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Spring Front Porch Makeover! #1905Cottage


Thanks for all of your encouraging comments on the 1905 cottage.

They really meant so much to me. This is a project that has really captured my heart.

tatertots and jello cottage porch

This month we have been working on the front of the cottage. And it also worked out that Lowes asked us to work on a front yard mini makeover for April– perfect!! Here’s what we created with the front of the cottage:

1905 cottage porch before and after

When the cottage was built in 1905, there was no laundry room. So in the 50′s the owners turned part of the front porch into a laundry room. The big drawback was that the only access to this room was through the front porch. So every time anyone wanted to do laundy, you had to go out onto the porch and into a separate room. Plus, there was no heat in that room.

little house front porch before

So when we remodeled the cottage, we punched a doorway through the brick into the kitchen and closed off the doorway on the porch and replace the door with a window. And as a result, we had to replace the siding on the front porch. We bought some fiberboard from Lowes and nailed it onto the front of the porch. And then we painted it. And I think it is SO hilarious that the color I choose is called “Man Cave” by Allen + Roth at Lowes.

new light fixture

We also upgraded all of the electricty in the house. And for the front porch we took a ceiling fixture out and added a light fixture right next to the front door. I love it!

cement steps before

Another thing we did was we refaced the crumbling cement with a layer of outdoor tile on the front porch and on the front stairs. This REALLY improved the curb appeal.

retile the cement

We also replaced the dated front door with a dutch door I love the glass panels – they let in so much light to the front entry. Also, I LOVE leaving the top of the dutch door open in the summer to let the breeze come through. SO fun!!

the door open

new threshold

My friend found this vintage metal bistro set for me at a local antique fair this weekend. I spray painted it yellow to match the yellow door. I love the retro feel the set lends to the porch.

1905 bistro set


vintage bistro set


And we also replaced the front threshold. We stained it dark to match the floor in the entryway.

1905 porch after

And the last thing we did was we planted some flowers in the planter box in front of the house. I still need to plaster the cement flower box — but I really think the cottage is coming along. I can’t wait to paint the rest of the house Man Cave grey. I also plan to make some new shutters and paint the trim a bright white.

little house front porch after

This project has been such a dream come true. And here is the original 1905 Cottage Post if you want to check out the story of how I fell in love with this project.

You can follow along with Lowe’s on Facebook for more great ideas and sign up for their FREE Creative Ideas Magazine with TONS of great DIY  ideas and instructions!!

lowes creative

Have a CREATIVE Day! 



PS — here is my 1905 Pinterest Page — with tons of cottage ideas for new OR old homes.

1905 cottage pinterest board

Thanks Lowes for gift cards that covered part of this project.


  1. Hi Jen. We’re updating our screened porch and it’s time to tackle the floor. I was planning to paint it but am curious about the outdoor tile you used. Can you tell me specifically what it’s called and where I might find it?


    • Laughing Abi » The name on the box is Espressioni, Ragno, gray. But I don’t know where exactly you can find it. I have about five heavy boxes left! Too bad you can’t just pick them up. It’s a rectangular tile, which is helpful for porch tile, and we did a good moisture-proof layer underneath too.

  2. This looks fabulous. We’re working on our own little cottage and I’ve been on the hunt for a new porch light for quite some time. Would you mind sharing where you purchased yours?

    Thanks so much,
    Laura @ Cookiecrumbs and Sawdust.blogspot.com recently posted…yard work

  3. I have hideous front steps where outdoor carpet was removed before I bought the place. I’ve tried to remove the old adhesive – but no luck. So outdoor tile is a great idea! Where did you get yours/what brand?

  4. What a transformation! Amazing! How I wish I can do that too. Anyways, May I know where I can get that threshold? It looks perfect on my front door. Thanks.

    • Hi Carme!

      We had to custom-make the threshold to accommodate the weird measurements and “vintage” issues we had to deal with. It’s custom-stained to match the interior floor and has a zillion coats of polyurethane on it.

  5. Wow! Impressive! It looks so clean and crisp.

  6. I need that cute yellow pot next to the door. Where can I get one?

  7. Jen what a great job you are doing! The colors are so crisp- you are inspiring me to get off the computer and paint :-)

  8. Ummm I love how this turned out! Love the dark gray and beautiful bright yellow!

  9. Love the tile and the colors you have chosen and that bistro set {swoon}!

  10. It’s absolutely perfect, Jen! I am in love with the vintage bistro set!

  11. Hi Jen! Oh. EM. Geesh! I just adore this little cottage! Yellow and grey are my new color combo crush and you have it mastered here! Loving that vintage bistro set too, so perfect for the porch–can’t wait to see more of this adorable little house! XO, Barbara

  12. I LOVE it Jen, you have done an amazing job!! We are thinking of tiling our front porch and steps too, was glad to see it used outdoors. The tile looks amazing;)
    Krista @thehappyhousie

  13. Holy cow! That is such a great transformation! I wouldn’t have been able to see that vision!

  14. Holy cow – I love this adorable porch! The yellow is so pretty. I am really on a “yellow kick” lately. Great job.

    Warmly, Michelle
    PS – Loved seeing you at SNAP!

  15. Wow, it looks fantastic!!!!

  16. LOVE the gray and bright yellow together! Really gives it a fun feel!

  17. So gorgeous and such a transformation. I LOVE the pops of yellow. Just makes it so sunny. x

  18. /i am in love with your little house and these posts are my new favorite!

  19. Absolutely LOVE IT Jen!!

    I have a question about the tiled cement. My cement walkway is actually covered with outdoor carpet… (GROSS)… I want to take it off… Do you think a tile flooring would be ok even during the winter.. or be too slippery?

    • This is Mr. Jennifer answering. We actually scraped all of the outdoor carpet off in the demolition phase. It was disgusting. You can see the adhesive marks in one of the “before” pictures. We chose a tile that is textured and it actually adds traction in the winter — it was not slippery at all.

      • Hi Mr. Jennifer :)

        AWESOME!!! I will try it out then! I’m scared to see what’s under the carpet.. great tip about getting a tile that’s textured! Hopefully it will make it through our Canadian winters hehe I’ll test it out and let you know :)

        Thanks so much! Christine

  20. That is beautiful. The colors are perfect. I love that bistro set. Gives me lots of ideas for my new house.

  21. Jen – this is absolutely gorgeous; but then everything you do is gorgeous and inspirational! The yellow is awesome! I also love the bistro set on the porch!!!!

  22. Love the tiled cement idea! We are looking at old homes right now and so many have the crumbling concrete, and I keep thinking no way I want to take on pouring a whole new porch and steps. Love, love, love your fix! :)

  23. It looks amazing Jen! I am loving all the fun little details. LOVE the table and chair set too!!

  24. Amazingly beautiful! Where do you get a split door?

  25. Oh my goodness! You are sooo amazing! I wish I had the talent that you do for design! Thanks for sharing with us!

  26. Deidra Johnson says:

    I love this!! You are amazing….but could you tell me what your budget has been so far? I am getting ready to buy a 1920″s california bungalow and would appreciate any advice!

    • Hi Deidra!

      I am so excited for you!! Each project has a different budget. It just depends on how much work your bungalow needs. For this project it needed pretty much every single room redone. We stripped the whole house to the bare walls and started over. Plus we knocked out a wall, some windows and doorways. But if you look into DIYing as much as possible you will save yourself a lot of money. Of course you will need to bring in experts like building inspectors, licensed electricians and engineers if you are going to be taking out any walls. Email me if you have specific questions and I am happy to help in any way that I can.


  27. Love, love, love! And you just gave me an idea for my own crumbling front steps so hooray!

    • Yay Amanda!! I am so happy to hear that this project has inspired you!! I plan to do a more in-depth tutorial on the front step tiling project with some tips and tricks. I will post that soon.


  28. Oh my gosh! That looks great! You would never know it was the same place!

  29. Fabulous! Love the bright happy yellow against the grey.

  30. Oh my gosh Jen! This is absolutely stunning! ***Love****.You are SO talented and you have truly found your calling in life! Everything you do is just so beautiful!

  31. Are you gonna sell it? I want it!

  32. So the house is Man Cave Grey, what color is the door?

  33. I LOVE the yellow, gray, navy combo. So bright and welcoming! Thanks for the inspiration!

  34. It’s beautiful! I love the new tile.

    • Thakns Rachel!!

      The tile really has made such a difference in the curb appeal. I was so afraid that we were going to have to pour a whole new cement step and porch. And I am so happy with the way the tile looks. Plus, it’s been up since Octotober so it has gone through a whole WInter of freezing and thawing and it still looks just as great as the first day it was laid. So that really makes me happy. Yay!


  35. Love it! Great job

  36. Very lovely! I love your choice of the bright sun-shiney yellow! Such a happy color (:

  37. Gorgeous Jen! Great job!

  38. Love it! Just beautiful. The yellow just makes your porch pop.

  39. This little house is exactly the type of house I would give anything to own! (Oh, student loan debt, you ruin my dream of owning a home!) And you’re making it SO gorgeous. I love “fixer-uppers”, but I do not have the same sense of style that you do and would never be able to make them as gorgeous, and for that I am very jealous! I love old houses and nothing wrenches my heart more than when people tear them down because it’s cheaper and more convenient to put a pre-made modular on top of the land. No one has any appreciation for history. So, my whole point is that I think this whole project is wonderful and I applaud you!

    • Hi Cassie!!
      Thanks so much for the sweet comment. Don’t give up on your dream. I never thought this would happen for me and this little house or that I would start blogging and make it into a business. I really think that if you pursue your dreams, the sky is the limit. I feel so fortunate that I was able to “save” this little home. I am hoping to put it on the historical register so that it can survive for many many more years – and that makes me so happy!


  40. Oh LOVE the yellow theme! Amazing!


  41. Oh my! How I did I not know that you could put tile on a front porch? My porch is in dire need of help, and I had no idea what to do! Thanks for the inspiration! Also, I love the grey!

    • Hi Kelly!!

      Iknow!! I was so worried that I was going to have to replace the whole steps and front porch and this has been such a great solution. I plan on doing a more in-depth post on how to tile the porch. the tile that we used is an outdoor tile with a ver rough finish and texture and it has held up so great through the winter so far.


  42. that is just the happiest little front porch I have ever seen! I love that you’re showing this home so much love!

    • Thanks Stephanie!!!

      It really has been such a dream come true. I am so excited for the rest of the projects that I have planned here for 2013 – it’s going to be fun!


  43. I think I would stand on the sidewalk and stare at the porch, it is so bright and cheery! Thank you for sharing.

  44. I love it, can’t wait to follow along and see all the changes. The bistro set looks amazing, and so cheerful. I’m obsessed with cake stands. I want to collect as many as possible. After seeing your post several weeks back about your open kitchen shelving, I took off one of my cabinet doors and displayed some of my cake stands. Everybody comments on it and really loves the look.
    I love all your inspiration.

  45. Like it? NO! LOVE IT!!!!! Fantastic!!!

  46. Melisa Harker says:

    Love it! When I saw the pic the first thing that caught my eye was the bistro set. I thought wow that is a newer version of one I saw the other day. Then I realized one and the same. Love! The yellow with the man cave gray! Great work!

    • Thanks so much!! When I saw the bistro set I was so excited. I think it just adds so much to the house. And I love that it’s vintage and complements the age of the home. Thanks Melisa!!


  47. p.s. I’m pinning :)

  48. Ooo! It makes me want to sit and sip lemonade and watch the day go by :) The yellow is so fun! Love it!!

    • I know!!! I can’t wait to do that!! We have a community parade that goes past in front of the house and I can’t wait to sit on the porch and watch it this year. Yay!


  49. Wow! What a stunning difference! I love that it’s a lot of sweat and love not money to make the difference, I think that really is what makes it great! It’s so charming now! Little Bit

    • Thanks so much! It really has been a labor of love. That’s why I have taken so long to blog about it. We have been working so hard on all of the projects. But we really do love the home so much.


  50. This is so pretty, great job.

  51. This turned out so pretty. I love the vintage feel to it. Love the yellow – so fun!

  52. WOW! such a happy space! i saw the bistro set on instagram- love it in yellow! it’s perfect!!!

    • Oh yay!! I was a little afraid to paint it since it is vintage. But I really wanted to compliment the yellow door of the house. Thanks for the sweet comment!


  53. Fantastic! Loveee the new light fixture!

    • Thanks so much! I saw it online and fell in love with it. I had to order it from Lowes but I am so glad that I did. I love the nickle finish and the seeded glass – it really looks so wonderful on the home.


  54. That vintage bistro set is just SO charming! What a great pop of color for your front porch!

  55. I really like what you did there. It looks so charmingly and stylish. It was great idea to add yellow, because gray and yellows looks great as a couple :D Great job!

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