If eyes are the windows to the soul, can windows be a way to express a homeowner’s style? Can shutters be considered a house’s jewelry and paint a house’s makeup?
When Natalie Stewart and her husband, Ted, embarked on an extensive remodel of their home in Collins Creek, she was surprised by all the choices to be made during exterior renovations.
“From gutters to downspouts to roofing options, shutters, paint, and exterior light fixtures, there is so much to consider,” says Stewart. “Going through the renovation has given me such an appreciation for the design aspects of a home’s exterior.”
The Stewarts loved their home’s location and traditional style, but with four children, they needed a playroom and a larger laundry room. So they tapped Jack Thacker for the design and J. Francis Builders to reconfigure several rooms, convert their garage into a playroom, and add a new garage and guest space.
The addition needed to look like it had always been there, so the Stewarts painted everything a crisp white and installed new windows and shutters throughout. The substantial renovation also included a redesign of the front stoop, driveway, and landscaping.
“You have to consider everything,” says Jimmy Francis of J. Francis Builders. “If you just paint the brick, is that going to create the look you want? The answer is almost always no. The Stewarts’ renovation was so successful because they had a plan that took all the architectural elements of the home into consideration.”
Intentional Exterior Renovations
Considering every design choice isn’t always easy. When Libby Myers and her husband, Rhett, were building their Collins Creek home in the early nineties, they chose a peach stucco exterior that was inspired by their beloved visits to Sea Island, Georgia.
“It was a peach that Sea Island loved at the time, but over the years, my tastes evolved, and we realized the house should look more in keeping with Greenville,” says Myers. “When my designer joked that selling a peach house wouldn’t be easy, we knew it was time for an update.”
With the help of designer F. Scott McMillan of FSM Design, the Myerses removed all the peach stucco and replaced it with warm gray stucco and natural stone accents.
Drawing inspiration from the mountains, McMillan worked with earth tones and natural textures to blend the house into its tucked-away lot. He added custom shutters and copper gas lanterns to the front of the house and designed a layered landscape that blooms from the end of winter to the end of summer.
“There are so many things you can put on a house to soften it, to age it without dating it, to make it feel like it belongs,” says McMillan. “These things individually may not amount to much of a change, but when you can carry a theme through the landscaping, architecture, exterior, and interior design, it makes a huge difference.”
For Myers, the exterior renovation has been transformative. “People walking their dogs or delivering packages now will stop to say how much they love what we did,” says Myers. “It feels great knowing that we actually accomplished what we set out to do with the house. It was such a creative collaboration, I honestly didn’t want the project to end.”
Photography by Lynn Greenlaw and Jess Yun.