When interior designer Rosa Beltran found this rundown bungalow in the artsy Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake, it was just what she was hoping for: something so ugly that it would scare off everyone but herself. As a newly divorced single mom, she needed a deal; as a designer, she could see past its shabby facade. Plus, it had a flat lot with plenty of room for her son, Benicio, to run and play, and that’s tough to find in this hilly neighborhood.
Her vision was to freshen the Craftsman house with a modern farmhouse twist, but she didn’t want it to look brand-new even though the place needed an extensive renovation. She decided to live here for two months before starting so she could really understand what to keep and what had to go. She also realized she could save money by becoming her own contractor—a first for her—which meant she had to be the quality control person while also managing the schedule, budget, and crew.
The grounds had been just as neglected, and it was hard to see the house hiding behind overgrown hedges and trees. Beltran kept the cinder block retaining wall and original entry gate, but everything else got the boot. It made her a little sad to take out the redwood tree planted close to the front of the house. (A previous owner had topped it with hopes that it might flourish, but it never did.) But she replaced it with a pair of olive trees, and now the house gets so much more light. She wanted it to look and feel perfectly aged and comfy, like a family home that has known years of love, because that’s how she intends to live in it. See which products Rosa used to achieve her updated home exterior, plus how to get a similar look.
5 Products for a Farmhouse Home Exterior
Achieving a home exterior with modern farmhouse style doesn’t require a total overhaul. These five products are inexpensive and will go a long way in creating a timeless front porch.
1. Farmhouse Exterior Lighting
Updating your outdoor lighting is an easy way to modernize your home’s exterior. For this front porch, an industrial-style wall sconce did the trick. If you have room, consider flanking your front door with the lights, or place one above the entrance as shown.
Buy It: Watt Creek Outdoor Wall Sconce, $34.21, The Home Depot
2. Modern House Numbers
Sleek house numbers are a modern farmhouse exterior staple. Get numbers that are slim in size, but big enough to read from the street. Make sure they’re a contrasting color from the home’s siding. These numbers come in black, bronze, nickel, and brass.
Buy It: Floating Mount House Numbers, $7.95 each, Amazon
3. Wood Rocking Chair
It’s not a modern farmhouse if you can’t sit on the front porch sipping sweet tea. A classic wood rocking chair is a must-have. Top it with an outdoor pillow and pair it with a small side table to hold a drink and a book.
Buy It: Laci Rocking Chair, $152.99, Wayfair
4. Front Door Hardware
New door hardware is an easy way to upgrade your entryway without going all-in on a new door. Match your door handle to your house numbers—in this case, simple, sleek, and matte black. This door handle can be combined with an electronic deadbolt for extra safety.
Buy It: Schlage Front Entry Handleset, $112.84, Amazon
5. Exterior Paint
Do you have more than an afternoon to upgrade your exterior? Paint your front porch! Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (OC-65) looks crisp under blue skies and in lots of sun. Beltran loved it so much that she used it on the interior rooms too.