Real Life Homes: A Cute Cottage Makeover

A dated home gets a fresh look in this (virtual) cute cottage makeover! Add curb appeal with these easy ideas, no matter what the style of your home.

Hey there Remodelaholic readers! Dawn here, FORMERLY of Designing If you’ve been a longtime reader of Designing Dawn, which has been alive and well since 2010, or Remodelaholic, where I’ve been a monthly contributor since 2014, you might be wondering what the ‘formerly’ is all about… but it’s good, trust me! I’m excited to announce my new venture as I team up with my lovely friend, Ashley, on a new creative lifestyle blog called AD Aesthetic. I’d love for you to come visit us and introduce yourself over at our new internet home, and follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with our new adventure. It’s an exciting change for me, and I’m thrilled that I can continue to contribute here at Remodelaholic (see all my posts here) with fun and free printable files, reader mock-ups, and inspirational moodboards.

If you follow Remodelaholic on Facebook, you’ve probably seen several of the reader questions that are submitted every month. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I love the helpful community vibe of these posts, so here’s my two cents on one reader submitted question and a mock up of what I would do if I were in your shoes! (Pssssst— you can submit your reader questions by messaging Remodelaholic on Facebook!)

First though, my disclaimer: While I can recommend ideas that I think look nice, I have never seen this house in real life and don’t have accurate measurements. I am also not an architect or landscaper and do not know the planting recommendations for your area- I just like to make things look nice. I can’t guarantee that any of the items I put in my ‘virtual’ design will actually work in real life (or that they’ll fit your design style for that matter), and this is not intended to be a professional design consultation. So think of this as a just-for-fun rendering that hopefully gets your wheels turning and provides some inspiration!

Recently had overgrown and huge evergreens removed from up against the house. Those awful railroad ties along the sidewalk have been ripped out too. How would you landscape it? The asymmetrical windows bother me! I need balance! Thanks!!

A dated home gets a fresh look in this (virtual) cute cottage makeover! Add curb appeal with these easy ideas, no matter what the style of your home.

First of all, what an adorable little house! As soon as I saw it I though it would be the perfect little cottage, and it really wouldn’t take a crazy amount of work to get there. Here’s my photoshop mockup of what I would do if this were my house: 

A dated home gets a fresh look in this (virtual) cute cottage makeover! Add curb appeal with these easy ideas, no matter what the style of your home.

Adorable, right? Doesn’t it look just so much more inviting? Here’s what I changed up to get there.

First the base: The house looked a bit dingy. If a power washing doesn’t clean it up, a fresh coat of white paint would do wonders. Then I changed the trim to a deep charcoal gray to really make it pop and add some dimension to the home. I also added in a decorative gable pediment to the peak over the door to add some architectural interest and a fun detail over the entry.

Second that entry way: The amazing rounded front door was just begging for a pop of bright color. With the classic, (almost) symmetrical look of the house, I opted for an equally classic bright red door color (sources listed below). I removed the railing on the portico too. It didn’t seem to fit with the style of the house and almost made the porch seem caged in and closed off. A more substantial step up to the porch, trimmed out in white paint, and a larger porch light that fits the cottage style and also works better with the scale of the door, completed the entry update.

Finally, landscaping and details: I lined the walkway with bricks, flowers, and boxwood hedges to make it feel very grand and inviting. It leads your eye right up to the bright red door and enhances the symmetrical feel of the house. Up by the house, I kept the landscaping fairly simple, but brought in some texture with easy to care for hostas, and color with various flowering plants. To help balance out the smaller window on the right side of the house, I think it would be the perfect place for a small tree. It brings some color up higher, adds a bit of softness to the facade, and provides shade as well— all without blocking your view! I also added some trough style window boxes and flowers to complete the cottage look and beef up the windows even more, and finished everything off with new, larger house numbers centered on the front porch step.

If you’re interested in any of the items used in my mockup above, here’s a list I put together to make things easy on you:

This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure policy here.

Valspar Steelhead Redd

Porch Light

House Numbers

Window Boxes

Gable Pediment

And if you’re still on the hunt for cute cottage inspiration, here are a few more images I rustled up while researching for ideas for this mock up:

Cottage makeover inspiration
Image Source: Southern Weddings | Photo Credit: Ashley Bosnick 
Cottage makeover inspiration
Image Source: Brandywine Cottage | Photo Credit: Kirby Carespodi 
Cottage makeover inspiration
Image Source: Belle Gardens | Photo Credit: Pam Terpstra 
Cottage makeover inspiration

Image found on: At Home in Love (Original Source Unknown) 
Cottage makeover inspiration

Image Source: Aesthetic Oiseau | Photo Credit: J. Savage Gibson 
Cottage makeover inspiration
Image Source: Southern Living | Photo Credit: Laurey W. Glenn 
Cottage makeover inspiration
Image source: The Spanish Dahlia | Photo Credit: Stephanie Bradley 

And one final look at the before photo next to my photoshop mockup after. So what do you think? What would you do to up the curb appeal of Laura’s cute little cottage?

A dated home gets a fresh look in this (virtual) cute cottage makeover! Add curb appeal with these easy ideas, no matter what the style of your home.

As always, thank you to Cassity and the Remodelaholic team for having me back each month. If you like this post, and have a design dilemma you’d like me to mock up some ideas for, let me know! (Ask your questions by sending Remodelaholic a message over on Facebook.) Also I’d love for you to visit me on my blog,, or follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. Have a great day, friends!



We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. You’d have to check the city code (for the exact height) but I believe a hand rail would be required on anything over 24″ height.