Design / DIY / Home / Shopping / Studio

From the Windows to the Walls / Upping the Ante on Curb Appeal


The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Curb appeal… that tricky little concept that can be somewhat elusive and difficult to nail down. The very definition of curb appeal is entirely subjective, but when things have spiraled out of control, your neighbors are usually irritated at the sincere lack of appeal your home gives off, in unison.

From the windows to the walls, curb appeal involves absolutely everything you can see from the curb. That is quite a bit of real estate to consider when you are trying to up the ante and show off a bit of your personal style without straying too far from the confines of your neighborhood’s existing style. Because being the odd man out on the block, is not usually a good thing…

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Take for example the view from the front of my house… Not crazy awful, at first glance, and certainly not ruffling any feathers around these parts. Of course on closer inspection, you may notice a few things that make you cringe and might even look familiar if you are a procrastinator of small repairs, like I am. Truthfully, I lived with my front porch in this state for so long, the things that needed to be done out there managed to transition from nagging little tasks, to utterly invisible problem areas, without so much as a peep.

The two empty pots you see flanking the decorative railing are filled with soil, the memory of two adorable trees that are no more and a reminder to all those who dare to tread there, death comes quickly in the form of extreme heat and a lack of attention. I am fairly certain I used them for planting a couple of faux tombstones, last Halloween, so it is safe to assume the loss of my trees was not a recent occurrence.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

A couple of years ago I installed a Sense Smart Deadbolt with Century Trim and matching handleset and as you can see, I never got around to touching up the paint from the previous door hardware. In my pitiful defense, I live in a neighborhood with fairly rigid HOA regulations, and we are not able to alter the exterior colors without going through design review. I was left several of the paint colors used throughout, when we moved in, but not one for the exterior door and trim. This meant I would need to color match in order to touch up, or go through the process of design review, and that was not entirely conducive to maintaining my motivation to fix the problem – as you can see… Apparently obstacles are my nemesis.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Aside from the row of lilies I planted last year, to say my curb appeal was sincerely lacking, would be the understatement of the year. Since no one was storming the house with pitchforks or torches, I managed to wear blinders for the better part of two years until I had finally had enough of the madness.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with Century Trim and Latitude Lever Set / Paint / Trees / Bench / Pots and Similar Option / Rug / Lanterns / Wood Table / Solar Landscape Lighting / Doormat

Armed with a far more pulled together overall plan for the interior spaces, I crafted a design plan for the exterior. I drew my inspiration from the interior details and while the furnishings may change, the finishes create continuity and flow between the inside and out. Starting with a desperately needed fresh coat of paint on the front door and gorgeous new hardware that is same-same, only different (in the finish), I began checking things off my very long list of exterior updates to help improve my previously sad state of affairs out here.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

I gave the concrete a good scrubbing and it improved the appearance substantially. It will need to be resurfaced at some point, but it is far more civilized with a proper bathing. The gorgeous smokebush trees are show stopping, to be sure, but nothing makes as much impact on the overall curb appeal of this space as the new door hardware I installed in matte black. I adored the previous iteration of this set, but by introducing a new finish into the space, it was out of place so replacing it with the matte black version works so much better and ties in the existing door hardware elements.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

While the majority of the people who grace my front porch and enter through my door are under the age of ten, I feel confident that the changes I made out here more accurately represent the type of home I have and want to portray.

It is important to me to have beautiful finishes and fixtures throughout my spaces, but I demand those pieces I choose work hard and require very little from me in return, especially as it relates to installation, maintenance and upkeep. My previous door hardware did precisely that, so much so that I was willing to overlook the crazy paint job that remained, but this new colorway knocks it out of the park. What’s more is the fact that the most difficult aspect of overhauling this space was driving all over town for an entire week to find just the right trees. The new handleset and deadbolt took less than ten minutes to put in place, even with my husband out of town and pack of wild children coming and going like bees in a hive, and all it required from me was nothing more than an hour of my time to repaint the door, so that gorgeous hardware would sit pretty, as it rightfully should.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

If you need to up the ante on your own curb appeal game, you can enter the Schlage Superb Curb Appeal Sweepstakes now for a chance to win a Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, a $1000 gift-card from The Home Depot and a design consultation from a popular home-design blogger.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schlage. The opinions and text are all mine.


Reader Showcase // A Swanky Round Farmhouse Table


The Design Confidential Reader Showcase / DIY Swank Round Farmhouse Table

I have been meaning to showcase this gorgeous build for more than a year now… I know, I am horribly slow and I am behind on showcases like you would not believe! But this beauty deserves the spotlight and the mods are fantastic. A link to the plans this was built from is below, along with a link to her post that shares how she modified this beauty!

Built From These Plans

Free Woodworking Plans to Build a 48 Inch Round Provence Dining Table

Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Round Provence Dining Table

To Read More About This Build, Visit This Blog Post
Home / Studio

The Latest / If You Build It They Will Come


The Design Confidential for Build Design Live / Creating a Foundation Plan for Your Home

My latest article for Build. Design. Live. is live, and I am over the moon excited about it. For those of you who struggle to pull together a room in your home, that you absolutely love, this week’s article is just the thing for you. I share a bit of my personal design philosophy, and talk you through the steps you should always take, regardless of where you are at in decorating your spaces.

Whether you think you have a knack for design or feel completely hopeless in that arena, this secret little bit of info is one of the major reasons why designers for hire are so successful in designing a space. As the people who dwell in a home, day in and day out, we often overlook the finer details and forget to take a step back and work through the process as a professional might. Not to worry, I got you covered.

The Design Confidential for Build Design Live / Creating a Foundation Plan for Your Home

My series is among good company over there, with a lot of amazing new content that has hit the internet airwaves this week. You will be glad you gave it a look see. Promise…

Go forth, and browse, watch and enjoy!

Featured / Home / Studio

Build Design Live


The Design Confidential x Build Design Live Design Network Once upon a time, in a far away land called the internet, a brand new design network was born.  This magnificent design network grew into a glorious creature with the magical gift of nailing that sweet spot between real life experiences and fantastic how-to’s. Many creatures to come before this, have tried and fallen short of achieving true glory in the real life realm of DIY and Design…  But not Build. Design. Live.

The Design Confidential x Build Design Live Design Network

Nay – this design network shall live on to release new episodes every Monday, along with the outtakes (often my favorite part!) and instructions for the projects you see in the shows. If videos are not what you prefer (who am I kidding, everyone loves to watch online shows) there are podcasts aplenty to listen to as well.  Can I get a Yahoo? Yahoo…  This is what I have been waiting for – it is the golden unicorn of design series’ and I can’t wait to see what more they have in store for us!

You may see some familiar faces over there, including yours truly along with one of my favorite people – ever.  Check in often and see what glorious thing they have in store for us.

Let us not forget to mention the crazy amazing $5,000 room refresh they are giving away (yep, that would be glorious to win). You can enter here

The Design Confidential x Build Design Live Design Network

New content will be showing up each day, and I have a wonderful series lined up for you over there! I can’t wait to share more of it with you – yahoo. My first article is live and you can get a sense of what is yet to come.