a home that's undergoing some sort of restoration project. When this occurs, we make a point to pass by these places often, watching the progress, marveling at the speed that's possible when a giant team of specialists is working on the job, and quietly judging based on our preferred aesthetics (hey, I'm being honest). We're house nerds and Old Town geeks, (and Wendy's even a licensed real estate agent now) so it's what we like to do.

A little while ago we passed by a house on Wolfe Street that really caught our eye. It wasn't because of a major project completed but rather one that had reached its first phase, and it made us do a double take.

The owners of the house were having the exterior clapboards stripped in preparation for new paint. The thick faded matte yellow coats of paint that had accumulated over the 180 years since the house had been built (circa 1834) were no more. In the place of the modest and somewhat nondescript home now sat what resembled a haunted mansion that would look more appropriate atop a hill while being struck by lightening.

Everything from the clapboards to the trim had been stripped. It's amazing just how significantly the look of the house had changed. Obviously the owners weren't going to be leaving the home in the constant state of Scooby-Doo land, Zoinks, so we were very curious to see what colors and type of paint they'd choose for their massive investment in prep work.

A few weeks later we passed by the very same home, but based on the exterior change, it's was almost difficult to pick it out as the same house.

The exposed siding had been stripped, scraped, sanded, and covered with a high gloss soft yellow enamel. The new color is pleasant, calming, and cheerful on a home that we were so used to seeing faded paint.

The trim was treated in a soft white and allows you to differentiate the architectural elements of the home from the siding in a far more effective manner than you were able to when the whole house was covered in white. And the front door was treated, presumably with oil and possibly stain, leaving them as a gorgeous focal point on the front of the home.

Though this isn't a bold or abrasive color meant to "make a statement," it fits wonderfully with the neighborhood, gives a breath of fresh air to a previously aging house, and has made this home one to notice on a block of many other impressive and beautiful homes. And that's saying a lot sitting across the street from the largest historic home Old Town Alexandria.

Do you enjoy walking around your neighborhood and watching as renovations or home projects take place? Got any good ones you're watching lately? Or are you more of a specific walking path type of person that is more focused on your route than your surroundings? We'd love to hear how you geek out in your neighborhood.

Comments 3

Comments

8/23/2013 at 10:17 AM
Great colour choice, especially with that door being refinished to that amazing shade! Beautiful.

The pictures of the house all stripped gets me in the mood for halloween. So creepy/awesome.
Wendy
8/23/2013
This is the perfect Halloween house! It reminds me of a puzzle I had as a kid, that featured a "mystery mansion" with a ghost coming out of the upper window. So cool!
JC
8/25/2013 at 11:43 AM
Wow! That is just plain gorgeous! You couldn't even really pick out what the trim looked like before it was repainted. I really love the door and window casings.
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